Freedom Gates Boys Ranch fundraiser July 13 at Medicine Lodge

• Free hamburger feed


Eat a free hamburger, buy yourself an auction item and help a troubled teenage boy's life be transformed.

This is at the Freedom Gates Boys Ranch annual Hamburger Feed and Live Auction in Medicine Lodge Saturday July 13. The event is at the Barber County Heritage Center, 1056 SE Isabel Rd. (at the intersection of U.S. Highway 281 and Isabel Road). Burgers are served at 5:30 with the live auction starting at 6:30 p.m.

Some of the auction items donated so far are: a fire pit, hand and power tools, a benchmade knife, gun case and antiques. Simpson said more items are coming in daily and much appreciated.

“We know it will be great fun!” FGBR President Michael Simpson said.

The money raised will help them finish their expanded housing facility in the former Hazelton schoolhouse. As reported in May, a group of Mennonite youth from Hutchinson volunteered their time to help with the project for a week.

“This group was a answer to prayer,” Simpson said. “We know God moved His people to action because He has His children that have to know how much He loves them.”

Simpson said, “The group (of Mennonite youth) got a lot of water damaged ceilings repaired, installed new lighting, stripped wall paper and refinished the walls. They also worked on building a two-bedroom apartment, did a lot of demolition, lots of framing on the new bathroom and bedroom and hung some drywall.”

Simpson said, “We still have a fire alarm system to install to make the housing for the boys able to be licensed. We need to do more construction on the apartment – drywall, flooring electrical ....”

The new housing is for six additional boys. The apartment will house houseparents, staff, etc. Longtime houseparents Dennis and Nancy Blake had gone to (part-time) respite care. However, with the departure of their replacement, the Blakes are again serving full-time as houseparents. FGBR seeks another set of houseparents.

For summer projects, the boys are doing lots of mowing, working on the expansion/ construction, and getting their projects ready for the Barber County Fair. Simpson said they''ll attend church camp, are swimming at the Kiowa pool, and some of the boys have home visits planned.

Simpson said the board is currently reviewing the many applications they receive and considering adding another boy. However, with the houseparent situation they were moving slowly. Simpson said Blake told him “We know another boy needs to know about Jesus; let’s not wait.”


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