Blog McCrossan Boys Ranch | Sioux Falls, South Dakota

McCrossan Welcomes Ronette Hegg to the Board of Directors

McCrossan’s is proud to welcome Ronette Hegg to the McCrossan Board of Directors. Ronette grew up on a farm near Gettysburg. She is employed by SMG Worldwide and her main role is the Director of Sales for the Sioux Falls Convention Center. Hegg received her B.S. in Marketing and Management through Northern State University in Aberdeen. Ronette and her husband Paul have twin boys, AJ and Henderson, who are three years old. In her spare time, Ronette likes to travel and spend time outdoors with her family. We are proud to welcome Ronette to the McCrossan Board!

Tickets Now Available: McCrossan Banquet Auction – April 24, 2014 – Featuring South Dakota’s Survivor Holly Hoffman

McCrossan Boys Ranch, along with the help of our sponsors, are pleased to present famous South Dakotan Holly Hoffman joining us for our Banquet Auction on Thursday, April 24th at the Sioux Falls Convention Center. Holly will be sharing her amazing story of “Survival: Your Winner Within.” Growing up, life wasn’t always easy for Holly. Her father was an abusive alcoholic that went in and out of treatment several times and never could shake his addiction. Despite the hard times, Holly excelled in school and athletics in the small town of Eureka, South Dakota. Because of Holly’s true “Survivor Mentality” she decided to apply to be on the CBS Show and was selected for “Survivor Nicaragua.” This is a Banquet Auction you won’t want to miss as Holly shares the lessons she learned about her Never Give Up attitude and how she has faced and survived all of life’s challenges in this never heard before speech just for McCrossan’s. We are excited to have South Dakota’s own Holly Hoffman join us this year for our annual Banquet Auction.

We hope you’ll join us to hear Holly’s survivor stories. Your support of our annual Banquet Auction makes a huge impact on our boys at the Ranch each year. Not only has it helped us grow our campus and support the many valuable programs we have at McCrossan’s, it gives our boys a chance to meet people like Holly Hoffman, who can make a real impact in their lives. We hope you will join us for this fun-filled event this year – it makes a real difference! The event will also feature an exciting live and silent auction with great items to bid on, including a Naples, Florida Getaway, a marvelous Black Hills package, a Walt Disney Getaway and lots of jewelry, electronics, sports memorabilia, artwork and more. There will also be a wonderful meal along with an evening of entertainment you won’t want to miss! 


Sioux Falls Convention Center

5:30 – Silent Auction

6:30 – Dinner

7:00 – Live Auction & Keynote Speech by South Dakota’s Survivor Holly Hoffman

Tickets: $75

Individual tickets and tables of 8 or 10 can be reserved

For Information call: 339-1203


Tickets will go fast!

A Story of Success.... Justin Smith

Like many of the boys who are referred to McCrossan Boys Ranch, a troubled home life with little family support was the beginning of a journey down the wrong road for Justin Smith. That journey eventually led him to being placed at McCrossan Boys Ranch in the mid-1990s after he had gotten mixed up with criminal activities.

Once Justin arrived at the ranch, he remembers feeling relief. Not only relief to be in a safe environment, but also at the new opportunity to just be a child.

During his three and a half years spent at McCrossan Boys Ranch, Justin was active with the hitch team, participating in many parades, petting zoos and events. A highlight from his time with the team was attending the Inaugural Parade for President Bill Clinton in January 1997. Justin also volunteered with the Handi-Riders program, assisting handicapped individuals in learning to ride horses.

Another prominent memory to Justin was Christmas at the ranch, not just the presents that the boys received from the Tree of Hope, but the feeling of family that was provided, “Prior to coming to the ranch, I’d never really had a Christmas.”

While at the ranch Justin didn’t realize how much his time was shaping the man he would become. Looking back he said, “When you are there you do not realize it but you are truly blessed. The staff really cares about the boys and wants them to do well. For those boys currently in the program, I emphasize that they trust and rely on the staff members, and most of all look to God to get you through things.”

Justin attended school at the ranch and was one of the first students in the Rysdon Student Union when it was opened on the campus. He finished his last year of school at Sioux Falls Roosevelt. Following his graduation he discharged to return to Des Moines to an Independent Living program there.

The work ethic instilled in Justin by McCrossan Boys Ranch, has carried him throughout his life. Justin proclaims, “I never worked before I set foot on the Ranch, and once you’ve been there the hard work and work ethic you learn always stays with you.”

Justin makes his home in Colfax, IA and is a Construction Manager for Teen Challenge Ministry, an organization that helps individuals with severe life issues get off the streets and teaches them a trade in a structured environment. He says working with the ministry is a full time commitment; he lives right on the campus.

Justin’s pride and joy are his children: Natalie, 8, Nathan, 6, and Natasha, 4. He devotes his time when not working to focusing on being the best father he can be to his kids.

We are very proud of all of Justin’s accomplishments and are glad he shared his story with us. If you are an alumni or know someone who is and would like to be featured in the Courier please call Christy Menning at (605) 339-1203.


McCrossan Welcomes New Board Member - Dan Newell

McCrossan Boys Ranch is proud to have Dan Newell as one of the newest members of the McCrossan Board of Directors. Dan grew up in Pierre, South Dakota. He is currently the President of McGowan Capital Group, LLC. Newell received his B.S. in Business Administration/Accounting from the University of South Dakota and is a Certified Public Accountant. Dan currently sits on the Governors Board of Economic Advisors for the State of South Dakota. Dan and his wife, Diane have three children and seven grandchildren. In his spare time, Dan enjoys hunting, fishing, golfing and has been running for over thirty years. We are glad to have Dan as part of the McCrossan Board!


2013 McCrossan Award Winners

McCrossan Boys Ranch is proud to announce that Patty Mihelich received the Executive Choice Award for her commitment to our boys at the Ranch. Patty is our Program Director and works in our Admission Department at McCrossan Boys Ranch and has a big heart for helping youth.

Avera McKennan received this year’s Partnership Award for all they do to help our youth and support the many causes we have at McCrossan Boys Ranch. From chapel support to the title sponsorship of our Banquet Auction, Avera McKennan has helped support many programs and projects for our youth. We appreciate our partnership with Avera McKennan both inside and outside of the hospital doors.

Kristen Brink was honored with this year’s Frontliner of the Year Award for her exceptional and dedicated service in “Fighting the Good Fight” to benefit our boys. Kristen is a Youth Counselor at the Ranch. Her dedication and positive attitude is an inspiration to all of us at McCrossan’s.

Central States Manufacturing, Hartford received this years’s “Friend of the Ranch” Award. We love our partnership with this great group of people - from volunteering, to holding a "Balding for Boys" contest and being a major partner in our new indoor horse arena project by donating all the steel - we are grateful for this wonderful friend of the Ranch!

Our Distinguished Service Award was presented this year to Dr. David Kapaska for his leadership and support of all we do at McCrossan’s. His heart for helping youth and our staff are evident in all that he does. We are grateful he has shared his time, talents, and treasure with us.

This year’s “Volunteer of the Year” award goes to Sharon Kinzley. Sharon volunteers her time working in the Development Office at the Ranch. She has helped stuffed countless numbers of envelopes, picked up Banquet Auction items, sorted labels and lids, and helped out at special events. Her wonderful, caring personality is always welcomed at McCrossan’s.

2014 McCrossan Golf Classic & Appreciation BBQ

Nice weather is around the corner and that means it is time to start thinking about golf! The McCrossan Boys Ranch Golf Classic for Kids is scheduled for Wednesday, June 25th at Central Valley Golf Course in Hartford (noon shotgun start). It’s sure to be a day filled with friendly competition, fun games and lots of prizes. So get your four-some together today and get registered! If you cannot find a group, you may also sign up individually, and we will pair you up with other individuals who like to golf too. Following this year’s event, we will be having another one of our famous Appreciation BBQs at the Ranch. It will feature fabulous ranch-cooked food, wagon rides, tours and more. It’s sure to be a fun-filled day! If you are interested in sponsoring a golf team, golf hole or donating a prize, please contact Christy Menning in the Development Office. We hope to see you all on June 25th!

McCrossan Horse Arena Construction Moving Along

Every day our horses make a difference at McCrossan Boys Ranch. They change lives. They calm fears.  They help teach responsibility and nurturance. They give our boys “new hope for a better life.”

McCrossan Boys Ranch is excited to announce that we recently broke ground on a new indoor riding arena on our campus. The new arena will by 80’ x 150’ and will feature all amenities necessary for an indoor horse riding arena.

McCrossan Boys Ranch currently does not have an indoor area for equine activities year-round. South Dakota winters prohibit our boys from riding horse for several of the coldest months. An indoor arena would offer a safe, controlled environment and reduce distractions allowing for both the horse and rider to stay focused. An indoor riding arena would give our boys a chance to participate in therapy, training, lessons, and other indoor recreational activities year-round at the Ranch.

Why horses? Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) is a therapeutic approach that can have an incredible impact on our boys to address a variety of mental health and human development needs. Some of those needs may be behavioral issues, ADD, substance abuse, anxiety, depression, relationship problems and communication needs. McCrossan Boys Ranch utilizes a solution-orientated approach that includes some beliefs that people change when uncomfortable and grow when challenged.  This therapy approach promotes human physical, social, emotional and/or cognitive functioning.

This type of therapy is done by using a qualified therapist and an equine professional working together to provide an atmosphere that allows our boys the chance to utilize non-verbal communication, assertiveness, creative thinking, problem solving, leadership, responsibility, teamwork, confidence, and attitude. These are just several examples of the tools utilized and developed by EAP.

The Ranch’s equine therapy program teaches kids all learning aspects of life with horses – from grooming, feeding, and tack to animal psychology, biology and riding. The purpose of the program is to help children recognize negative behaviors and to learn positive skills that are transferable to real life situations. Animals often act as a mirror, reflecting emotions of the individuals they interact with.

McCrossan’s has utilized animals as a part of its program for at risk children for over 50 years, and have experienced firsthand the impact that animals can have on the children that we work with. McCrossan’s maintains 20-30 horses carefully selected based on their age, disposition, and health.

One of the reasons the Ranch utilizes horses is due to their size. It creates an environment that assists with overcoming fear as they begin to develop confidence in themselves. Also, horses have distinct personalities - the approach that seems to work with one horse does not always work with another. Horses can be like children, they are social animals, at times they are stubborn and defiant and other times they just like to have fun. Our studies have shown that equine therapy helps build self-confidence and improve communications and problem solving skills.

We are grateful to our donors that made this project possible. We are excited about this new addition that will enhance our horse, 4-H and hitch experiences at McCrossan Boys Ranch for many years to come.

Want to help?

Make a donation online. Just write “horse arena” in the comments . Your donation will help us complete this wonderful project benefiting our boys.

 “There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.” – Winston Churchill

 “Horses are incredibly forgiving. They fill in places we are not capable of filling ourselves.” – Buck Brannaman, World Renowned Horse Trainer

McCrossan Want List

Help McCrossan Boys Ranch by donating one of these items:
AED Machine
Athletic Shorts (M-XL)
Audiometer (for Nurse’s Office)
Basketballs/Footballs/Sporting Gear
Bible Study Materials
Bike Rack
Book Shelves
Christian Movies
Christmas Wrapping Paper & Gift Bags
Coats (Mens M, L, XL or 2XL)
Computers and Laptops (New condition only)
Cowboy Boots/Work Boots
Cross Country Shoes/ Spikes (Sizes 8-12)
DVD Movies (G or PG)
DVD Players (New or working condition)
Gift Cards to Walmart, JC Penney, Walgreens, Department Stores, Restaurants, &
Office Max
GPS system
Hats & Gloves
Hydraulic Lift
Knee Pads/Elbow Pads
Lawn Mower (Zero-turn in good condition)
Leaf Blower (Gas)
Mini Vans (Good Condition)
Movie Passes
Neon Vests
Office Supplies (Non-Toxic Markers, Ink Pens, Glue Sticks, Plain Envelopes, Tape, Scissors, Cardstock, Colored Office Paper)
Photo Albums
Plastic Table Covering
Playstation 2 Video Games (no violent or mature rated games)
Pool Sticks
Round Hay Baler
Running Shoes (Sizes 8-12)
Shirts (Medium – XL)
Shoe Laces (New)
Shower Curtains
Snow plow for front of pick-up
Special Event Tickets
T-shirts (white)
Tetherball Pole & Set
Tractor (Good running condition)
Used Vehicles (Running Condition)
Water Bottles
Wii video games and systems (no violent or mature rated games)
Xbox 360 Video Game System and Games
Yard Games (Bocce Ball, Croquet, Ladder Golf, etc.)

At this time we are no longer accepting the following items:
Old Computers/Inkjet Printers/Copiers
TV’s (old style)
VHS Movies

Save these items and help earn cash and supplies for the Ranch:
Campbell Soup UPC’s
Box Tops for Education
Coke Rewards Lids/Codes
Used Cell Phones
Tyson Project A+ Labels

Year End Giving to McCrossan's

Don’t miss out on your chance to make a difference for our boys in 2013. Year-End giving is as easy as making a charitable gift and getting a tax break. Because tax laws encourage charitable giving, itemizing can significantly reduce your income taxes for 2013. Of course, giving is much more than just saving on your taxes. A gift to McCrossan Boys Ranch ensures that nearly 250 boys each year will get a second chance. Gifts can go towards program support or any other fund listed on the Courier envelope. Please make sure your gift is postmarked by December 31st to get credit for your donation in the 2013 tax year.

Here are some ways to maximize your tax situation while benefiting our boys:
•    Cash is convenient and provides you an income tax deduction when itemized on your tax return. You can do this by using the enclosed envelope or by donating online at
Use your credit card to make the gift and receive the deduction now and pay the bill at your convenience. McCrossan accepts Visa and MasterCard and donations can be processed over the phone, on-line or by mail. Paypal is also an option on our website.
•    Donate appreciated stock held for more than one year and derive an additional tax benefit: Avoidance of capital gain. Consider choosing appreciated stock with the greatest capital gain to take maximum advantage of this unique tax benefit.
•    Sell stock that has lost value and donate the proceeds. You can deduct the loss in value and derive an income tax charitable deduction for the current market value.
•    Land is also a great option to consider donating to McCrossan Boys Ranch.
If you would like more information on Year-End Donations please contact Christy Menning at McCrossan Boys Ranch by calling (605) 339-1203.

McCrossan Boys Ranch Welcomes New Board and Foundation Presidents

Bill McLean Installed as McCrossan Board President

McCrossan Boys Ranch is proud to announce that Bill McLean will serve as Board President for the Ranch. Bill was born in New York City, New York. He moved to North Dakota soon after, which is where he attended school. Bill graduated from the University of North Dakota where he received his bachelors and masters degrees. Bill and his wife Judy have been married for 42 years and have two grown kids: daughter, Katie (Trevor) and two grandsons, Connor and Cullen, and son, Cory (Kim). Bill is currently the Senior Vice President for Human Resources for the Avera McKennan Health System in Sioux Falls. He has more than 30 years of experience in the healthcare and human resources area.  Bill has also served on the Board of Directors for the American Society for Healthcare Human Resources Administration. In his spare time, he enjoys golf, riding bicycle and motorcycle, and most outdoor activities.

Our staff and Board are proud to have Bill as our new Board President!

Dick Menke Installed as McCrossan Foundation President

    Dick Menke will serve as this year’s incoming McCrossan Foundation President. Dick was born and raised in Sioux Falls. He received his degree in Business Management from the University of South Dakota. Dick is part owner of Pride Neon Signs, a family business since 1949. Dick and his wife Lori live in Sioux Falls and have three sons, Dan (28), Ross (25) and Peter (20). Dick is a member of Rotary West and a member of the Stewardship Board at First Congregational Church. In his spare time he enjoys golf, hunting, exercise, spending time with his family and taking walks with his wife Lori.

We are excited to have Dick Menke as our new Foundation President!


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