2009 Summer - The Villages Inc.


2009 Summer - The Villages Inc.

2009 Summer Edition




The homes were spiffed up inside and out in preparation

for the Open House and Ribbon Cutting on the

Topeka ‘hill’ in June. It was the culmination of six

year’s of work toward preparing the houses for

‘Another 40 years’ of providing young people with a

place to call home. Several hundred guests started at

the reception tent but quickly moved to the homes

for tours, snacks, keg root beer and conversation with

the youth and staff. Previous and current board

members saw the result of their stewardship. Supporters

were able to see the tangible results of their financial

support. Members of the community, including a

contingent of Ambassadors from the Topeka Chamber

of Commerce got to see, most for the first time,

the high quality of The Villages houses. The homes

really were looking like NEW!

The newsletter of The Villages, Inc.

Of Providing Emotionally

Supportive Homes for

Children and Youth in Need

TOPEKA OPEN HOUSE & Ribbon Cutting

The real story and the real surprise for many of the

visitors, however, was the young people. Most of the

visitors were aware that The Villages works with hard

to place, sometimes difficult youth. Time and time

again their comments upon completing their tour was

about the youthful hosts they met in each of the

homes. “The young people really show a pride in their

homes—and it is clear they feel ownership’ was a frequent

comment. Visitors talked about the boy who

proudly showed off his ROTC uniform or the children

who showed their academic awards or neatly arranged

closets of clothes. There were many comments

about the Green Team youth who were sharing some

of the Stone Nature Center’s program animals. In the

end, it came down to the kids. Exactly the way it

should be. “Oh, by the way, the homes look Great!!”


The Villages Lawrence Kansas homes were opened only

a few years after the homes of the original

‘demonstration’ Village were completed in Topeka.

Supporters from Lawrence and the Kansas City area

helped raise the money and a site for the homes was

originally donated by Petey Cerf. The Cerf land, however,

soon became embroiled in controversy with

neighbors not wanting the ‘problem’ youth living in

their area. It was a case of ’not in my back yard’ to

which Charlie and Tensie Oldfather calmly provided a

solution. In exchange for the Cerf property, they would

trade 80 acres of their personal back yard—on the top

of the hill behind their own home — to become the

site for The Villages Lawrence homes. Soon the homes

were under construction.

Two homes were built on what was dubbed ‘pleasant

ridge’ and a third home—originally only planned as

temporary accommodations while the hilltop homes

were under construction—was established in town.

This home was not built to the specifications of the

other homes. It was actually a remodeled tri-plex. Although

it was only meant to be used for a few months,

it remained as one of The Villages homes for 30 years.

It was finally retired and sold in 2004 in anticipation of

the expense it would take to bring it up to standard to

meet all the sanitation and safety concerns identified by

The Villages staff.

The H. Roe Bartle Cottage and the Raymond Cerf Cottage

remain as co-ed homes. They are surrounded by

80 acres of grassland on the top of a hill south of the

Wakarusa River. Directly North of the homes, Tensie

Oldfather (who at the time of her death in 2007 had

been a Villages board member for 30 years) dedicated

much of her remaining property on the north slope of

the hill as a ’conservation easement’ which will guarantee

The Villages Lawrence homes will continue to be

surrounded by nature in perpetuity.

H. Roe Bartle and Raymond Cerf Cottages get Make Over

The Villages Lawrence homes were a few years

newer but similar in style to the final two homes

built at the original Demonstration Village in

Topeka. The bathrooms and kitchens were seriously

in need of improvement and much additional

work was needed to prepare them for

“Another 40 Years”. Through support from the

FHLBank of Topeka, the Douglas County Community

Foundation, the Topeka Community Foundation,

and Board members of The Villages as well as

hundreds of others, the homes are like new again.

The homes have new insulated siding, new windows,

new interior doors, completely new youth


bathrooms, new floor coverings, much repaired

plasterwork on ceilings and walls, new woodstoves

and a new kitchen at the Cerf Home and a significantly

upgraded kitchen (thanks to volunteers

from the Baldwin United Methodist Church) at the

Bartle Cottage. Please join in the Open House and

Ribbon Cutting at the Lawrence homes on October

16. (See information on page 8.)

The Villages Raymond Cerf cottage (above) was the only

one of the seven homes to be vacant when renovation

work was completed. A change in house parents and

spaces in the other homes for youth from the Cerf cottage

allowed the contractor to complete all the interior

work (the most extensive of any home) in record time.


When a young person comes t o The Villages a plan is

developed to address the issues which have brought

them here. Additionally, regardless of other needs,

house parents and social workers at The Villages assess

the young persons achievements and struggles in

school. It has been a hallmark of The Villages program

since the very first cottage opened in December 1969

that Villages young people improve their engagement

and achievement at school.

In a letter to supporters in December 1970 Dr. Karl and

Kent Hayes (executive director) reported that, “Now a

year later, the house is full of boys thriving in a warm,

home atmosphere doing their daily chores and succeeding

in public school for the first time in their lives.”

This statement is as true today as it was 39 years ago.

Many youth currently at The Villages do better in

school than they ever have before. Part of this outcome

results from the emphasis on school engagement

proffered by their Villages house parents. This engagement

includes not only providing tutoring and reward-

ing good grades, but also encouragement to participate

in extra curricular activities such as sports, music, ROTC,

etc. The outcome is that most of the young people

who are at The Villages for a reasonable length of time

actually graduate.

This year there were three spring graduates: Anna from

the Robert Brock Cottage, Keith from the H. Roe Bartle

Cottage and Jesse from the Edwin Linquist Cottage.

Two more of the current Villages youth are graduating

this month. Chris at the Raymond Cerf Cottage has

passed his GED exam and is working this semester while

investigating opportunities at community colleges in

the area. Heather was close enough to graduate in the

spring that she was allowed to participate in the commencement

ceremony. She will complete her final

elective in the next few weeks and begin beauty college

on October 6. Chris and Heather are exemplary of the

many youth who are assisted by The Villages in

‘recovering’ credits lost by taking advantage of GED

study programs and special credit recovery programs.

Villages Stone Nature Center VISTA Members Provide Experiences for Youth

L to


Reports from the homes:


William Menninger Cottage—Richard & Cynthia


Almost all the boys had summer jobs through the

Heartland Works program: David worked at Highland

Park Central, Brandon at Quinton Heights Administrative

office, Jerry at Big Lots, Joe at Mont Hope Cemetery and

Cody at The Girls and Boys Club. Michael continued his job

at Abouds Catering.

Cody P. and Michael participated in a number of summer

activities such as baking, board games, arts and crafts, creative

writing and the Nature Club outings. Cody C. took part in

interviewing skills training which including going to purchase

a suit at the Thrift store (He looked sharp!). The boys enjoyed

going to the community swimming pools and Lake

Shawnee to swim and fish. Cody P. who just had his 18th

birthday is working on his GED. He spent part of a day out

with his Social Worker getting his certified copy of his birth

certificate and his Kansas ID. Cody C., Jesus, and Austin went

out for Football. Austin has hung in there and hopes to

make varsity as a Freshman. Michael and Jerry both took an

art class at the Mulvane Art Museum over the summer. All

The boys helped give tours of the home during the open

house/ribbon cutting ceremony and enjoyed getting some

keg root beer. Jerry continues on the Nature Center’s Green

Team and Cody P. will be joining the team. The William

Menninger Cottage group went to the drag races at Heartland

Park and the fourth of July fireworks display at Shawnee

Lake. Cody C. and Brandon helped with some community

service work by painting over graffiti along side some

Washburn University Criminal Justice students.

Robert Brock Cottage—Rob and Jodi Bolivar

The Brock Cottage family enjoyed day trips to the

Harley Davidson factory in Kansas City and later in

the summer to the Kansas City Zoo. The kids also

participated in many of the Summer Recreation Programs

including several arts projects and sports related activities.

But the trips to Hy-Vee Cooking Classes and Hazel Hill

Chocolates were probably the favorites. Heartland Works

helped locate jobs for several of the youth in the home.

Latisha and Tiana worked at Gage Park Back to Nature

Camp. Fabiana did a fantastic job at the Boys and Girls

club. Eddie worked downtown and Jemika at Topeka High as

an office assistant. Aneth did a whirlwind tour of day camps

offered through the City of Topeka: Volleyball Skills Camp,

Nature Survival Skills and CSI: Topeka. She enjoyed all the

camps but had to pass on the morgue because it “smelled

funny”. Nate kept up with his job at Jason’s Deli where he has

worked for a year now! Michael completed summer school at

New Directions and did many hours of community service at

First United Methodist Church. The household went on vacation

to Saint Louis in July where they toured the Arch and hit

Six Flags with a vengeance. The kids especially enjoyed Hurricane

Harbor Water Park and they went to Fisher Cave, Union

Station, City Museum, and the Hard Rock Café. Jemika

completed her program and was able to go home. Fabiana

and Eddie also went home to complete school in their home

communities. Michael is set to go home on his 18 th birthday.

Raymond Cerf Cottage, Kelly & Amy Houk

The Raymond Cerf home was empty from the end

of March 2009 until August 2009 for renovations.

The renovation included new flooring

throughout the home, new youth bathrooms and an updated

kitchen. In addition to the remodel, we welcomed Kelly and

Amy Houk as new House Parents for the home. The Houks

were House Parents previously in Arizona, Montana and

Idaho and have worked with over 55 youth. They bring their

three daughters, Burgundy, Ivory and Scarlet with them to the

home. The Houks have been very busy developing the program

for the home and taking in seven youth from various

counties. Cyierria plays the Cello and is in orchestra at the

High School. Marquis is playing football at the High School.

And Chris will be taking his GED test soon and has started

employment at a local restaurant. Also, the entire home

went to Worlds of Fun in early August as a back to school


H. Roe Bartle Cottage—Dale and Chris Fowler

In the spring the Fowlers had six youth join their

home during construction at the Cerf Cottage next

door. This increased their population to twelve

youth. During May, five youth returned to their families and

another five youth returned to their homes during and at the

end of the summer. Keith graduated in May from Lawrence

High School and enrolled at Johnson County Community

College for the fall. Randy was an active member in the Native

American Club that attended Pow Wows in the KCK

area. He worked at Culver’s Restaurant and used his money

to pay off his restitution. Over the summer the Cerf Cottage

girls attended The Dance Gallery to learn Hip Hop steps

and attended exercise classes at Body Boutique. The boys

went to an Archery classes at the Prairie Park Nature Center

and exercise at Holcomb Recreation Center. Other group

activities included model car building, swimming, The Villages

Nature club, fishing, the Stone Nature Center Ropes

course, and a trip to the Kansas City Zoo with a meal afterwards

at Gates BBQ. Three of the youth found jobs through

the Heartland Works program. Tesla at the Lawrence Art

Center, Ryan at The Humane Society and Emily at Kidtopia.

Ryan is active in the Civil Air Patrol and was recently promoted

to Airman 1 st class. Ryan and his Squadron traveled to

Topeka and flew on a Black Hawk Helicopter. He will graduate

this December from Lawrence HS. This fall Seude is on

the LHS‘s Junior Varsity and Varsity football teams. Charles is

working on obtaining his GED.

Edwin Linquist Cottage—Terry & Charity Strong

Terry and Charity took 10 youth to Colorado Springs

for summer vacation where they stayed at the

Woodland Park Lake House cottages and enjoyed a

fun-filled week of going to the top of Pike’s Peak,

touring the Garden of the Gods nature garden, the Royal

Gorge, Cripple Creek for gold mining and the ghost town,

and white water rafting through Brown’s Canyon. Everyone

had a great time. Linquist Cottage senior, Jesse, graduated

from WRHS and began summer classes at Highland Community

College in July where he was a “walk on” for the Highland

football team and made the team. Heather also was

eligible to “walk” with her class and then worked at Freedom

Choice Education Center to finish her high school credits.

Three others, Jessica, Marcus and Tommy also took summer

classes at Freedom Choice over the summer and recovered a

combined 6 credits towards their high school graduation.

Marissa worked on her GED at Freedom Choice and has completed

3 of 5 required sections. A total of 6 youth worked at

summer jobs through the Heartland Works summer employment

program and another youth worked with The Villages

maintenance man, Mike Lane, doing mowing and weed


Helen DeVitt Jones Cottage —Klint & Karis Deere

Klint and Karis took their boys on a short vacation to

the Villisca Ax Murder House and Museum in Villisca,

Iowa. The boys enjoyed the house and the stopover at

a water park in Omaha on the way back. Once back the

youth were hard at work participating in the heartland Works

summer jobs program. Six of the youth gained employment

and all of them successfully completed their jobs. All of the

youth who owed restitution paid it in full (the total amount

was close to $4,000. Four youth successfully completed

their programs at the Deere’s over the summer with three

returning home and one going to an independent living program.

The youth participated in several Villages activity program

outings to the base at Fr. Leavenworth, museums, etc.

Karl Menninger Cottage—Brandon & Amy


Two boys at the Karl Menninger Cottage lettered in

track and one in ROTC. They also received recogni-

tion at The Villages academic awards ceremony. The boys

have been working on the landscaping at home, designing a

landscape, purchasing plants and maintaining the plantings.

The Karl Menninger boys also cared for The Villages office

landscape all summer. At the end of the 2008-2009 school

year, two youth successfully completed The Villages program

and returned home. Two more were able to complete prior

to school in the fall. The household went to Ohio for vacation

where they stayed in a cabin and visited the Pro Football

Hall of Fame, the Classic Car Museum, Cedar Point Amusement

Park and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Three boys

had summer jobs and four attended Jobs for Young Adults.

Three boys are out for football and two are in ROTC.

L-R: Graduates’ dinner, Most cottages have ‘reading time’ at their homes

during the summer, Youth visited Old Prairie Town and the Kansas Museum

of History with the Summer VISTA members who led the activity program. The

group of youth who received academic awards (including $20) at the ceremony

in May. Jesse receiving an academic award. (He’s now in school at Highland

Community College). Activity Program: Linquist Cottage youth

at ‘Old Prairie Town’ and Brock Cottage youth at Kansas City Zoo. 5


During July, Myron Moore visited at the Karl Menninger

Cottage where he lived when he was 15 years old.

He and his fiancée came to see the home and his old

room again and accepted house parents Amy and Bradon

Robertson’s invitation to stay for dinner and discussion

with some of the current residents of the home.

Myron talked about the horse that was ‘his’ at The Villages

and told stories of life in The Villages of the 70’s.

The Villages alumni affairs committee is planning more

opportunities for previous youth and staff of The Villages

to visit and share their stories and wisdom with the

current Villages Kids. Scheduled for October 16th is the

Lawrence homes open house and Ribbon Cutting and

all previous youth and staff are encouraged to attend.

Also next June 11 and 12 The Villages will host an

alumni reunion. To get on the mail list / email list for

this event and other alumni opportunities send your

contact information—address, email, phone, etc. to:

Michael Bradley, 2219 SW 29th St. - Topeka, KS 66611

— or email: mbradley@thevillagesinc.org

The Villages is currently creating a database of all former youth,

house parents, social workers, youth care workers, board members and

others involved in The Villages since its creation forty years ago. If you or anyone

you know might be interested, please forward contact information to

info@thevillagesinc.org or contact Michael Bradley, Communications Director at The Villages

office (785-267-5900 mbradley@thevillagesinc.org) or write to The Villages, Inc. 2219 SW 29th St.

Topeka, KS 66611).

OR - become a ’fan’ at The Villages Facebook page - “The Villages Inc. of Kansas”

Calling all Alumni!!

The newly formed Alumni Relations committee will be working to put together reunions and events

specifically for alums and friends of The Villages including a 40 year reunion on June 11 & 12, 2010.



Visit The Villages fan page on Facebook & sign up to be a

’fan’. Post your memories or RSVP for events.

To find The Villages fan page enter

“Facebook, The Villages Inc. of Kansas” in

your browser search engine

Also stop by the Dr. Karl fan page. Share your

memories of Dr. Karl.

To find the Dr. Karl fan page enter “Facebook, Dr.

Karl Menninger” in the search box on your

web browser. Look for the image below of

the sculpture of Dr. Karl —that’s The Villages

sponsored page for Dr. Karl.

No need to be registered on Facebook to view fan pages

(Coming soon-Stone Nature Center Facebook fan page)

L to R: Alumni Myron Moore talking with staff and youth at the Karl

Menninger cottage and peaking into his old room. Pictures of Dr. Karl

statue, William Menninger Cottage and Girl with snake which serve as

Facebook ‘tags’ for Dr. Karl, The Villages and Stone Nature Center pages.


How YOU Can Help The Villages Help Youth

Jon Carlson works with adults who . . . “When they

come to me they don’t really have any options.” Jon

has been a corrections officer at the Shawnee County

adult detention center for 11 years but he used to work

with juvenile offenders. “I have seen the stigma young

people in the system experience and I want to give

them the same things kids in traditional family units

get.” Jon first approached The Villages with the idea

that If young people at least have a chance to pursue

something positive, that may make a difference and he

may not see them when they become adults.

Jon is an example of the type of supporter that The Villages

relies upon to help provide the ‘extras’ that make

all the difference. He shares the same philosophy that

led Dr. Karl and his friends to establish The Villages as a

place where, “a new environment, new surroundings,

new models . . . (help youth) develop orientations of

caring, saving, protecting and building instead of the

hating, fighting and destroying with which they have

been surrounded” (Dr. Karl Menninger—1970)

Jon hopes to set up an on-going fund to help youth at

The Villages have a chance for typical teenage experiences

like going to prom or taking music lessons. To

get started, he is helping Villages house parents Terry

and Charity Strong buy a trumpet for one of their

young people.

There are many ways you, like Jon, can help The Villages

young people. Here are just a few:

Contribute to The Villages support the Lasting Legacy of Dr. Karl Menninger

The Villages is one of very few organizations in Kansas still working with the state’s most challenging youth in a

family setting. The system as a whole is relying more and more on a see-saw between foster homes and

‘institutional’ care for the most troubled and behaviorally disordered youth. Youth who never make connections

and who just ‘move’ when their behavior deteriorates are not learning how to be accountable for their actions nor

what commitment is all about. The Villages remains committed to the modeling of appropriate ‘family’ relationships

and the opportunities a family environment provides for youth to have more ‘typical’ teenage experiences. This work

is NOT easier and it is definitely NOT cheaper.

If, like Jon Carlson, you think youth in custody should have the support and experiences only family style care can

provide, won’t you please help?

To Help: please use the enclosed envelope or send contributions

to: The Villages / 2219 SW 29th / Topeka, KS 66611

Support the ‘activity fund’ at The Villages which

allows the youth to attend a cultural event such

as a museum, a play, a concert, a lecture, or lessons

in pottery, art, horseback riding, etc.

Donate new and slightly used men’s and women’s

jeans, shirts, and shoes and essentials like new

socks, underwear, shampoo, conditioner, and

other hygiene products for both boys and girls.

Recruit your Church, company or group to become

the Birthday Sponsor in one home—buy a cake

and gifts for each young person’s birthday.

If your company needs help, please let us know so

we can send a youth to fill out an application.

Donate and deliver gravel to resurface the roads

leading to the Lawrence and Topeka homes (a

perennial need).

Recruit a volunteer team (some skilled) to paint

walls inside one home. A group of 10 able to

help on one day each year could meet the need.







Terry &



Include: Name, Address, City, State, Zip

Email (for updates—never shared)


Please Celebrate with us in Lawrence









Open House & Ribbon Cutting

at the Newly Renovated Lawrence

Homes of The Villages, Inc.

Snacks, hot cider and FUN!

When: Friday Oct 16th 3-6pm

(Formal Ribbon Cutting at 4:00 pm)

Of Providing Emotionally

Supportive Homes for

Children and Youth in Need

Where: The Villages Lawrence homes

1149 E. 1200 Rd. South of Lawrence—go south out of town

on Iowa (highway 59) just past the Wakarusa River bridge.

Turn right at first road and proceed west about 1 mile to E.

1200 rd. Turn left (south) and proceed about 1/2 mile to 3rd

gravel drive on right that goes up the hill at an angle. Follow

the winding gravel road through the trees to the hilltop homes.



Dr. Karl Menninger

Executive Director:

Sylvia Crawford

Executive Committee:

Judge Terry Bullock

Mr. Robert Derstein—Chair

Ms. Brenda Guilfoyle

Mr. John Guyot

Mr. B.J. Hickert – Treasurer

Mr. Michael Hooper – President

Ms. Patricia Hyland

Mr. Gerald Letourneau

Ms. Diana Mayer – Secretary

Dr. Charles Millhuff

Dr. Michael Murphy

Mr. Doug Nelson

Mr. Irving Sheffel

Mr. Chris Wright

The Villages, Inc

2219 SW 29th St. / Topeka, KS 66611

the voice—

newsletter of The Villages, Inc.

Summer 2009—Issue # 26


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