Children and Youth Services

Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

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This is Fred Ball for Zions Bank, speaking on business.

Happy Birthday to Children and Youth Services! The company is celebrating its 40th birthday this year. Children and Youth Services is the non-profit organization that includes the Utah Boys Ranch, Utah Girls Town and Sunshine Solutions, all programs for at-risk youth.

Located in West Jordan, Children and Youth Services treats more than 500 kids each year through residential programs, summer camps and day programs. The organization's programs are all based on religious foundations, and Chris Buttars, executive director of the organization, tells me that religious beliefs play an important role in changing behavior and attitude.

Ground was broken for the Utah Girls Town earlier this year, and phase one will be finished by next spring. The girls' facility is on the same property as the ranch, but the two groups will not have any interaction with each other. Eventually, Utah Girls Town will be able to accommodate more than 100 girls in its full-time residence program.

Boys from all over the United States, but predominately from the Wasatch Front, come to the Utah Boys Ranch for treatment. All of them have emotional or behavioral problems, and many are addicted to drugs. Chris says there is nothing more exciting than seeing a young man change and gain a new enthusiasm for life.

Keeping the Utah Boys Ranch open is costly, especially since the program doesn't receive any state funding. The Scarecrow Festival, held September 23-25, is the ranch's annual fundraiser, which provides fun and entertainment for the whole family with a 1,500-bale corn maze, a haunted house, lots of food and much more. Organizers of the festival hope to have at least 2,000 volunteers to help with the more than 65,000 people expected to attend this year. Every dime raised from the festival goes to help the boys at the ranch.

For Zions Bank, I'm Fred Ball. I'm speaking on business.


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