Category: Events

Articles about ongoing Westview activities will appear here.

Westview at the Kimbell Museum, Forth Worth, TX

Rounding out our education

Among our hopes for young men at Westview is that they go out into the world with a broad range of experience and education–including the fine arts. A recent trip to Fort Worth provided three young men with an abundance of memorable artistic experiences.

Brian, Kade, and Mark traveled to Forth Worth with Westview team member Ron Bruner to enjoy a weekend of the fine arts. Their Friday evening started with a visit to Bass Hall in downtown Fort Worth, where they enjoyed listening to the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra play a varied program:

  • Victor Agudelo – La Madre de Agua
  • Dvorák – Cello Concerto, with Johannes Moser
  • Saint-Saëns – Organ Symphony, with H. Joseph Butler
Ball Hall, Fort Worth, TX
Bass Hall

Olin Chism, a reviewer for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, wrote: “Saint-Saëns’ “Organ Symphony” is a highly theatrical work given a highly theatrical performance by conductor Miguel Harth-Bedoya and the Fort Worth Symphony.”

On Saturday morning the group went to the Kimbell Art Museum, perhaps one of the finest museums west of the Mississippi. There the young men enjoyed seeing a collection of work by Michelangelo, Rembrandt, Raeburn, Van Gogh, Cézanne, Monet, Matisse, Mondrian, and Picasso, as well as a collection of Asian work.

After lunch (and, yes, food can be art!), the group went to see the Academy-Award winning movie, “Hidden Figures.”

Each young man acquired new experiences and found something in each encounter that they enjoyed. Everyone who was a part of this trip appreciated the donors who make these kind of experiences possible for us. Thank you!

Chip and Sue Moore

Chip and Sue Moore celebrate 20 years of service

In 1995 Chip and Sue Moore came to Hollis, Oklahoma to become part of the work at Westview. Sue grew up in Nebraska and Chip in Maine, but both found a way to make Westview home. Chip assumed the role of the director of social services and Sue took over the bookkeeper’s responsibility at Westview. Sue soon acquired a reputation for integrity and attention to detail.

She has maintained careful records and caring relationships with our young men. Chip has worked with our boys and care givers at the Home for many years. He has sought to give our young men a second chance (and often more than two!). Chip has trained dozens of care givers in the Westview way of caring for young men; he also worked to improve that program to provide continual quality improvement for our work.

At the same time, Chip and Sue have represented Westview well in the community. Sue helped the Hollis Band program for many years. Chip has served as a deacon and an elder in local churches, announced the local and county livestock shows, and broadcast Hollis sporting events. They’ve done all of this while raising their own daughter and son.

A little over a year ago, Chip changed his role to become director of development for Westview. He has already brought in substantial grants to the Home that have substantially changed our campus.

The Westview team is thankful that Sue and Chip have served the young men at Westview so long and so well.

Sonny Bentley and the boys

We’ll get better . . . with a little help from our friends

Westview has been blessed with success in our show calf program for many years now. Even so, Doug Gonzalez, our ranch manager, brings in help when he hopes to take the program up a notch. We’ve been blessed for years with help from friends who wanted to see our young men succeed.

That’s why we were blessed recently to have Sonny and Rosemary Bentley bring some of their family and friends to the ranch to get to know our young men and to help them learn how to better raise and show their calves.

A few weeks ago our boys had the opportunity for another learning experience at a show in Wichita Falls, TX. Our young men who showed heifers did very well in their classes: Isaiah – first; Tanner – second; and River – third. Our boys with steers did well also: Kameron – third; Kobe – third; Kade – second; and River – third. Kobe received the Colton Bentley Scholarship.

We thank the Bentleys and our other friends who empower our boys to keep growing.

Visiting history in Mississippi …

Even in the midst of an improving economy, needy children are still everywhere among us. The young men who come to Westview Boys’ Home arrive with a wide range of physical, emotional, and educational needs. Those who join our work at Westview help us draw our boys away the negative culture that can so distort their lives by teaching them godlier ways to live. We help them understand the need to see the end result of the life style that they are living.

As young men look to the future, they begin to imagine what they might want for a career in their adult years; many tell us that they have an interest in serving in the military. That interest, noble as it is, often comes from a perspective of war given by watching movies or playing video games; it is not often rooted in a truthful history of conflict.

To help our young men discover this history, the Westview team is preparing for a summer trip for our boys that will be both enjoyable and educational; we are planning a trip to the Civil War battleground at Vicksburg, Mississippi, on May 27 through May 31, 2015. By walking and seeing the very ground where so much strife and suffering took place, we endeavor to connect the boys to our shared history and our debt to those great Americans who have given so much to make our country great.

Ultimately we hope to use the example of these Americans to inspire our boys to see the greater possibilities in their lives.

To prepare for this trip, our young men will have learning opportunities to deepen their understanding of how America found itself in such a terrible conflict, the price we paid as a result of this war, and of lasting effects that linger even to this day. We hope to expand their understanding of the costs of war and peace; we hope that they come to understand that neither path should be regarded as easy. Prayer and long thought needs to be given to these momentous decisions.

Along the way, we will visit a retired physics teacher and elder in the Church. He will be teaching the boys about the universe we live in with a clear view of the wonder of God’s work in this creation and the meticulous detail in God’s handiwork. We will be camping en route to encourage deeper bonds among the boys, while developing a sense of team work and comradery.

You, our friends, empower everything we do here at Westview. Your generosity and prayers support us as we provide the best possible opportunities for young men through our work. Your check, sent today, (or your online donation) can make this plan a reality. Please also pray that, in this and everything we do, our hearts and minds remain always open to the ongoing work of God. With God’s blessing and your help, we can do so much in helping these boys in finding a sound path for their future.

 

Hamburger

Appreciating our boys’ teachers …

Education is a challenging, if rewarding, profession; it’s important for teachers to know just how valuable their work is in our world and for our kids. Westview appreciates every educator in the Hollis Public School System. Here’s how we show it.

Every year for the the last 15 years, we’ve held a teachers’ appreciation luncheon on one the the in-service days for teachers just before classes start. Everyone who works for the Hollis public school system is invited: teachers, coaches, helpers, janitors, principals, and superintendent.

We grill burgers, bake potatoes, and cook plenty of sides and desserts so that each of our guests gets a great meal without the hassle of trying to finding a restaurant on those crowded days. Josh Birney and Terry Owens grilled the beef, but Cathy Coaly handled all of the details. We thank the educators for their hard work, share news about what’s happening at the Home, and pray a prayer of blessing over them all. We also try to give them a pen, ruler, or something useful that reminds them of Westview.

Our goal is for everyone who cares for our boys in the school system to know that we support them in their life-changing work. We are glad for the opportunity to let them know just how much we are grateful for their service.

Holding the catch of the day

Westview holds fishing tournament

By Everett Brazil, III

The Red River Sun

Fishing is one of the most popular ways to spend a quiet summer for many youth in rural America, whether standing on a grass-covered shoreline at a local farm pond or floating lazily across the water in a bass boat. For those who participate, it brings a bonding experience like few activities can, and for Westview Boys Home, it served as a way to kick off summer vacation when they held the annual fishing tournament and picnic at Lake Hall May 30.

Westview has been holding the tournament for 15 years.

“We have it at different locations, but mostly at Lake Hall in Harmon County,” said Burl Butler, Westview director of church relations. “The main idea is to help these boys enjoy a fishing trip they maybe haven’t gotten to do in their lives.”

The organization receives donations from businesses for tournament prizes, many of which relate to clothing and fishing equipment.

“We have donors from as far away as Yukon (Okla.), Altus (Okla.). Everybody gets a prize,” Butler said. “They get a prize by catching fish: The largest fish, most fish, and we invite donors to attend.”

There are a variety of lessons that can be learned from the fishing tournament. One is conservation, protecting the land for future generations, especially for those who have never experienced a fishing expedition.

“I’ve been around three boys this morning who hadn’t fished at all, and it helps them to learn about nature, patience, conservation,” said Tony Chitwood, transitional living program mentor. “We try to teach the boys to not only pick up our own trash, but to look over the place and leave it better than we find it.”

For the boys who participate, it really is a way to start the summer on a positive note as they experience the Great Outdoors in a safe environment.

“It’s really nice for them to take us out to go fishing. I know it’s a good way to begin the summer, that’s for sure,” said Marcus Fowler. “I find it a lot of fun, but if you don’t have patience, it’s not that great of a sport.”

Many have been on fishing expeditions with family, and the tournament serves as a way to continue an activity they love.

“I enjoy spending time with my family and getting to know more about their experiences. We usually grill (the fish) or cook it over the fire, and that is what I enjoy, skinning the fish and seeing it cooked,” said Tanner Cox.

Perhaps the best experience of the expedition is not the prizes, or even eating the fish they catch. The tournament is a great way for the boys to bond and to share in a new experience as they connect with each other and with nature.

“It’s peaceful, and you have time to talk to people. I think the best part is sitting down with people and swapping stories, talking about life,” said Joseph Owens.