A highlight of the recent 18th Annual Sky Ranch Foundation Hall of Fame Dinner in Las Vegas was the annual Mentor of the Year Award. Jason Glasser of the Beverage Media Group presented the prestigious award to Barry Becton, Senior Director of State Government Relations at Diageo. Becton also serves as national President of WAABI (World Association of the Alcohol Beverage Industries, Inc.) and Secretary of the Sky Ranch Foundation.
Glasser explained that a number of beverage industry executives serve as mentors to boys being cared for at Sky Ranch for Boys. Becton’s work was distinguished by both the length and quality of his efforts to help the boys assigned to him over the years. Unlike most mentors, Becton has actually visited Sky Ranch almost every year since he joined the program.
In accepting the award, Becton commented, “This is something I started doing because I thought it was the right thing. But then you go out there and meet the boys. You realize it means so much more than just doing the right thing. You really have an impact on their lives…. I ask all of you to support Sky Ranch.”
Presented annually by the Beverage Media Group after consultation with Sky Ranch for Boys and Sky Ranch Foundation, the Mentor of the Year award is intended to recognize and encourage industry executives who devote their time and effort to correspond with boys at Sky Ranch, which was adopted nearly 50 years ago by the alcohol beverage industry. The troubled teens being helped there come from all parts of America. Often, they have few positive male role models or father figures to whom they can turn for advice.
Many women associated with the industry also provide guidance and support to boys at Sky Ranch through the WAABI organization. WAABI’s Sky Ranch chairman Michael Thomas, assigns boys to the various WAABI chapters, where men and women from all industry segments help provide positive adult role models to the boys.
Sky Ranch for Boys is a unique 3,000-acre facility on the South Dakota/Montana border where troubled kids from all parts of America get a second chance and a fresh start. Sky Ranch has built an enviable record over the years as it focuses on teaching kids to respect themselves and others and take responsibility for their actions. Through sports, arts, working with animals and even learning to fly a small plane, Sky Ranch helps kids find their natural gifts and take pride in them. Most boys advance at least 2 years in the grade level of their academic work during a one-year stay at Sky Ranch. For more info visit www.skyranchforboys.com.
Nearly 50 years ago, members and friends of the alcohol beverage industry at all levels agreed to support the development of Sky Ranch. They formed the Sky Ranch Foundation, which has purchased the land, built the buildings, and provided annual cash support equal to 25 percent or more of the Sky Ranch budget. This wonderful tradition has earned Sky Ranch the nickname, “the adopted charity of the alcohol beverage industry.”
For more details please visit www.skyranchfoundation.org or call 540-891-7201. The fax number is 540-891-7203.
The 19th Annual Hall of Fame dinner is currently set for June 6, 2010 at a location to be announced soon in South Dakota. This will be an extremely special event celebrating Sky Ranch for Boys’ 50th anniversary! Please watch for further announcements!