Lives Under Construction offers open house
Event gives community look into the ranch
An Open House at Lives Under Construction (LUC) Boys Ranch aims to give the community an inside look at the workings of the ranch, and how the boys’ lives can be changed with its programs.
Rhonda McCartney, funding coordinator for (LUC) boys ranch, said the open house is Saturday, starting at 10 a.m.
“At 10 a.m., guests can tour the ranch, and are explained all the different vo-tech programs,” McCartney said. “At 11:30 a.m., there is a meal, which is free to the guests, and at 12:30 p.m. there is a program for the boys to perform skits, sing, talk about the ranch and after that there will be more time for tours.”
McCartney said the open house is for public awareness, and to invite the community in, to show them what LUC does. Also, for the community to see the positive experience, and how lives are changed with the ranch.
“We are going to be doing a couple of raffles,” McCartney said. “However, the main focus is public outreach.”
According to McCartney, as an organization, the Open House helps bring the Ranch and community together, and makes it possible to showcase all the things the boys do year-round that help give them a good start.
“So, all the vo-tech programs we do are important to their future so the boys know how to work,” McCartney said. “We have a welding program, animal husbandry, and a new vo-tech program we are starting this year, and forging and black smithing programs.
“Kitchen and housekeeping, are also chores — all things to get them to function as an adult.”
Tracy Ball, office manager at LUC, whose husband runs the new forge vo-tech forgery program, said her husband started from scratch, and built a new forge using scrap metal on the ranch.
“He teaches the boys how to do metal work,” Ball said. “They can do anything from keychains to flowers. The boys don’t use any power equipment — it is all done by coal.”
McCartney said LUC is a working ranch so it has cows, pigs, donkeys, goats and buffalo. The ranch was founded by Ken Ortman in 1982, so this is its 36th year in activity.
According to McCartney, LUC is run on donations, there is some parent support, income from doing jobs that the boys do, thrift store sales and selling used cars that are donated, but about 65 percent of income comes from private donations.
“It’s a great experience to see what we do, and to know first hand by seeing what is actually here.” McCartney said. “We want to show God’s love to the boys, and to show the boys how to be confident and have a future.”