SMP Badge

   The Nevada State Elks Association designated Project Safe Haven as its State Major Project in 1990. We continued to support Nevada Division of Child and Family Services though 2020. After a review in early 2020 the Board of Directors felt our program needed to be revamped and expanded to reach the current needs of our communities. After considerable effort the Board determined that St. Jude’s Ranch for Children more closely met our Major Project’s defined purposed to the community.

SJR Badge

   For over 52 years, St. Jude’s Ranch for Children has offered a beacon of hope for abused, abandoned and neglected children and young people in Nevada. Through tremendous community support and the generosity of their donors, they have been able to break the cycle of abuse, help heal the effects of trauma and inspire children and youth to have hope for a better day while increasing their sense of self-determination.

Their programs include:

Therapeutic Residential Foster Care
A safe and high-quality home environment and individualized
holistic care are the hallmarks of this program.

Transitional Living
A program designed to help successfully integrate youth (age 15-18) into society
with important life skills as they prepare to age out of foster care.

Pregnant and Parenting Teen
A stable and healthy environment to guide at-risk teens through their pregnancy and

Sibling Preservation
Preserving sibling bonds of children separated within the foster care system
through specialized events and activities to enhance their relationships.

Transitional Housing
Serving homeless young people with high-quality housing, intensive
case management, mentorship and support services.

Rapid Re-Housing
Assisting homeless single parents with children or families with housing in their own community apartment.

Post-secondary educational support for all former residents/clients to support their goals
while increasing self-sufficiency through careers and professions.



   St. Jude’s Ranch for Children wasn’t a place so much as a dream in the mind of one well-meaning man. ”What if we could build a place for neglected children?” He wondered. “How much good could we do?” A lot! For 50 years, St. Jude’s Ranch has provided a safe, nurturing home with therapeutic residential treatment services to thousands of abused and neglected children in Nevada. St. Jude’s Ranch has made and continues to make a difference by creating new lives with new hope for these children. It all began with Father Jack Adam, an Episcopalian priest, who envisioned a place where neglected children could feel loved. He named the place after St. Jude, the Patron Saint of Desperate Causes. At first, Father Adam’s project seemed to be one of those desperate causes, but that changed in 1966 when several members of the community stepped in to help.

   Claudine and Shelby Williams assisted with fundraising and organized a successful gala called the “Nite of Stars.” With the help of Forrest Duke, the entertainment columnist at the Las Vegas Review Journal, they convinced stars including Jack Benny, Shecky Greene, Bob Hope and Frank Sinatra to perform. Held November 15, 1966, at the Riviera Hotel, the event was a great success, raising more than $30,000.

   Alvin Wartman, an attorney in Boulder City, persuaded City fathers to provide 40 acres of land for a campus. The Sisters of Charity, an order of nuns based in Bristol, England, agreed to care for the children. Builders, contractors and tradesmen offered to help develop the property. St. Jude’s Ranch for Children was instituted in 1966, construction began in 1967 and later that year, Eddie – a boy from Elko, Nevada – became the first resident. The Ranch wasn’t big or fancy, but the kind people of Southern Nevada quickly embraced the organization and its mission.

   The St. Jude’s Ranch Women’s Auxiliary was established and became the largest and most active support group in the Las Vegas area with more than 300 members. Publicity that had surrounded the Nite of Stars helped bring new supporters to the Ranch family.

   Under the leadership of Father Herbert Ward, Executive Director from 1970-2000, St. Jude’s Ranch became one of Southern Nevada’s most visible and successful nonprofit organizations. Over time, the organization grew and expanded its programs into two locations in Las Vegas, offering related services such as housing for homeless families and singles, employment and education assistance, sibling preservation for families separated in foster care and family support services to provide caregivers skills and resources they need before children are removed from the home.

   Today, our campus is a community landmark and an important part of life in Boulder City. Not only do we continue to serve the needs of abused and neglected children and young adults in Nevada, we give tours of our campus, maintain a Thrift Store that is open to the public seven days a week and conduct weddings in our beautiful chapel.

   The Healing Center is our newest project being constructed to deal with child sexual exploitation. Child sexual exploitation is one of the most reprehensible and destructive offenses confronting America today. It harms the safety and well-being of our young people, it devastates our families and communities, and it degrades our strength as a community.

   No matter what form child exploitation takes—from the creation and circulation of child pornography to the trafficking of children for sex—it demands the full attention of law enforcement, policymakers, community leaders, philanthropists, and service providers, each of whom plays an essential role in combating this unconscionable crime.

   The commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) involves the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, obtaining, or advertising of a minor child for the purpose of a commercial sex act. Traffickers often prey upon a child’s vulnerability and use psychological pressure, violence and intimidation to control the child for financial benefit relating to their sexual exploitation. Purchasers of children for sex encompass all racial, socio-economic and cultural statuses. Child sex trafficking has devastating consequences for its victims, including long-lasting physical and psychologican Nevada.

   Even though there have been changes over the years, St. Jude’s Ranch has remained true to its mission: rescuing abused, abandoned and neglected children and providing a safe, nurturing and therapeutic home for them.

   Transforming the lives of abused and at-risk children, young adults and families by empowering them to create new choices and new hope in a caring community.

   To break the cycle of abuse and neglect by mending spirits and renewing hope.

   1. A deep appreciation of our history and longstanding roots in the community.
   2. Hold ourselves to high moral and ethical standards inspired by our duty to the community and our never wavering mission to be of service to those in need.
   3. A careful steward of all that is entrusted to us.
   4. Develop best-in-class solutions to enrich as many lives as possible with high-quality services.
   5. Enhance the wellbeing of children, young adults and families through transformative healing relationships and hope.
   6. Treat all with kindness, compassion, and respect.

   1. Approved by Council on Accreditation
   2. We serve approximately 500 children/year through our programs.
   3. Average child stays with us 285 days.
   4. We keep siblings together – sometimes living as a family for the first time. The only facility able to take large sibling groups.
   5. Through our programs, we offer a continuum of care for children newborn through age 25.
   6. We operate high quality therapeutic programs – 100% compliance on all regulatory reviews.
   7. We keep teen moms and their babies together – ensuring the bonding of this new family.
   8. Our high school seniors have a 100% graduation rate.
   9. Our children are served USDA nutritious, well-balanced meals to help promote health and well being.

   1. Mission Flyer
   2. Elks / St. Jude's Ranch for Children Presentation.
   3. Christina's Presentation to the MEMPI Board.
   4. Gift of Giving.
   5. St. Jude's Ranch for Children Healing Center Project.
   6. St. Jude's Ranch for Children Healing Center Giving Levels.
   7. St. Jude's Ranch for Children Healing Campus Conceptual Design.
   8. About St. Jude's Ranch for Children Film Clip.

   Click Here to view additional information on St. Jude's Ranch for Children.

Pathfinder Ranch : Mountain Center, CA
(Click icon for link to information.)

   Camp To Belong's was founded in Las Vegas by Lynn Price, herself a former youth-in-care. She later moved to Colorado and the program went with her. Camp To Belong's continued to serve youth in our local foster care system but with state lines and cost barriers, so few children from Clark County were able to participate. In 2005, Las Vegas residents Cristine Lindholm and Betsey Husted attended Price's flagship camp session in Colorado as volunteer counselors. Collectively they decided it was time to bring the program back to Nevada. Their leadership efforts included a campsite search, the recruitment of volunteer camp counselors and a fundraising campaign. St. Jude's Ranch for Children become the Camp To Belong's Nevada member camp operator in 2008, which marked the third consecutive year of Camp To Belong Nevada.

   St. Jude's Ranch for Children is a non-profit agency providing many vital supportive services and resources which enrich the lives of children living in foster care in Southern Nevada. The goal of the organization is to work within the system to become a powerful voice for change helping youth in care to light up and grow. Current programs and services include Sibling Preservation (including Camp To Belong Nevada), Academic Success, Mentoring, Cyber Siblings and Youth Leadership.

   Camp To Belong's flagship events are their Summer Camp Programs during which they reunite brothers and sisters in a safe, neutral, week-long camp environment to create childhood memories together that they would not have otherwise due to living in separate homes. Each Summer Camp Program provides international programming designed to strengthen sibling connection through their Signature Programs, including Art Activities, Sibling Enhancement, Life Seminar, and the Birthday Party Event.

   Camp To Belong's slogan: Dedicated to reuniting siblings placed in separate foster homes or other out-of-home care... clearly states the organization's goal.

   At our 2010 Annual Convention the State Major Project Trustees decided to go to the convention floor with a motion to expand our SMP to include sponsoring children to CAMP TO BELONG, (CTB), on a continuing basis. It was agreed to kick off this program with a donation of $5,000.00 for the first year. The amount of giving continues to grow each year. Nevada State Elks Association is proud to partner with the Camp To Belong Nevada Family and Child Focus in this outstanding program. Click here to view an 8 minute film clip on Camp To Belong.


Suspected Child Abuse Forms - State of Nevada, Division of Child and Family Services can be found here.
Report Suspected Child Abuse or Neglect, Pursuant to Nevada Revised Statute 432B.220 here.
For the State of Nevada Amber Alert click here.

REMEMBER: If we don't save the children....We can't save ourselves.

For more information, contact Ken DuBois, PER, Executive Director, 4321 Reggie Rd., Reno, NV 89502-6445
Tel: (775) 997-4471 or email: duboisken@notmail.com

Elected Trustees: Kris Weiland, PER - Feryl Fitzgerald, PDD - Marlen Hoesly, PSP (Ways and Means)
Appointed Trustees: President Debbie Oskin, PDD - President-Elect Frank Reynolds III, PDD
Gene Presnell, PSP - Bill Wiseman, PSP

Supported by
The Elks National Foundation