Roy Maas’ Youth Alternatives, Inc. PERMIT No. 736
3103 West Avenue San Antonio, TX
San Antonio, Texas 78213-4535
(210) 340-8077 Roy Maas’ Youth Alternatives, Inc.
RETURN SERVICE REQUESTED
We hope you are enjoying the beautiful holiday cards created by our very own
talented children. They used crayons, markers, paints, and their imaginations to
create the designs, which were entered in the annual Ruth’s Chris holiday card
contest. The winner was unveiled by Lana Duke at the Ruth’s Chris Thanksgiving
Feast, held each year for the RMYA children. Although only one winning card
could be chosen, as you can see, all of the designs are winners. Sharing these
cards with you is our way of wishing you and your family the happiest of holiday
seasons from the RMYA Board, staff, and most of all, our children.
SAFE AND PEACEFUL HOLIDAYS FROM ALL OF US TO ALL OF YOU!
Helping Past the Holidays ROY M AAS’
Everyone experiences that “day after” let down that comes when all the build up and excitement
of the holidays is over and the decorations begin to come down. To help alleviate some of the
“post holiday” blues, why not look for ways to volunteer? Our children need your help all year
long—not just during the holiday season—and there is so much you can do that makes such an
3 1 0 3 W e s t A v e n u e , S a n A n t o n i o , Te x a s 7 8 2 1 3
(210) 340-8077 w w w. r m y a . o r g
impact in their young lives. The following are just a few suggestions:
Volume 33 #4 “A U n i t e d W a y A g e n c y ” December 2009
Donate: Many of us use the time after the holidays for reorganizing and getting rid of things we no longer need.
Rather than throw them away, bring your gently used items including toys, furniture and sports equipment to When we are going through a personal tragedy, it is easy to feel like we are alone
the RMYA Thrift Shop. and that bad things happen only to us. I remember when my dad died. I was 24,
Volunteer: Everyone has a talent—share yours with our children! Do you have an aptitude for English or math?
and I was on the floor crying hysterically. I remember thinking, “Shouldn’t the
Tutor a student. Do you have a compassionate heart and a sympathetic ear? Serve as a mentor. Do you enjoy rest of the world stop? Mine has.” The truth is, of course, that everyone endures
sports? Volunteer to coach. Do you have a special hobby or interest? Whether it is art, music or even needle trials and tribulations in their personal lives—an unhappy marriage, the death of
pointing, share your knowledge and teach our children a new skill. Do you like books? Spend a couple of hours a
week reading to our kids. The opportunities for volunteering are unlimited and the benefits to our children are
a loved one, a problem at work— but it is enduring those personal situations that
immeasurable. make us kinder and more empathetic to the needs of others.
Sponsor a Special Event: Who says you have to have a reason to celebrate? Round up some friends from your
church, school, or civic organization and organize a BBQ on a pretty spring day. Collect school supplies and have
That is one of the great gifts that Roy Maas’ Youth Alternatives gives to the
an end-of-summer picnic. Have an “unbirthday” party complete with cake and ice cream. Every day can be a children who come to us. We understand that all of the children in our residential
party if you put your mind to it. programs have endured personal tragedies and horrors including severe physical,
Donate Tickets to Special Events: Children enjoy going on outings, but tickets to movies, plays, concerts and
emotional, and sexual abuse—all while the rest of the world seemed not to notice
cultural events are extras that agencies like ours often can’t afford. By donating tickets to these and other events or care. That can be a very isolating experience. When these kids come to us
you are providing our children with an opportunity to see and experience things they might otherwise be unable they learn that they are not alone and that there are many people, including
staff, therapists, volunteers, and teachers, who do care and are willing to help.
Contribute: Gifts of cash, stocks, or bonds are always appreciated and help ensure the continuity of our service. Through the love and caring of these individuals, as well as through the support of
their peers—all of whom have endured the same world-stopping events—these
Make a Planned Gift: Your bequest is so important to us because it ensures that we will be able to help our
children for years to come. We can work with legal and financial professionals who can direct you in how to
children begin to heal.
support our charitable efforts.
Knowing that others have been where you are and understand what you are going
Honor a Loved One: Give a gift in memory of a loved one or acknowledge a special event.
We will send a card or letter to notify those honored or the families of those memorialized.
through is so important in dealing with the unimaginable events that life throws
your way. For the children we serve, it can be the difference between life and
Give at the Office: Your donations to the United Way, Combined Federal Campaign, State Employee Charitable death. No child should have to go through life feeling alone. At RMYA, we make
Campaigns, and Local Public Charitable Campaigns do make a difference.
sure they don’t.
Become a Foster Parent: Call (210) 340-8077 for more information.
Gloria Berumen Kelly
Chief Executive Officer
A Smashing Success
It was a night filled with fun, laughter and even a few tears at the 2009 Camino de Amor Gala, which took place October 10th at the
Westin Riverwalk Hotel. The ballroom was filled to capacity with people, all eager and willing to devote their time and resources to Question: I am starting to see acting-out behaviors in my children since my divorce from their father. They have
making the evening a smashing success. The success of our gala is due to the commitment of our staff, our many volunteers and begun to withdraw and become defiant. They have also started saying that they want to live with their father. How
the RMYA Board of Directors, and it is the commitment to make the world a better place one child at a time that is at the root of can I get my kids back to the way they were before the divorce?
everything we do. It is your kindness and generosity that helps us provide experiences for our children that let them know that
people do care and that there is reason to have hope for the future. Answer: Dear Concerned Mother,
This is not uncommon when there is a divorce in a family. There are many reasons and, unfortunately, as parents,
From the delicious food, to the lively bidding, to a moving choral performance by MeadowLand students, and the fabulous tunes we do not always recognize that our children are like “sponges”. They internalize everything at both parent’s
of the Court Jesters, it was a fun-filled night for all. We would like to thank KSAT 12’s Mike Osterhage for his outstanding job as homes. They are confused and may even blame themselves for the divorce. You must continually reassure your
Master of Ceremonies. We would also like to thank our award winners for all that they do for our children: 2009 Champion for children that both parents will always love them. It can be extremely helpful for your ex, your children and you
Children recipient William R. Klesse, CEO of Valero Energy Corp.; and 2009 Community Guardian Angel recipients, Sylvia Rodriguez, to attend counseling for help with adjustment issues. I want to introduce you to the term of “co-parenting”—
Executive Director of Valero Energy Foundation, and Mark Morkovsky, of Morkovsky & Associates. Bart Kelly, our Senior Director
where both parents work together to raise their children. If you really want to help your children cope, both you
of Clinical Services was recognized for 30 years of service at Youth Alternatives, and Jane Butler for her 25 years with us.
and your ex have to put your pride aside and learn how to effectively co-parent. Avoid arguing in front of your
We would not be where we are today without the help and support of these outstanding individuals. Finally, we would like to thank children at all cost, and neither of you can “bad mouth” the other or force your children to take sides. Your focus
all of our generous donors, sponsors and of course guests, without whom the event could not have taken place. in communication with your ex should be your KIDS. When it comes to visitations, there are some do’s and don’ts.
Do setup a mutually agreed upon visitation and don’t change the schedule unless discussed in advance. Reassure
your kids that it is good for them to spend time with the other parent. Don’t get angry when your child says things
like ‘I hate you’ or ‘I like Dad better’—remember this is an adjustment for them as well. These are some ideas to
help your children, and our therapists are available to help—just call 210.340.7971 to set-up an appointment.
UnDERwRITERS: SPOnSORS COnTInUED: DOnORS COnTInUED: DOnORS COnTInUED:
NuStar Energy LP Jacobs Engineering Freebirds Salon Infusions
Valero Energy Corp. CB&I Inc. Frost Bank San Antonio Soaring Society
Charlotte Travis Honored
World Oil Corp. Plains All American Games For U San Antonio Zoo
Shaw Stone & Webster Good Sports San Pedro Theater
MEDIA SPOnSOR: The CE Group Grand Hyatt San Antonio Seeds of Love ~ Flowers & Gifts
San Antonio Express-News Anita Branch Gruene Homestead Inn Sister Creek Vineyard
Eagle Print Theo Guidry Soft Touch Home Care, Joey Gallegos
SPOnSORS: Half Price Books South Texas Saddlery
Art & Pam Burdick DOnORS: HEB South Texas Smiles
Jim & Bette Rizzuto All About Me Day Spa Hold’em Casino Parties Steve’s Plumbing
Each year 15 people are recognized by the Texas Education Agency as Heroes for Children. On Sept. 20th, at a ceremony in
Walthall Sachse & Pipes, Inc. Atlas Floors Houston Astros Texas Hills Vineyard Austin, longstanding RMYA Board Member and MeadowLand Charter School Board President Charlotte Travis was one of
Leonard Davis Arnoldo & Maria Elena Salinas Huisache Grill
Texas Rangers Baseball Club the few selected for this honor.
Frost Bank IMAX Theatre Texas State Aquarium
GR & Associates B & M Mattress Jim & Bette Rizzuto The Candy Lounge
HEB Barrett & Melanie Evans Jim & Sandi Berry The Grill at Leon Springs The Heroes for Children award program was established by the State Board of Education in 1994. It is designed to recognize
IBC Bank Ben E. Keith John & Susan Roach The Painted Plate
Bart & Gloria Kelly Benjamin Knox Print Julian Gold
excellence in advocacy for education and to spotlight the many outstanding volunteers whose efforts represent significant
The Violet Hour
Kiwanis Club of San Antonio Boerne Stage Airfield Kate’s Frosting Cupcakes on Main Toni Powers contributions to public school education in Texas. Charlotte, a retired school teacher who has been actively involved in
Morkovsky + Associates Boerne Vistro & Country Inn Keystone Automotive Transformations by Carrie education and supporting youth in our community for the past 35 years, is certainly deserving of this prestigious award.
New Spirit Sunday School Class Bonny Osterhage Rob & Sharon Loree Trevi Salon
Manuel & Lydia Ruiz Boudro’s Texas Bistro Magik Theatre University Bowl
Optimist Club of San Antonio Brake Check Marcy & Irv Schroeder Veronyka’s Color Salon Since 1978, we have been fortunate to have Charlotte serving on the RMYA Board of Directors in a variety of capacities,
PMI Steel Pipe Co. Carol Jackson Marriott San Antonio NW
Wash Tub Car Wash including three years as Board President. This mother and grandmother has worked tirelessly throughout her life to make a
Zachry Industrial, Inc. Mr. & Mrs. Tom Reynolds Westin Riverwalk Hotel
Alamo Gold & Silver Carrabba’s Italian Grill Ned Suing White Crane Massage & Spa difference in the lives of at-risk youth in our community. Through her efforts, we have seen the RMYA Thrift Shop grow into
Sharon Allen Central Market Cooking School Oh Nine Hair Studio Whole Foods a thriving business and a Life Skills program developed for all of our residents. During her time with us, Charlotte also served
The Dominion Golf Group Children’s Fine Arts Series Omaha Steaks Wingstop
Prosperity Bank Chili’s Park Place Recreation Designs, LTD, Gary Reile
as President of the Coalition of Juvenile Justice, and she holds the distinction of being the only Texas member to have served
Georganne Freund Chuy’s PC-EZ, LLC SPECIAL THAnKS: as President of the Texas PTA while actively teaching in the classroom!
Mr. & Mrs. Ed Ladendorff Cowgirl Granola Pei Wei IBC Bank Volunteers
The Palm David Prezja Randy Clapp Greg Harrison Photography
John & Susan Roach David Robinson Ric Marmolejo Salon Sharon Allen
In addition to all she has done for our youth, Charlotte has also been an active member in the community, dedicating her
Ruth’s Chris Steak House Dirty Dog Rick Bianchi Art & Pam Burdick time and energies to those who need her help. She has served as a teacher in the SAISD, both at Stepping Stones emergency
Grape Wine Company Don & Darlene Metzger Roaring Fork
The Court Jesters shelter and the Teen Age Pregnancy Program. Until 2005, she served as Campus Instructional Coordinator for Irving Middle
Ron & Carin Hoch Ronald L. Ritter, Ph.D.
Fluor – Houston Evan Tupa Rudy’s School in SAISD. Her active and full life has had such an impact on the lives of children. She has improved our community
Technip USA Inc. EZ’s Brick Oven & Grill Ruth’s Chris Steak House by helping all children to understand that they can lead healthy and positive lives, break the cycle of abuse, and become
UOP LLC Fair Oaks Ranch Golf & Country Club Salon de Frisk
Dupont Clean Technology Firestone Salon Hilda
productive citizens of our community. We are proud of Charlotte who has always been a Hero for Children to us!
Belco Stratco Foresight Golf
Fox & Hound
Diamonds in the Rough RMYA VIP
MeadowLand Charter School Graduates First Senior
Ghosts, ghouls and goblins of all shapes and sizes
descended on the RMYA Counseling Center on Oct. 22
I have never been a mother, but if you were to ask me if I have any children I would say, “Yes, anywhere between eighteen and In September 2009, 17-year-old Sam came to for the 15th annual “Spooktacular” Halloween Party.
twenty-three at a time.” It might seem an odd answer for a twenty-seven year old woman, but it is somewhat accurate considering I MeadowLand as a resident and enrolled in the The event, which is free and open to the public, drew
work in an emergency shelter for children. I am proud to say that my home away from home lies at the intersection of West Avenue MeadowLand Charter School. Just two short months more than 60 children and their parents. “Our goal is to
and Basse Road, at a place called The Bridge. That is where you can often find me, and my “kids.” later, this ambitious young woman earned enough provide a safe place to trick or treat as well as encourage
credits, through self-paced study, to make her the first families to spend time together,” says Brian Schwartz,
Have you ever seen diamonds in the rough? When first found, diamonds can either appear white, brown or yellow. Newly discovered senior graduate of MeadowLand Charter School. Counseling Center Director.
diamonds are oily and can be seen into, but not through. They tend to have a metallic luster, but it is definitely not a sparkle like
the kind we would see in a diamond ring. The process, by which a diamond in the rough becomes one of commercial appreciation The children and their families munched on pizza, played
and use, can be quite long and tedious. However, because diamonds are so valuable, people are often willing to endure this process “When she came to us, she was advanced enough to
games, and trick-or-treated along the eerie hallways of
and do the work it takes to get the end result. My kids, much like diamonds in the rough, might seem as though they have lost their take half-day classes,” says Courtney Burdick, Interim
the Counseling Center where they received loot-filled
sparkle, or perhaps it has yet to be uncovered. When I look at them, I know they have value. I know they are worth the hard work. Director of Educational Services for MLCS. “When she goodie bags. The evening also included a costume
I know they can sparkle. It is only a matter of someone taking the time to remind or help them realize that their goodness exists. found out that she could graduate early, she spent full contest with prizes awarded to a boy and “ghoul” from
When they come to The Bridge, their spirits are often broken and bruised. Family members or society have communicated to them days learning a year’s worth of material in a couple of one of three different age categories. Costume-clad
that they are of no use, and they sometimes feel as though their brokenness cannot be mended. We see what is so precious and months. She is very driven.” counselors gave out more than 30 door prizes to lucky
valuable inside of them and try to draw it out so the rest of the world can see it too. It is for that reason that I believe they are not attendees, many of whom make this party an annual
just my kids, or our kids at the Bridge, but they are your kids, too. They are a part of this community, a part of this world. Sam, who was originally scheduled to graduate in May family tradition. “It’s so fun for us to see the same
2010, is transitioning from her home at MeadowLand families come back year after year,” says Schwartz. “We
If you receive this newsletter, then you are no stranger to the situations our children face. Therefore, I will not harp on the sad to an independent living program. She is currently get to watch these kids grow up.”
things that I see. I will instead enlighten you with the successes, both big and small, I am honored to witness on a daily basis. The
applying to colleges and plans to pursue a career in the
phrase “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink,” comes to mind, and it is not uncommon for me to repeat the The annual Halloween party is made possible by
phrase to a kid during a counseling session. We can give the opportunity of change to a child, but until that child wants to make medical profession. We are so proud of Sam for her
fundraising efforts of the Counseling Center therapists
the change, it simply will not happen. It is important for us to empower our kids and help them realize that they did it. They are commitment to her education and her determination
and donations from the community. To find out how you
responsible for their own destinies. They are to be held accountable for their own mistakes. They need to be recognized for the to succeed. We anticipate great things from our first can donate call 210-340-8077.
changes they make. Celebrating small victories allows for the big ones to seem attainable again. graduate. CONGRATULATIONS SAM!
Some of those changes I get to see are simply amazing. Kids who have skipped school a countless amount of times can be found
Making Happy Holidays
doing their work every single day, sometimes even with a smile, in our classroom. A boy who only knows how to deal with his anger
using violence makes it through his entire stay without getting into a fight. It has been two weeks since he punched a wall, which
used to be a daily occurrence. We get to help kids through the process of going into state’s care. I cannot imagine what that would
be like, but I can be there for them. As I write this today, a child has been sober for two whole months and another has made it
90 days without running away. Some choose to deal with their problems, traumas, and grief for the first time. It may be the first
time they feel safe enough to talk about it or let their true feelings show. Some might wake up and realize they are not going to be What do the holidays mean to you? Gathering with friends and family? Opening presents? Decorating a tree?
physically, sexually or verbally abused today, and not know what that feels like. Our kids have to learn to live with people they would Enjoying a home-cooked feast? For the children served by RMYA, the holidays can mean loneliness, depression,
never choose on their own, and get along with them. They form friendships with their peers and have a chance to develop good and even feelings of anger and resentment. The holiday traditions so many of us take for granted are the things
rapports with adult authority figures. I have seen some of the best basketball players come through our court. Many are artists, about which our children only dream. Many of them have never even hung up a stocking, much less woken up to
writers and music makers. Our kids are strong, brave and resilient. Not a day goes by that I do not learn something from them about stacks of brightly wrapped presents. And, although we provide them with a safe place to stay, a roof over their
life. While there are occasional set backs and some sad stories, the good far outweighs the bad. I continue to grow more proud of heads, and warm beds to sleep in, many of our children long for the homes and families they have been forced to
our kids with each day that passes.
So yes, I do have kids. I would not trade my time with them for anything. They are special. Regardless of relation, I treat them as if
they were my own. It is hard to believe nearly six years ago I did not even know that The Bridge Emergency Shelter, or any place of At RMYA, we are fortunate to have so many generous organizations and members of our community that reach out
its kind, even existed. Now I cannot imagine a world, or my life for that matter, without it. It is not unlikely for myself or other staff to our children during this difficult time. Through hosting parties, delivering gifts, and organizing outings and other
to walk into the Bridge for a shift, and be flooded with greetings or even hugs. That is because the staff take the time to do what fun events, these people strive to provide our youth with the happy holiday memories that they have been denied.
it takes to help our kids. Second to the kids, the staff members are among the best people I know. The Bridge would not function While they may not be able to be with their own families, through the kindness and empathy of the community,
without each member of our team, our family. The dynamics between the staff and kids really make it feel like a home. The other our children become part of a much larger family, all of whom care about the happiness and well-being of each
day a girl expressed to me, “This is the first time I feel like I know where home is.” It is truly amazing that she can feel safe and and every child we serve. We would like to thank all of those people, both groups and individuals who have taken
comfortable enough to say those words. I reassured her, “it always will be your home because our care for you does not end once
the time from their own celebrations to remember those who are less fortunate. Because of you, our children are
you leave the Bridge. You are still a part of our family.” After all, family, no matter what it looks like or when you found it, can be
able to leave their worries behind and spend some time experiencing what holiday magic is all about.
Leaving A Legacy
Don Strange, the patriarch of the internationally renowned catering company, Don Strange of Texas, Inc., passed away MEMORIALS
Wednesday, November 11, 2009. Mr. Strange is best known for his larger than life presence, passion for his family and his
life-long love of Texas cuisine. For the past 57 years, the name Don Strange has been synonymous with world-class catering
and events. From a small, family-owned grocery store and party house opened by his parents, Edith and Joe Strange in 1952, JOE SAnTOS, JR. SHIRLEY HARBIT DOn StRAnGe - cOnt’D
Strange grew his family business to become the quintessential Texas catering company. Olivia Santos Ruth Chadwick Bart & Gloria Kelly
Don Strange was an active member of the San Antonio community, volunteering his time, talents and vision to several non- JESSE POSTOn RUTH KInG Billie & Jack Bessellieu
profit organizations. A man passionate about food, he enjoyed educating others on the importance of nutrition and was Joe Carson Ruth Childre Billy Dee Keller
responsible for the award winning Helping Hands and Breakfast of Champions programs for the children of Roy Maas’ Youth Robert M. Ayres Jr. Christie Palmer
Alternatives. Mr. Strange—and his entire family—are such an important part of Youth Alternatives. Through his generous David Prejza DOn STRAnGE Joe & Cherly Ernst
contributions of time and talent, he worked closely with us to make the world a healthier place for the children that we Clif & Kathy Barnhart John Korbell
serve. He took an active role in the nutritional education of our youth, and it was his desire to help our children learn how to SUSAn RAGSDALE D. B. Bamberger Julie McGarraugh
“eat, cook, shop, and play healthy”. He was also committed to helping us develop and build relationships for our youth with Wilma Ramsay David & Judy Jones Larry & Nancy Gibson
community leaders and mentors. He often shared the use of the historic Don Strange Ranch in Welfare, Texas with families, David & Molly Bailey Linda Vickers
non-profit organizations—including Youth Alternatives—and Texas companies dedicated to the future of Texas children, SYLVIA LETVAK JAFFE David & Pat Mozersky Lorraine Rogers
education and commerce. Kathy Glascock Dick & Glenda Jennison Pete & Judy Castleberry
Bart & Gloria Kelly Donald E. Krause Phil & Diane Pfeiffer
Mr. Strange was a more than just a wonderful cook and caterer—he was a wonderful human being with a heart bigger than George & Nancy Brooks Philip & Sandra Cooley
Texas. His absence will be strongly felt throughout the entire Youth Alternatives family and the community of San Antonio as JUDGE SOLOMOn CASSEB JR. H. M. Northington, Jr. R. L. Dewar
a whole. Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Strange family. Rest assured that his actions and generosity will have Michael Peden Mac & Carla Northington Dr. & Mrs. Ronald Ritter
such an impact on generations of children—he will be long remembered and greatly missed. Kathy Glascock Mona & Perry George Laurie Ritter
Tom & Kristan Northington Rudy & Connie Jo Garza
from the RMYA family to yours.
Gilbert & Blanche Villafranco
McCann & Margye Northington
Herb & Joan Kelleher
James & Patricia Stewart
Jim & Betty Jordan
Whitney Kelly & Chris Schrader
Samuel & Toni Smith
Steve & Marcel Felty
Wesley & Margaret Clark
William & Pamela Lemons
The CE Group, Inc.
Ken Batchelor Valero Energy Corporation
ROSA VILLAFRAnCO Cindy Eisman St. Luke’s Episcopal School
Halloween Drop & Treat
Gilbert & Blanche Villafranco Jo Ann Andera - Texas Folklife Festival Cherie Dubay – Frost Bank
Quinones Family - La Jacala Restaurant Frost Bank
DR. AnDREw K. BUTLER Tom & Silvia Cusick - Cusick Land & Cattle Co. Peco Construction Co., Ltd.
James & Marcia Sherman Zana Scheir - San Antonio Coffee Roasters San Antonio Sports
San Antonio Hotel & Lodging Association
October marked the start of the first annual “Halloween Costume Drop and Treat,” dreamed Les Dames d’Escoffier – San Antonio Chapter
up by those oh-so-clever folks at blonde creative, Louis and Pam Cardenas. They organized the
program in conjunction with their new eco-friendly web site, www.blewgreen.com, in an attempt
to encourage people to recycle their gently used Halloween costumes while, at the same time,
helping the children of RMYA.
Several local business, including Chili’s Restaurants, Cariños Boutique, The CE Group and others,
served as drop off points for the costumes. Each person that donated a costume was “treated”
with a voucher for $25 off of any purchase in the RMYA Thrift Shop. All of the costumes were ISRAEL AnD TRICIA PEnA TOM wARD
given to RMYA where they were distributed to our children as well as sold in the Thrift Shop to BART KELLY
Happy 40th wedding Anniversary Happy 96th Birthday
Ron & Laura Jean Stone
raise money for our programs. We are so grateful to the Cardenas’ for coming up with a wonderful Betty Ann Flood Carol Roberts
program that had such a positive impact on both the environment and our organization.