By Tony Parra
Reyne Telles came back to his college town Thursday, seeking help for his organization and children at risk.
Telles, the manager of community relations of Cal Farley’s Boys and Girls Ranches, spoke to Lions Club members about the ranches and sought donations during the club’s luncheon at Central Christian Church.
The youth ranches are designed for children who have experienced problems at home or at school.
“We have them work in the country and keep them busy,” Telles said. “We have 20 square miles for grazing for 250 cows. The ranch produces the cattle for the students.”
Telles, a 1984 Eastern New Mexico University graduate, said Thursday’s luncheon was a stop in the tour throughout New Mexico seeking donations for the ranches.
“We work off of donations and costs are paid by an endowment,” Telles said. “We are not affiliated with the government nor do we receive government funding. We provide all of the services without a charge to the families.”
Cal Farley’s Girls and Boys Ranch headquarters are in Amarillo. Boys Ranch is 36 miles northwest of Amarillo. Girlstown U.S.A. is nine miles south of Whiteface, Texas.
A third campus is near Borger, Texas.
“Reyne Telles has been traveling this week throughout New Mexico,” Lonnie Berry of the Lions Club said. “We were very pleased when he contacted us.”
The Cal Farley’s organization has been in existence since 1939 with children living in group homes in a structured, Christ-centered environment, according to a Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch and Affiliates press release.
The Cal Farley organization has more than 350 at-risk boys and girls from Texas, New Mexico and 22 other states with current students from Farmington, Albuquerque and Logan. Telles said in the past the ranches have had students from Portales.
Telles and two Boys Ranch students, Justin Murphy and Cody Earl, made a stop in Ruidoso to talk to the Lions Club and met with two Kiwanis Clubs in Alamogordo on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Murphy, a junior who has been at the Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch for five years and is originally from Amarillo, works as a butcher and attends classes.
“My parents were divorced and my mom was in prison,” Murphy said. “My grandma took care of me, but it was tough on her. The boys ranch gave me a second chance and a second life.”
Earl, a senior who has been in the Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch for two years and is from Hereford, Texas, is on the football, basketball and track teams.
“My focus is a lot better here,” Earl said. “It’s easier to focus because there are no problems or messed-up families. There is less temptation at a ranch.”