The Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch is shining the spotlight on its new facility.
A small crowd gathers in front of the newly refurbished "London Lodge." It's a celebration, the grand opening of the housing facility, which serves 10 boys with Asperger's Syndrome. John Bollock donated a large sum of money and is thrilled to see his gift put towards a worthwhile investment.
"And they were able to say yeah we want to build a building or we want to renovate a building and this is exactly what your money would be used for," says Bollock.
London is the little girl after whom the lodge is named. She cut the ribbon alongside Miss Montana, Alexis Wineman, who was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome at eleven years of age.
"I know kids can figure out ways to cope way earlier than I did. And just relate to every day life and I just think this is a really great way to do that," says Wineman.
Alexis is excited to see the progress made by the children living at the lodge.
"These boys being able to live and reach out to people who are going through the same thing I think it's an incredible idea and I'm just surprised no one thought of it sooner," says Wineman.
Stephen Mandler, the Chief Medical Officer at the ranch, says the lodge will serve the kids and raise awareness for children with autism and Asperger's.
"These kids are highly intelligent, they just need the special kind of supportive environment to help these skills blossom," says Mandler.
Plans are in the works to expand the ranch, and open more lodges, which will serve more children with Asperger's Syndrome. Managers of the ranch would like to purchase playground equipment for the children. To learn more, click on Connections.