Omaha World Herald: Commemorative Boys Town Centennial Coins Now Available for Purchase
WASHINGTON — Coins commemorating the Boys Town centennial officially went on sale at noon Thursday.
The organization’s leaders marked the occasion with an event near Capitol Hill that included representatives of the U.S. Mint, the state’s three House members and Sen. Deb Fischer, R-Neb., who sponsored the Senate version of legislation authorizing the coins. They talked about how Boys Town founder Father Edward Flanagan 100 years ago started a home for displaced children.
“Father Flanagan believed that with love and a purpose and a home, every child would succeed and become a contributing member of society,” Fischer said.
Rep. Jeff Fortenberry, R-Neb., sponsored the House version of the coin legislation.
“Boys Town seeks that sacred place of nurturing and commitment and love so that young person can understand their own capacity, their own gifts and then turn around and give it back,” Fortenberry said.
The legislative effort on behalf of the Boys Town coins actually goes back years and spans a series of Nebraska lawmakers. The bill ultimately passed in 2015 and was signed by President Barack Obama.
Three different coins — a gold $5, a silver $1, and a nickel and copper half-dollar — are available, each with its own design on front and back.
Proceeds from sales of the coins will first go to cover the cost of their minting. After those costs are covered, additional proceeds go to Boys Town to be used in its programs to help at-risk youth.
Some past commemorative coins have resulted in more than $1 million in additional proceeds, according to mint officials.
Thursday’s event was just the first step in working to market the coins. Boys Town’s Father Steven Boes said the organization will be tapping its network of donors to help drum up sales in addition to those by coin collectors.
He said the coins have a number of unusual qualities, including the featuring of a religious figure and a non-governmental building. And he praised the work of artists who flew to Omaha to visit Boys Town for inspiration in designing the coins.
“It really does tell the story of Boys Town, the linkage between the Boys Town of yesterday and the Boys Town of today,” Boes said.
He said he’ll be doing his part to increase sales.
“I am buying way too many,” Boes said. “This is going to be the only gift you get from Father Boes for Christmas, Easter, birthdays for a long time.”
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