Youth & Family
Treatment Center
A Community of Hope
We are meeting the challenges of today while preparing for tomorrow.
A Message from the President/CEO
Our continuing mission is restoring hope and rebuilding relationships.
o continue that quest in an ever-changing world, we
parents who have had their children return back home
have embarked on another mission, a campaign to raise
after successful treatment. Let me share portions of a
$10 million. Much of that total will be designated to
wonderful email we received recently from the mother of
rebuild, restore and raise new facilities. We have just started
a 14-year-old son who was a resident here for six months.
with construction of a secure youth service center that
The correspondence was addressed to therapist Erika Gerhard
evolved from discussions with Wayne County,
and the staff.
judges and state and social service agencies.
“You and Wernle have done wonderful
We also will add numerous features that
things for Stephen and we can’t thank you
will enhance the safety of our residents
enough. We have such high hopes for Stephen
and staff. We will modernize much of our
and his future now and that is something that
century-old administration building. It will
we had really lost sight of prior to him coming
continue to stand as a welcoming beacon to
to Wernle. Stephen was totally out of control
our services as a Community of Hope.
and we felt very helpless. … I am actually
Portions of the campaign money will be
seeing the sweet side of Stephen again,
dedicated to boosting our endowment. We are
which I missed so much.”
financially sound, but we need more of a
We have all strived to make Wernle great:
cushion to battle the ups and downs of a rapthe board, the staff and those who count on
idly-changing economic and political climate.
us for effective services. But, we can do better.
Wernle must modernize and add new
To do that, we need newer and enhanced
programs to compete and to thrive. In that
facilities. With them, you will be amazed at
regard, we need to start serving girls again
how much more we can accomplish.
Darrell R. Gordon
to increase our base and serve the needs of
We need individuals, churches and
our region. All will be done while continuing
businesses to step up and help us reach our
our 133-year Christian heritage. We started
goals. We need you.
as a Lutheran orphanage in 1879.
Please join us in supporting this campaign
Our cases are increasingly difficult, yet our successes are
and ensure that thousands more can receive exemplary service
growing. No one can speak better about outcomes than the
in our Community of Hope.
Your Friend,
Left: The main building has
served as a beacon of hope
for more than a century.
Lower left: Pat and Paul Lingle
are great supporters of the
Wernle mission.
Bottom: Academic achievements of residents are
celebrated in special ways.
Right: Leo Hawk and Wernle
CEO Darrell Gordon share in
good times at a Notre
Dame tailgate party.
Campaign Leadership
Great causes require enthusiastic and caring leaders — and we have them.
John Maley, Doug Meyer and Shelley Miller have accepted our request to serve as tri-chairs
for the Community of Hope Campaign. These leaders all share a long and dedicated history
of working with Wernle. They each represent critical areas of the $10 million effort:
community, church and committed leadership.
John Maley is a partner at
Barnes and Thornburg, LLP in
Indianapolis. His family has
been dedicated to the Wernle
cause for 50 years. John serves
as our pro bono attorney.
Pastor Doug Meyer is retired
from St. John Lutheran Church
in Celina, Ohio. The former
president of Wernle’s Board of
Directors is a tireless advocate
for our mission.
Shelley Miller is senior vice
president and chief financial
officer at West End Bank . She
is a former Richmond mayor
and former president of
Wernle’s Board of Directors.
“I am privileged to be
part of this campaign.
Unfortunately more
children need Wernle's
services and we need to
continue to grow.”
“Throughout the 40
years of my ministry, I
have been passionate
about Wernle and the
ways in which it seeks
to save.”
“Wernle is a special
place. Its mission of
hope and healing is
integral to the history
of Richmond, Indiana
and Ohio.”
A History of Responding to Change
Wernle is changing lives and creating hope
ernle Youth & Family Treatment Center has
provided quality, loving care to abandoned,
abused and troubled children for more than
133 years.
We are a well-respected social service agency,
providing behavioral health care services for some of
the most difficult-to-manage boys in today’s society.
A creative environment has enabled Wernle to stay
on the “cutting edge” of treatment and education.
The Wernle Way encourages doing what is right, not
what is easy. It is never easy because we treat young
people with only the most severe behavioral problems
whose next stop may be the correctional system and
the beginning of a life of recidivism.
These emotionally and behaviorally hurting boys
hail from all religious, social, economic, and ethnic
backgrounds. Most have been victims of abuse,
neglect, abandonment, sexual exploitation or family
substance abuse.
For some, Wernle represents the last and best hope
of acceptance and assistance. Wernle stands at a
crossroads today. Money is tight across the government
spectrum. The character of the residential treatment
community has changed dramatically.
With the emergence of home-based services, day
treatment and the push for greater reliance on foster
“Wernle is one of the
foremost youth and
family treatment
centers in America.
I’ve been there.
I know what’s been
— Regis Philbin,
television celebrity
Wernle Fact:
71 percent
of residents
were reunited
with their
(State average was 50 percent).
home placements, the population of residential
treatment centers also has dramatically changed.
So we must change in dramatic ways, yet still
deliver the quality of services that set us apart
from others.
That’s what this campaign is about.
“Wernle is a special
place. If we don't help
these boys, who will?
One of the most special
things I have is a birthday card signed by
every boy (after a visit.)”
“What we do here is
heal young people.
Our family is on a
mission to help them
at Wernle. It started
50 years ago with
my husband, Bob.”
“It’s such a great
cause. Children
are our future, our
hope. They have a
chance if they are
inspired to believe
in themselves.”
— Dorothy Tillman,
contributor to Wernle
— Charlotte Maley,
with Rupert of ‘Survivor’
— Lou Holtz, coach of
Notre Dame title team
Success Stories
Wernle’s guiding hands and caring staff have turned around thousands of lives.
Here is one recent success story.
oger Thompson admits his impulsiveness led
him to being assigned to Wernle by the court
system. He found himself in trouble with the
law and way behind in his classes at his home in
Indiana, just north of Louisville, Ky. He lacked the
motivations and the means to succeed, despite
a bright mind and gifted abilities as an athlete
and an artist.
He discovered them – and a bright future –
through nine months of hard work as a resident on
the Wernle campus in 2011. “They helped me with
everything. They put everything in motion,” said
Roger, 18. “Brandy Wells put everything in motion.”
Brandy served as his case manager. She works
each year with many young people like Roger.
The hugs and the laughs they shared at a recent
Wernle Representatives’ meeting illustrated the relationship story between mentor and student. She
encouraged Roger to better himself. “I brag
about him all the time,” Brandy said. “I’m proud of
him, the obstacles he has overcome.”
They jelled, she believes, because they share
common interests in music, education, sports and
spirituality. It wasn’t easy at first for Roger at Wernle.
It took many months for him to adjust. “Playing
basketball kept me sane. It was my outlet,” he said.
Roger learned self-control. “Before, I was so
impulsive. I wouldn’t think anything through,” he
said. “Now, I just slow down. I think how my
actions can affect me now and down the road.
I’m so much happier.”
He has reasons to be. Roger received high honors
on his GED and he is ready to start classes at the
University of Southern Indiana. Brandy helped him
narrow his college choices. She drove him to visits at
Ball State University and University of Evansville and set
up interviews with three others. “Once he believed he
could be successful, it was easy,” Brandy said.
Roger knows his life is so much better: “I’m so
thankful for everything I learned at Wernle. “These
are people who can help you, who really care.”
Brandy Wells and Roger Thompson in May 2012.
Jacqueline Bell moved her family to Richmond because she considers the town and Wernle
as the homes of her dreams.
he was an angry teen-ager when she arrived at Wernle
in 1978 after being labeled a troubled child. Her mother
had abandoned her at birth and she
had bounced around a series of foster
homes around Indianapolis. Poverty and
violence were common in her life.
It took many rough months and lots of
caring and therapy from the Wernle staff
for her to begin healing. She learned about
discipline, self-control and living a positive
life. “Caring people helped me find the
way at Wernle,” Bell said recently as she
talked to residents who were being honored
for their academics. It was so appropriate
for her to talk about the subject. She knows
that education is invaluable for young people
in guaranteeing a good future.
Jacqueline married at 20 and started to raise a family
that now includes seven children. Despite a divorce and
tremendous financial difficulties, she was determined that
every child would go to college. There were times they went
door-to-door to find shelter and meals.
There were times she could not buy toys,
but she could buy books. She could apply
for scholarships and be actively involved in
her children’s education.
Her efforts have paid off. Five of her
children have received college degrees or are
working toward them. In fact, she graduated
with a BA in business last year in the same
week her older son received his master’s
and a daughter received her undergraduate
degree. Her youngest son and daughter are
excellent students in high school and middle
school. “It’s a way of life for us,” Bell says.
Jacqueline is now working toward
another personal dream, an MBA at IU East, which is in
Richmond, Ind.
Our Campaign Goals
The Wernle Advancement Campaign . . .
In May 2010, the Wernle Board of Directors approved
the planning and pursuit of a major area wide
fundraising campaign to seek gifts and pledges over
the next three years with the following goals:
n Support
annual operations.
The goal is to begin to reduce the dependence on
uncertain public funding sources.
n Construct
state-of the-art residential
facilities to meet current and future
needs of our children and community.
The goal is to provide modern, safe, flexible space to
support changing program therapies. This includes the
new secure youth service center.
n Grow
long-term endowment.
The goal is to expand our ability to meet future challenges.
The “Community of Hope Campaign” began with a generous
lead gift of $500,000 and a matching pledge from the Wernle
Board of Directors of another $500,000.
This is how we plan to grow with proceeds
n We will increase facilities and equipment for counseling and education. Much of what we have is outdated and inefficient.
n We will build housing that provides more safety and
a more therapeutic environment. Currently, our staff
cannot view many areas of the dormitories.
n We will renovate our administration building. Our
beloved building is more than a century old. It is a
maze of clinical, clerical and administrative offices.
Utility costs are immense.
n We will boost employee numbers. We are an economic engine in a 10-county region with a budget in
excess of $5 million per year. We are recognized
around the region for our excellence.
n A new on-campus youth service center will address a
wide array of needs for Wernle and Wayne County, Indiana. Currently, youth in need of secure facilities are taken
to another county. Construction on the $810,000 facility
started in June with hopes of being finished by Jan. 1,
2013. The facility will serve up to 15.
n Possibilities will grow for specialization or combining services with other similar organizations. State and
county bodies are moving toward economies of scale
and proven excellence as funding sources get tighter.
n We plan a return of programs for girls. That service
is strongly needed again in our service area.
Artist’s renderings of new campus
Many of the buildings will be connected.
A closer view of a planned residence unit.
Upper left: Gary and Connie Sharpe visit with
Darrell Gordon and his daughter, Justis, at
the annual tailgate party before an opening
game for Notre Dame football.
Left: Dorothy Tillman poses next to the bell
outside the Wellness Center at a Wernle
Representatives’ Meeting.
Bottom left: First Bank Richmond
President Garry Kleer (left) and Notre Dame
basketball coach Mike Brey (center) had fun
playing with the First Bank team in the
annual Coaches for Kids Golf Tournament.
Bottom: Young boys and girls have received
loving, Christ-centered care at Wernle for
133 years.
Right: Pastor Daniel Nugent leads services
and always is available
for residents.
The problems are growing for those in residential treatment. Here are some illuminating statistics from the Indiana Association of Residential Child Care Agencies (IARCCA):
n 56% have been a witness to domestic violence.
n 52% have a history of special education.
n 50% have parents with a history of incarceration.
n 48% have suffered from physical abuse.
n 46% have a history of neglect.
n 29% have experienced a form of sexual abuse.
Wernle Back Cover Pocket_Layout 1 5/22/12 9:15 PM Page 1
Leaders in Making a Difference
Our Core Purpose
“Rebuilding relationships and Restoring hope.”
Our Core Values
Children come first and deserve our commitment
to providing them with the highest quality of care.
Families are important to children and, as such, we
partner with them in treating their children as if
they were our own.
We respect the inherent potential of children
and families and are committed to innovative
approaches to their education and personal growth
and development.
We value our Lutheran spiritual heritage and strive
to teach and model God’s grace through care,
concern, love and compassion for others.
We value and honor our employees and strive to
empower each to utilize their unique talents, skills,
and diverse cultural learning to build healing
relationships with children and families.
Mission Statement
Wernle is a family focused, child centered
agency providing opportunities for the growth
and development of troubled children and their
families – individually, interpersonally, and
socially – through caring programs and healing
relationships, which are reflective of God’s love
revealed through Jesus Christ.
Honorary Cabinet:
NBA Coach Del Harris
Former Notre Dame Football Coach Lou Holtz
Notre Dame Basketball Coach Mike Brey
Indiana-Kentucky Synod Bishop William Gafkjen
Northwestern Ohio Synod Bishop Marcus Lohrmann
Northeastern Ohio Synod Bishop Elizabeth Eaton
Southern Ohio Synod Bishop Callon Holloway
Campaign Chairs:
John Maley
Shelley Miller
Current Board Members:
Pastor Doug Meyer
Matt Gilmore
Sandie Rowe
John Boerger
Frank Eck, Jr.
Julie Edsall
Bill Goins
Gerry Hopper
Victoria Lutz
Chris Hunt
Pastor Doug Meyer
Pastor Andre Keeley
Charlotte Maley
Joel Marhenke
John Oberle
Patrick Olmstead
Pastor Sue Rodgers
Ron Westerfeld
Edwin Zumstein
Roland Cutter
Mayor Sally Hutton
Mike Bennett
Mickey Johnson
Phil Quinn
David Ernst
Mary Jo Clark
Amy Holthouse
Ron DeMao
Mark Vander Kooy
Vagas Ferguson
Dorothy Tillman
Jason Troutwine
Jeanne Rush
Andrew Cecere
Avis Stewart
Nancy Green
Jackie Carberry
Karen Ball
Mike Kovaleski
Lee Elzemeyer
Mary Hoppe
Vic Jose
Dave DeVita
Jon Ford
Eric Marsh
Martin N. Foos
Kyle Ingram
Alan Spears
Debbie Rudd
Dr. Brad Barrett
Diana Pappin
Anne Murphy
Joe Kaiser
Roland Cutter
Pastor Daniel Nugent
Dr. Allen Bourff
Tyler Vanderpool
Bonnie McCurdy
Greg Lardi
Additional Cabinet Members:
(Established list as of May 15, 2012)
Youth & Family
Treatment Center
A Community of Hope
As an affiliate social service agency of the Evangelical Lutheran Church
in America, Wernle is a tax-exempt organization as described in Section
(501)(C)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Additionally, Wernle is a notfor-profit corporation, incorporated under the laws of the State of Indiana,
and is licensed by the Indiana Department of Children’s Services as a
provider of residential child care. Wernle also is approved for placement
by the Indiana State Department of Education, Indiana Department of
Corrections, and under the Federal Title IV-E funding program.
2000 Wernle Road, P.O. Box 1386, Richmond • IN 47375-1386, www.wernle.org • 765-962-4210
n 56% have been a witness to domestic violence.
n 52% have a history of special education.
n 50% have parents with a history of incarceration.
n 48% have suffered from physical abuse.
n 46% have a history of neglect.
n 29% have experienced a form of sexual abuse.
The problems are growing for those in residential treatment. Here are some illuminating statistics from the Indiana Association of Residential Child Care Agencies (IARCCA):