The U.S. Mint recently announced that commemorative coins will be struck next year to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the non-profit organization, Boys Town. Authorized under Public Law 114-30, these will be the second group of commemorative coins struck by the U.S. Mint in 2017.
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In 1917, a small boy’s orphanage called “City of Little Men” was founded by Edward J. Flanagan in Omaha, Nebraska. Edward, known to most as “Father Flanagan,” was a Roman Catholic Priest who wanted to help care for children and their families. In 1921, when the current city facilities proved inadequate, the village of Boys Town was founded 10 miles west of Omaha. This grew to be quite a community, with its own schools, chapels, post office, housing, and even its own boy-mayor!
Today, the village of Boys Town has expanded to be the base of operations for 11 regions across the U.S. Their mission remains the same as it was back in 1917 – “…to give at-risk children and families the love, support and education they need to succeed.” Their programs positively affect the lives of over 2 million children and families every year. It is no wonder the U.S. Mint has decided to honor the centennial of this vital organization!
The U.S. Mint will strike 3 different commemorative coins to honor the 100th Anniversary of Boys Town. These coins will comply with all standards for commemorative coins already set into place by previous acts of Congress, and will be legal tender of the U.S. government. Both proof and uncirculated versions will be struck.
The 2017 Clad Boys Town Commemorative Half Dollar’s obverse and reverse were designed by Chris Costello and sculpted by Joseph Menna. It will be composed of 11.34g of cupronickel, and have a diameter of 30.6mm. No more than 300,000 will be minted across all finishes.
The obverse pictures an older and younger brother holding hands and walking towards a large pylon that reads “BOYS TOWN.” The inscriptions “1917,” “2017,” “IN GOD WE TRUST,” “LIBERTY,” will appear on the coin, along with the first half of the Boys Town’s goal, “Saving Children” below.
The reverse design depicts a scene of a modern Boys Town neighborhood. Above this scene are images of the young adults who grew up in these caring homes, proudly wearing graduation garb. The inscriptions “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,” “E PLURIBUS UNUM,” “HALF DOLLAR,” will be present, along with the second portion of Boys Town’s goal, “Healing Families.”
The next coin in the set is the 2017 Silver Boys Town Commemorative Dollar. The obverse and reverse designs were created by Donna Weaver, and sculpted by Don Everhart. It will be struck from .900 fine silver, with a weight of 26.73g and a diameter of 38.1mm. These silver dollars have a mintage limit of 350,000 across both proof and uncirculated finishes.
The obverse design shows a little girl sitting alone, looking up at the branches of an oak tree and searching for help. The inscriptions “BOYS TOWN,” “IN GOD WE TRUST,” “LIBERTY,” “1917-2017,” will appear in the design, along with the text “When you help a child today…”
The reverse design depicts the same little girl, now joined by her new family. They hold hands under the shelter of the large oak tree above. The inscriptions read “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,” “ONE DOLLAR,” “E PLURIBUS UNUM,” along with the text “…you write the history of tomorrow.”
The final coin in this beautiful set is the 2017 Gold Boys Town Commemorative Five dollar coin. While both obverse and reverse designs were created by the same talented artist, Donna Weaver. Don Everhart sculpted the obverse, and Jim Licaretz sculpted the reverse. This coin will contain .900 fine gold and have a diameter of 21.6mm with a weight of 8.35g. No more than 50,000 proof and uncirculated gold commemoratives will be struck.
The obverse design of this gold commemorative depicts a portrait of the founder of Boys Town, Father Flanagan. Flanagan cared for abandoned boys in his orphanage a century ago, and built the Boys Town community to help shelter children and families in need. The inscriptions “BOYS TOWN CENTENNIAL,” “IN GOD WE TRUST,” “FR. EDWARD FLANAGAN,” “LIBERTY,” and “2017” also will appear on the coin.
The reverse shows an opened hand with an oak tree sprouting from an acorn resting in its palm. This design honors the legacy left behind by Father Flanagan, as well as the potential of every child according to the idiom “Mighty oaks from little acorns grow.” The inscriptions on this design will be “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,” “FIVE DOLLARS,” E PLURIBUS UNUM,” and “THE WORK WILL CONTINUE.”
Expertly chosen by U.S. Deputy Treasury Secretary Sarah Bloom Raskin from a slew of proposed coin designs, these coins will be an excellent way to celebrate the anniversary of an incredible organization.
In the words of U.S. Mint Principal Deputy Director Rhett Jeppson:
"Each time a person looks at any one of these unique designs, it will spark an interest in learning about the history of Boys Town, acknowledging the extraordinary efforts made by this organization to give comfort and purpose to children in need, and recognizing the significant contributions of Father Flanagan.”
ModernCoinMart (MCM) will be carrying these commemorative coins as they come from the U.S. Mint, along with certified options graded by the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) and the Professional Coin Grading Service, (PCGS). If you would like to honor the extraordinary organization that helps so many at-risk children and families around the country, consider adding these commemoratives to your collection. You can sign up now to make sure you are notified the moment they are available to purchase!