Rabiner dissolution funds help continue the legacy

• $17,000 given to One Vision • More than 30 agencies in the state have benefited

The Rabiner Treatment Center has been dissolved, but its legacy has not vanished.

Funds from the center’s dissolution have now been distributed to agencies serving kids from one end of Iowa to the other.

“Anywhere from Dubuque all the way to Sioux City is where the funds were split up,” said Webster County Supervisor Bob Thode, a former Fort Dodge Police officer and long-time member of the Iowa State Police Association and Rabiner Treatment Center Advisory Board. “We tried to get the word out the best we could to the different locations, and have them apply for it.”

That includes several locations in Fort Dodge, said Thode.

This week Rabiner funds were delivered to One Vision — $5,000 to be utilized for technology needs of the Fort Dodge Children’s Autism Center; and $12,000 to be utilized for One Vision/Fort Dodge Community Employment Services.

The center served troubled boys, and was founded in 1961 by the Iowa State Police Association. It was known at the time as the Jerry Rabiner Memorial Boys Ranch. The site was donated by Mr. and Mrs. Louis Rabiner, in memory of their son, Jerry, who was killed in an auto accident in 1953.

It closed down in early 2018 after it was not awarded a key contract for group services from the Iowa Department of Human Services for the 2017-2018 year.

Brad Klug, former CEO of Rabiner Treatment Center, is now One Vision’s regional director.

When Rabiner sold its property and other assets, Klug said, “The fact is we are a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit, so it’s written into the articles of incorporation that those don’t just get doled out to anybody.

“In the articles of incorporation it says the dissolution funds have to go to another charitable organization of similar focus. Working with kids, or what have you. It had to be a nonprofit organization. So we took a look at that, and talked about it as a board, and decided to go the route of a grant approval process.”

The board received many requests, Thode said, and couldn’t fulfill them all.

“We had just over $200,000 worth of funding we could put out,” Thode said. “And we had to split it up from one end of the state to the other.”

“We had over a million dollars in proposals,” said Klug.

The funds went to support a Santa Cops program, Thode said, and for the Linking Families group in Fort Dodge. Three different youth shelters received money.

“You just did one on the domestic shelter, where they needed some new playground equipment for the kids,” Thode said to Klug.

Right around 30 requests were filled overall, he said.

There were criteria as to what kind of nonprofits were eligible.

“Working with kids, or what have you. It had to be a nonprofit organization,” Klug said. “Kids in need, kids at risk. Also programs that were connected to law enforcement, because the Iowa State Police Association was so connected to us since our inception.

“That way the funding keeps supporting the legacy of Rabiner treatment center and Mr and Mrs Rabiner. That was always one of our values, in terms of respecting that history and that support.”

Klug said working for One Vision has been fulfilling, and holds a similar mission to the Rabiner center.

“It’s another environment where were working with people who are in need,” he said. “Purpose-driven, mission-driven. It’s really kind of neat.

“The folks we work with are a little different. They’re mostly older, but have very different needs, intellectual disabilities, developmental disabilities, but at the same time it’s just extremely important that we help those folks meet those needs so their quality of life can be the best it can be.”

One Vision’s interim CEO, Mark Dodd, was on hand to receive the checks for the autism center and employment services.

The autism center in Fort Dodge is currently small, but One Vision is seeking to expand it, Dodd said.

“We thought we would be providing some additional services by now, but we’ve just been stuck in the recruitment process,” Dodd said. “So we have a staff member who comes down from Clear Lake once a week, and she provides some services to families.

“But there’s a particular type of service we have provided since inception that isn’t covered by Medicaid. It gives us the opportunity to meet with families two or three times after a child has had a recent diagnosis of autism, and just provide them with some support and some initial ideas on how they can address some behaviors.”

One Vision sees this service as very important, he said.

“That’s why we continue to provide that even though it isn’t a covered service,” Dodd said. “And it allows us to meet with more families that way too.”

Employment services have been a target of One Vision’s fundraising since June of last year. The program helps those with special needs find employment in various jobs throughout the community.

“I believe it costs in the range of $1,500 to $1,900 a year to provide job coaching for one individual,” Dodd said.