The Twin Pines Ranch residential program for at-risk boys ages 15 to 18 is hosting its first "open house" event in its history on Saturday, Oct. 15.
Featuring the music of The Legendary Mustangs, the benefit is planned from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. Oct. 15 at 49500 Twin Pines Road, up Highway 243 from Banning.
The ranch is more than 60 years old and it stands above south Banning, east of Highway 243, on 1,200 acres that include Twin Pines Creek and other mountain drainages. It is a unique setting in the San Jacinto Mountains.
The event is planned in part to show the Riverside County Board of Supervisors, juvenile court judges and the mayors of Banning and Beaumont that Twin Pines Ranch is a vital, local program for young men who've had trouble with the law, said Supervising Probation Officer Brian Boyd.
"We're doing it to show off some of the projects we've completed recently," Boyd said Wednesday. "New flooring in the bunkhouse, landscaping around the campus, a chuckwagon project on the outdoor barbecue, revamped the director's house."
With budget concerns always a concern at the county level, the probation department wants to ensure elected leaders and court officials are informed before they make any decisions about the ranch, Boyd said.
"We've invited the mayors of Banning and Beaumont, too, because we have some of their kids up here and I'm sure they want to see what we're doing," Boyd said.
The ranch started with one building in 1948, Boyd said. President Dwight Eisenhower visited the ranch in the 1950s. Since county probation took over the facility, boys at the ranch have helped build numerous adobe brick-and-wood structures, including the current bunkhouse, cookhouse, and administrative buildings.
Today the ranch is home to about 50 boys who live, cook, work and study on the ranch at the end of Twin Pines Road. The ranch has its own working fire engine, and staff and youth are trained to respond to fires if needed, Boyd said.
Everyone evacuated safely during the arson-set Esperanza Fire in October 2006, which resulted in the deaths of five U.S. Forest Service firefighters on nearby Gorgonio View Road.
There are currently 44 boys at the ranch, Boyd said Wednesday. Officials hope to bring more boys up to reach the capacity of 71 after renovations are completed, Boyd said.
The ranch is an option for young offenders who do not need placement in secure California Youth Authority lockdown facilities, Boyd said.
Tickets for the Oct. 15 event are $25 apiece or $40 a pair. Dinner and refreshments are included, organizers said.
Proceeds from the Oct. 15 event will benefit the Twin Pines youth program and The Pink Ribbon Place, which provides support to women with breast cancer.
Organizers request attendees RSVP by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, Baboyd@rcprob.us or calling (951) 849-9287.