Rodeheaver Boys Ranch rises to new challenges


In the Spring of 2015, the Frank V. Oliver, Jr. Endowment at the Community Foundation for Northeast Florida issued a grant challenge to the Rodeheaver Boys Ranch: to raise the additional funds needed toward a new, 15-passenger van.

In May 2016, that goal was met. The Rodeheaver Boys Ranch purchased the new van, which serves as essential transportation for the boys who reside there.

According to Director of Development Krista Purcell, several community members came together to support the cause with direct gifts, including the Stellar Foundation, the Lastinger Family Foundation, Don Reid Ford and various private donors.

With that goal met, the Rodeheaver Boys Ranch has set its sights on another worthwhile project. The foundation recently received a grant from the Quad Club Rotary Collaboration of St. Johns County to create a learning center at the ranch. The Rotary Clubs of Putnam County also jumped in to support the learning center, including a grant from the Rotary Club of Palatka. With the gifts, Rodeheaver hopes to replicate a modern library or student center with at least 10 computer stations. The center is to be used at the ranch, where cottage parents and volunteers will be able to tutor and help the boys in residence with their homework, SAT prep and other academic studies.

The Rodeheaver Foundation and Rodeheaver Boys Ranch will host their second annual Rodeheaver Boys Ranch Benefit Bass Tournament on March 4, 2017 at Crystal Cove Marina in Palatka. Last year, Publix Super Markets Charities was the title sponsor.

Rodeheaver Boys Ranch has been providing complete care for up to 50 disadvantaged boys at a time for over 65 years. It was founded by Homer Rodeheaver, a gospel musician, who dedicated the land to always be used as a youth ranch.

For more information, email Krista Purcell at, call (386) 983-0658, visit or send mail to Rodeheaver Foundation, PO Box 5, Palatka, Fla. 32178.