The Boys Town Centennial Commemorative Coin Act was signed into law
by President Barack Obama on July 6 after being passed by both the
House of Representatives and the Senate. It was presented to President
Obama on June 26.
The bill, H.R. 893, was introduced in the House by Rep. Jeff
Fortenberry, R-Neb., on Feb. 11 and passed the House on June 23. The
House bill then passed in the Senate without amendment by unanimous
consent on June 25.
A companion bill, S. 301, was also introduced in the Senate and it
had passed in that chamber by unanimous consent on March 25.
The law authorizes three different 2017 commemorative coins — up to
50,000 gold $5 half eagles, as many as 350,000 silver dollars and not
more than 300,000 copper-nickel clad half dollars in Proof and
Boys Town is a nonprofit organization dedicated to saving children
and healing families, developed from Father Flanagan’s Boys Home,
which Father Edward Flanagan founded on Dec. 12, 1917. Its stated
mission is: “Changing the way America cares for children, families and
communities by providing and promoting an Integrated Continuum of Care
that instills Boys Town values to strengthen body, mind and spirit.”
The designs are to be emblematic of the 100 years of Boys Town, one
of the largest nonprofit child care agencies in the United States, and
will be selected by the secretary of the Treasury, after consultation
with the National Executive Director of Boys Town and the Commission
of Fine Arts as well as review by the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee.
Surcharges of $35 per $5 coin, $10 per dollar and $5 per half dollar
are to be paid to Boys Town to carry out Boys Town’s cause of caring
for and assisting children and families in underserved communities
Rep. Fortenberry spoke before the House in support of the
legislation on June 23. He stated: “Boys Town offers a remarkable
model of academic and spiritual engagement. Students learn more than
math and grammar; their teachers and caregivers provide them with
solid formation. Graduates are equipped to succeed not only
professionally, but are also given the life skills to stay on the
right path. Boys Town is so impactful that about 90 percent of the
children integrate successfully back into their communities.”
A previous version of this legislation was introduced in the
previous House of Representatives by Rep. Lee Terry, R-Neb., on July
30, 2013. Although it was passed by both chambers on December 15,
2014, it was passed in non-identical forms and the differences were
Commemorative coin programs are limited to two per year. The Boys
Town program in 2017 will join The Lions Clubs International Century
of Service Commemorative Coin Act, which became law on Oct. 5, 2012.
That program authorizes the production of as many as 400,000 Proof and
Uncirculated 2017 silver dollars honoring Lions Clubs International.
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