What Others Are Saying About The Ranch


Michigan Department of Human Services

In recognizing Ron Coppess as a recipient of it's Mentorship Award, the Michigan Department of Human Services stated in a press release:

October 23, 2013 – Ronald Coppess of Sunny Crest Youth Ranch was recognized with a Mentorship Award from the Michigan Department of Human Services (DHS).  Although his official title is President and CEO, if you spent an hour with him on the Sunny Crest campus in Sunfield, you’d realize he is also the founder, designer, builder, flooring expert, lead farm hand, chief fundraiser, educator, creative program, accountability expert and a passionate mentor of the boys at the program.

Coppess has created a place where children can feel a loving, nurturing and secure environment where they don’t have to fear rejection as they practice the skills necessary to become a successful adult.  Coppess is not too shy to spend a few hours in the shop helping youth, or to craft a tool box, or to sit down with young people as they struggle through the frustrations of completing their homework assignment, or to get out in the field and work one-on-one with a young man as he trains his horse.

Coppess makes sure that every boy staying at the Ranch is guided and nurtured and successful as he explores his own interests in life.

Star Awards were given to honor outstanding DHS employees and teams and private partners that demonstrated excellent customer service or a successful innovation, or have helped increase self-sufficiency for clients.


Charles R. Caldwell, D.D.S., M.S.

Many people dream of changing the world. Few ever do. You have! Congratulations on all you have done to improve the lives of so many.  I am honored to know you.



Tom Tylutki, President - Michigan Corrections Organization

The world is a treacherous place for children who don’t have a stable, loving home. Many of these kids look for support networks in the wrong places and end up in prison as adults. As corrections officers, we’ve seen this unfortunate reality play out many times.

The folks at Sunny Crest Youth Ranch are working hard to change this all-too-common narrative. By focusing on academics, hands-on projects and personal growth in a safe and nurturing environment, the ranch empowers boys to grow into emotionally healthy, productive adults.

Every child deserves a chance. I’m glad our community has the Sunny Crest Youth Ranch to guide children and set an example of respect and compassion.  MCO is honored to partner with SCYR to help make a difference in their lives.


A Volunteer

I have a teaching degree in Industrial Arts and an Occupational Certificate to teach Building Trades. Some time ago I wanted to sell a radial arm saw I owned but felt the Lord leading me to give it to Sunny Crest Youth Ranch.  When I called Ron Coppess to offer it, I also offered to teach a wood working class to the boys.

Wood working class meets almost every Saturday morning year round.  I begin with a life lesson and talk for the first twenty minutes and they work on projects for the balance of the period.  I am blessed with great volunteer assistants who are excellent role models for the boys.  Besides all of that, I have that radial arm saw in our shop.

I consider my Wood Working Class to be “My Little Gift from the Lord”. I have a passion for teaching and helping our boys grow up.  We give them acceptance, training, common sense, correction and large doses of unconditional love.


A Former Case Manager

Sunny Crest is very different from any residential facility in the state of Michigan; it is revolutionary. The environment allows the boys to grow as individuals, receive individual treatment, and live their lives as individually as possible. This happens not only because of the facilities and programs, but because of an amazing staff, an endless network of mentors and volunteers, and administrators who have turned a shared vision of individual success into a reality.


The Honorable Michael Skinner, Eaton County Probate Judge

I am thrilled that Sunny Crest Youth Ranch is being built here in Eaton County. I firmly believe that community-based treatment has a much greater chance of rehabilitating boys in trouble than does distant institutional treatment.


Bill Eckstrom, Retired Lakewood Superintendent of Schools

It hurts to know there are young boys who are unloved and unwanted from dysfunctional families. These boys need a secure, loving home where they can learn the values needed for a successful life. Sunny Crest Youth Ranch can meet this need and deserves our continued support.


Steven Barnum, Ph.D., Retired Pewamo/Westphalia Superintendent of Schools

It is my belief that Sunny Crest Youth Ranch will provide Barry, Eaton and Ionia Counties with local options to address displaced, abused and neglected boys. The SCYR boys will have an opportunity to grow up with caring house parents who will provide the parenting skills and guidance that was missing in their lives.