5th Annual MCBN Golf Tournament5th Annual Golf Tournament

Saturday, September 9, 2017
At Willow Ridge Golf Club in Blenheim.

$100 per golfer -
12 Noon Shot Gun Start
Team Scramble

Myles Casey Benson Neuts Myles School Picture 1997 - 1998. The hat was bought and paid for by Myles at the Ann Arbour Blues and Jazz Concert in September 1997 and is now part of the Six String Nation Project.Myles Casey Benson Neuts
The initials of his name have been used to create the acronym for Make Children Better Now – M.C.B.N. - CHARITABLE #83986 9344 RR0001

Myles was a happy, outgoing, respectful and inquisitive young man. The stories about him by family and friends are about a young man who loved life, people, mother earth and animals. His teachers would tell you he was not very sports minded but a solid student. His parents and family away from school would tell you different especially when camping, boating, canoeing and life in the country on the Thames River.

He loved School. That is where his life unofficially ended. This is how.

You may remember hearing the story, during the lunch-hour on Friday, February 6, 1998, ten-year-old Myles Neuts was found hanging on a coat hook in the washroom of his school in Chatham, Ontario. Tragically, he never came home again. It was suggested by some he had been the victim of two bullies, just children themselves, who thought they were having a little fun with a simple prank. Others suggested misadventure. The Police were suggesting Criminal Action. It was no joke.

In the span of ten to twenty minutes, while Myles was left to dangle by a shirt-collar and necklace, his breathing would stop, his brain would be denied oxygen, and for all intents and purposes, he was gone. Six days later, after guarantees that their son would never regain consciousness, Myles’s parents made the difficult decision to turn off his life-support machine. For Brenda and Mike Neuts, the horror never stopped. Now they had to deal with the bizarre mystery that had caused this tragedy. They would succumb to the intense scrutiny of the police department, the media, and the rumor mill. Finally, they would face the harsh realities of the Canadian judicial system.

The death of Myles, the funeral, a police investigation and a coroner's inquest all gave the family insight into the lives, behaviours, concerns and issues of young people.

The Family represented themselves at the Coroner’s Inquest in March 2000. This insight and knowledge helped the family to have input into the coroner's recommendations. The foundation was laid for child advocacy by Myles' parents.

With help from Myles classmates, the Chatham–Kent Police and many others, the thoughts for a Non-Profit started.

The impact Myles had on classmates, friends and family has been illustrated in a series of events that have taken place ever since the summer of 2000. Chief John Kopinak of the C-K Police was determined to address the harshness directed at the Policing Community at the Inquest and held a multi-day Symposium in Chatham. At this time Mike and Brenda Neuts and the Coroner’s Jury Foreperson Theresa Acs were invited to the Chatham-Kent Police Service Symposium in August 2000. They met many people from far and wide including Leena Augimeri, Alan Lieshied, Alfred Kirby the lead investigator from England who also investigated the killing of a young boy (James Bulger). The two cases were compared and dissected as to what worked and what did not work when questioning young people who were either victims, witnesses, perpetrators of violence, criminal or other. The video “Kids Gloves” was developed as a result to be used as a teaching tool for Policing Communities and was distributed to Police Forces all over North America including the FBI in Quantico Virginia.

Also in the summer of 2000 they were invited to round table discussions on youth in our communities, schools and streets by CAVEAT, Canadians against Violence where they met Priscilla Devilliers, Founder of CAVEAT, who had a daughter murdered and Angela Peters who was a day time rape victim in Windsor Ontario.

In the spring of 2001, Brenda and Mike met with a committee from the St. Clair Catholic School Board to determine the how to implement the Coroner’s Inquest Recommendations within the School Board. At the same time the Neuts family met with representatives of United Way, the Chatham -Kent Paramedic Service and representation from the newly proposed Chatham-Kent Children’s Safety Village to speak with, the now grade eight classmates and friends of their son Myles at St. Agnes Separate School. The purpose of this presentation was to develop a plan to raise money to help the Neuts family to assist in the Chatham-Kent Paramedic’s quest to bring Chatham-Kent a “Public Access Defibrillator (P.A.D.) Program” and also, help bring the paramedics to the Children’s Safety Village. Soon after that meeting the Neuts family traveled with Myles’ friends to visit the Kitchener-Waterloo Children’s Safety Village so the kids could experience first-hand what the Village could offer the children of Chatham-Kent.
This was the motivation behind the “Smile for Myles” candle campaign.

In 2000, Mike Neuts became the Chair Person of a new committee started in Chatham–Kent. This committee consisted of representatives from both, St Clair Catholic School Board, Lambton Kent School Board, the Chatham Kent Police Service, a representative of the United Way, Marg and Steve Bradley as well as Brenda and Mike Neuts. Named “The Missing Protector Strategy”, it was a place where young at risk youth in Chatham Kent were matched with people who had police background checks to be confidants to young people, very similar to the Big Brother and Big Sister Programs.
The advocacy and interest into young people’s lives continued with requests for Mike to talk to students about bullying, bad decisions and inappropriate behaviour, which has grown into many other avenues and concerns to help young people survive in this world.

In the summer of 2002 Chatham-Kent implemented an Under 12 Protocol with numerous community partners signing on with Mike Neuts a signatory on behalf of the Missing Protector Strategy. This protocol was brought to Chatham-Kent by Dr. Leena Augimeri from what was then known as Earlscourt Children Services and was fondly referred to by Dr. Augimeri as the Myles Neuts Under 12 Protocol.

Although MAKE CHILDREN BETTER NOW was thought about very early on after the Inquest and the continuing education of Brenda and Mike Neuts, it seemed like doors were closed and legal opinions were suggesting it was too hard an endeavor.
In Chatham Ontario it seemed to be shutting us down.

Through all of this time a good friend Kent Chapman was listening to us and our meeting of so many people who were working with youth, studying their lives, education, recreation, health and well-being. He knew or sensed we were not pleased with doors being un-opened. At his family functions Kent would answer questions on how the Neuts Family were doing, talking openly about Brenda, Mike and Dane. He suggested that Mike became a Trustee of the St. Clair Catholic School Board to further his commitment to educating himself and the understanding of youth in systems in which children were a part of. All this discussion and education accumulated into the growing passion and commitment of a NON-PROFIT CHARITABLE organization.

This brought us to a meeting with Keith and Karn Graham in Rondeau in 2002. Keith had connections, knowledge, and finances to get things done. He offered his assistance. The Grahams facilitated meetings with a wonderful lawyer in London Ontario, Sylvia Loyens, and away we went. The project was on.

The communication was extensive for two and a half years with all involved. Deadlines and criteria being met, the name being proposed and MAKE CHILDREN BETTER NOW CHILDRENS ASSOCIATION was born, officially in the law offices of the Szemenyei Mackenzie Group in London Ontario on October 25th, 2005. We had a Board of Directors, a Lawyer and an Accountant, and we were called an Association to allow for membership.