With your support 8 men can tell their stories of surviving child abuse.

Your tax deductible donation helps us create awareness of the aftermath of child abuse.

Back To McKinley A Project of Documentaries


My name is Rene AlexZander, author of Branded Too Much Trouble, and Back To McKinley presents a chance for myself and seven other individuals, once wards of the McKinley Home for Boys, to not only tell our stories, but raise awareness about the forgotten youngsters – ones who, like us, have and are at risk of suffering child abuse at the hands of our appointed caretakers.

This documentary is based on the lives of eight men, each with four decades worth of struggling with experiences no child should ever have. Emancipated at eighteen into a world we were little prepared for, and facing hardships connected to the pain and shame of child abuse, while we have all rewritten our own stories into ones of success and inspiration, many of us are only now finding the strength to speak out. This documentary will delve into the 100-year History of McKinley Home for Boys – now the McKinley Children's Center – its support to over 60,000 boys, and how it changed many young men's lives along the way.

Some for the better, and others for the worse.


I swore I would never return.

For three decades, I mastered in the art of failure. Drugs, alcohol, prostitution, jail – if you can name it, I did it. A decade ago I realized there were things I needed to resolve, and after five years of getting clean, I took the plunge.

I wrote about my past.

Branded Too Much Trouble was both the most fulfilling and painful thing I have ever done, but I am glad I did it, because those three years of writing led me to discover that I was not alone. There were others like me, with memories of the same place, and the same people, who had also sworn never to go back. But the more we found assurance in each other, the more we realized that the last keys to the puzzles of our childhood were still held in that place.

Child abuse, the aftermath, the survival and the brotherhood of McKinley. There are seven men who share in this experience with me, and we will return together to speak to fellow alumni, and gain closure.


We're faced with a huge obstacle in telling our stories, in that we only get 1 day, 7 hours, and no more.

McKinley Children's Center has given us a chance, but because of the need to protect the confidentiality and privacy of the boys who currently live there, everything will have to be filmed in absolute secrecy. We strongly agree with this measure.

However, doing such intensive work in one day, with no chance for reshoots, it will take a lot of time, effort, and most of all, funding. We only have one shot, and we want to do this right.

Therefore, we are asking for $15,000 to help us cover the cost of filming for the entire day, as well as post production. We have many volunteers who believe in what we are doing, and have offered to help with certain aspects to cut costs. We appreciate and would like to thank them for their generosity, which has helped reduce what we need.

Every donation is 100% tax deductible, and you can contact us for required paperwork at any time.


Whilst $15,000 is needed to cover the cost of filming and production, there are other funding goals we will be able to reach with sufficient support.

At $17,500, we will be able to process copyright, business, and other legal fees to have all paperwork related to the documentary completed.

At $18,000, we will be able to pay for proper transportation for the equipment and all the crew members on the day of the shoot.

At $19,200, we will be able to hire craft services, to keep our hardworking team well fed and in good spirits for the duration of such an intensive day.

At $20,000, we will be able to rent wardrobe pieces, and provide better makeup for all the participants involved.

Please keep donating for as long as you can whilst the campaign is still up and running. Every dollar counts, and your support is very much appreciated.


This documentary will also be used as a tool to assist organizations like McKinley to inspire current and potential donors to help such a crucial and wonderful program. There were more than 222,000 reports of child abuse and neglect in Los Angeles and Orange Counties in 2014, and approximately 40,000 children in and out of homes such as McKinley. By sharing our stories, we hope to inspire others to join in this battle against child abuse, and support local community organizations that provide similar much needed services to abused and neglected children.

We are also hoping this documentary will show young children that they are not alone, and that we, through these amazing programs, will give them the tools to create their best life yet.

Our deadline to complete this project is rapidly approaching, and your investment will help ensure this story is told.

Become A McKinley Angel

You can also lend an extra hand in this journey by becoming a McKinley Home for Boys Angel. As an Angel and early supporter, we'll keep you updated with exciting news, including future festival appearances, distribution deals, and more. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions about our film or how to support at rene@affac.org If you prefer to give by check, please make checks out to From The Heart Productions, Inc. and write "Back to McKinley" in the memo section. Send checks to From the Heart Productions @ 1455 Mandalay Beach Rd., Oxnard, CA 93035

** This Film Is Made Possible By You **

$100 "This Film Is Made Possible By" credit at the end of the film.

$250 An autographed DVD of the film and the above.

$500 Invite to premier and Private VIP party and all of the above.

$1,000 Associate Producer Credit and invite to premier and private VIP party and all of the above.

$2,500 Producer credit and all of the above.

$5,000 Co-Executive Producer Credit, IMDb credit, inclusion in Film Festival program advertising and all of the above.

Other Ways You Can Help

Even if you aren't able to contribute financially, you can still support our project by sharing it with your friends, and being an advocate against child abuse.

  • Share our fundraising campaign across social media and with your friends.
  • Share our website, social media pages, and promotional video with your online community.
  • Start a collection at work or with family.

Thank you so much for taking the time to consider our project. We are so excited to share the film with you in the future.

All contributions are tax-deductible through our fiscal-sponsor From the Heart Productions.

Thank you in advance for your consideration and support!


Rene AlexZander


Rene AlexZander - Writer, Executive Producer

Marc Marcucci – Producer

John Copploa – Director, Producer

Gregory Glenos & Juliet Miller – Co-Producers

The Cast

Alumni Host - Rene AlexZander

McKinley Alumni - Marc Marcucci, Don Vcelik, Robert Raygoza, Moses Farley, Gary Wilburn, Rudy Kendra, John Timmers.

McKinley Faculty - Gary Mirabella, Gary Bean, Rhonda Baltran

Special guest Therapist - Aurora Perales

$3,155 Raised
21% towards $15,000 Goal

Supported by 11 Donations:

  • Cheryl C.
    I Gave $100
    What you're doing is awesome Rene. Keep on "truckin" my friend.
  • Michael-Joseph B.
    I Gave $50
    Good luck on your dream Rene!
  • Alexis K.
    I Gave $100
    I believe in Rene and this project.
  • Silhouette
    Prayers for your endeavor! ❤
  • Maria T. P.
    I Gave $25
    I want to support Rene on this project for he is doing a huge job that not many take on their shoulders. Blessings and let the healing begin.
  • Donald  V.
    I Gave $100
    Good luck to you on your jouney in life....
  • Teri C.
    I hope it helps. I love you and am very proud to support you and this great project.
  • Silhouette
    I Gave $50
  • Cheryl C.
    I Gave $100
  • Dennis P.
    I Gave $2,500
    Because of Rene's passion and success.