Cheney Free Press -


By Luella Dow

Dorfners selflessly take boys under their wings

Of Cabbages and Kings


The Dorfners consider their three-and-a-half-year sojourn working with nine boys on the Hutton Settlement a ministry.

Kelly Dorfner gives a brief account of how the settlement came to be. “In the late 1900s Levi Hutton, who was an orphan himself, made it big in the silver mines in Idaho,” she said. “He came to Spokane and built a beautiful estate for orphans. Hutton Settlement is still today what Levi built: a beautiful working children’s home.” The estate has four brick mansions that can house nine children at a time. There are two houses for girls and two houses for boys.

“Hutton Settlement is a beautiful estate with trees that line both sides of the drive into the estate,” she said. “The feel of Hutton is as if you left the United States and entered England, stopping at their beautiful University.”

Among the boys there are those who will never go home. The Dorfners speak of dealing with so much of the boys’ hurt and anxiety that it’s very hard at times. “We have to learn to live with it,”they said. For various reasons the boys can’t live at home. Some may live at Hutton until age 18; some have been there since 5 years old.

Marty Dorfner speaks of some of his daily chores. He makes sure each boy makes his own bed each morning, do their individual chores and get dressed. Marty supervises breakfast. He takes the boys for haircuts, shopping and sports. He supervises their home work and discusses the grades they get. “Every Monday from 4-5 p.m. a free tutor will help with homework.There are consequences for misbehaving. ETB means early bedtime,”he said.

Sometimes Marty wonders if he and Kelly are making any progress. “Once these kids are so damaged the brokenness doesn’t get fixed.”

Kelly reminds us all, “We are learning to walk with Jesus’ salvation and we are teaching the boys to do the same. We teach them to live their walk every day. Not just on Sunday,” she said.

Kelly Dorfner has been especially busy getting the boys ready for school. Can you imagine sorting backpacks, papers, pens and pencils and the myriad other things nine kids need?

The Dorfners say, “We see the boys through Jesus’ eyes. These children belong to Him and we have the honor to help raise them.” Thank you for your prayers Marty and Kelly.

Luella Dow is a Cheney-area author. She can be reached at


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