3/22/2009 6:39:00 AM Verde Valley Humane Society breaks ground
Cottonwood Mayor Diane Joens (left) and Verde Valley Humane Society CEO Cyndi Sessoms break ground on the new Humane Society construction site on Friday morning. Adjacent to the current location on Mingus Ave, the project is still in need of funds to complete phase one - Mayor Joens appealed to the crowd to help raise awareness for the project and its financial predicament.
About three dozen citizens, board members, city council members, many volunteers and avid supporters of the Verde Valley Humane Society were on hand Friday morning to watch the groundbreaking for the shelter's new building.
A long time in planning, the organization has continued to raise money to construct its new quarters, but Mayor Diane Joens said the society is still $215,000 short of reaching its goal. "We have no choice but to move forward. The offer won't last forever."
That is the offer of anonymous donors, who have pledged $500,000 to the humane society if the grant can be matched dollar for dollar by individual donations. "Without this offer, we would not be able to start."
The proposed $1.8 million structure is to be built in three phases with many of the kennels and administrative offices in the first phase. The third phase would remodel the existing humane society structure.
"Tell your neighbors of the need," Joens urged. The city leases the land beneath the current and future building to the humane society for one dollar each year.
Joens honored Cyndi Sessoms who has operated the shelter for eight years, "Thank God for her."
Sessoms remembered former Manager Brian Mickelsen, a supporter of the organization, by releasing a helium-inflated blue balloon that floated into the clouds in his honor.
Then the mayor and Sessoms jointly plunged a shovel into the earth and broke ground.