By John Hernandez
The Kids’ Closet celebrated the beginning of construction for its new building in Mammoth with a groundbreaking ceremony on Tuesday, Dec. 6.
Joe McGowan started the program talking about the history of Kids’ Closet and how it started in Mammoth 15 years ago and they were happy to be returning to Mammoth. He also thanked the Mammoth-San Manuel School District and the community for their support.
The Kids’ Closet is the core program of the SaddleBrooke Community Outreach, providing clothing for children in need. Thousands of children from Head Start through eighth grade have benefited from this program. SaddleBrooke Community Outreach also provides tutoring, scholarships, teen closet and summer enrichment programs.
Maggie DeBlock, President of SaddleBrooke Community Outreach acknowledged the Golden Goose which provides over 50 percent of the support for the Kids’ Closet. The remaining funding comes from Outreach fundraisers such as the Walkathon in the fall, Holiday Home Tours in December, grants, donations, Clothe a Child, golf ball sales, recycling, tribute card sales and membership dues. She also recognized members of the SaddleBrooke Community Outreach Board, the Kids’ Closet Leadership Team, volunteers and Co-Directors, Pat Ford and Paula Morgan.
“We couldn’t do this important work for the kids without your generosity, hard work and commitment to the kids that we serve,” Maggie said. “You are amazing!”
Joe McGowan then recognized and thanked the following people:
• Town of Mammoth, Mayor Craig Williams, members of the Town Council, members of Planning and Zoning Commission and Town Clerk Rachelle Sanchez for their generosity ($1 annual lease) and support.
• Theresa Throop of Oracle Land and Homes for finding the site, setting up meetings with Mayor Williams and for her support.
• The Golden Goose Board, Staff, and volunteers – “We couldn’t do this without each of you.”
• Buck and Kasey Thomas, TB Contractors “who have been supportive of our efforts to provide a new home for the Kids’ Closet” and provided the drinks for the day’s celebration.
• Mammoth-San Manuel School District especially John Ryan, Superintendent and David Hogan, Maintenance/Transportation Supervisor “for their unfailing support above and beyond the call of duty to keep the closet up and running after the vandalism, floods, and lightning occurrences”; “without your support the Closet would not have been the success that it is today.”
Barbara McClure from Catalina Community Services, Cynthia Chevalley of the Tri-Community Food Bank, Ed Drager from the SaddleBrooke Rotary Club and Tim Johnston were acknowledged and thanked for being in attendance.
Pinal County Attorney Jim Walsh was in attendance. He spoke about the wonderful work that the people from SaddleBrooke Outreach do for our communities and thanked them. He said that SaddleBrooke should be an honorary member of the Tri-Community. Walsh and Shannon Ortiz, Community Liaison for the Pinal County Attorney’s Office gave out Anti-Drug posters and bookmarks to all the kids from Mammoth Stem School in attendance.
A group of children from Mammoth Stem School then went to work breaking ground for the new Kids’ Closet building. The kids that were selected to break ground were: Julian Buelna, Roxanna Leon, Mason Stewart, Francisco Botello, Leticia Ahumada, Analicia Ahumada, Pacey Smith-Garcia, Olivia Ortega and Angel Cano.
The contractor for the construction work is TB Contractors from Catalina. Buck and Casey Thomas are the principals of the company.
Work will begin next week and it is anticipated the building will be completed by May 2012.