Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranch Breaks Ground on New Facility

The Batesville Area Chamber of Commerce held a groundbreaking ceremony for Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches’ new home.
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Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches is celebrating a project to construct a new home. Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches has a long history of caring for children. Founded by the Sheriffs of Arkansas in 1976, ASYR provides hope and healing for children who need a place to call home. ASYR’s mission is to address, remedy, and prevent child abuse and neglect by creating safe, healthy homes for children.

“When we envisioned building another house, we waited about four years to bring the idea to Ray Dillon, our Board President. I was hesitant to take a step forward until I was sure it was the right thing to do,” said Nancy Fulton, ASYR CEO. “Once I realized it was time, I talked to Ray about doing this in a few years, and he replied, ‘What about this year?’ And so that’s what we’ve done.”

The new home will be named Beebe Hall in honor of former Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe, in recognition of his nearly 30 years of service as a volunteer and advocate for the organization. 

“It was an easy decision when Nancy approached us because of the staff we have here. It was a blink of an eye to make the decision to move forward with [the new home],” commented Ray Dillon, President of the ASYR Board of Trustees. Mr. Dillon expressed gratitude to both the members of the campaign committee and the donors to the Ranch.

Capital Campaign committee members Micah Beard (Citizens Bank) Boris Dover (First Community Bank), Larry Stone (Stone Ward) and Sheriff Phillip Miller (White County) were recognized, among others. With the many generous donations to the campaign, the $1 million goal was achieved, which includes a $200,000 challenge grant from the J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation.

Mike Beebe, Former Governor of Arkansas, praised Batesville, saying, “This community adopted me, embraced me, and endorsed me many years ago. It’s one of the best, most progressive communities in the whole state of Arkansas. Your support for the Ranch and the symbiotic relationship between the Ranch and Batesville is superlative.” He continued by thanking the Sheriffs for picking up the torch and commended them for carrying on the legacy of the Ranch. 

Shovel Holders include Former Arkansas Governor Mike Bebee, Ray Dillon (President of the ASYR Board of Trustees), Larry Stone (ASYR Board, Stone Ward), Micah Beard (ASYR Board, Citizens Bank), Boris Dover (First Community Bank), Greg Hartz (Foundation Resource Management), Patrick Schueck (Lexicon), Judge Kevin Jeffrey (Independence County), Sheriff Phillip Miller (ASYR Board, White County), Sheriff Shawn Stephens (ASYR Board, Independence County), Sheriff Phil Reynolds (ASYR Board, Woodruff County), Josh Stewart (StewArch Architecture), Nancy Fulton (ASYR CEO), Philip Ives (ASYR), Matthew Cleveland (ASYR) and Courteney Muse (BACC). 

Other major donors to the project and ASYR staff attended the ceremony along with Ambassadors, including Aaron Moody (Independence County Sheriff's Department), Amy Finster (White River Health), Andrea Bruner (Network of Community Options), Brenda Rivera (First Community Bank), Ashley Engles (Citizens Bank), Cassidy Mitchell (Lyon College), Christina Watts (LaCroix Precision Optics), Eva Henriksen (Merchants & Planters Bank), Kendra Collier-McMahan (Approve Home Health and Caring Hands), Kirsten Harvey (Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches), Lori Tacker (Batesville Eye Care Center), Mary Duvall (Bad Boy, Inc), Michael Kelley (Peco Foods), Rickie Westbrook (Centennial Bank), Roxanne Rananudo (United Way of North Central AR), Sarah Perkins (Mossy Oak Properties), Seanna Horn (Lyon College), Seanna Horn (Lyon College), Tammy Jeffrey (First Community Bank), and Julie Hinkle (Bank of Cave City).

To learn more about and support the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches, please visit youthranches.com.
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