Prescott Valley AZ (December 11, 2014) – The Yavapai Family Advocacy Center (YFAC) in Prescott Valley is dedicated to the support and counseling of sexual abuse victims with a focus on children. It is also the location where law enforcement can interview these victims in a safe and caring environment.
Anne Gordon-Lorentzen, a Volunteer in Protection (VIP) in YCSO’s Criminal Investigation Bureau, toured the Yavapai Family Advocacy Center (YFAC) in June of this year. Anne, who had just completed child forensic interview training, offered her assistance with pending interviews at YFAC. While she was there, Anne noticed the YFAC playground was in a state of disrepair and unsafe for children to use. The wooden mulch used for ground cover provided a haven for insects along with mold and mildew due to improper drainage. With permission of YFAC staff, Anne volunteered to take on the task of making the playground safe for the kids at YFAC.
Anne was asked to document the work involved in the project and highlight those who contributed time, money, or material leading to the successful completion of the playground. Her words below best describe what it took to complete the task and who provided assistance along the way. Sheriff Mascher truly appreciates Anne’s work in spearheading this project for the kids at YFAC and wanted to share the story with the community. The Sheriff’s Office thanks her and all those who participated in the renovation.
Anne wrote the following:
“In June 2014, Mrs. Kathryn Chapman, YFAC Director, gave me a tour of the facility and YFAC’s enclosed playground. The playground was in such disrepair that children could not play in it due to the mold and mildew that was growing in the wooden mulch that had been placed in the playground when YFAC first opened about 10 years ago.
Mrs. Chapman advised me that YFAC is part of a non-profit organization, Prevent Child Abuse Arizona. She also advised that, since she is operating YFAC on a very limited budget, she has to secure donations to be able to keep YFAC’s doors open. Therefore, she did not have the available funds to improve the playground area.
After she and I consulted with a general contractor, whose estimate for improving the playground was far beyond YFAC’s reach, I volunteered to coordinate the playground improvement project, i.e., determine what specific jobs needed to be done; establish a budget for the Project and seek vendors/donors to contribute to this Project. Mrs. Chapman also told me that, if I would take on this responsibility, she, through her contacts, would also seek additional donors for cash and in kind donations.
Subsequently, I discussed this project at length with my boss, LT. Tom Boelts and also with VIP Investigator Paul Chastain regarding how we could initially raise money for this project.
As immediate Past President of the Prescott Noon Lions Club, Chastain secured a donation of $500 from that club and $1,000 from the Fraternal Order of Police whose membership includes many YCSO personnel.
Chastain also contacted Vice President Mike Janiszewski, Lions Sunrise Club, Prescott Valley, requesting Lions members to assist in raking out and disposing the rotted wooden mulch in the playground. Janiszewski did so and also secured the free use of small dumpster from Patriot Disposal.
The Yavapai County Probation Office (Van Parson, Community Service Officer) also provided free labor (probationers) for this chore. Janiszewski also secured the cooperation of the City of PV to cut down and remove 2 large trees in the playground.
In the meantime, after I located and reviewed a copy of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Guidelines for Playground Construction, I consulted with Detective Keith Levin and Mrs. Chapman. I then determined the playground would require a drainage system; fill dirt and leaching soil; weed barrier fabric and shredded rubber mulch.
Through my contacts, l learned that Steve Leigh, Owner, Prescott Dirt and Gravel is a recommended local company with which to deal for the dirt and sand. When I approached Mr. Leigh has was very receptive to the project. After several meetings, he advised that he would provide the necessary 60 tons of fill dirt and arena sand with delivery, all free of charge.
After contacting several rubber mulch vendors (both in and out of state) and obtaining their samples, Mrs. Chapman and I agreed that CRM Rubber, Mesa, AZ (Dawn Helms, Manager) offered the best discounted price for the amount of mulch the Project required. After submitting dimensions to Ms. Helms, she advised us of the overall price and freight charges. She understood we were trying to raise the funds to make the purchase and would await our final call to place the order. She would bag and set aside the amount we eventually would purchase.
Knowing that the Project required expert landscaping, I asked Mr. Leigh whom he could recommend. He referred me to Grant Griffiths, New Life Landscapes (PV). After Mr. Griffiths met with Mrs. Chapman and me and reviewed our list of required work (create drains, remove weeds/debris, trim bushes, lay grass seed, block wall repair, weed barrier installation, spread arena sand), he advised that he would provide all work and all materials free of charge.
I then contacted Kenny Van Keuren, Director, Yavapai County Facilities, who agreed to supply the use of a forklift to offload the (4) 2000 lb. bags (super sacks) of rubber mulch from CRM Rubber once it was delivered to YFAC.
Although the project began in June, its completion was delayed due to the ongoing monsoons.
On Friday, November 14, 2014, after we staged and completed the various related tasks, the YFAC playground project was finally completed.
In addition to the above mentioned donors, additional contributions were also received from Prescott Sunrise Lions; YFAC Board Member, YFAC Volunteer, and Home Depot.”
Citizens can contact the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office with information or questions at 928-771-3260 or the YCSO website: www.ycsoaz.gov