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Mesa’s Save the Family to break ground on Tony and Ann Merritt Community Conference Center

Ann and Tony Merritt. (Submitted photo)

Ann Merritt and her late husband, Tony, started supporting Save the Family in Mesa and its programs and services that lift people out of poverty in 2000, not long after first learning about the nonprofit organization.

(Submitted renderings)

“Tony and I felt the same way about Save the Family,” Merritt said. “We knew how important it is to help families get back on their feet and for them to learn how to break the cycle of poverty. We were particularly supportive of the commitment families have to make to the program before even being accepted. That’s such an important component.”

The former owners of Superstition Springs Toyota and Superstition Springs Lexus will have an even deeper association with the Mesa-based nonprofit when Save the Family and the city of Mesa break ground on The Tony and Ann Merritt Community Conference Center at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, May 9 at 125 E. University Drive.

Ann, now retired, will represent herself and Tony, who passed away in January 2013, at the ceremony, which begins with an 8:30 a.m. reception.

“Ann and Tony Merritt’s association with Save the Family has had an incredible impact on the families we serve and the organization itself,” said Save the Family CEO Jacki Taylor. “They have believed in and supported our mission unwaveringly and there are not enough words for us to express our deep and sincere appreciation.”

The 2,400 square-foot conference facility located on the Save the Family campus will support the organization’s recent growth by offering additional space for the many classes provided for families including financial literacy, job readiness, life skills, parenting and support groups. It will also provide desperately needed meeting space for board and staff meetings and will be available to any 501(c)3 nonprofit in the East Valley that needs meeting space. Reservations will be required.

Funded through a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), the center will feature separate meeting spaces, a few offices and a catering kitchen. The northern wall will be designed to open onto a landscaped plaza. The brick-stucco-and-porcelain exterior will showcase the Arizona desert by using natural tones.

“The Merritt’s generosity will not only assist with our expanded classes for homeless and impoverished families, it will be extended to the entire East Valley nonprofit community,” Taylor said.

For more information about Save the Family, visit: www.savethefamily.org.

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