Donors thanked for contributions to Apache Junction programs

Sheri Shull and Apache Junction Mayor Jeff Serdy. (Photo by Richard H. Dyer, Independent Newsmedia)

Local organizations, businesses and individuals who have donated money to the city of Apache Junction were thanked at a recent council meeting.

“This is the quarterly presentation of donors to the Friends of Apache Junction and various city programs,” Heather Patel, grants administrator for the city of Apache Junction, said.

Since November 2016, a total of 948 donors have supported 38 projects with a total of $387,257 given, Ms. Patel said at the Sept. 4 meeting.

“All of these donors definitely are making a difference,” she said.

Artist Merrill Orr directs the crane to straighten the kachina’s headdress. (Arianna Grainey/Independent Newsmedia)

Merrill Orr, who did not attend the meeting, was thanked for the public art sculpture he designed, welded and donated to the city of Apache Junction, The kachina was installed this summer in the median on East Apache Trail between Phelps Drive and Idaho Road.

“Merrill Orr was invited to come here. He’s (is the one) who donated the kachina statue and he’s so humble that he didn’t really want any credit for it,” Apache Junction Mayor Jeff Serdy said.

“He just wanted to do the right thing and donate it and I wanted to thank him in person for taking the time. He had months in building that thing,” he said.

“It was an amazing community effort to get that up there,” he said of those who installed it.

Rich Sterba and Apache Junction Mayor Jeff Serdy. (Photo by Richard H. Dyer, Independent Newsmedia)

Efforts recognized by the city council were:

•Apache Junction Unified School District employees donating to the Apache Junction Police Department’s DARE program, also known as Drug Abuse Resistance Education.
•Gene and Edith Berry, Becky and Sidney Gardner, Charles and Constance Klement, Kim Tomczak, the Olga Nowlin Trust and the Freda J. Warren Living Trust, all donating to the Apache Junction Police Department’s Paws and Claws Care Center.
•Apache Junction Walmart Supercenter and Glennda Kirk, donating to community outreach with the Apache Junction Police Department.
•Matt Nichols, Arizona Crane and Merrill Orr, for public art.
•Rich Sterba, donating to the summer reading program.
•The Allstate Foundation and Sheri Shull, donating to the neighborhood revitalization program.

Editor Richard Dyer can be reached at

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