COVE breaks ground; 90% of fund raising goal reached

April 29, 2014

a_cove_ground_breaking_ludington_17cove_2 cove_4By Rob Alway. Editor-in-Chief.  

LUDINGTON — A capital campaign to build a new facility for COVE (Communities Overcoming Violent Encounters) is at 90% of its goal. However, the organization still needs to raise $300,000. A groundbreaking ceremony was held this morning at the Ludington branch of the Mason County District Library. The event was originally planned for the East Ludington Avenue site of the organization’s new home, but it was moved indoors because of the weather forecast.

COVE serves victims of sexual and domestic violence in Mason, Lake and Oceana counties. The new facility will be built at 906 E. Ludington Ave., former home of the organization’s offices.

COVE board members and supporters symbolically held shovels and posed for a photograph to demonstrate that the construction phase of the project has begun. Excavating equipment was at the site ready to go.

The new energy efficient, cost-effective facility will include both shelter for clients and the COVE offices. Designed as a secure environment that enhances confidentiality for COVE clients, it will feature six separate living units for privacy, common areas for companionship and COVE offices.

The facility will also include program and meeting space and a sexual assault nurse examiner suite, which was funded by Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital.

“I’m really proud of the hospital board for stepping up and being part of this project,” said Mark Vipperman, CEO/president of SHLH. “You do not see this kind of support everywhere, that’s really what makes this community unique and a great place to live. Naturally we would prefer that domestic violence not exist, but it’s wonderful that this community rallies around a cause like this and faces it.”

The new building will replace the 112-year-old home that currently serves as the shelter as well as the 37-year-old modular office building located a mile from the shelter.

“While we still need to raise additional funds to achieve our campaign goal, our board of directors approved beginning construction this spring,” said Marie Waite, COVE executive director. “This facility will be the only such purpose-built facility in the state and a model for agencies in Michigan and beyond.”

Support has come from a variety of local and non-local sources including an anonymous $1 million donation and another donation of $100,000. Other major supporters have included West Shore Bank, Consumer’s Energy, Meijer, House of Flavors and Great Lakes Castings, among many others.

“Significant gifts were received from the Frey Foundation and the Sunshine Lady Foundation and combined with donations from individuals, we are approaching our goal,” said Debra Goodwin, campaign chairperson.

The campaign to date has raised $2.4 million.

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