Emma Marsing, [email protected]
GREEN RIVER, WYOMING — What was once a simple vision is now becoming a reality thanks to the help and support from local communities. Debra Moerke, creator, and CEO of the McKenzie Home is excited to see her vision come to life as new opportunities and donations help the project flourish.
The McKenzie Home was introduced to the Sweetwater communities and state early last fall. When the announcement came, many residents in the state applauded Moerke on her vision for the project. The McKenzie Home’s mission is to “provide single mothers with a home, and a program with access to resources, skills, and support needed to enable them to become successful parents and contributing members of their communities”. With the mission in mind, the old Washington Square building in Green River is set to have life brought back into it as it becomes the foundation for the McKenzie Home. With 24 rooms for single mothers and office spaces for rent, the building is set to bring new hope and support to mothers in need.
Now that plans for the home are set, the executive boards are taking the next steps to financially set themselves up to prosper. Moerke explained that they have already established their 501(c)(3) and had gained seed money, which was the first step. Now the boards are working towards getting their feasibility study done, which should be accomplished in April. With that in mind, the boards are focusing on their banquet coming up and making the rounds around the state to add larger donors to their list. Moerke explained that the overall goal for 2023 is “to acquire $500,000. That is going to purchase the building which is very damaged, level the building, and get the ground ready for 2024 so we can start to build”. Moerke also noted that the City of Green River currently has to take care of some things on their end but that they are “very behind us” with the home. The total project cost will be between $18,000,000 to $20,000,000.
“We’re just so excited. The whole idea of it just started spreading and people just got on board. Everyone just said ‘this is wonderful’ and we have nothing like it in Wyoming and we do desperately need it. I am just so surprised as people have come along saying to me ‘this is just so wonderful because I am a single mom or I was a single mom’. Everyone knows a single mom or was a single mom or still is, and they just say ‘man if we could have had this, it would have been wonderful for us'”. – Debra Moerke
The McKenzie Home’s executive boards will be hosting a banquet on March 23, 2023. With a goal of 10 sponsored tables at the event, they have surpassed that as they are currently sitting at 24 sponsored tables. Moerke stated, “that shows just the support that we are already gaining. These are businesses as well as individuals”. The banquet will feature the speaker of the event and CEO of Memorial Hospital, Irene Richardson, a silent auction, and the official feature of their marketing video. One of the best parts of the banquet is that five bricks from the original building will be auctioned off. These bricks will be engraved with the sponsor’s name and established within the new building.
Tickets, as well as sponsored tables, are still available. Tickets can be purchased through Carrie Fischer at (307) 871-4674 or Diana Morrell at (307) 871-2568.