The newest addition to the Elizabeth Richardson Center family is also one of the newest additions to Madison County, with the official ribbon cutting at the new Huntsville Child Development Center on August 14.
"We knew there was not anything like this in Madison County and we knew kids had to go a long way to get this service, so it was all just a good fit," said ERC Executive Director, John Buck. "We believe, as a non-profit organization, part of our responsibility is to make a community a better place to live and that’s why we’ve decided to spread out and have small locations in various towns instead of just one large location."
The decision to place the Child Development Center in Huntsville was due in a large part to the leadership of Mayor Kevin Hatfield. "We were at a Kiwanis meeting in Farmington and Kevin Hatfield just happened to be in the audience that day," Buck explained. "Kevin thought this would be a great idea for Huntsville." Buck said after meeting and talking with health professionals and other community leaders in the area, plans were made to bring a CDC to Huntsville to serve children with special needs all across Madison County.
To welcome the new facility, Mayor Kevin Hatfield chose the ERC flag to be the first flag officially raised on the new community flagpole in downtown Huntsville. At the flag raising ceremony, held just prior to the ribbon cutting, Hatfield declared August as Elizabeth Richardson Center Month. "I just cannot tell you how happy I am that our pre-K children with special needs can now receive the care they need here in Huntsville," Hatfield said.
The opening of the Huntsville location brings the total number of ERC locations in Northwest Arkansas to 10 and the total number of individuals served to over 600.