Cobb’s Harbor for Heroes unveiled in Clanton

Published 11:30 am Thursday, November 9, 2023

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By Carey Reeder | Managing Editor

One year to the day of its groundbreaking, Butterfly Bridge Children’s Advocacy Center held a ribbon cutting and building dedication on Nov. 3 to open its newest addition to the nonprofit in Clanton. The Jeff Cobb Sr. Harbor for Heroes was unveiled and dedicated in front of the nonprofit’s staff, multi-disciplinary team, donors and supporters who filled the front lawn. The harbor is a place where vessels, the child victims of abuse, may find shelter. The heroes, Butterfly Bridge and the multi-disciplinary team, are who are offering courage to the victims to overcome their struggles.

The building is painted white on the outside, and the inside allows a lot of natural light to come through the windows mixed with soothing colors to create an inviting atmosphere that guests noticed on their tour of the building after the dedication ceremony.

“We were very, very pleased with the way it turned out, and everyone that came inside said how warm, inviting and calming it is, which is exactly what we were going for when thinking about the children and families we serve,” Jana Zuelzke, Executive Director of Butterfly Bridge, said.

The building completed phase two of operation “Expanding Our Wings” by the nonprofit. BBCAC has raised over 90% of its $790,688 goal to completely pay for the phase two building.

The building adds a training and conference center, which will allow the staff to do more collaboration with partners, on-site case review meetings and other training on-site, as well as staff offices, additional therapy rooms and a forensic medical suite. Adding the medical suite will allow specialized medical exams of victims to be done onsite as opposed to the victim traveling to Birmingham or Montgomery. Victims and their families now do not have to travel outside of Chilton County at any point during a child abuse investigation, treatment or prosecution.

“When we tell them ‘We really need you to travel to Birmingham to get this specialized medical exam,’ that was hard on the families,” Zuelzke said. “Not only were they going through a lot emotionally, but also the distance, the amount of time, some families had transportation issues and the cost in time and financially to get to and from those exams. There are just so many benefits in different ways of being here on-site now.”

Zuelzke was among the individuals who spoke to the crowd at the building dedication, as well as Robyn Cobb, Jeff Cobb Sr.’s widow. Robyn Cobb spoke about the passion Cobb had for his work with child abuse cases, his love for the work BBCAC does and what it means to have his name of the side of building forever.

“He was the epitome of a servant, an advocate, he treated everyone equally and everyone was important, and the kids came first in all of his cases,” Zuelzke said about Jeff Cobb Sr. at the groundbreaking event on Nov. 3, 2022. “I could not think of anyone better to dedicate this to, because I know he would have loved to have been here today. He was a very special person to me, and to a lot of other people.”