(SHELBY) – Shelby Mayor Dr Larry Bonderud, along with resident visionary, Harry Benjamin and numerous others helped break ground this morning on the "Carousel rest area of Shelby".

The Mayor thanked Benjamin for his dedication to the carousel project and said it has brought a "unique cross-section of individuals in the community together." He encouraged others to get involved and said he can envision the day when his and everyone else's grandchildren are riding the carousel that will be built.

The building site is just slightly southwest of the Pizza Hut, off US Highway two and directly behind the current Dempsey-Gibbons Memorial Fight site.

Benjamin is adamant about the site being finished by September and has already lined up contractors and numerous volunteer helpers to make the dream come true.

To this point, Benjamin has spent almost $85,000 of his own money to get the project started. He has purchased a vintage 1936 Carousel to be the central attraction in the center of the rest area, which will include restrooms and space for birthday parties and other events.

The 5013-C corporation that has been formed has purchased three lots from the city of Shelby to host the carousel rest area. Benjamin noted that about 80% of the carousel from the mechanical system to the painting of the animals on the carousel has been completed. The animals, mostly horses, also include a rooster and a monkey and have all been repainted by volunteers including inmates at the Crossroad Correctional Center. Benjamin plans to use local cattle brands on the horses.

Benjamin also noted that the corporation is now ready to accept donations in earnest to help fund the project. An account has been set up at First State Bank for anyone with a desire to help.