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Superior Concrete Products and Diamond Ranch Academy Build Sydney's Shelter -- a Home for Rescued Pets in Utah

EULESS, Texas, July 1, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Todd Sternfeld, CEO and owner of Superior Concrete Products (SCP), a North-Texas-based manufacturer of precast concrete fence and barrier products, has a soft heart. When his 18-year-old daughter Sydney mentioned the idea of starting an educational program at Diamond Ranch Academy to help homeless pets and small animals, Sternfeld promised to build a shelter and provide the precast concrete materials for the project.

"Diamond Ranch Academy has a wonderful program that pairs students with horses and other large animals," said Sydney Sternfeld. "And, while I enjoy working with the barnyard animals, my own dog, a big yellow Labrador Retriever named Lucky, inspired me to serve others by caring for homeless pets. Starting this new educational program will give more students an opportunity to learn how to work with rescued pets and other small animals that had been living on the city streets."

Animals play an important role in the lives of the students at Diamond Ranch Academy. Many animals are naturally empathic – especially horses, and the school's equine therapy has been especially popular among the students. Over the years other barnyard animals such as sheep, goats and pigs have been added to the program, giving students the opportunity to learn to care for and interact with the animals in a meaningful way. The academy's animals help students develop trust, respect and other relationship skills.

"Sydney loves animals, and when I learned that she took the initiative to meet with Rob and Sherri Dias, the owners of Diamond Ranch Academy, requesting support for an educational program for rescued dogs, cats, rabbits and other small pets, I was determined to help," said Sternfeld. "The school staff liked the idea and created a new educational program in her honor, calling it Sydney's Shelter. Donating the building and fence was the least I could do for an organization that does so much good work to help our young people."

This animal facility is no small building. Plans call for a 2,400-square-foot climate-controlled facility complete with a porch that runs the length of the building. The inside of the building will feature designated eating and sleeping areas for the animals, in addition to rooms where students can groom and train the pets. A fenced enclosure is also planned so that the dogs and larger pets can play safely outside with the students.

"Sydney's Shelter is funded primarily through donations," said Toni Ritchey, founder of Empower Me Up, a 501(c)(3) non-profit charity that empowers youth and funds unique educational experiences and innovative programs for Diamond Ranch Academy and other schools. "The academy is donating the land, foundation and labor, while Superior Concrete Products is giving thousands of dollars in materials to build the structure and enclosure. All we need to complete the project is to put a roof on the building and finish the interior of the structure. When it comes to helping young people, our donors are generous, and our goal is to fund Sydney's Shelter, a unique and innovative teaching facility for these teens, without incurring any additional expense to the academy."

The exterior of the animal facility will be made of durable, reinforced precast concrete panels that duplicate the rich look of deep wood-grain texture. Constructed of Superior Concrete Products' proprietary post and panel system, the shelter will be attractive, strong, and easy to build. Engineered to withstand wind conditions, shifting terrains and extreme temperatures, the company's fence panels are strong enough to sustain the ravages of a hurricane and an earthquake.

In addition to donating the building, SCP is also giving a Superior Concrete Rail™ fence to provide an enclosure for the land surrounding the building. Designed to complement the surroundings in which it is installed, the sturdy three-rail fence looks like expensive wood, yet eliminates the quick deterioration and aging of other fence products. Better yet, the fence – like all of Superior's products – is impervious to damage caused by termites and other wood-eating insects. And, Superior Rail is a heavy-duty system that outlasts traditional wood, wire or metal fencing, and prevents the costly maintenance and replacement issues.

"We are delighted to introduce Sydney's Shelter into the Diamond Ranch Academy curriculum," said Kade Mathews, clinical director of Diamond Ranch Academy. "Our youth benefit from Real-Life Transition Programs that teach various pet care and training techniques. At Diamond Ranch we provide a nurturing environment that inspires our students to develop a lifelong love for learning and a positive plan for a future career path. And the new shelter so generously donated by Superior Concrete Products and through the support of others is a gift that will continue to benefit the school and our students for years to come."

For information on donating to the Sydney's Shelter pet program at Diamond Ranch Academy, please go to http://www.empowermeup.org/current-projects.html.

About Empower Me Up:

Based in San Marcos, California, Empower Me Up is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charity founded in 2014 by a passionate group of volunteers dedicated to bringing empowerment activities and experiences to individuals, families and communities through a variety of innovative solutions and long-term educational and therapeutic programs. For more information on Empower Me Up go to http://empowermeup.org.

About Diamond Ranch Academy:

Diamond Ranch Academy (DRA) is a leading residential treatment center located in Hurricane, Utah. The academy offers help for struggling teens, ages 12-18. With separate, individually licensed programs divided by age and gender, all DRA programs are held on the academy's campus which is located on 60 acres. To learn more about the academy, please visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diamond_Ranch_Academy or go to http://www.diamondranchacademy.com/

About Superior Concrete Products:

Founded in 1986, Superior Concrete Products engineers, manufactures and installs precast concrete walls, fences, structures and other barrier systems for the utility substations, residential developments, golf courses and the farming/ranching industries throughout North America. The company also has installations abroad and licenses precast mold products and services in countries around the globe. Certified by the National Precast Concrete Association, the company is headquartered in Euless, Texas. For more information, go to www.ConcreteFence.com.

Photos Available Upon Request.

CONTACT: Virginia Stuart 214.673.1683 vstuart@vista-cs.net

Source: Superior Concrete Products