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Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer meets Ethan Jewell, 9, who organizes an annual blanket drive to benefit the homeless. (Bob McClay/KTAR)

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer proclaimed Tuesday as Phoenix Rescue Mission Day in honor of the charity's 60th anniversary.

"Thank you all for your tireless commitment to ending hunger and homelessness by transforming lives and mobilizing the community," Brewer said in front of a crowd of several hundred at the mission, located near 35th Ave. and Durango.

The mission provided shelter and served over 288,000 meals to homeless men, women and children last year.

"It is that spirit of service that allows us to continue to provide food, shelter and comfort for the needy," Brewer said.

Brewer received a blanket from 9-year-old Ethan Jewell, who started a drive that's collected and donated over 700 blankets to the mission since 2010.

"I'm starting another one this year with my brother and sister's help," said Jewell.

Jewell's goal is to donate 400 blankets this year. Upon hearing that, Brewer exclaimed "Food and a blanket, it doesn't get any better than that!"

The Phoenix Rescue Mission opened in 1952 on the site where Chase Field now stands.

Bob McClay, Reporter

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