A highlight of every year is the 10:15+ Club event that honors Rainbows’ employees who have been making a difference in the lives of children with special needs and their families for ten years or more. It’s a day of secrets and celebration that begins with participants loading buses at 10:15 a.m. in anticipation of the day’s events. This year was no exception.
Those who collected in the lobby of Kids’ Point were sent off with cheers by co-workers for the ride to FlutterBye Ranch outside of Leon for the day.
Those with milestone anniversaries were honored with awards presented by Board Member Hale Ritchie, President Deb Voth and Vice President of Programs and Services, Debbie Mai.
“This was my first year for attending the 10:15+ Club. Everyone was so welcoming and excited for the milestones staff has achieved. The day was filled with fun, connecting with others and surprises—I could tell a lot of thought was put into the day. It was a great day and I am looking forward to next year,” said Leslie Stevens, Mental Health Specialist working with ABC Project.
Ten year employees new to the 10:15+ Club were: Kelsie Harms, Rebecca Paden, Leslie Stevens, and Sharon Stump
15 year honorees: Susan Bliss and Vanessa Noble
20 year honorees: Charlesetta Berry, Christy Hutto, Stacy Jensen, Myra Niederee, Teresa Shackelford, Holly Smith, and Cayla Wasson
25 year honorees: Karen Carlile, Kathleen Cochran, Donna Delaney, Susan Harsh, Diane Porter, and Deb Voth
30 year honorees: Laura Barnes and Gina Hall
The group was treated to informative and entertaining cooking demonstrations by Zach Hettenbach featuring a delicious Alfredo sauce that was served as an option over pasta for lunch, plus a blueberry lemon compote served over cheesecake for dessert. Zach shared his experiences at several area restaurants and businesses which led to his dream of owning his own business with his wife Shannon.
Their passion to provide a place for people to gather and enjoy great food culminates at FlutterBye Ranch with family history and special memories that connect visitors to the location, making guests a part of their dream come true. Each participant received an apron with the Rainbows’ logo embroidered on it as a keepsake.
After lunch, more secret details coordinated by Melani Kliewer, Volunteer Coordinator unfolded. Guests were invited to hike around the grounds to a nearly creek, skip rocks and enjoy the sunshine or watch the recent movie “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”, an exploration of the life, lessons, and legacy of iconic children’s television host, Fred Rogers. “I truly enjoyed the movie and the message,” said Sharon Stump, Speech Language Pathologist with CBETS.
10:15+ Club events are sponsored by Rainbows’ Board of Directors. Many support the event and feel it is vital to recognize staff in the long established tradition of the event. “This day puts into action Rainbows’ Guiding Principle to “Be Positive, Celebrate Success and Recognize Achievements,” said Board Chair Gail Johnson. “Rainbows is fortunate to have so many long term staff. It’s important to honor employees who work so hard and give so much.”
“The fact that the Board of Directors make the event possible, is amazing,” said Teddi Hollingsworth, Early Childhood Teacher with Sedgwick County Infant/Toddler Services for 16 years. “How wonderful that they are willing to honor staff in this way. I love when Board Members join us on this day.”
The day finished with the traditional group photo and boarding the buses to return to Rainbows. A special time was had by all.
By Michelle Eastman