Close this search box.

A Year in Review

2017 Annual Meetings

The 2017 Annual Meetings of the Rainbows United Board of Directors and Rainbows United Charitable Fund Board were held Tuesday, December 12. Rainbows celebrated a 45th year with many highlights, recognitions and voted in a new slate of officers for 2018.


Highlights for the year include:

  • Rainbows celebrated 45 years of serving more than 3,262 children with special needs, birth through age 21 and their families this year.
  • Rainbows secured $200,000 in Kansas Community Tax Credits in support of the Revealing Masterpieces Technology Project
  • Camp Woodchuck was attended by 111 school aged youth
  • Vice President of Human Resources Betty Graham retired and Renee Walker took on that position.
  • Strategic Planning began with Wichita State University Community Engagement Institute and 4 themes were identified:
  1. Champion children with special needs
  2. Capitalize on our value to create funding streams
  3. Attract, retain, and support world class talent
  4. Enhance value through internal and external communication
  • The Autism program was expanded and we continue to look for ways to serve more children
  • We had more than 547 volunteers who put in 8,630 hours of service
  • Each of our fundraising events raised significant amounts:
  • 40 grants were submitted with a 78% approval rate.
  • A Project Manager for the Technology Project was hired and a contract signed with NetSmart to build the software that is needed.


Members of the Technology Task Force, including Chris Farris, Jason Cox, Katherine Geren, Wayne Huxman, Pat Wilson, Meredith Olson, Hale Ritchie plus employees Debbie Mai, Tina Beems and Audra Kenneson were honored for their contributions to the technology project over the last three years. Textron Aviation Purchasing Specialist Kelly Graf was honored for her work in negotiating Rainbows’ NetSmart contract and saving the agency more than $80,000.

In addition, the PRISM Award was presented to Annabel Bentley, Pre-Kindergarten Teacher at Rainbows’ Kids’ Point. Jane Eby, Research Coordinator says Annabel is a team leader, setting a good example in the classroom, and getting to know a child’s entire family. As Annabel helps her Pre-K class learn skills they will need for next year in kindergarten, it is clear that she has a gift for helping preschoolers develop self-regulation.

Kids’ Point has a no-expulsion policy and is a lifesaver for parents whose children have been asked to leave another child care placement because of their challenging behavior. Annabel has been willing to address the individual needs of multiple children with challenging behaviors, trying new things and collaborating with the Mental Health Specialist. She brings out the best in these children and gratitude in their parents. We are in awe of her determination, her intuitiveness and creativity.

In her teaching role, she embodies Rainbows’ guiding principles of treating children with dignity, respect and compassion; she is consistently positive, recognizes children’s success, and celebrates their achievements. Many Rainbows’ staff members can attest to Annabel’s character and contributions to Rainbows. “She is truly a joy to see interacting with children and families.”

The event also honored long-time supporters Hampel Oil, Hampel Leasing and the entire Hampel Family with the Linda Weir Enegren Legacy Society award. This award designation honors all lifetime donors of $250,000 or more and is the highest honor we can bestow on any donor or volunteer. Over the past 10 years the Peter Hampel Luau has raised more than $336,000 for the children of Rainbows, making a difference and creating a meaningful legacy.


Board Chair, Gail Johnson shared four major priorities for 2018:

1.  Strategic planning with these 4 themes:

  • Champion children with special needs
  • Capitalize on our value to create funding streams
  • Attract, retain, and support world class talent
  • Enhance value through internal and external communication

2.  Building fundraising capacity through major gifts and special events.

3.  Technology project implementation of myEvolv software.

4.  Growth opportunities in special areas of Mental Health, autism and Infant/Toddler Services.


The event concluded with a reception hosted by Gail and Donna Johnson.

Rainbows’ FY17 Annual Report, found here.