Celebrating Rainbows’ 50th Birthday

50 Years of Empowering Children and Families

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There’s something special about a birthday, especially for children. The party, the candles, the cake, and getting to share all of that with those who are special to you: that’s why we’re celebrating Rainbows’ 50th Birthday all year long in 2022. It’s our chance to celebrate with our employees, the children and families we serve, our Board of Directors and the communities we provide services to each and every day.

We’ve been brainstorming and have several ways we’ve started to or plan to celebrate.

50 year seal
We were honored to partner with local design agency Gardner Design and have a fun new 50th Birthday seal to use along with our logo this year. You’ll find this milestone mark already in use on our website, our stationery and many of our materials. If you look closely you’ll also note that our tagline for the year reads “50 years of empowering children and families.” We believe this tagline embodies the last 50 years and provides inspiration for the next 50 years.

Commemorative book
Our Board of Directors has initiated the creation of a commemorative book documenting Rainbows’ history. A local writer is interviewing donors, staff, and friends of Rainbows, both past and present, to craft a beautifully written and designed keepsake in honor of Rainbows’ humble beginnings and continued dedication to children with special need and their families. We look forward to having the book available in late summer.

Community celebration
Mark your calendars for a celebration with the community, families, employees, and Board on Friday, June 24 at one of Wichita’s newest gathering spaces: Wind Surge Stadium. Plans are evolving to make this event fun for everyone touched by Rainbows throughout the years. Opportunities for families to share success stories of their children throughout the years, employees to reconnect and most of all to thank donors and the community for their support. The event promises to be one birthday party you don’t want to miss.

Limited edition apparel
Before you know it, our online store featuring new apparel items sporting the milestone logo and tagline will be available through our website. We’re excited to offer a unique range of items to commemorate this birthday milestone year. You’ll find everything from polos to onesies and bags to hats available for purchase soon. We’ll launch the store through social media, so stay tuned.

Visual historical timeline
With so many milestones, we wanted to highlight them in a visual format. Here’s a sneak peek at our historical timeline. It’s wonderful to look back and see how Rainbows has grown through serving 5 children with multiple disabilities in the basement of Pleasant Valley United Methodist Church to 98% of services delivered in the community or family homes to more than 4,230 children birth through age 21 annually. That means nearly 35,000 children received more than 70,000 services in the last 50 years.

On this visual timeline, you’ll see when services were added, how numbers of staff and children served grew, as well as several locations Rainbows has been in over the years. It’s a trip down memory lane for many and an historical account of an amazing evolution for others. A solid, strong foundation for what is to come.

Share your Rainbows’ story
Do you have a Rainbows’ story to tell? We’d love to hear how Rainbows’ services impacted your child’s life and your family, or funny stories you tell over and over again about your time working at Rainbows or serving as a volunteer. We want to hear them all. Reach out to us on social media, by email Meastman@rui.org or phone 316.258.9014 to Michelle Eastman, Vice President of Marketing and Communications.

You can read Megan’s story here.

Ways to give
Did you know the Annual Blarney Breakfast started supporting Rainbows in 1979? This year’s event will honor the 50th birthday in special ways along with other fundraising events throughout the year. Look for your opportunity to support Rainbows with $50, $550 or $50,000.

We’ll be sharing photos from the past on Facebook and Instagram all year long with stories of children who have received services throughout the years. It’s going to be quite a celebration and we can’t wait for you to be part of it!

Happy Birthday Rainbows!

Deb Voth, President