As the development assistant for Rainbows United, I get a unique experience of the inner workings of Rainbows’ fundraising events. The 43rd Annual Blarney Breakfast was the first Rainbows United event that I got to see through from start to finish. It amazed me to watch an event morph from spreadsheets of sponsor and attendee information to a whirlwind of a morning (wow, that 3:30 AM alarm came early).
It is worth mentioning: I’m going to touch on a few things from my own behind-the-scenes perspective; you can get an event overview and more info in the official press release.
One of my favorite parts of my job is watching our community come together in support of the children and families served by Rainbows. This is especially evident during fundraising events like The Blarney Breakfast; so many people (the committee, volunteers, board members, local businesses and employees) work tirelessly to make this event a success each year.
Leading up to The Blarney Breakfast, as I track ticket sales and sponsorships, I see a lot of familiar names – people who regularly support Rainbows with their time and resources. During the breakfast, from my spot at Will Call, I got to work closely with a mother-daughter volunteer team who were in Wichita from out-of-state. The mother worked as a teacher in Rainbows’ childcare services a number of years ago and offered to volunteer while they were in Wichita over spring break.
Lots of people come to The Blarney Breakfast because it is so much fun; I loved seeing how many people came BACK to and continually support The Blarney Breakfast because of their connection to Rainbows’ mission. The mission of Rainbows United is to enhance the lives of children with special needs and their families by bringing together community resources and providing customized services. Many sponsors, volunteers and attendees became familiar with Rainbows because someone they love was or is served by Rainbows. It’s easy for me to get lost in the details when preparing for a large event. Hearing these personal stories in preparation for and during the event continually brought my focus back to the bigger picture.
The $47,000 raised at this year’s Blarney Breakfast supports Rainbows’ Targeted Case Management program. As part of this support, three children received items that will make life a little easier – if (like me) you weren’t able to watch Kai, Kolton and Dylan receive their gifts at the breakfast, pop over to our Facebook page and check out the pictures.
-written by Rebecca Saxton, Rainbows’ development assistant