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Why I Support Rainbows

Julie Gentile

Since moving to Wichita three years ago, my family and I have enjoyed getting to know Wichita better.  Unique venues like the new B-29 Doc Hanger and Education Center at Eisenhower National Airport, the Cosmosphere in Hutchinson, and Exploration Place help make Wichita distinctive.  We are never at a loss for places to visit and things to do when our family and friends come to visit.  My husband and I also had the chance recently to do a drive around with Wichita Police Chief Gordon Ramsey.  Over about three hours, Chief Ramsey showed us many different parts of Wichita.  We definitely saw the good and the bad.  He described some of the challenges a large city like Wichita faces in today’s world.  Our modern society is more connected than ever.  Through smart phones and digital applications, we have more ready access to information and resources than ever before, but communities still have to address timeless challenges that defy easy solutions.  Wichita is fortunate to have many agencies and organizations that work closely with government offices to address these many challenges.

When I first became aware of Rainbows, I was impressed with how seriously the staff took their mission to help children with different disabilities and needs.  The social workers, speech therapists, and physical therapists are all dedicated and highly motivated.  I attended the 10:15+ Club and saw first-hand how passionate and caring all staff are.

I also had the chance to visit Camp Woodchuck this summer, the recreational and leisure day program that Rainbows provides for children kindergarten through 18 years old.  The staff there are absolutely wonderful with the children.  They have so many different activities to give the children an experience they will never forget.  The talent show they staged was not to be missed.  We are so fortunate to have a facility like this in Wichita and an organization like Rainbows to help make it a reality.

Rainbows is a tremendous asset for Wichita.  For us to continue to thrive as a community, we need to ensure that our most vulnerable populations have resources to address their special needs and opportunities to experience life’s pleasures.  I am proud to be on the Rainbows’ Board of Directors and look forward to working with my colleagues to help our organization continue to fulfill its noble mission.

Julie Gentile, Community Volunteer and Rainbows’ Board Member