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Blarney Breakfast 45 years later

Margaret Shook

This year, I am overwhelmed with gratitude to be celebrating the 45th anniversary of the Blarney Breakfast.  The event has experienced many changes over the years and grown into one of the longest running special events in Wichita.  However, one thing has remained the same, the steadfast support of the community to support children with special needs at Rainbows.
The Blarney Breakfast is personal to me because over 41 years ago my son, Brandon, received services at Rainbows.  My friend Linda Weir Enegren started Rainbows in 1972 because she believed children with special needs could be successful living at home with their families and I too supported that philosophy.  Two years later, in 1975, KAKE TV & Radio launched a letter writing campaign to select a charity to receive the Blarney Breakfast and my letter was chosen.  Here I am, 45 years later still working on the breakfast with my sorority sisters Chi Epsilon Chapter of ESA in support of children with special needs and their families.
Over the years, the enthusiasm for the Blarney Breakfast has never wavered.  It is the one time a year the entire community comes together, from TV and radio personalities to celebrity guests, Rainbows’ families, Irish entertainers, Chi Epsilon members, and the wonderful staff at Old Chicago.
I had no idea the power my letter would generate 45 years later – $514,000 total raised for Rainbows, over 11,000 children with special needs served through the years, 68 Chi Epsilon volunteers dedicated time, 71,000 cups of coffee poured, and more than 50,000 community members attended the breakfast.
I must admit at times, it’s a little crazy but probably one of the most fun events you can attend.  So, come see for yourself!