To cap off a meaningful and successful 50th year, Rainbows’ Annual Meeting was held on Tuesday, December 6 at Cozine Life Events Center and hosted by Board of Directors’ Chair Jim Walters. Jim shared the many milestones for the past year and several individuals were recognized and honored during the evening.
Rainbows celebrated the following milestones in 2022:
• This year more than 3,701 children with special needs, birth through age 21 and their families were served.
• In 2022 Rainbows celebrated 50 years of making a difference. Special thanks to Linda Weir Enegren, Rainbows’ founder who had the vision so many years ago making the Agency we know and love possible today.
• Gay Kimble was promoted to President of Rainbows in July after a national search by the Board of Directors. Gay filled the position left open when Deb Voth retired. Rainbows has had 11 total of Executive Directors/Presidents.
• Rainbows celebrated 16 years of Fashion Passion. The event raised a record-breaking $1 million for children with special needs and their families.
As part of the evening’s events, Rainbows was honored to recognize and celebrate Linda Weir Enegren plus her son and daughter-in-law Paul and Yeni Enegren for serving as event chairs for Fashion Passion and their passionate commitment to Rainbows and children with special needs.
50th Birthday Partners
In gratitude for an amazing 50th Birthday year, Rainbows honored some of the people who helped bring the celebration ideas to fruition. Bill Gardner and his team at Gardner Design designed the 50th logo which was used on everything from cookies to floor graphics. Author Karen Sheriff LeVan was recognized for her work and words that went into the beautiful commemorative book of Rainbows’ 50-year history; and Rainbows’ Communications Committee member Josh Heck was honored and thanked for his editing of the commemorative book. A special thank you was given to Textron Aviation and INTRUST Bank for their sponsorship of Rainbows 50th Birthday. Because of their generosity Rainbows celebrated with staff and their families at the Wichita Wind Surge in June.
The Prism Award went to Maria Magno, an educator who has devoted her career to Rainbows beginning in 1999. Watch for Maria’s story next week.
Next Rainbows recognized some of our donors who have gone above and beyond this year. The Hampel Family and Hampel Oil were recognized for 13 years of The Peter Hampel Luau which raised more than $475,000 and built a solid foundation of community awareness regarding Rainbows. Margaret Shook was also honored for 45 years of championing the Blarney Breakfast and her unwavering dedication to Rainbows.
In addition, Rainbows recognized and celebrated other fundraising events:
• In March guest bartenders, Pat and Jackie Gearhart, raised more than $5,000 at The Monarch. Thank you to the Gearharts.
• More than $18,000 was raised through the Matt Sheets Memorial Mort’s Golf Tournament. Rainbows is greatly appreciative of the efforts Cayla and Brent Wasson put into the Mort’s tournament, as that event results in great community awareness and a wonderful donation to Rainbows.
• Through proceeds from the CJ Memorial Golf Tournament, The CJ Memorial Foundation donated $8,000 to Rainbows to support Camp Woodchuck.
Those who gave in time were also thanked. In 2022 Rainbows had more than 556 volunteers who put in 6,790 hours of service. This included support of Blarney Breakfast, Fashion Passion and a new partnership with the 22 Air Refueling Squadron coordinated by Honorary Commander and Rainbows’ volunteer Jana Day.
Representative Will Carpenter was thanked and honored for his service to the State of Kansas and to the community of kids we serve.
Linda Weir Enegren Legacy Society Inductee
New member to the Linda Weir Enegren Legacy Society, Deb Voth was honored. The honor recognizes Deb’s career as an advocate for children with special needs and their families, her work with State and local law makers and her quest to discover funding sources to make programs whole by building relationships across many aisles. She’s a fighter, a passionate leader and a dedicated champion for children.
Incoming Board Chair Pat Gearhart then shared Rainbows’ vision for 2023: Our priority will be to champion and empower children and families in all we do.
To do this we will create a new 3-5 year Strategic Plan utilizing Program Analysis results.
– Ensure programs meet community needs and match available funding sources and strategies
– Determine facility needs and move forward
– Continue to value and grow our talented team
Thank you Jim Walters
Finally, Jim Walters was recognized and thanked for his strong Board leadership over the last two years. Jim’s respectful and effective leadership style has been demonstrated repeatedly during his tenure as our Board Chair. Thank you, Jim for sharing your time, expertise, and wisdom with Rainbows.