WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – On Tuesday, May 24, Rainbows United, Inc. celebrated its 50th birthday.

During the event, five stakeholders placed their handprints onto a uniquely designed Keeper of the Plains to commemorate everyone who helped make the past 50 years possible for over 62,000 children and their families in the area.

“It’s all about our kids and our families and our staff who make things work. And so we wanted to make sure we had our kids, and our staff represented on this important feature that will last for a long time, we hope,” said Deb Voth, President of Rainbows United.

Handprints were placed by:

  • Rainbows’ Founder: Linda Weir-Enegren
  • Rainbows’ President, Deb Voth
  • Board Chair: Jim Walters, Community Volunteer
  • Rainbows’ teenager, Tanner Crum, age 17
  • Rainbows’ preschooler Baylor Kornelson, age 4
  • Rainbows’ employee: Kerri Dixon, Prism Award Winner

The Keeper was designed by artist Delilah Reed. Her design included 51 special items that represent Rainbows’ children and programs, such as hearts, balls, bugs, and more. She painted 45 of those items on the Keeper. The five handprints bring the total to 51. This event took place in her studio.

After the Keeper has received its special protective coating, it will be mounted at Rainbows’ Kids’ Point, 3223 N Oliver, and added to the Together Wichita map of Keepers on Parade.

The celebration isn’t over yet. On Friday, June 24, Rainbows plans to celebrate with the community, families, employees, and the board at the Wind Surge Stadium. At this event, families will share their success stories, employees will reconnect with families, and most importantly, thank the donors and community for their support.

In addition, Rainbows online store now features new limited-edition apparel supporting this milestone.

This project was funded by a grant through Koch Industries.

To read more about Rainbows celebrating 50 years of empowering children and their families, click here.

About Rainbows United Inc.

Rainbows was founded in 1972 as a developmental training center for children with severe, multiple disabilities who are ineligible for special needs services provided through public schools. Over time, special education through the public schooling system has improved.

Today, Rainbows continues to provide vital services for young children with special needs throughout Sedgwick, Sumner, and Butler County. These services include “hearing and vision specialty services, respite care for individuals across the life span, case management services, autism waiver services, supported family living, foster care for children with special needs, outpatient therapies, and therapeutic child care.” Not only do they assist the children from birth through age 21, but they also assist the families.

“When the storms of life threaten to wash away a child’s smiles and peals of laughter, when a parent’s dream of a brighter future is clouded by the confusion of the current crisis, and when the systems that were put in place to help us only offer temporary shelter, look to the rainbow.  Look to Rainbows United and discover the ways we bring potential to life,” reads Rainbows website.

To find out more about Rainbows United Inc., become a volunteer, make a monetary donation, purchase items from their wishlist, and more, click here.