1571216631 <![CDATA[News Entries]]> http://local.rosewoodservices.com/ en michaeld@rosewoodservices.com Copyright 2019 2019-10-15T21:07:00+00:00 <![CDATA[Tammy Hammond and Rosewood Services named Woman Owned Business of the Year by the State of Kansas]]> http://rosewoodservices.com/site/hammond-commerce-award-nr10-19 http://rosewoodservices.com/site/hammond-commerce-award-nr10-19#When:21:07:00Z {image_1}

Tammy Hammond and Rosewood Services were honored in Topeka on Oct. 10 by the Kansas Department of Commerce as the recipient of the 2019 Woman Owned Business of the Year in Service Industry.

The award recognizes Rosewood’s outstanding achievement in business under Hammond’s leadership, along with the business’s significance related to employment, economic benefit, and support to the local community.

David Toland, Secretary of the Kansas Department of Commerce, addressed the event audience stating there are more than 77,000 women-owned businesses in Kansas.  “These businesses are an integral part of the Kansas economy,” he stated. “We greatly value the contributions these businesses and advocates provide to our state, from the jobs they create to the way they enrich communities and lives. On behalf of Governor Kelly, the Department of Commerce and citizens across the state, thank you for keeping our economy strong and vibrant.” 

Hammond accepted the award, surrounded by family, along with several Rosewood employees, state and local officials, and business colleagues.

“It is an honor to be selected for this award, but the tireless daily effort of all who work at Rosewood is what makes this moment possible,” said Hammond, addressing the keys to success for her company.

“I believe the culture we work daily to create and maintain in our business plays a huge role in our success,” she continued. “We can develop plans, have vision, and create opportunities, but without a culture of respect for each other and those we are privileged to serve, it would be a constant struggle, and would produce few results. Whether it is a business or a community, a culture of respect for others is the foundation for growth.”

Rosewood Services was founded by Hammond in 1998 and has grown into one of Barton County’s largest employers, employing more than 250 people, plus supporting employment for more than 150 additional individuals with disabilities.

Rosewood has also grown into one of the largest service providers to individuals with developmental disabilities in the State of Kansas by offering creative services and employment opportunities. For more information about Rosewood call 620-793-5888 to schedule a tour, or visit www.rosewoodservices.com.



Find more about Rosewood Services online, http://RosewoodServices.com

Follow us at facebook.com/RosewoodServices

For more information, contact Michael Dawes, Rosewood Services, MichaelD@rosewoodservices.com, 620-792-2536.

October 15, 2019

<![CDATA[15-Year Journey Makes for Memorable Rosewood Rodeo]]> http://rosewoodservices.com/site/rw-rodeo-post10-19 http://rosewoodservices.com/site/rw-rodeo-post10-19#When:14:23:00Z {image_1}

Fond memories were abundant at this year’s Rosewood Rodeo, held at Great Bend Expo III Arena last Saturday. It marked the 15th consecutive October that Rosewood held its therapeutic rodeo for people with developmental disabilities. More than 30 equine therapy riders from Rosewood Ranch took part in the milestone rodeo, including five horse riders who have participated in every Rosewood Rodeo since the inaugural one in 2005.

“Initially, it doesn’t seem like it’s been 15 rodeos until I start thinking back through the years and then on second and third thought, it’s like ‘Wow, we’ve really had some amazing experiences for our riders through the years.’ It is inspiring to know that some of original riders are still riding all of these years later and have been involved in every rodeo. That probably is the most incredible thing that came to mind at this year’s rodeo and made the significance of this year’s event really set in for me.”

Competing in their 15th Rosewood Rodeo were Robin Bethel, Shaun Ledesma, Jere McCutchen, Mary Minear, and Josh Trimmer. They were joined this year by participants Crystal Alkire, Pam Babcock, Kammi Bennett, Keith Boyer, Darren Brown, Vance Cornwell, Chris Devine, Jonathan Folkerts, Codie Hardie, Taylor Hertach, Ashley Hullet, Johnathan Howe, DJ Johnson, Rita Mestas, Tyler Michaelis, Samantha Purcell, Josh Rader, Angie Rogers, Josh Trimmer, Andy Schultz, Dawn Specht, Abbey Stanley, Debbie Wasinger, and Jim Wonsetler.

All rodeo riders participate in equine therapy throughout the year at Rosewood Ranch, which exists to help people with disabilities, and is located approximately five miles north of Pawnee Rock. The rodeo is the day they get to showcase their abilities to family and friends.

In addition to the adult riders, Rosewood’s youth riders, involved in the Children’s Horse Therapy Program, participated in a trail pattern event at the beginning of the rodeo. At the end of each of their rides, the youth riders received a ribbon for their participation and they were photographed with their family members. Youth riders participating were: Kanye Cross, Elaine Emerson, Ethan Harr, Gentry Ramsey, and Dakota Skinner.

One aspect that was different this year is that therapy horse “Harriett” participated in her first rodeo due to the passing of longtime therapy horse “Dolly” last summer. But even that uncertainty wound up working out perfectly for the day.

“All the other therapy horses, we knew what their attitude was going to be in front of an audience and with a bit of arena noise,” explained Hammond. “But she did really well with our riders and our staff. We couldn’t have asked for better at her first rodeo.”

Immediately following the rodeo, awards were presented. Keith Boyer earned the medal for “Best Cowboy Spirit;” Josh Trimmer was named “Most Improved Rider,” and Tyler Michaelis won the “Most Inspirational Leader” award.

Ribbons were presented to participants for Trails, along with Barrel and Horsemanship events. The clients competed in three levels, depending on their riding ability: rider with lead and side-walker, rider with lead, and independent rider.

During the awards ceremony, high point and reserve awards were presented to Horse Show participants. The adult therapy riders were recognized in front of their peers and spectators for earning the most points in their respective categories during Horse Show Days at Rosewood Ranch throughout the spring and summer. Sashes were awarded to a dozen winners, representing three divisions in the categories of trail and horsemanship. Awards were also presented for showmanship.

Winners in each respective category were: High Point Trail - Tori Rose, Ashley Hullet, Mary Minear; Reserve Trail – Johnathan Howe , Dawn Specht, Kammi Bennet; High Point Horsemanship – Taylor Hertach, Samantha Purcell, Shaun Ledesma; Reserve Horsemanship – Jere McCutchen, Abbey Stanley, Crystal Alkire; High Point Showmanship – Jimmy Wonsetler; Reserve Showmanship – Josh Trimmer.

Other events throughout the day added to the rodeo experience. They included two performances by the award winning all-female Twisters of the Heartland horse-riding drill team. The Residential Team won the staff competition against the Administration and Day Services Teams. A silent auction of items donated by local businesses was held to raise money, with proceeds from the auction going to Rosewood’s Roots and Wings Foundation. And a tack shop also provided items for sale, selling items made by Rosewood clients who work at Rosewood Studio. Games and activities entertained children throughout the day. A pulled pork lunch, along with a variety of concession items, was available for purchase during the rodeo. The Honorable Kansas Supreme Court Justice Dan Biles provided the invocation during the Rodeo grand entry ceremony, which began the day’s events.

This year’s rodeo was made possible with the help of 18 sponsors. Sponsors were: Adams, Brown, Beran and Ball; Alterna Care Home Health; Animal Medical Center; Community Bank of the Midwest; Gibbs Electric, Great Bend Appliance Furniture & Sleepsource; Heartland Homecare Services;  Keller Real Estate & Insurance Agency; Kustom Floor Designs; Marmie Motors & Marmie Ford; Miller Lawns, Moeder Plumbing, Heating & Air; MPIRE Properties, Office Products Inc. (OPI); Rich’s Automotive; Rosencrantz-Bemis Drilling Co.; University of Kansas Health Systems – Great Bend Campus.

More than 50 people helped at this year’s event, which was organized by the Rosewood Rodeo Committee, led by rodeo chairman Anna Hammond.

“An event of this magnitude cannot take place without the tremendous efforts and expertise of many,” said Rosewood Service Executive Director Tammy Hammond. “It starts with Anna as the organizer of it all, but everyone has their intricate and important part to play. It’s only because we’ve been doing this event for so many years, and we pay attention to every detail, that this day turns out so perfectly for those we serve each year. We are thankful to all volunteers, attendees, sponsors and auction donors who combined to make our 15th annual rodeo such a success for our riders and their families.”



Find more about Rosewood Services online, rosewoodservices.com.

Follow us: Facebook.com/RosewoodServices

For more information, contact Eric Hammond, erich@rosewoodservices.com, 620-786-1693

October 10, 2019
Story by: Michael Dawes, director of PR, Rosewood Services, 620-792-2536, MichaelD@rosewoodservices.com

<![CDATA[Special Disability Mentoring Day Conference Set for Oct. 16 in Great Bend]]> http://rosewoodservices.com/site/dmd-advance10-19 http://rosewoodservices.com/site/dmd-advance10-19#When:20:20:00Z {image_3}

Disability Mentoring Day, the national effort to help and inspire those with disabilities to seek opportunities in the workforce, is celebrating 20 years on Oct. 16. The special day is held each October during National Disability Employment Awareness Month.

On the local front, area organizations are going the extra mile to commemorate the milestone year by hosting a special Disability Mentoring Day Conference on Oct. 16 at the Great Bend Events Center. Great Bend’s Disability Mentoring Day includes representatives from Kansas Department of Children and Families Vocational Rehabilitation, Rosewood Services, Sunflower Diversified Services, Kansas Workforce One, Barton Community College, and the Center For Counseling & Consultation.


Keynote David Powell To Provide Inspiring Message 

The conference features inspirational keynote speaker David Powell. Despite not having hands or legs, he travels the nation with a message to everyone that it is possible for anyone to live a positive, fun and meaningful life if they possess the willingness to do so. Throughout his life, people have assumed that he cannot do anything because he was born different. He has proven all of them wrong!

“Seeing David Powell overcome the disabilities that he has and motivating the attendees we have at our event is going to be an awesome thing,” said Great Bend DMD Committee chair Cody Harris, who serves as community employment specialist for Sunflower Diversified Services.  “I’ve heard nothing but good things about this gentleman. He happens to have no arms or legs, but he hasn’t made any excuses to achieving in life. I’m excited to hear him speak.”

While Disabilities Mentoring Day has taken place in Great Bend for the past 17 years, this is the fifth year that the local DMD committee has featured a conference-style event for people with disabilities. Rosewood Employment Specialist Frankie Pelster said the conference style has proven highly effective for motivating those in attendance to advance employment opportunities.

I’ve been involved with all five of the conferences,” said Pelster. “It’s an extremely effective program for the clientele we serve at Rosewood. We bring in presenters who effectively relate directly to them and convey the message that working is a real option for them. They are not limited to a sheltered workshop, but can have community inclusion. We’ve actually opened some VR (Vocational Rehabilitation) cases because people have attended this event.”

The day begins with registration at 10 a.m., followed by Powell’s hourlong presentation at 10:30 a.m. After lunch, the afternoon is filled with two break-out sessions that feature four session topics for people with disabilities. The event will conclude with a conference wrap-up at 2:15 p.m., which will include prize give-aways.

Two of the session topics will feature Barton Community College opportunities for attendees. A couple of recent Barton graduates who overcame learning disabilities to achieve academic success will talk to attendees about programs, resources and people available to help them navigate enrollment and getting their academic careers started on the right track. Another session will feature computer applications available at Barton’s Student Support Services that aid people with disabilities. Conference attendees will receive hands-on experience with the computer applications.

“We have an exceptional team to help them navigate through their challenges,” explained Krystal Barnes, coordinator of Workforce Training Projects & Events. “The average person is a little intimidated about coming out to college to get enrolled. When you have a learning disability, it can be even more intimidating. There are more roadblocks and more reasons to say, ‘No, I’m not going through with it.’ The conference will provide an opportunity to eliminate some of those reservations and provide a clear first step of how they get started.”

One of the other session topics is titled, “Why Work?,” and David Powell will conduct another session topic.


The DMD committee is reaching out to area high schools to encourage their students with disabilities to attend the event. Organizers see the DMD conference as a valuable resource for students with disabilities who are transitioning to adulthood.

“This event is a big deal for everyone, but especially for them,” said Pelster. “Seeing that people with disabilities are working and achieving has a positive impact on them. They see it as inspiration that if someone else can be employed then employment is a possibility for me, too.”

The Great Bend DMD committee is accepting registration through Oct. 10. Those interested in attending Great Bend’s Disability Mentoring Day can contact Cody Harris at 620-792-1321, or by e-mail charris@sunflowerdiv.com.


Find more about Disability Mentoring Day online, https://www.aapd.com/disability-mentoring-day/

Follow us on Facebook

For more information, contact Cody Harris, Sunflower Diversified Services, 620-792-1321

October 4, 2019
Story by: Michael Dawes, director of PR, Rosewood Services, 620-639-0407, MichaelD@rosewoodservices.com

<![CDATA[Rosewood Rodeo with Free Family Entertainment Coming to Expo III Oct. 5]]> http://rosewoodservices.com/site/rosewood-rodeo-advance10-19 http://rosewoodservices.com/site/rosewood-rodeo-advance10-19#When:14:40:00Z {image_1}

Where can families go to enjoy a free, fun rodeo experience for their children? They can attend the 15th Annual Rosewood Rodeo, scheduled for Oct. 5 from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Great Bend Expo III Arena, two miles west on 10th and Patton Road.

The annual rodeo is one of the most important days of the year for equine-therapy riders from Rosewood Services who practice their riding skills at Rosewood Ranch on a weekly basis throughout the year. The ranch is a full-working horse ranch near Pawnee Rock where people with developmental disabilities learn to ride and care for approximately 75 horses.

Throughout the Rosewood Rodeo, families can experience children’s activities and games, face painting, and wagon rides. It’s a come-and-go event for spectators, so they can choose the times they wish to attend.

Rosewood Rodeo’s grand entry and flag ceremony is scheduled for 10 a.m. Then, throughout the day, therapeutic rodeo events will be held for Rosewood Services riders, including an event for children riders, followed by the award ceremony at approximately 3:30 p.m. Reasonably priced Chuck Wagon Concessions are available, which includes a pulled pork lunch.

In between the day’s rodeo events are two performances by the award winning all-female “Twisters of the Heartland” horse riding drill team. Twisters will perform at 10:30 a.m. and again at 2 p.m. (All performance times are approximate.) The Twisters, from Chanute, Kan., will feature two different programs during each performance.


During the rodeo, the public can participate in a silent auction, where you can expect to find excellent deals on merchandise, with all bids closing at 3 p.m.  Proceeds from the auction go to Rosewood’s non-profit Roots & Wings Foundation. The foundation provides therapeutic, educational and recreational opportunities to people in need who have developmental disabilities.

Plan to attend any or all of the days’ events while browsing tack-shop merchandise, which will be available throughout the day.

Below is a listing of events slated for this year’s Rosewood Rodeo:
Family Fun! No Admittance Fee
● Kids’ Games and Activities, including Face Painting
● Horse Drawn Wagon Rides
● Twisters of the Heartland Drill Team Performances
● Tack Shop with Novelties and Rosewood Client-Made Items
● Silent Auction
● Chuck Wagon Concessions, including Pulled Pork Lunch
● Three Rodeo Events by Rosewood Services Adult Riders
● One Rodeo Event by Rosewood Services Children Riders
● Staff Races
● Award Ceremony for Rodeo Participants


Find more about Rosewood Services online, RosewoodServices.com

Follow us on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/RosewoodServices/

For more information, contact Michael Dawes, Director of PR, MichaelD@rosewoodservices.com, 620-639-0407

September 18, 2019

Story by: Michael Dawes, director of PR, Rosewood Services, 620-639-0407, MichaelD@rosewoodservices.com

<![CDATA[Quilting Classes in Session at Rosewood Gallery]]> http://rosewoodservices.com/site/rw-quilting-class8-19 http://rosewoodservices.com/site/rw-quilting-class8-19#When:19:30:00Z A Stitch In Time


Rosewood Gallery in downtown Great Bend is a place known for heirloom quality, solid-wood furniture. But it is quietly becoming a place known for quality quilting, too.

That’s because Rosewood Gallery Lead Sherri Nickelson, an expert quilter, has been teaching her love of quilting, crocheting and sewing to some of Rosewood’s clients, who have shown a desire to learn the skilled process. For more than a year, a handful of Rosewood clients have participated weekly in sewing projects that involve quilting or crocheting. 

“It started with a few of them and as others got interested, it has grown,” explained Nickelson. 
About an hour is about all that they can handle each session, so we move slow, but we are consistent with working on the projects every week. We stagger the sessions throughout the week, so that we can work with them individually.”

Nickelson teaches each client one or two days a week. The net result is a collection of baby quilts that will be donated this fall to a local organization in need of the blankets. She also has one client, Debbie Wasinger, who prefers to crochet, so Nickelson works with her to create dish cloths.

“She’s been learning to count stiches and that takes extra patience, but she’s been able to complete several dish cloths,” said Nickelson. “That’s a big accomplishment for anyone learning to crochet.”

On the other hand, quilt making is a team project, explained Nickelson. Each client does work on the same quilt until that quilt is completed. 

“For instance, Jesse (Kerns) just completed the work on the top part of the quilt we are working on; now he knows next week when he comes in to sew, he’ll work on a different quilt,” explained Nickelson. “They see the end product and know that they had an important hand in a group effort. It’s just another concept to keep clients engaged and involved who show an interest in something and want diversification in the workplace.”

Next project up for the sewing group is a patch-work quilt. Nickelson said she creates the designs each time, making them a bit different to keep the interest of her students. She is also preparing to introduce embroidery into their sewing projects. 

“We are thankful to have Sherri working with our clients,” said Tammy Hammond, Rosewood Services Executive Director. “Her ability to share her talents by patiently teaching each individual is remarkable. I enjoy seeing their progress!”


Find more about Rosewood Services online, http://RosewoodServices.com

Follow us at facebook.com/RosewoodServices

For more information, contact Sherri Nickelson, Rosewood Furniture Gallery Lead, gallery@rosewoodservices.com, 620-793-8599.

August 15, 2019
Story by: Michael Dawes, director of public relations, Rosewood Services, 620-792-2536, MichaelD@rosewoodservices.com

<![CDATA[Kansas Chamber Senior Director Tours Rosewood Services]]> http://rosewoodservices.com/site/ks-chamber-rw-tour7-19 http://rosewoodservices.com/site/ks-chamber-rw-tour7-19#When:19:42:00Z {image_1}

Bryan Frye received an “eye-opening” experience when he toured Rosewood Services on July 15. The Kansas Chamber senior director of Investor Relations spent the day touring a dozen Rosewood locations with Rosewood’s Executive Director Tammy Hammond. 

“I was surprised numerous times on my tour,” said Frye, who regularly tours businesses in his role with the Kansas Chamber. “It’s amazing how that many resources are there in Great Bend, with Rosewood providing so many different services to people with developmental disabilities. It was quite an eye-opener for me.”

Frye and Hammond toured Rosewood Bargain Barn, Furniture Gallery, Wine Cellar and “Santas Around the World” in downtown Great Bend. They also toured client employment areas, including the Maintenance Building, Studio, Greenhouse, Ranch and Winery, the Rosewood Employment Network office, and a future training location, which is under construction. It made for a full day for the Kansas Chamber representative, who said he is always interested in learning how he can help and work with member businesses, like Rosewood Services.

For nearly 100 years, the Kansas Chamber of Commerce has been in existence as an advocate for businesses and chambers across the state. The mission of the Kansas Chamber of Commerce, according to the organization’s website, is to continually strive to improve the economic climate for the benefit of every business and citizen and to safeguard our system of free, competitive enterprise.

“We’ve got mom-and-pop operators to giant industries with thousands of employees who we represent,” said Frye. “It’s varied. I will tell you that we don’t have many like Rosewood, and so that is unique and a great benefit to the Great Bend area.”


Hammond said she is grateful to Frye and to the Kansas Chamber of Commerce for taking time to get to know Rosewood Services and its business ventures, which benefit people with developmental disabilities and the Great Bend community.

“It’s easier to understand our business model, once you’ve toured our programs, employment locations, and our retail stores,” explained Hammond. “That way, you are able to see how they all interact with each other. Bryan took the time to see and experience the many facets of Rosewood Services. He is genuinely interested in helping us to move forward, and I believe our partnership with the Kansas Chamber is made stronger because of his visit.”


Find more about Rosewood Services online, http://rosewoodservices.com

July 23, 2019
Story by: Michael Dawes, director of public relations, Rosewood Services, 620-639-0407, MichaelD@rosewoodservices.com

<![CDATA[Longtime Case Manager Retires from Rosewood Services]]> http://rosewoodservices.com/site/deb-smith-retires-6-19 http://rosewoodservices.com/site/deb-smith-retires-6-19#When:19:30:00Z ‘The only thing I ever really wanted to do’


June 28th marked the end of an era for Rosewood Services.  Case manager Deb Smith retired after a 15-year career with the organization. As she walked out the door with loads of retirement gifts and cards expressing sentiments, following a late-afternoon reception on her behalf, she left a career in providing supports for people with developmental disabilities that spanned 33 years.

"I had a cousin who was born with down syndrome; that was 50 years ago," remembered Smith. "I used to take her out and we’d get in trouble together. That’s what made me want to work in this field; it’s the only thing I ever really wanted to do in my work life."

She came to Rosewood in February 2004 as a case manager, after 18 years of providing direct care service with another organization in Macksville. In her role as case manager, in a rewarding-but-challenging field that typically spans just five years, Smith proved to be a great fit for the position, said Vicki Schmitt, senior director of Rosewood Services.

“Deb is one of the good, old fashioned people who will get the job done,” said Schmitt. “She doesn’t give up easily and she always goes the extra mile for her clients. I believe it’s her tenacity, the satisfying work she’s been able to do, and the Rosewood atmosphere that has kept her with us for so long. At the end of the day, she has simply loved what she does.”

Smith said she received the most satisfaction in her job by seeing clients succeed in life, no matter their disability. Through more than three decades, she’s experienced the gamut from helping clients to learn to tie their shoe laces, to seeing them successfully budget money in an ABLE account and taking steps toward independence.  

“I had a client who worked 4 ½ months to tie his shoe and when he did, his excitement level was like he just received $1 million,” Smith remembered. “Humility is to watch them struggle to do something that is so easy for us, and to experience their satisfaction when they can successfully do the task.”

Smith had actually planned to retire a year earlier, but decided to stay with Rosewood for the extra time to ensure a smooth transition. Jericah Villalpando, who previously served in a case management support role, has been hired as her replacement. Villapando spent the month of May shadowing Smith and then they reversed roles through June with Smith shadowing Villapando.

“Transition can be a very emotional time for our clients,” said Smith. “I have one adult client who has had just two case managers her whole life. The first was Vicki Schmitt and the other is me. But I feel like our clients are in a good place; Jericah has done wonderfully in her new role.”

Smith is also having to process change. She is leaving co-workers, many of whom she has built strong friendships with over the years. She is especially appreciative of their support while she recovered many months from a serious car accident seven years ago.

"The comradery we established among the employees is what I will always remember and I will greatly miss it," said Smith. "Like when I had my wreck; the care that was offered and support I received was unbelievable. Tammy (Hammond, executive director of Rosewood Services) made sure I was taken care of, while I was in the hospital and recovering at home. You just don’t get that attention and care everywhere. I am forever grateful."

Now in retirement, Smith turns her attention to providing daycare to three great grandchildren –  twin toddlers and an infant. She’ll also continue helping Rosewood by serving as guardian to several clients, a role she has filled for the past decade. 

"Deb has been a tremendous asset and such a positive role model to Rosewood and to the people she has served as case manager over the years," said Tammy Hammond, executive director of Rosewood Services. "I commend her steadfast dedication in helping people with disabilities for more than three decades. She is the consummate professional and an excellent advocate for those we serve. While I am sad that she is retiring from Rosewood, I know that she will stay connected with our folks and our agency for many years to come."



Find more about Rosewood Services online, http://rosewoodservices.com

For more information, contact Vicki Schmitt, Rosewood Services senior director, vickis@rosewoodservices.com, 620-793-5888.

July 8, 2019
Story by: Michael Dawes, director of public relations, Rosewood Services, 620-639-0407, MichaelD@rosewoodservices.com

<![CDATA[Rosewood AKTION Club Members Learn Advocacy at State Conference]]> http://rosewoodservices.com/site/rw-sack-conf-6-19 http://rosewoodservices.com/site/rw-sack-conf-6-19#When:13:14:00Z {image_1}

Eleven members of Rosewood Services’ AKTION Club, along with three sponsors, “rolled” into Topeka last weekend for the Self Advocate Coalition of Kansas Conference. This year’s theme for the annual SACK Conference was “That’s How We Roll.”

Attending the conference for Kansans with disabilities were Rosewood Miracle Worker AKTION Club members Kurtis Coleman, David Edwardson, Rae Griffin, Shae Griffin, Michael Manka, Lindsey Nondorf, Samantha Purcell, Josh Radar, Ivan Smith, Abbey Stanley, and Josh Trimmer. Also attending this year’s conference were AKTION Club sponsors Frankie Pelster, Tahcoa Strachan, and Tabitha Sanders.

The SACK Conference, held June 21-23 at the Ramada Inn, was an opportunity for people with developmental disabilities to meet, share and learn from each other and from experts in the field. Participants of this year’s annual conference had opportunity to choose from 14 workshops during four learning sessions that were held last Saturday.

“The conference is beneficial because organizers do a tremendous job of teaching our members leadership skills and how to have a voice in our community,” said AKTION Club sponsor Frankie Pelster. Our members come back from the conference and share their experiences with others, so it has a positive effect on our whole organization. They also learn to advocate for those who cannot advocate for themselves.”

At the start of the conference, participants heard from keynote speaker Parker Glick, a lifelong self-advocate who works for the Statewide Independent Council of Georgia in Atlanta.

Among the sessions offered, Pelster said that Basic Self Defense, parts 1 and 2, instructed by self-advocate Roger Crome, were the most popular among many of the attendees. They also participated in sessions regarding money management, trauma and abuse prevention and care, integrated work settings, grassroots advocacy, and they got to hear from “Ms. Wheelchair Kansas” and “Little Miss Wheelchair Kansas,” who talked about their respective competition journeys.

The SACK Quarterly meeting was held late Saturday afternoon with Shae Griffin representing Rosewood AKTION Club at the meeting. Saturday’s events concluded with a dinner, a dance, and an opportunity to participate in an art workshop.

“The ride home from the conference on Sunday was very quiet because most of them were sleeping,” said Pelster. “It’s a long weekend for everyone involved, but it’s worth every minute of it.”



Find more about Rosewood Services Inc. online, http://rosewoodservices.com

For more information, contact Frankie Pelster, AKTION Club Sponsor, employmentspecialist@rosewoodservices.com, 620-603-6502.

June 25, 2019
Story by: Michael Dawes, director of PR, Rosewood Services, 620-639-0407, MichaelD@rosewoodservices.com

<![CDATA[‘Kids Day’ at Rosewood Ranch Brings Fun and Excitement for Children]]> http://rosewoodservices.com/site/kids-day-ranch6-19 http://rosewoodservices.com/site/kids-day-ranch6-19#When:15:12:00Z {image_1}

More than 65 energetic children ventured out to enjoy the ninth annual “Kids Day at the Ranch” on June 8, presented by Rosewood Services.

Children participated in “Kids Day” activities, which included trail-pattern horse riding, horse-drawn wagon rides, cake walk, and getting to delight in the scrumptious taste of sno cones and corn dogs. Kids Day also featured fun farm chores, water games, face painting, and coloring ranch-themed pages.  {image_2}

Rosewood Ranch, located five miles north of Pawnee Rock, provides year-round therapeutic horse riding for children with developmental disabilities. The Ranch opens one day each year to its children riders and their siblings, as well as to children of Rosewood Services employees.

“Kids Day has become a special day annually for our Rosewood community,” said Tammy Hammond, executive director of Rosewood Services. “It’s an exciting day for the children, who get a fun glimpse of ranch life. It’s also a special time for families where they get to experience quality time and create memories.

“We thank everyone who participated, including all of our volunteers who made this year’s event a success.”


Find more about Rosewood Services Inc. online, http://rosewoodservices.com

For more information, contact Anna Hammond, Rosewood Services, annah@rosewoodservices.com, 620-793-5888

June 14, 2019
Story by: Michael Dawes, director of public relations, Rosewood Services, 620-639-0407, MichaelD@rosewoodservices.com

<![CDATA[Rosewood Coordinates Purchase of Tricycle for Teen with Disabilities]]> http://rosewoodservices.com/site/detello-trike-donation6-19 http://rosewoodservices.com/site/detello-trike-donation6-19#When:21:28:00Z Rosewood Services coordinated the purchase of a specialized tricycle for a Pawnee Rock teenager with special needs. Italia De Tello, 17, received her new trike in mid-May, two years after her previous tricycle was mangled in a tornado that swept through Pawnee Rock. The purchase of the trike was made possible by contributions of three entities: Rosewood Roots & Wings Foundation, Southwest Developmental Services Inc., and Salina AMBUCS Breakfast Bandits.

“The De Tellos are such a giving family; they’ve done a wonderful job of always trying to make the world a better place,” said Vicki Schmitt, senior director of Rosewood Services. “They are very deserving of this donation.”


The project began several months earlier with a request from Anita De Tello, mother of Italia, to Schmitt. Other needs had already been addressed for Italia in previous person center planning meetings, but Italia still needed the specialized tricycle that provides balance and coordination when she rides. The new mint-green trike with white wall wheels was finally purchased from Golden Belt Bicycle Shop in Great Bend and delivered to her.

“The bike is a miraculous blessing for us,” said Ted De Tello, who operates Praise Ranch in Pawnee Rock, along with his wife Anita.

The Ranch is a faith-based ministry, which provides emergency placement and serves as a first responder of children in need. The Praise Ranch facility suffered significant damage during the tornado, and the gymnasium took a direct hit from the storm. That’s where the children’s bicycles were parked, leaving them in a mangled heap.

“All their bikes were just one big ball from the tornado” explained Anita. “It made a sculpture of bikes.”

Operating a faith-based charity and with expensive repairs still needed for their tornado-damaged building, the couple has worked diligently to replace all of the bicycles for their children. After nearly two years, only the trike for Italia was missing because of its expense. Now, having bikes for all six of their girls is a significant event, said Ted.

“The bikes are important because they give our family an outside experience together,” he said, adding that they ride bikes twice daily, weather permitting. “This is our circle of trust with Italia; we do everything together as a family. We include her in everything because she is a key ingredient of our family. Now, she has her bike to join in once again.”


What was Italia’s reaction when she saw her tricycle for the first time?

“She was thrilled, about like if you came out and had a Maserati sitting in your garage, or a Countach or a Porche 911,” explained Ted. “That’s how big her joy was.”

Added Anita, “Her sisters wanted to get on it and try it, but that wasn’t happening. That’s her bike!”

Anita has witnessed an additional benefit to Italia receiving her new tricycle. Living with autism, it can be difficult for Italia to express her feelings. The oldest of her siblings, the trike has now allowed Italia to outwardly express her independence, eight months after her younger sister, Isabella, began driving.

“I noticed Italia getting a bit more frustrated, a little more vocal than normal and I think it was because she saw her younger sister driving and doing these things that she’s not able to do,” explained Anita. “The bike has given her that independence. Being able to ride outside, she calls it her car. She hops on her car and now she is able to drive, too. She feels like her sister, actually able to drive something and in control of something. I think there is something to be said for special needs people and bikes.

“It’s amazing that three organizations pooled together to make this happen for her, said Anita. “We are so thankful for their donation to Italia and to our family.”


Find more about Rosewood Services online, http://rosewoodservices.com

For more information, contact Sue Cooper, Rosewood Roots & Wings Foundation Director, suec@rosewoodservices.com, 620-796-2242.

June 6, 2019
Story by: Michael Dawes, director of public relations, Rosewood Services, 620-639-0407, MichaelD@rosewoodservices.com