Thanks to the public’s generosity, Sunflower’s Early Education Center (EEC) and Incredible Years Preschool are now equipped with a new high-tech security system.
The local 100 Who Care group paid for 60 percent of the system; additional contributions paid the balance.
“These systems are expensive but well worth the investment. We have a responsibility to help ensure the safety of our children and their families,” said Jon Prescott, Sunflower Diversified Services executive director. “Parents are very grateful we have taken this step.
“The drop-off and pick-up times before and after preschool may take a bit longer,” Prescott continued. “But everyone seems to agree that it is a small price to pay for keeping children safe.”
Sunflower owns and operates the preschool and the EEC, both at 1312 Patton in Great Bend. The non-profit agency serves infants, toddlers and adults with developmental disabilities and delays in Barton, Pawnee, Rice, Rush and Stafford counties.
INA Alert, a national security firm based in Ellinwood, installed the camera system, as well as the electronic badge locks.
The company has an “incredible amount of experience” in commercial camera security systems; it uses Avigilon, which is the leading state-of-the-art technology, Prescott said.
In addition, Architectural Openings, Hutchinson, provided oversight for the specialized entrance and exit systems.
The security system works like this:
The receptionist will personally identify visitors via an intercom system and camera just outside the front door. Once they are identified, the door will be electronically unlocked to allow entrance.
The security badge functions as a key for staff to unlock the entrance. Each badge has a code that is recorded each time they enter and exit.
The recent 100 Who Care donation to Sunflower came to $10,800. However, some of that was used as seed money for Caregivers Count, a new support group, and hearing-test equipment.
“The generosity of 100 Who Care was an unexpected blessing,” Prescott said. “This organization consists of the most generous people in central Kansas. It has helped so many non-profit organizations.”
100 Who Care Chairwoman Julie Mazouch said the best part of the organization is that members who attend its quarterly meetings vote on the donation recipients.
“The fact that Sunflower was chosen illustrates that our members really care about its mission,” Mazouch said. “It is great to help a non-profit entity accomplish a project that it couldn’t have tackled without this kind of support.”
Mazouch also noted that the group’s members are “busy people who have limited free time. But they have big hearts for helping worthy causes in our area. They are helping make big things happen and we are really proud of our members for their accomplishments.”
Since it launched in early 2017, 100 Who Care has donated more than $60,000. Each member donates $100 during each one-hour quarterly meeting.
Sunflower is in its 52nd year.