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Sunflower Diversified enhances efforts to support local communities
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Jon Prescott, standing far left, raises awareness about Sunflower Diversified Services at a luncheon in Stafford. As Sunflower’s executive director, Prescott talked about services, recycling and transportation. Standing far right is Julie Lyon, Sunflower board member and Stafford mayor.

         Sunflower Diversified Services has a long history of community involvement but the non-profit agency has stepped up its game in recent months.

            “We are really getting out more into each of the five counties we serve,” said Connie Oetken, Sunflower director of development. “Our main goal is to give back to all the communities that have given so much to Sunflower and the people we serve.

“We also want to raise awareness about the many services we offer, while interacting with long-time supporters and making new friends.”

Sunflower serves infants, toddlers and adults with intellectual disabilities and delays in Barton, Pawnee, Rice, Rush and Stafford counties.

Some examples of the events and causes that Sunflower supports include: Rush Center’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration; Eagle Radio Home Show; auctions for CASA, Barton Community College Foundation and Family Crisis Center; D.A.R.E. program; Hoisington Labor Day Parade; Larned State Theatre movies; Chamber of Commerce Coffees in Great Bend, Hoisington, Ellinwood and Larned; Fair on the Square in Lyons; and Great Bend Airfest.

            For the first time, Sunflower will participate in the Hoisington EMS barbecue on May 23.

In addition, Sunflower sponsors its Pancake Feed, Charity Gala and Krispy Kreme sales; agency representatives also speak to civic groups.

“Staff and clients volunteer to help support these activities,” Oetken said. “While some occur during business hours, the vast majority are after hours and on weekends.

“This is a great illustration of how much Sunflower cares for its communities. Staff and clients don’t have to do these things; they choose to do these things.”

Sunflower’s Board of Directors and Foundation Board of Trustees also pitch in at many events.

“While we hope we are helping our communities, we also see the benefits to clients who participate in local activities,” Oetken commented. “Clients have so much fun being out and about, and interacting with their neighbors.”

Any organization that wants to include Sunflower in its community activity is encouraged to contact Oetken by calling 620-792-1325.

Sunflower is in its 53rd year.