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Angel Tree benefits Sunflower Diversified adult clients
new slt sunflower tree
Sunflower Diversified Services and Great Bend Regional Hospital (GBRH) have teamed up to offer special gifts at Christmas to Sunflowers adult clients. From left to right are: Maryann Keener and Jacquie Disque, both representing GBRH; and Amanda Urban and Connie Oetken, both representing Sunflower. - photo by COURTESY PHOTO

              A Community Adult Angel Tree decorated with ornaments representing adult clients at Sunflower Diversified Services is now located in the east lobby at Great Bend Regional Hospital (GBRH).  December 1917.

“Sunflower and the hospital are partners in this effort to make Christmas a little brighter for adults who rely on our services,” said Connie Oetken, director of development. “We encourage people to stop by and choose an angel that depicts the wants and needs of a certain individual. This allows the donor to select an appropriate gift.

“We truly appreciate the support of Great Bend Regional Hospital,” Oetken said. “This kind of partnership is so important to our clients.”

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

The ornaments and gifts should be returned to the hospital by Friday, Dec. 22.

Most of Sunflower’s adult clients work at the non-profit agency’s manufacturing plant and/or in community jobs. However, their paychecks and tax revenues fall short of meeting all their needs.

“Our Community Angel Tree is giving central Kansans a new way to support our clients,” Oetken said. “You can be assured they will appreciate the gifts and put them to good use.”

            In addition to Oetken, those who helped get this project underway are Amanda Urban, Sunflower director of adult services; Maryann Keener, GBRH chief nursing officer; and Jacquie Disque, GBRH registered nurse.

            “It is so nice to see this cooperation from the hospital’s personnel,” Oetken commented. “It is gratifying to know that members of our community understand that their neighbors with delays and disabilities need a helping hand.”

            Disque noted GBRH is always looking for ways to be present in the community and making lives better.

            “When Sunflower approached us about this project, it seemed like the perfect fit,” Disque said. “Since we care for patients of all ages and from all walks of life, every day we see people who could use a little extra help.

            “Providing a venue for the Community Adult Angel Tree gives us the opportunity to help make someone’s Christmas a little merrier,” she added.

            As this project grows in the future, ornaments will represent Sunflower clients and other adults in the community.

            Sunflower is in its 51styear of serving central Kansas families.