Special Needs Adults at Cardinals Game

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Last Sunday, November 16, two Ranchers got to go see the Arizona Cardinals game against the Detroit Lions!

Here’s how it happened: Greg goes to Parkside Community Church in Camp Verde. Parkside had a “Bring a Friend to Church” Sunday a few weeks ago, and Greg decided to invite one of his newer housemates, Chris, to attend church with him. Parkside had two drawings for a pair of tickets each – one for the member who brought a friend and one for the friends in attendance. Greg and Chris each won a pair of tickets for a professional football game in Phoenix!

A staff member and her husband were more than willing to chauffeur the two and go to the game and out to dinner – what a great treat!

So the happy group stopped for a quick lunch on the way out of town and made it to the University of Phoenix Stadium, where the Cardinals play their home games, just as the Cards made their first touchdown, within the first few minutes of the game. High fives for everyone!

Special Needs adults at game

Greg and Chris outside University of Phoenix Stadium for a home Cardinals football game

Another touchdown for the Cardinals and two field goals for the Lions made the score 14-6 at halftime. Popcorn was a welcome snack during the game, and didn’t seem to dampen anyone’s appetite when dinnertime came around.

The score didn’t change at all in the second half! The ball moved back and forth but never got over the goal line again, so they left the winning game in a high level of excitement.

Applebee’s was the next stop, for a filling meal and a little rest before heading up the hill toward Camp Verde and Rainbow Acres. It was an exciting day!

Many thanks to Parkside Community Church for making such a great day for two men with developmental disabilities, both of whom love sports of all kinds!

cognitively challenged men love popcorn

Popcorn was a yummy snack

40th Anniversary Celebration Highlights

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Rainbow Acres is a 50 acre Christian community that provides caring homes and lives of purpose and dignity for adults with developmental disabilities, called Ranchers. These are some of the most undervalued and vulnerable individuals in the U.S. They are unable to successfully sustain an independent lifestyle, but with the support of trained staff and enrichment programs, their lives are full of joy and fulfillment. At present, nearly 100 adults with developmental disabilities live at Rainbow Acres.

Begun in 1974 as a dream of Baptist pastor Ralph Showers, Rainbow Acres is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. On October 24 and 25, 2014, several events highlighted the celebration.

During the Founders Luncheon on Friday, October 24, Ralph spoke enthusiastically about some of the challenges of the first few years, including his accident involving a high-voltage power line, resulting in the loss of his lower arms and hands and the struggle of learning to use prosthetic hooks to manage everyday tasks. He signed copies of his book “Reach for a Rainbow” following the luncheon.

Disabled man signs book

Ralph Showers autographs his book “Reach for a Rainbow”

New, modern homes providing private bedrooms for ten Ranchers each has been a top priority for President and CEO Gary Wagner almost from the beginning of his leadership in 1996. Friday mid-afternoon saw the blessing of the construction site for Oikos House, which will be the twelfth new home for Ranchers built since 2000. Oikos is being funded by American Baptist Churches of Los Angeles, the Southwest and Hawaii. A dedication ceremony and receptions were also held for newly completed Casa Esperança (Hope House) and Aria House.

New homes for adults with developmental disabilities

Betsy Perkins, Rainbow Chaplain, stands with Gary and Jussara Wagner and Art and Patricia Van Dyck at the dedication of new Rancher houses.

That evening a sumptuous dinner and exciting silent and live Benefit Auction raised over $71,000 for the Rancher Scholarship Fund, allowing help for those who call Rainbow home, but who have been unable to keep up with the rising costs of care through having limited or no support from family.

On Saturday, October 25 an Open House allowed members of the public and Rancher families to participate in tours of the new homes, pet and feed a menagerie of unusual animals, watch a demonstration of equestrian skills and enjoy a Rancher Choir program. All Rancher-made crafts were made available to browse and purchase, a special competition was held in Bocce Ball, Basketball and Track and Field, and a grilled hot dog and ice cream made a fine al fresco lunch.

Saturday evening we honored our “Quadragenarians” at the Gala Banquet. These four Ranchers have lived at Rainbow Acres since 1974. Gary Wagner showed a view of the past, celebrated the present, and shared a vision for the future, and everyone enjoyed a performance by Matt Savage, a young savant pianist with Autism.

All in all, it was a wonderful and successful celebration of 40 fabulous years of providing homes with heart for adults with developmental disabilities!

Rainbow Acres on the front page!

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Click on the link below to see the front page story in today’s local newspaper, the Camp Verde Bugle:

http://cvbugle.com/main.asp?SectionID=1&SubSectionID=1&ArticleID=44523

We are so happy and blessed to have the SOWERs choose to come to Rainbow Acres, to help our Christian residential community for adults with developmental disabilities!

Over the years, SOWERs have contributed more than 18,000 volunteer hours to serve our mission and we thank them sincerely!

AZ Charitable Tax Credit

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Tax time for 2014 will be coming up before you know it, and if you live in Arizona you can decide where some of your tax dollars go!

Disabled adults works

Pauline works shredding papers

THE BASICS: Rainbow Acres is a 50 acre Christian community that provides caring homes and lives of purpose and dignity for adults with developmental disabilities, called Ranchers. These are some of the most undervalued and vulnerable individuals in the U.S. They are unable to successfully sustain an independent lifestyle. Vocational Training is one of many programs for the nearly 100 Ranchers now at Rainbow, including transportation and coaching for jobs offsite, as well as opportunities to contribute in a productive way to the well-being of their community within Rainbow Acres. Approximately two-thirds of our population require financial assistance to cover the monthly cost of care, so we qualify as a Charity for the Working Poor.

DID YOU KNOW: You can receive a dollar-for-dollar tax credit when you give to Rainbow Acres! If you have a tax liability to the State of Arizona, your designated gift will come back to you as a credit when you file. And, since Rainbow is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization, your contribution is also deductible on your Federal return to the full extent of the IRS Code.

 

Sedona Recycling

Charles is one of many Ranchers who work at Sedona Recycling

HOW IT WORKS: Donate to Rainbow Acres. For donations by check, please specify “AZ Charitable Tax Credit” on the memo line and mail to 2120 W Reservation Loop Rd, Camp Verde, AZ 86322-8408. For donations by credit card, you may give your donation online by using the “Donate Online” button on our website. On the secure Online Giving page, under Gift Designation, choose “AZ Charitable Tax Credit”. Then when filing your State taxes for 2014, include Arizona Form 321 (available at www.azdor.gov/Forms/Credits.aspx). Couples filing a joint return can take the credit for up to $400 and those who file as single can take the credit for up to $200 each year. This tax credit is available in addition to any Arizona State Tax Credit donation you give to your favorite school! For next year, consider making monthly payments to make it easier to claim the full credit for which you are eligible, without having to come up with a large amount in December!

THANK YOU! Your charitable tax credit donation helps Ranchers bridge the gap between their income and the cost of care.

Disabled adult works

Matthew works for the National Park Service at Montezuma Well

Special Olympics Arizona helped by Ranchers

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Last week three Ranchers from Rainbow Acres helped out the Cottonwood Police Department during their Fry’s Fuel of Dreams event in Cottonwood.
All over the state of Arizona, Fry’s Fuel Stations worked with local law enforcement officers to raise money for Special Olympics Arizona. Detective James Repp contacted Rainbow Acres, knowing that Ranchers here have developmental disabilities and participate in Special Olympics locally, regionally and at State and even National levels.

Special Olympian helps raise funds

Jeff Malicki, left, helps a Cottonwood Police detective wash a windshield

So on Thursday, October 30 from 3:00 until 6:00 p.m., Ranchers Cindy Jerome, Larry Dakin and Jeff Malicki helped to wash windshields for patrons at the local Fry’s Fuel Station, and collected donations from generous drivers. The money collected goes to the funds that help pay for bocce courts, location usage fees and the other myriad costs involved in Special Olympics, so that special needs individuals can continue to exercise their bodies and gain self-confidence in a non-threatening and positive environment.

Collecting money for Special Olympics

Cindy Jerome adds a donation from a motorist to the collection for Special Olympics

We are proud to announce that the police officers and Ranchers collected $1,380 for that worthy cause! Fry’s offered a raffle ticket for any donations of $20, and the lucky winner won a $500 Fry’s gift card. Fry’s also lowered the price of gas to $2.89 per gallon, which really helped bring in customers and possible contributors!

adults with developmental disabilities

L-R: Jeff Malicki, Cindy Jerome and Larry Dakin at Fry’s Fuel of Dreams

The police officers all donated their own time after their shifts ended, and they were all enthusiastic and full of energy. They really enjoyed getting to know the Ranchers and helping with a good cause.
Thank you to Cottonwood Police officers and detectives – even Chief of Police Jody Fanning got involved! We were also joined by a member of the Yavapai County Adult Probation Department on her time off, and she climbed onto the SUVs and big trucks to wash those windshields too!
Overall it was a fun and educational afternoon – thanks to all who donated to this worthwhile cause!

40th Anniversary Events Successful

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All of our wonderful events to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Rainbow Acres were well attended and successful!

At Friday’s Founders Luncheon we honored Larry and Joy Goehner and Ralph and Marilyn Showers for their vision and faithfulness in making a dream come true for adults with developmental disabilities. The entire Showers family was here, and Ralph spoke with his signature humor and enthusiasm about some of the early times at Rainbow.

The Showers family came to honor the founding of Rainbow Acres

The Showers family came to honor the founding of Rainbow Acres

We dedicated two new Rancher houses, had a successful Benefit Auction, a well-attended Open House with beautiful weather and celebrated with a Gala Banquet on Saturday evening, where we honored four Ranchers who have all lived here since 1974! They are our “quadragenarians” – David Butler, Philip Crowley, Mike Mattingly and Jeff Pitts!

New homes for adults with developmental disabilities

Betsy Perkins, Rainbow Chaplain, stands with Gary and Jussara Wagner and Art and Patricia Van Dyck at the dedication of new Rancher houses.

You can read the story about our celebration and see a couple of photos from our Open House by clicking on this link to today’s Camp Verde Bugle:

 http://cvbugle.com/main.asp?SectionID=1&SubSectionID=991&ArticleID=44349