Representatives offer a look at their programs
The El Dorado City Commission heard updates from two organizations during its meeting last week. Representatives were on hand from Sunlight Children's Advocacy and Rights Foundation and El Dorado Main Street to give updates on their programs.
Suzi Thien, SCARF executive director, talked about the programs under SCARF.
"It's nice to come here and see some familiar faces," she said, thanking them for their support.
SCARF was incorporated in 2004 and opened its first program, the Sunlight Children's Advocacy Center, in 2007 in El Dorado. This is a place for alleged victims of child abuse to be interviewed. The children are brought there through law enforcement and social workers.
Volunteers at the CAC follow a case from start to finish.
Since they have opened, they have completed more than 1,200 interviews at the CAC.
"El Dorado's numbers are pretty high," Thien said. "A big reason is location. We are right here and the law enforcement people have been incredible. They use us and hopefully we are providing them with a good service. We are just the facilitators."
She said they have 10 standards they have to follow and they have to go through accreditation every five years, which they passed again last year.
Their second program is the Sunshine Children's Home which opened in October 2014 in Andover.
They projected 100 children in the first year and on their one-year anniversary date they served their 400th child, with them up to 558 children at the end of February.
Thien said there are only a few facilities of their kind in the state and they have received children from 49 counties in the state.
"Another important reason they come to the Sunlight Children's Home, our staff is incredible," she said. "The majority of the children I would say come to us at night and through the middle of the night. They welcome these children and they take care of them."
She said one day they may not have any children there and then last week one day they had 13.
"I want to thank you, El Dorado, you have been with us since before we opened," Thien said.
Mayor Vince Haines offered his thanks to Thien and everyone at her organization.
El Dorado Main Street
EMS Director Emily Connell told the commission a lot had happened in 2015 at Main Street and downtown El Dorado.
"I just want to thank you for your support for last year and look forward to your continued support this year," Connell said.
She provided the commissioners with her annual report.
"It has been a big year of transition for us," Connell said.
She said they have a new board president, vice president and treasurer, as well as new offices.
"We've been working at refreshing out program," she continued. "A recommitment to the methodology of Main Street and the way it has served this community in the past and how we want to go forward."
She mentioned the fact the state Main Street has reinstituted itself and will be recoordinating the programs.
Main Street will continue to have the same four basic pillars: organization, promotion, economic vitalization and design. Under those pillars is the Frontier Western Committee, which will be in its 10th year this year, as well as the Artscape Committee.
"You also have a new promotions chair, Jennifer Wilson, who has been refreshing and changing the Christmas holiday," Connell said. "We collaborated this year with the county and Kansas Oil Museum. The Oil Museum usually has around 100 people and this year they had over 800 people. The theme will always be ‘Old Fashioned Christmas,’ and we will build on that."
There also is a new chair for the Trick or Treat with Main Street. Last year they reoriented everything to Gordy Park and this year they have worked with some retailers to include some blocks of Main Street and have Gordy Park for those businesses who want to participate but are not on Main Street.
Other projects included two downtown cleanups.
"For me, personally, I am very interested in economic vitalization and that whole part of making our downtown a destination," she said. "That is our primary goal as an organization."
She also said they have received 100 percent positive feedback for improving the core area.
"There has been since last summer a real growing spirit of collaboration between the Chamber, Inc, CVB and Main Street," Connell continued. "We meet monthly, at least."
She went on to talk about a partnership with the Butler County Times-Gazette for their visitor's guide and showed the map the Times-Gazette prints, which will now define the downtown district. Main Street also is creating a walking tour brochure.
"Everyone understands downtown has been a resource for our city and the designated center of our city," Connell said.