Futures Unlimited, Inc. News & Updates
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We invite you to read our general agency news! If you are looking for Early Childhood News for preschool or Early Head Start, please click HERE
2020 has been a doozy but our Futures family made the absolute BEST of it by being creative, energetic, and staying positive despite everything. This video is an end-of-year summation of a remarkable group of employees and the work they are incredibly committed to. We want to thank each and every staff member for the essential role they played in the lives of many this year.
We would like to take this opportunity to let the many direct support professionals (DSPs) who work at Futures Unlimited know how very much they are appreciated.
June 1, 2020 - COVID might have interrupted the preschool year for 109 preschoolers, but our amazing teaching staff adapted and continued to teach, lead crafts, DANCE, take field trips, and read to kids through video! Here is a small compilation of their efforts to stay connected to their students, encourage them to get up and MOVE their BODIES, and teach from afar. Thank you to our teaching staff and the grown-ups at home for partnering together to finish the school year STRONG!
May 1, 2020 - As we all continue to transition back to normal life (our transition will be more gradual than others) we felt it important to acknowledge what life has looked like over the past 71 days for our staff and the folks they serve. Outdoor games, Battleship, baking, crafting, Zoom meetings, drawing tutorials, basketball, long walks, card games, and fighting the almost-constant tug of restlessness…It’s not over, but the end IS IN SIGHT!
For employees everywhere, a little recognition can go a long way.

Recently, a couple of folks in Futures Unlimited’s supported employment program received some acknowledgment for a job well done while working their jobs at local businesses.
If a family has a need or goal – our staff are experts on local resources to point families toward the right kind of help.
In extraordinary weather like we’ve been having; it’s great to employ extraordinary employees who don’t hesitate to help out their colleagues.
An employment-minded, small group from Futures Unlimited attended the South Central Kansas Employment 1st Summit in El Dorado at Butler Community College Welcome Center last Friday. The day ended with a motivational speaker, Dan Meers, who is the Kansas City Chiefs mascot - the K.C. Wolf. Meers told of a harrowing experience of a stadium stunt gone wrong.
Children like Easton could be eligible to receive full day preschool services at Futures Unlimited, Inc. beginning in September thanks to a recent Head Start expansion.
January 2017 - Do you want to help Futures Unlimited? Are you a Dillon’s shopper? With the Dillon’s Community Rewards Program you can support Futures Unlimited just by shopping at Dillon’s!
(Click the image above to see a short video of individuals expressing their appreciation for DSPs.)

We would like to take this opportunity to let the many direct support professionals (DSPs) who work at Futures Unlimited know how very much they are appreciated.
While performing his job shredding the contents of a bin as a participant in vocational services offered at Futures Unlimited, Duane Williams happened upon an envelope containing cash and coins. What happened next was something Duane wasn't expecting.
February 2016 - Several folks served were thrilled to move into their BRAND NEW home this week--made possible by the generosity of a couple very near and dear to the Futures family. We are very grateful for their support!
  August 2015 - Jacob Pettigrew, a sophomore at Wellington High School, seized the opportunity presented to him to start playing boccia ball (pronounced ‘bot-cha’ like the word: gotcha) competitively and attended the national tournament in Gardener, KS this past summer. Pettigrew has Duchenne’s Muscular Dystrophy and is in a wheelchair.  Jacob’s grandfather, Bob Logan is his coach and both are brand new to boccia.   One of Pettigrew’s doctors at Children’s Mercy enc
April 2015 - As children file into the preschool classroom each day, with their parents helping them hang up their book bags and shrug off their coats, the classroom is alive with greetings, hugs, loud squeals of joy and sometimes a few tears. Many children love coming to a classroom that is filled with new songs, messy activities, toy-filled learning centers, outdoor fun and engaging teachers. But some children shrink back, startled by so many people and sounds. These few may resist some n
   April 2015 - For families struggling with poverty or other stressful factors affecting their well-being, taking time to plan for, schedule, attend and pay for their children’s health checks is not often attainable. Thanks to the ongoing support of our local health care community, dentist Gwen M Stalcup, DDS and family practice doctor Steve W. Hawks, DO, families enrolled in Futures Head Start or Early Head Start services have the opportunity to get the medical attention they ne
 March 2015 - Developmental Disabilities Awareness month reminds us to recognize people with disabilities as valuable, contributing members of our communities. Join us on Facebook this March as we celebrate the hopes and dreams of our friends and neighbors who have a disability at www.facebook.com/FuturesUnlimited.  Please also recognize and applaud the staff who help make their dreams come true. This observance also offers us the opportunity to express our thanks to th

December 23, 2014 – In the Kansas Star Casino’s 2nd annual Trees of Hope contest, nine area non-profits decorated Christmas trees on display at the casino. This was in an effort to win votes from the general public to raise money, awarded by the casino, for their cause.

Futures Unlimited, Inc. won

December 2014 – Futures Unlimited employees make some practical, hilarious and expensive suggestions for what they would like to find in their stocking this year – all pulled together in this video:
  December 2014 - As the annual Futures Staff Holiday Party drew to a close, Tom Kohmetscher, Futures' president/CEO invited the audience to direct their attention to the video screen for the final award of the night. Several members of the award recipient's family secretly filed into the back of the Knights of Columbus Hall to watch the video, which would reveal Molly Craig, case manager, had won the award.The Matthew Washington Award is named after a staff member who had endeared himself
  February 2014 - Three years after delving into a new business venture, with the goal of bringing in more job training opportunities for folks served in our vocational program, Futures Document Destruction Services has a good number of customers and is viable program component.  Customers in Wellington and Caldwell are provided with a locked 64-gallon document security container. They fill it, have it picked up, and their sensitive documents are shredded at our secure site. “I ap
August 2014 - As the sun peaked over the horizon early on August 15th, Barefoot Jerry’s--Wellington’s ‘pub ‘n grub’ eatery and bar located at 214 N Washington--was opening up at a most unusual hour.   August 15th marked Futures Unlimited’s annual Back to School Breakfast with Barefoot Jerry, a benefit for the men, women, children and families served through and by Futures. From 7-10 am patrons enjoyed a tasty breakfast skillet, a side of fruit and a cinnamon roll over a cup of co
   July 2014 - After getting elbow deep in the year-long planning process and weathering several delays, Futures goes “all in” and launches as a full-fledged Health Home partner for eligible folks with a chronic mental health condition. Health Homes were formed across the state to coordinate medical care under a “whole-person” philosophy. “Simply put, health homes services provide support to help people manage their health through health planning, learning about their conditions and ho
  September 2014 - WALT (Wellington Area Local Transit) provides almost 18,000  rides in a year, so trying to keep up with significant wear and tear on vehicles can sometimes be a  challenge. One new bus is a welcome addition to the WALT fleet, which transports passengers over 300 days out of the year. Made possible by a grant from KDOT (which covers 80% of the purchase of the vehicle), a Ford, Diamond Coach bus replaces a 2009-Ford StarTrans bus with over 125,000 miles. “Many in
May 2014 – Bill Loop brings 11 years of experience at Futures Unlimited, Inc. into the position of work products specialist. In this role he is responsible for procuring work contracts to give individuals with disabilities employment opportunities. While a majority of those opportunities are in the agency’s shop; he also works to secure community job opportunities as well.Bill has been an active part of the Futures family for several years starting as a direct support professional in both day an
Our direct support professionals do so much more than assist individuals with developmental disabilities. Watch the below video to find out!
 
They EMPOWER them by showing them how to live as independently as possible.
They INCLUDE them in everyday life.
They present OPPORTUNITIES to advance their skills and abilities.
They EMBODY the mission of Futures Unlimited.
 
If you know someone who might be a good fit as a direct support professional, send them a link to this video:
January 13, 2014 - Raising two children with special needs took a toll on Wellington mom, Jessica Paddock who suffered a heart attack just two months ago.
Victor and Jessica Paddock along with their three children were featured on an episode of The Doctor's, which is a daily television program with a panel of doctors discussing a variety of health topics. The Paddock family told their story on the show which began with the very early births of two of their children, Jaden and Aubrey who were b
December 19, 2013 - In the KS Star Casino’s inaugural Trees of Hope contest, ten area non-profits decorated Christmas trees on display in the casino in an attempt to win votes from casino patrons and other supporters to raise money for their cause. The first-place prize was $5,000, second-place was $2,500 and third was $1,000. On the evening of December 19th, the winners were revealed.
 
Surprisingly, there was a tie for first place between the DAV and Futures Unlimited. The YWCA w
December 2013 - In amusing video, employees and individuals served tell a few of their favorite things from 2013.
Merry Christmas!
 
December 2013 - As the annual Futures Staff Holiday Party drew to a close, Tom Kohmetscher, Futures' president/CEO invited the audience to direct their attend to the video screen for the final award of the night. Several members of the award recipient's family filed into the back of the American Legion to watch the video which would reveal Terry Horsch, Futures maintenance supervisor, had won the award.The video featured a heart-warming synopsis of the kind of person Matthew Washington was when
  October 2014 - Studies show children introduced to books early in life have a better chance of graduating from high school. Moreover, students who don’t read at age level are more likely to enter the juvenile and adult court systems. “Aside from the critical bonding that takes place when a parent reads to a child,” says Jennifer Biehler, Futures’ director of Head Start, “early literacy plays a huge role in a child’s ability to finish school, gain employment and contribute to society
November 2013 - The Futures Unlimited Board of Directors would like to announce Shiloh Rosenberg and Cari Cook have recently joined the board.

“Futures Unlimited, for almost 40 years now, has been fortunate to have dynamic, committed and knowledgeable community members at the helm of our organization,” says Futures President/CEO, Tom Kohmetscher. “With the addition of Cari and Shiloh to the board, we continue with that legacy and are excited about the experience, expertise

August 2013 - As the sun peaked over the horizon early on August 16th, Barefoot Jerry’s--Wellington’s ‘pub ‘n grub’ eatery and bar located at 214 N Washington--was opening up at a most unusual hour.
August 16th marked Futures Unlimited’s annual Back to School Breakfast with Barefoot Jerry, a benefit for the men, women, children and families served through and by Futures. From 7-10 am patrons enjoyed a tasty breakfast skillet, a side of fruit and a cinnamon
   October 2014 - Quarterly shop meetings give vocational program participants a chance to hear about upcoming contracts, receive training recognition and take care of general announcements. At the October shop meeting, workers learned of an additional job from a commercial equipment manufacturing company, which builds street machines from the ground up. “We’ve worked on floor mats as well as assembling bolt sets for one major industry in the Wichita area,” says Bill Loop, wo

June 2013 - Whether she is coaching a couple through labor and delivery concerns or calming a pregnant teen’s anxieties – teaching the community’s Pregnancy, Birth & Beyond classes is a fulfilling part of Melissa Provost’s duties as the health specialist for Futures Unlimited, Inc. since 2010. The classes are free and offered as a joint project with Sumner Regional Medical Center in Wellington.
As a nurse with 17 years of obstetrics and Emergency Room experience at
 
Wellington, Kan.-Nearly 100 supporters bundled up against unseasonably cold weather on Saturday, May 4, 2013 to support The Futures Unlimited, Inc. 4th Annual  “Walk a Mile in My Shoes” event held at Century Park.
“The annual spring event is held to draw attention to the needs of persons with intellectual/developmental disabilities living in our area,” states Trisha Logan, communications coordinator for Futures.  Some were walking in support of a loved
February 2013 - Sabrina Torneden brings 10 years of experience at Futures Unlimited, Inc. into the position of work products specialist. In this role she’s responsible for procuring work contracts to give individuals with disabilities employment opportunities. While a majority of these opportunities are in the agency’s shop; she also works to secure community job opportunities as well.
 
Sabrina has been an active part of the Futures family for several years starting as a dire
  December 2014 - When Bob Leftwich joined the Futures Unlimited Board of Directors in 1994, the agency was working to expand the Head Start program to meet the growing community needs, embarking on the HUD Northfield project, and was actively engaged in the restructuring of the State’s community developmental disabilities system and the closing of another large institution. “In many ways, the landscape then is much like the landscape today!” says Futures President/CEO Tom Kohmet
 
Every year Futures Unlimited employees nominate one of their peers to receive the most noteworthy employee award of the year - the Matthew Washington Award. This year's award recipient was Bill Loop.

The award is named after a beloved Futures employee who passed away in 1998.

Watch the video and learn why Matthew Washington exemplifies Futures and why Bill deserved this award.
Click HERE to view the award video.  
Delivering needed services to our county’s most vulnerable citizens in the form of transportation, direct support, family involvement, therapy, preschool services, case management or day services takes a person or two.
And if we might boast, we have among the best.
On December 1, 2012 at our annual staff holiday party, 13 employees were recognized for their combined 160 years of service to Futures. Among applause and cheers from their coworkers and remarks from Tom Kohmetscher, Futures
 
This holiday, give a gift that reflects the true spirit of the season by impacting lives in our community. Shop The Gold Corner and with your purchase of select pieces of Sarah's Hope Jewelry, 20% of your purchase will be donated to Futures Unlimited, Inc.
Sarah’s Hope is a unique and socially-responsible jewelry line that values local charitable giving. This gorgeous line of sterling silver and E’Sperene® stones are set in sophisticated, yet versatile, designs –




The Friday before school started, parents of school kids weren’t the only ones rushing around. As the sun was peeking over the horizon, Barefoot Jerry’s was open early brewing up coffee and serving breakfast to hungry patrons at a fundraising event for Futures.

“Two months ago we thought this sounded like a great idea,” Jerry Fike, owner of Barefoot Jerry’s said with a laugh. “But halfway through the breakfast we thought, ‘man this is a LOT

In December 2011, the Kansas Star Casino made a donation totaling $147,113 to seven area charities, including Futures.
The donation results from Kansas Star’s share of the net gaming revenue from the start-up controlled gaming exercise conducted prior to the casino’s opening to the public.
Futures received $21,016. The donation helped furnish and equip a home for four residents with disabling conditions, who each need a bit of help meeting the challenges of everyday life.
The
By: Shirley Theurer, Dir. of Childhood Programs
 Very young children (infants, toddlers, and preschoolers) need to develop good mental health. Over the first year of life, forming and maintaining attachments is a key developmental task. This task of forming secure, trusting relationships with parents and other caregivers usually develops naturally.
 When caregivers respond to children's bids for reassurance, children develop expectations that caregivers will be available for th
By: Joel Nichols, Father Involvement and Family Support Specialist
At the beginning of this school year, Futures made a commitment to focus on father engagement. As our new fatherhood program began, nobody knew exactly how many guys would show up at these events. I decided to focus on what I believe is the most important rule of being a good parent – to be there. The fathers in our program have proven they are ready and willing to do just that. Our event attendance steadily grew from 15
  Many of us remember neighborhood days filled with the voices of children building forts, digging in the dirt and climbing trees until mom called them home for dinner. Over the years, the free-play outdoor and learning days of childhood many adults recall from their youth have been replaced with indoor play, YouTube and video games. 

Prompted by mounting evidence of the importance of reconnecting children with nature, a vision was brought forth for an outdoor classroom at Futu

2020 has been a doozy but our Futures family made the absolute BEST of it by being creative, energetic, and staying positive despite everything. This video is an end-of-year summation of a remarkable
We would like to take this opportunity to let the many direct support professionals (DSPs) who work at Futures Unlimited know how very much they are appreciated.
June 1, 2020 - COVID might have interrupted the preschool year for 109 preschoolers, but our amazing teaching staff adapted and continued to teach, lead crafts, DANCE, take field trips, and read to ki
May 1, 2020 - As we all continue to transition back to normal life (our transition will be more gradual than others) we felt it important to acknowledge what life has looked like over the past 71 days