- Published on Wednesday, 28 May 2014 09:11
- Written by Kirt Webster
Not very many performers can say they've been in the “business” for over 50 years. Not many can say they've played an instrumental role in the success of an organization that solely exists for the purpose of helping children with special needs. Not many can say they've returned five times throughout the years to hold concerts and continue to raise money for that organization. And certainly not many can say they've held an interest in that same organization for close to 40 years! But yes, Kenny Rogers has certainly earned his name on the building of that very organization…The Kenny Rogers Children’s Center in Sikeston, Missouri.
“It’s scary to think about where the Center would be today if it weren't for Kenny Rogers. Or rather, where the Center would NOT be today”, states Michelle Fayette, Executive Director of the Center. “The current building we are in today was made possible through Kenny’s efforts, the expansions, new equipment, updated equipment, and so much more, all are because he has cared enough throughout the years to continue his efforts in furthering our mission. You definitely can't make old friends like that! Thousands of children have come through these doors and have received life-changing therapies all because of him,” she adds. The Center covers numerous counties in Southeast Missouri and provides therapy to approximately 450 children on a monthly basis.”
On June 1, Kenny Rogers will take the stage for another benefit concert in Sikeston, Missouri to once again raise money for the Kenny Rogers Children’s Center.
After his last benefit concert in 2009, the Center added a 7,000-square-foot expansion that was completed in 2011. It includes an indoor, all handicap accessible therapeutic play structure, several additional therapy rooms, a conference room, a therapy restroom, a rock wall, a zip line and what is now the newly completed KRCC Center for Gait and Motion Analysis Lab.
“It’s hard to remember just how cramped we were before this because we've gotten accustomed to the new space now,” says Brandy Dallas, Clinical Coordinator and Physical Therapist at the Center. “We were able to increase our therapy staff by adding six and were able to move more children off the waiting lists,” she added. The Center currently has a total of 26 employees – six office personnel, 13 Occupational Therapists, two Physical Therapists, two Physical Therapy Assistants and three Speech Therapists. “That’s a far cry from the original Scott-Mississippi-New Madrid Counties United Cerebral Palsy Center that opened its doors with five clients, one paid employee, two foster grandparents and several other volunteers,” states Fayette.
The Center continues to provide therapy services at no charge to the families, as they have for over 40 years now. “We are very proud to have this state-of-the-art facility in Southeast Missouri. It truly is a one-of-a-kind facility where children receive not only the therapy that they need, but receive some of the highest quality in the nation,” states Charlotte York, President of the Board for the Kenny Rogers Children’s Center. “The fact that Kenny Rogers is still involved with the Center shows how passionate he is about our mission and what the Center is doing. We are so blessed to have his continued support and can't wait to see him at the upcoming concert,” she adds.
The benefit concert is June 1, 2014 at 7:00 pm at the Sikeston Field House in Sikeston, Missouri. Tickets are available at www.kennyrogerscenter.org, or by phone at 877-471-0397.