Cleburne Times-Review, Cleburne, TX

Local News

June 26, 2013

Rainbow Room fundraiser supports Johnson County kids

The 10th annual Johnson County Rainbow Room Casino Night is Saturday, and organizers say their goal is to walk away with $15,000 to help Johnson County children.

The Rainbow Room, an emergency resource room managed by Community Partners of Johnson County, helps foster children and those in Child Protective Services’ care feel more at home. The resource is available to CPS workers 24/7 and includes clothes, diapers, beds, car seats, hygiene essentials, duffel bags and other items always stocked for children of all ages.

“A lot of these kids when they are removed [from their home] or abused don’t have any clothing at all,” said Vance Wakeland, Rainbow Room board president. “We provide new clothing, try to give them three to four sets of clothing, and make them feel special, not like they are getting hand-me-downs.”

Wakeland said the annual casino night helps the organization buy essential items for children. Three women who volunteer for the organization serve as the official “buyers” for the Rainbow Room. The organization also uses about $6,000 each year to send children to summer camps during the summer.

“Usually our camp requests start in May right before school is out,” he said. “We send them to a camp of their choice — usually a high school baseball camp or soccer camp. Anything that is within our budget of about $350.”

Wakeland said there are anywhere from 250-450 children in Johnson County foster care at any given time. Each summer, about 10-20 children are able to go to various camps. About $40,000 keeps the Rainbow Room in operation throughout the year, he said.

Casino night is from 7:30-11:30 p.m. at Mountain Valley Country Club, 391 Clubhouse Drive in Joshua. The cost is $25 per person in advance, $30 at the door. Tickets include a chip voucher, non-alcoholic drinks and food throughout the evening. There will be a cash bar and additional chips may be purchased.  

There is a silent auction with about two dozen items, including Texas Rangers tickets and gift baskets, as well as a raffle for a 43-inch plasma TV. Other prizes include a barbecue grill and John Deere children’s Gator ridable toy.

“It’s a cause I believe in and our board members believe in it,” Wakeland said. “It’s a fun event and we’ll have a good time.”

He said the Rainbow Room runs solely on volunteers and does not receive state or federal funding. There are almost 160 Rainbow Rooms throughout the state of Texas and about half a dozen in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

For more information, or to reserve tickets, call Wakeland at 817-917-3558. Reserved tickets will be available at will call.

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