Rainbow House Events and News

Stephenson National Bank and Trust has made Rainbow House the beneficiary of their year-end contribution program in the amount of $1,500.  We will be dedicating this allocation towards our upcoming building project, in which we will be adding a third floor community space to our agency.  This space will allow for support groups, group art and wellness projects, and agency meetings.  In the event shelter reaches capacity, we will have additional space for sheltering families.  Thank you, Stephenson National Bank, for your continued support of our mission!
Thank you to Wisconsin Public Service Foundation, for supporting our initiative, “Tools to Move Forward”.  Through the generosity of WPS Foundation, Rainbow House will be able to supply tool kits to each family that moves out of shelter.  Clients moving out of shelter into their own homes often lack the basic tools to start over.  Now, each will be given a tool kit to take care of  basic repairs in their new homes.  “We are making this contribution because we believe that together, we can create a brighter future for the communities we serve,” says Lana Vandervest, Administrator of the Wisconsin Public Service Foundation.  Thank you, WPS Foundation, for supporting your local community!
Gannett Foundation
Thank you to the Gannett Foundation, USA TODAY NETWORK – Wisconsin for selecting Rainbow House as the recipient of a community action grant for $2,000.  This award will allow us to provide clients transitioning out of shelter with much needed essentials, such as tool kits, drills, first aid kits, and sewing kits.
Thank you to the Oconto Women’s Club, who adopted families for the holidays this season! Rainbow House appreciates your generosity and community support!
Rainbow House has a new agency vehicle, thanks to the support of the Leon H. and Clymene M. Bond Foundation, TransCanada Corporation, and the Department of Children and Family Services!
This addition to our agency will allow for the safe transport of clients to court, school, appointments, and other community resources.  .
Local Teens support Rainbow House!
In the true spirit of holiday sharing, the Wisconsin Heat Girl’s Fastpitch Softball team adopted a Rainbow House family.  The team raised funds, shopped, and wrapped all the gifts.
What a wonderful community project!  Thank you, Wisconsin Heat!

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month!  Officers throughout our communities served marked the occasion with purple ribbons on their squad cars.

Thanks, Chief Rheyburg from the Oconto Police Department, and other officers and sheriffs throughout our communities, for recognizing Domestic Violence Awareness Month!

Thank you to the Women’s Giving Circle and the M&M Community Foundation for providing a $500 grant to Rainbow House!  With their support, tool boxes, first aid kits, and sewing kits will be available to our clients as they transition from shelter to independent living!  For more information on their fabulous support of our community, connect at http://www.mmacf.org/

Thank you to the Green Bay Packer’s Foundation for helping our clients with transportation!

Thank you to our volunteers from TransCanada, and New Life Church in Peshtigo!

These wonderful volunteers spread 6,000 pounds of rubberized mulch in our newly renovated playground area.  TransCanada Foundation sponsored the purchase of playground materials to complete this project.  Here’s to a safe, healthy place for the fifty plus children per year who stay the Rainbow House.  Thanks, John Benoit of TransCanada and Ivy Sutek of New Life Church, for coordinating our volunteers!

Welcome to some of Rainbow House’s newest volunteers, Aaron Buck, Alex Coleman, and Brian Hartnell. Thank you for being part of our team!

My name is Aaron Buck. I have lived in the Menominee/Marinette area for 11 years. I am originally from Iowa. I graduated from the University of Iowa for under grad, and have a master’s degree from Drake University. I retired after 16 years from UPS. I have been married for 20 years, to wife Kirsten. I have two children. My daughter Hayden is 14, and my son Gable is 12. We keep busy with their many activities, which include music, cross country, swimming, basketball, track, and baseball. I enjoy fishing here, and as often as I can, with my friends at a cabin one of them owns in Canada. I am an active member at the local YMCA, and also a sitting member of their Board of Directors. I am glad that I have been available to get involved in a small way by helping at the Rainbow House.

My name is Alex Coleman and I’m part of the graduating class of 2018 from Menominee High School.  I was in both soccer and dance for 14 years.  I also like to swim, hang out with my dog Shadow, and hang out with some of my best friends , Natalie and Lexi.

I am Brian Hartnell.  Originating from Kenosha Wisconsin, I completed 4 years in the Air Force and received my photography degree in 1971 from Milwaukee Area Technical College and working as a corporate photographer at Snap On Tool Corporation until 1980, I migrated to Marinette/Menominee area. My former boss from Snap On Tools offered me another position at the Ansul Company of Marinette and I became their corporate studio photographer until 1990. After Tyco purchased Ansul, my position was closed in the merger and  I then supported Tyco as a photo subcontractor and opened our portrait studio in Wausaukee with my wife, Ann. We fully restored our 1889 Hotel Wausaukee building & property as our studio/residence over the course of living there. We officially closed the studio in 2013 so that I could retire and we could move to Marinette, closer to Ann’s work as Director of MCABI. Working with NWTC, I had been teaching as an adjunct instructor for adult education programs through out all campuses in Marinette & Florence County from 1985 to 2012 when they dropped the Adult Education programs for cost savings. I approached the two Senior Centers of Marinette and Menominee and I continue to teach computer and photo programs at the centers as well as private tutoring. For four years I was the Wausaukee municipal judge when they had a court and that led me to becoming a corrections corporal running one of the two night shifts at the Marinette County Jail for 13 years while I also ran the studio full time. Now that I officially have retired from work, my interests include continuing learning and teaching all things photographic. Last year I started the Marinette/Menominee Area Photography Club and I belong to the Crivitz Photo Club as well. Most of my newest type work involves technically challenging images that include computers, drones, telescopes with tablets, specialized equipment and all kinds of exotic techniques that make me solve problems. I volunteer for projects at Rainbow House and  enjoy helping the clients of Rainbow House move into their new life by assisting them with that move. This is a very satisfying way to give back to community because I believe in their mission.

The Bond Foundation awards grant to Rainbow House

Rainbow House Domestic Abuse Services is pleased to announce an award from the Bond Foundation. The LEON H. AND CLYMENE M. BOND FOUNDATION, INC. is a family endowed Foundation committed to the growth and improvement of Oconto County and its surrounding areas. The Foundation was established in 1993 by Leon Bond (benefactor of the Foundation and founder of the Bond Pickle Company) and Earl DeCloux, residents of the City of Oconto. To date the Foundation has given over $3.4 million dollars to support our local community.

Rainbow House provides an Outreach Office and services throughout Oconto. In order to better serve clients in this large, rural county, a shelter vehicle is desperately needed. Clients often lack the means of transportation to seek help. With this grant, Rainbow House Advocates will be able to reach survivors safely and confidentially, providing services where the clients need them most. “Whether it’s delivering a bag of groceries to a family in need, or transporting a client to a legal or medical appointment, this provides essential connections between survivors and the support they need to become safe and independent”, says Jessica Honish, Legal Advocate – Oconto County.

The Bond Foundation has provided $5,000 towards the acquisition of an Oconto office vehicle. Rainbow House will be matching that, and seeking one additional grant to finalize this project. “We’re well on our way towards providing greater safety and access to resources for survivors. We can’t thank the Bond Foundation enough for their support of our mission”, says Courtney Olson, Rainbow House Director.

(Pictured from left to right, Evan Umpir – Office of Representative Ron Tusler, Jessica Honish –  Lead Advocate Rainbow House, Courtney Olson – Executive Director Rainbow House, Governor Scott Walker, Chase Terrier –  Public Policy Coordinator End Domestic Abuse WI, and Patti Seger – Executive Director End Domestic Abuse WI)

WI Domestic Violence Programs Applaud Passage of Bill that Offers Additional Protections for Advocates Who Experience Abuse

Madison — Advocates for victims of domestic violence across Wisconsin are lauding the passage of Assembly Bill 581 (AB 581), a proposal that will offer additional legal protections for victim advocates, legal system employees and members of law enforcement who are also themselves victims of abuse. AB 581 will allow this specific category of professionals (or their partners) to file for protective orders in a county within 100 miles of the one they reside in, offering them crucial anonymity that is often lacking for victims seeking these life-saving legal services while also working in the field.

“In 2013 the Wisconsin domestic violence advocacy community lost Patricia (Trish) Waschbisch, a tireless advocate and longtime friend to so many in the movement, at the hands of her abuser. The fact that someone so committed to eradicating domestic violence for the sake of others could at the same time be experiencing abuse speaks to the fact that victims working in the field face unique barriers to safety that must be addressed,” said Patti Seger, executive director of End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin. “When a victim advocate knows the judges, prosecutors, law enforcement officers and other members of the justice system, the process of getting a restraining order forces them to reveal their status as a survivor to their entire professional community. No victim of abuse should have to give up their privacy just to access these often life-saving services, particularly when they are committing their life to keeping survivors safe every single day.”

While domestic violence program staff who also experience abuse are commonly considered to have easier access to protective services than victims who do not work in the field of advocacy, the opposite tends to be true.

“There is nothing ironic about an advocate becoming a victim of domestic violence. One out of four American women will be the victim of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime and advocates such as Trish are not immune,” said Courtney Olson, Executive Director of Rainbow House. “We deserve the same rights to privacy and confidentiality as those we serve. This bill will save lives by offering an alternative path to safety for those engaged in this work.”

“I can’t even find the right words to express how much the passage of AB 581 will assist advocates and other professionals working in the field of domestic violence as they seek protection for themselves and their families,” said Jessica Honish, Lead Advocate at Rainbow House. “Trish would have been proud of this bill, knowing that it will keep advocates safe as they work to protect others.”

AB 581 passed out of the Senate this week without a single opposing vote and will now be sent to the Governor’s desk to be signed into law along with over 100 other proposals recently passed by the legislature. Victim advocates report that the additional safety measures included in the bill will ensure that fewer survivors are precluded from utilizing critical protective orders and left at risk of further abuse or homicide.

“We would like to thank the bi-partisan group of authors who worked on AB 581 for recognizing the unique barriers to services that this category of victim experiences, and taking action to ensure that they have the necessary privacy to stay safe,” continued Seger. “Although we may have lost our friend, Trish, this bill will help to protect others facing similar circumstances, which is something we know she would have wanted.”

The changes laid out in AB 581 will take effect the day after the bill is signed into law by Governor Walker.

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