Rainbow House Events and News

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.



Rainbow Run Registration 2018

The Mary Kay Foundation has selected the Rainbow House as a recipient of an unrestricted grant in the amount of $20,000.  In 1992, the founder, Mary Kay Ash said the following, “Today throughout the world we are making a difference in women’s lives, helping them to have the kind of life that will give them the opportunity to live their lives as they feel they should be lived. Truly we have the chance to make a difference in this old world we live in.”

That statement is certainly true today!  We are pleased to partner with Mary Kay to help women break free from the chains of abuse so that they can live happy and productive lives without fear.

Together, we are making a difference!

About The Mary Kay Foundation

The Mary Kay Foundation℠ was created in 1996, and its mission is two-fold: to fund research of cancers affecting women and to help prevent domestic violence while raising awareness of the issue. The Mary Kay Foundation℠ has awarded $70.7 million to shelters and programs addressing domestic violence prevention and cancer researchers and related causes throughout the United States. To learn more about The Mary Kay Foundation℠, please visit www.marykayfoundation.org or call 1-877-MKCARES (652-2737).

Wisconsin Public Service Foundation is pleased to announce a donation of $1,000 for Bringing Families Together.  WPS has made this contribution because they believe the Rainbow House benefits our community, and because they have a long history of supporting worthwhile programs that better the lives of their neighbors.  This contribution has purchased a new dining room table and chairs for our shelter, so that families can gather for meals together.  Thank you, WPS!



In honor of the opening of their new store in our community, the TJX Foundation has made a contribution of $10,000 to the Rainbow House.  The TJX Foundation strategically invests in non-profit organizations that address their mission of helping families most in need to build a valuable future – one where families and children are safe and secure and have the opportunities they need to thrive.

Thanks to Stephenson National Bank for their generous contribution of $3,000 to Rainbow House Domestic Abuse Services! Oftentimes, victims come to us with problems for which we do not have a specific fund.  Their needs are great and varied.  Examples might include the need for an auto repair so a survivor can get to work, the desire to see a dentist for a tooth knocked loose by abuser, the wish for a birthday gift for a child in shelter.

Through the generosity of Stephenson National Bank, we can now help survivors with a number of their daily dilemmas.  Thank you for your kindness in supporting survivors of domestic violence in our community.

Jessica Honish, Rainbow House Lead Advocate receives a donation from John Benoit of TransCanada

From all of the children who will stay at our shelter, a big THANK YOU to TransCanada!  TransCanada is one of North America’s leading energy infrastructure companies with operations in natural gas, oil and power industries.  This year, through their corporate generosity, a new playground structure was installed at our shelter.  A surprise second contribution arrived this week, funding to install playground rubber mulch.  This addition helps reduce the risk of falls and splinters, helping to make our play area safe and happy.  Thanks, John Benoit, our local TransCanada Representative, for supporting our local community!


Ashlee Tatro-Outreach Advocate, Allyson Mahlik- Youth Advocate, Mark Murphy- President /CEO Green Bay Packers, and Jessica Honish – Lead Advocate

The Rainbow House has generously received $3,000 from the Packer’s Foundation to implement a new program.  In partnership with NWTC, Rainbow House will now be able to offer car repair services free of charge to victims of domestic violence.  Thank you for this opportunity to serve the community, funded in part by a grant from the Green Bay Packers Foundation.

Tri County Dog Training Academy

We received a wonderful donation from the Tri County Dog Training Academy of things needed for our kennel. Pictured are TCDTA members April Haubert and Mark Ostrenga with Rainbow House Lead Advocate Jessica. A BIG Thank you goes out to all who participated we appreciate your support!’



Saturday, September 23, 2017

Rainbow House hosted its 3rd Annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes Event on September 23, 2017. Walk a Mile in Her Shoes is the International Men’s March to raise community awareness to end gender violence. The event proved to be a success with 63 Walkers showing up to walk one mile in women’s high-heeled shoes. About half of the walkers participating in the event have walked all three years! These brave men were supported by family and friends that cheered them on along the way. We were very pleased to have school teams such as Marinette Soccer and GPS Education Partners participate in the walk! The community supported these men by raising over $14,000.00 for Rainbow House! The money raised will be used to provide transportation and relocation services to clients.

There was a reception ceremony at the completion of the Walk. A panel of local celebrities judged  the “Best Dressed”, “Best Decorated Shoe”, and “Best Team Theme” competitions. Mark Wisinski won the award for “Most Money Raised” for collecting $2,600.00!! Dan Peterson of Stephenson National Bank won the award for “Best Dressed”, as he rocked the crowd with his fabulous prom dress. Mark Wisinski won the award for “Best Decorated Shoe”, as he strutted around in his knee-high platform boots with the Walk-a-Mile logo. Marinette Soccer team stole the show and won the award for “Best Team Theme” as the entire team did the cha-cha in front of the judge’s table!

Rainbow House couldn’t be more pleased with the outcome of the event and the tremendous community support that was shown for a great cause. We would like to thank all of our generous sponsors and volunteers for making this unique event possible. We look forward to hosting this playful event next year.

5K Run a Big Success!
On Saturday, May 20th, Marinette Middle School Seventh Grader Ava Dahlman organized a 5K Run for the Rainbow event to benefit the Rainbow House.  Ava was inspired to do the project because she learned about abuse in school and wanted to do something to help the cause.  We’re so grateful for her community activism!  Approximately 50 participants took place in this Run/Walk.  Ava raised $863.43 for Rainbow House, as well as a ton of community awareness.  Thanks, Ava!  You are amazing!
Yoga Fundraisers Lead to Compassionate Giving

Inner Beauty Reflects Outwardly

Ever imagined you could combine your passions to make a difference in the world?

Here’s how Independent Beauty Consultant Kimberly Manthey paired her love for The Mary Kay Foundation℠ and her longstanding yoga practice to help women.

Initially taking up yoga as a tool for health, wellness and well-being 20 years ago, Kimberly now enjoys teaching yoga and leading retreats worldwide.

When Independent Sales Director Susan Hartman proposed tapping into yoga to support a cause they both love—The Mary Kay Foundation℠—Kimberly felt immediately inspired to teach. With support from Susan’s generous unit, they held three donation-based yoga class fundraisers for the 13th annual Team Up for Women!® Challenge.

Independent Sales Directors from the McCoy Emeritus Area enthusiastically promoted the event. More than 40 eager yogis of all levels participated, giving a drop-in class amount of $10-$15 or more.

“We had a lot of fun, and it felt so fulfilling bringing women together in a purposeful way,” shares Kimberly. “At each class, Susan explained how our Mary Kay® businesses brings women together and empowers them. We were thrilled the yoga sessions raised $600!”

Highlighting the Foundation’s mission to end domestic violence, Courtney Olson, Kimberly’s yoga student and the Executive Director of Rainbow House Domestic Abuse Services, Inc., presented a riveting account of that organization’s work.

“I wanted to hold an event where beauty—inside and outside—could come together and we could show our customers that Mary Kay® is a Company that truly has a heart!” exclaims Susan.

“Thank you to our McCoy family who helped make this a success, while honoring the need and want for safety in all of us. We look forward to making an even bigger splash next year and in the years to come!”

And their giving has since gained more momentum.

Kimberly and Independent Beauty Consultant Marla Sunstrom recently visited the Rainbow House domestic violence shelter, treating the residents and staff to facial pampering sessions and a restorative yoga class.

They distributed more than 40 donated goodie bags filled with lip balms, nail polishes, cleansers and moisturizers. In addition, Kimberly’s regular yoga students generously contributed another $700 to the shelter.

“This has been an incredibly meaningful experience for all of us,” reflects Kimberly. “As the new year begins, I’m so looking forward to doing more of these events in the future!”

Ready to join in a yoga fundraiser class for the 13th annual Team Up for Women!® challenge!

More than 40 enthusiastic yogis of all levels participated during three classes.

Peaceful, restorative moments during class.

Independent Beauty Consultants Kimberly Manthey and Marla Sunstrom, and Independent Sales Director Susan Hartman champion generous giving.

Outstanding Student Notice:  Jillian Black

During the summer of 2011, eight-year-old Jillian Black of Shawano wanted to have a lemonade stand at her grandparents’ three-day rummage sale in Oconto Falls. Instead of keeping her profits, she chose to donate to Rainbow House. “I chose Rainbow House because I know they help people in scary situations.”

Every year she dutifully rose early and was ready to sell by 8:00am each morning. After each year, Jillian’s parents would tally up the amount she raised and match her. After 5 years of donating to the Rainbow House, her total sales were $446.50 with the money she raised and the money her parents used to match her donation.

“Not only did I help people but I had an incredible time doing it.  When I was selling cookies, people would ask me ‘are you saving up for your piggy bank?’  I’d say, ‘No, I’m raising money for the local domestic abuse shelter.’ Then they’d say ‘Wow!  I think I’ll take three instead of two!’ or ‘Wow, I didn’t think young people were so thoughtful.’  Sometimes people would just donate money or say ‘Keep the change.’  It was awesome!”

Rainbow House would like to acknowledge Jillian for her outstanding selflessness, as demonstrated by her continual efforts to raise money for the Rainbow House. Her efforts have not gone unnoticed.  Jillian was presented with a certificate of excellence this fall, as pictured.
Jillian Black and Rainbow House certificate photo

Jillian Black and Rainbow House certificate photo.jpg



Rainbow House received a $10,000 grant from Avon Foundation!

Rainbow House photo

Pictured from Left to Right, Greg Goetzman – Rainbow House Board, Renee Hable, Avon, Kay Williams, Rainbow House Staff, Courtney Olson, Hope/Rainbow House, Tamara Leanna, Hope Team, Jessica Honish, Hope/Rainbow House, and Sandra Wellens, Nominating Avon Representative

This grant will support our collaborative community project, the Hope Domestic Violence Homicide Help Team.  http://www.hopedomesticviolencehomicidehelp.com

Safer, Sounder, Better Lives. For over 60 years, the Avon Foundation for Women has been a driving force behind charitable, scientific, educational and humanitarian work that improves the lives of women and their families.

Avon’s efforts to eradicate breast cancer and end domestic and gender violence worldwide have helped move these issues out of the shadows and into the public dialogue. And as attitudes continue to change – from fear and isolation to knowledge, action and empowerment – so do the lives of countless women everywhere.

Robert & Jeanine Dagenais Foundation


Jessica Honish (middle) accepts a $500 check from Riverside Auto staff, Erica Sutherland (left) and Corey Fifarek (right).

The owners of our local Riverside Auto in Marinette annually show their support in our community.  Thanks to the Dagenais Foundation for all they do in our local community!

Rock the House

What’s happening?

Haliwel, Left of Reason, and Almost Nothing are invading north of the wall! Come party with us and the wildlings (these are all Game of Thrones references). Saturday we will be up in Escanaba. The last Rock the House raised over $5000 for the Rainbow House! Get your ticket at Main Street Electric Tattoo or https://squareup.com/store/haliwel/item/rock-the-house-ticket

Get to the show and support your community! If you know of anyone that would like to donate an item to the silent auction, please comment with contact information.


Friday, August 12th 2016 06:00pm


Iron Works Restaurant

1333 Main St.
Marinette, WI  54143


Jessica from the Rainbow House receives a contribution on behalf of the Rainbow House from Lori Skarban from the 2nd Annual George Skarban Moped Ride…Thanks to all friends who came out and had fun…$220….planning next year’s event soon.  Mark your calendars for next June 3rd,2017..it’s a Saturday…




John Peters copy

For a link to this article celebrating a local hero, please click here!  John Peters


 Rainbow House is the proud recipient of a Walmart Community Grant!  Our local store provided a contribution of $500 as part of a hunger relief initiative.  Rainbow House has used this donation to procure a locally and sustainably raised quarter of beef from Nelson Farm.  Thanks for the Community Support!


Walmart Team Member Andrew presenting $500 to  Lead Advocate Jessica




   @ Menominee, MI Burger King

     Every Tuesday evening between

   4PM and 7PM   20% of ALL sales

will go directly to the

   Rainbow House

 Please come and show your support!

John Peters Community Service Award


John Peters is recognized by Rainbow House Staff for FIFTEEN years of volunteer service!  John has selflessly attended to the structural needs of our aging facility, helped clients relocate into new housing, and provided an exemplary role model for the children in our program.  Thanks for all you have done!




Rainbow House and the Marinette/Oconto CCR Teams are sponsoring the Second Annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes Event scheduled for April 16th at 1:00 pm, starting and ending at Rainbow House in Marinette.
Walk a Mile in Her Shoes is a playful opportunity for men to raise awareness in the community about the serious causes and effects of domestic violence and sexual assault. We ask men to literally walk a mile in women’s high heel shoes. It’s fun and it gets the community to talk about something that’s really difficult to talk about.
If you would like to participate in this event, or would like more details about the event, please contact Jennifer, legal advocate for Rainbow House, at (715) 735-6656.
April 16th at 1:00 pm

For more information, click…

2016 WAM Save the Date

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Rainbow House Domestic Abuse Services, Inc. is proud to announce sponsorship of our organization’s Transition to Safety initiative by TransCanada Corporation!  As survivors of domestic violence establish independence, many find themselves needing to furnish new living quarters.  Our clients often come into shelter with little more than the clothes they are wearing.  Over the course of their time in shelter, clients work with Advocates to find employment and affordable housing.  When the time comes to transition, Rainbow House works to ensure that the survivor’s new household is set up with the basics needed.  Formerly, donated beds were available in our community through a voucher program.  With a resurgence of bed bugs throughout Wisconsin, many of our partnering agencies no longer can accept donations of beds.  In collaboration with Lauerman’s Furniture, TransCanada Corporation is making ten new box spring, mattress, and bedframe sets available for clients and their children.  Everyone deserves a safe place to sleep, and to dream of a brighter future, free from violence.  Thank you, TransCanada Corporation, for making a Transition to Safety possible.


Rainbow House 2016 Statistics


Shelter Clients


Total Shelter Clients 89 (Adults = 40 and Children = 49)

Marinette County _21_ Adults & _21_ Children

Oconto County _6_Adults & _12_ Children

Other Counties _13_ Adults & _16_ Children


Shelter Night 3056 this year vs. 1551 in 2015 (a 97% increase)

{total nights of each adult & child staying with us.}

Marinette County –1545     Oconto County – 1134     Other Counties – 377


Outreach Clients Served


Marinette County – 286        Oconto County – 134       Other – 32


Female – 395     Male – 57


Ages   0 – 17     = 66

Ages   18 – 24   = 59

Ages 25 – 49       = 265

Ages   50 – 59   = 36

Ages 60 & over = 26



Persons with Disabilities Served: _57_ – Last year: 28


Agency Hot Line Calls: ___325___ – Last year: 425


We assisted clients with a total of __3071__Advocate services – last year: 1506

Marinette County: 1947                  Oconto County: 724             Other: 400


Which resulted into a total of _2452__hours of Advocate Contact vs. 1134.5 hours last year

Marinette County: 1621                 Oconto County: 493.5       Other: 337.5




Restraining Orders & PPO’s –   97 vs. Last Year 50


Restraining Orders How Many 2016 How Many 2015
Domestic Abuse 35 15
Harassment 43 25
Child Abuse 7 4
Individuals at Risk 7 3
Personal Protection Orders 5 3


Assisted in Pro Se Divorces                  76 This Year                       39 Last Year


Children Education


Preventive Programming for Children & Youth 4368 student vs. 2881 last year



Secure Donations

United Way

Tri-City Area

United Way

Tri-City Area United Way serves Marinette/Oconto, WI, & Menominee, MI, Counties.