The Ms. Wheelchair Kansas (MWKS) crowning ceremony is scheduled for Sunday, March 3, 2019, 2 p.m. at the DoubleTree Hotel in Lawrence, Kan. The ceremony will be open to the public and free of charge. It will include platform speech presentations by the contestants; a keynote speech from Ms. Wheelchair Missouri, Hilary Muehlberger; farewell from the current titleholders, and crowning of the new Ms. Wheelchair Kansas and Little Miss Wheelchair Kansas. Brittany Moore, with KSNT News in Topeka, will serve as Mistress of Ceremonies.

The mission of the MWKS program is to annually select one woman, who is wheelchair mobile, who will successfully advocate, educate, and empower all people on a state level. This is NOT a beauty contest, but rather a competition to select the most articulate, accomplished delegate who will serve as a role model and spokesperson for people with disabilities in Kansas. The crowned titleholder will have the opportunity to travel throughout the state educating various groups about the issues of importance to people with disabilities. She will share her voice and platform with the community through presentations, public appearances, and interaction with the media. Her reign will ultimately lead up to an opportunity to attend the national competition in July, where she will represent Kansas and compete for the title of Ms. Wheelchair America.

The two contestants participating in the 2019 MWKS competition are Andrea Romero of Wichita and Kynedi Weaver of Olathe. These contestants will participate in a variety of activities March 1 – 3 to prepare for Sunday’s crowning. The contestants will be scored during four different events: two personal interview sessions, a platform speech presentation, and on-stage questions. Judges will evaluate the participants based on their accomplishments, self-perception, communication, and projection skills. The contestants will also take part in a variety of informative sessions on such topics as self-esteem, advocacy, and working with the media, and will experience giving back to the community through a volunteer experience.

Ms. Wheelchair Kansas will also be announcing the new Little Miss Wheelchair Kansas. The Little Miss program gives the younger generation of 5-12 year olds the opportunity to educate, meet people, share their voice, and learn from adult role models. Ariana Hutchinson of Topeka, the current Little Miss, will pass her title onto the next young role model at this year’s ceremony.

The Ms. Wheelchair America Program was created in 1972, and this is the sixteenth year that Kansas will be represented at the national competition. The reigning titleholder, Allison Merriam of Kansas City, has worked in this past year to empower Kansans and spread her platform of “Transformation of the Perception of Disability.” She will say farewell at the crowning ceremony and will pass her crown on to the 2019 titleholder. Be there as we celebrate 15 years, say goodbye to our current titleholders, and crown the new Ms. Wheelchair Kansas and Little Miss Wheelchair Kansas!

For more information, please contact Carrie Greenwood, State Coordinator, at (785) 267-5982 or via e-mail at mswheelchairkansas@yahoo.com. More information can also be found on the Ms. Wheelchair Kansas website at www.mswheelchairkansas.org.

The Ms. Wheelchair Kansas program is sponsored in part by the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation.

RCIL serves as the Northeast Kansas access site for the Kansas Equipment Exchange (KEE) program and is holding equipment drives this month!  Can YOU help?  Do you have unneeded equipment taking up space?

Did you know that your lightly used durable medical equipment can help a Kansan with a disability who needs assistive technology, but can’t afford it?  The KEE reuse program accepts donated equipment that can be refurbished to high quality standards and then given, free of charge, to Kansans with disabilities and health conditions who need them.

KEE accepts donations such as:  Manual & Powered wheelchairs, scooters & power operated vehicles, communication devices, home care / hospital beds, patient lifts, shower chairs, standers & gait trainers, bi-pap / c-pap machines, and walkers with seats & handbrakes.

KEE Drive Flyer – Ottawa
Ottawa: The Don Woodward Community Center, 517 E. 3rd St. from 10 am – 3 pm on October 22, 2018

KEE Drive Flyer – Hiawatha
Hiawatha:  The Area Agency on Aging, 1803 Oregon from 10 am – 3 pm on October 30, 2018

KEE Drive Flyer – Osage City
Osage City:  RCIL office, 1137 Laing St. from 8 am – 4 pm on October 31, 2018

KEE Drive Flyer – Topeka
Topeka:  RCIL office, 1507 SW 21st St. Suite 203 from 8 am – 4 pm on October 31, 2018

Call for more information or to arrange pick up:  785-267-1717 or 785-528-3105