RCS Empowers Fall Newsletter 2021

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> NEWSLETTER - FALL 2021 RCS empowers individuals with disabilities and special needs so that they may work, live, and function with dignity and respect.

Celebrate Positivity!

Letter from our President, Martha VandeLeest 2021 has been another incredible year and we are constantly reminded of how blessed we are to have an amazing community. Our staff and participants here at RCS continue to remain positive about providing the best experience possible despite the pandemic. COVID has affected all aspects of both our human and business services, thank you for your patience as we navigate this unprecedented time. Our senior management team has been working on a marketing refresh over the past year. Among many other things, we have a new logo and website that we know will showcase our agency in the most vibrant and positive way. Thanksgiving is right around the corner and I want to thank each and every one who has, and continues to, support our mission. We have learned a lot during this time and your generosity has not gone unnoticed. Please continue to stay healthy and safe!

Martha VandeLeest

Upcoming Events November 12

Virtual Shine On

November 25-28

Closed in Observance of Thanksgiving Learn More>

Employee Spotlight: Andrew Bubb

Andrew Bubb is named our Spotlight Employee due to his amazing expertise in coordinating our IT needs. He keeps us securely connected, and above all on the cutting edge of technology. One project he recently completed was installing 75 inch televisions in each one of our day services rooms along with two-way web cameras in rooms where virtual services take place. Thank you to Andrew for exceeding our expectations!

Participant Spotlight: Sharon O’Connell

Sharon O’Connell began working at RCS Empowers, Inc in 1998. Most recently she had been working part time at the RCS North Plant where she completed a variety of assembly and packaging work. In 2019, Sharon made the decision to seek competitive employment in the community. Through her involvement with the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and the RCS Employment Services team, Sharon participated in a variety of career exploration activities that assisted her in determining her employment goal. In September of 2021, she was hired at The Blue Harbor Resort and Conference Center as a steward. She reports that obtaining this job is a dream come true! Congratulations Sharon!

Employer Spotlight


Wigwam Mills, Inc. and RCS Empowers, Inc. are collaborating to make a difference in the lives of others. Wigwam, a Sheboygan manufacturer of fine quality socks, and RCS are working together on a special sock project for charity.

Changing Lives, One Sock At A Time Socks that are considered “imperfect” by Wigwam are collected and delivered to RCS. The RCS Day Services Kindness class, one of a number of different classes focusing on daily living skills development and training for individuals with disabilities, completes the project. Learn More >

Other News

RCS Empowers Gets A Vibrant Update Over the past year, our senior level management team has spent many hours assessing our marketing and communication efforts in order to best portray our non-profit organization to participants, team members and community members. Learn More >

Happy Anniversary! October

Kaylene Baetz - 21 years

Sheila Patnode - 16 Years

Jonathan Maurer - 10 Years

Jennifer Haneman - 8 Years Sharon Orange - 5 Years Amy Kilton - 4 Years

Michael Schuler - 3 Years

Ashley Kurszewski - 2 Years

Emiliano Sandoval - 2 Years Lee Yang - 2 Years

Beth Van Wyk - 1 Year


Richard Horzen - 6 Years Lynn Justinger - 17 Years Diane Remy - 4 Years

Emily Weber - 3 Years

Mary Winscher - 14 Years Debra Wolf - 28 Years

*We will feature December’s in the Shine On newsletter

Save the Date!

Shine On Goes Virtual Be sure to mark your calendar for our fourth annual Shine On fundraiser on Friday, November 12th! This year’s event will again be virtual; sign up for a complimentary viewing ticket, purchase an at-home dinner package or sponsor a holiday item. Gift baskets, trees, wreaths and specialty holiday items will be available for purchase and bidding starting on November 1st. This year’s fundraising goal is $150,000. The proceeds of the event will be used to purchase specialized and flexible educational classroom furniture which will be modular, adaptive and ergonomically suitable while being comfortable for all. For more information, please visit rcsshineon.com. Learn More >

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