Kairos luncheon sets fundraising record - The World

Date: May 22, 2014

COOS BAY — Kairos held its annual fundraiser luncheon Friday at the Black Market Gourmet.

Among those present were Rep. Caddie McKeown, D-Coos Bay; Sen. Arnie Roblan, D-Coos Bay; and Coos Bay Mayor Crystal Shoji. They and other community members raised about $2,880 — the most ever — in pledges and donations for the organization during the fourth annual local Celebration of Hope, which coincides with Mental Health Month.

Kairos, which offers various programs to provide mental support to children in the foster care system, used to be called the Southern Oregon Adolescent Study and Treatment Center. Officials changed the name in 2012 because “Southern Oregon” and “adolescent” no longer accurately describe the organization, which now serves young adults from all over the state and sometimes from outside Oregon.

The new name, Kairos, is a Greek word meaning the opportune moment when change becomes possible. It seemed more fitting, said Rob Lieberman, chief executive officer.

“It really taught me if you want a change, you have to do it yourself,” said Allisa Rumreich, a 20-year-old who spent nine months in Kairos and presented at the luncheon.

Rumreich described her stint in the program as a “journey,” and said before attending the program, she “didn’t want to be alive.” She credited Kairos with helping her transition out to the real world. She also said she wanted to help others like her as a peer support specialist with the organization.

“It’s the highest level of psychiatric care in Coos County,” said John Trapold, services manager with Kairos.

Currently the program was working on keeping the child in his or her community, in something called a “wraparound” idea, rather than moving them to another city for treatment.

“If not us, then who?” asked Alan Ledford, clinical director for Kairos, wondering who would help children if they weren’t around.

Ledford said they helped 200 to 250 kids every year with about 144 staff members.

Lieberman said they were hoping for about $500,000 in state funding within the next year. Lieber man also said the Coos County Public Health Department was a key player in getting the program here.

“Kudos to Ginger Swan and her staff,” Lieberman said. “It was their vision and now it’s a shared vision. They really support it.”

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