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St. Francis Community Services Highlighted At Riverfest

Sean Sandefur
The look from atop the St. Francis Ferris Wheel. The attraction gave its first go around to an adoptive family from Wichita.

Wichita’s Riverfest began Friday afternoon with a celebration under the Keeper of the Plains. The festival will feature a number of musical acts over the next nine days, but one attraction has a distinct goal - to raise awareness for adoption services.  


A Ferris wheel tucked away in the kid’s corner of Riverfest gave its first go around to an adoptive family.

Credit Sean Sandefur
The Zuber family, who adopted their two sons, surround Laurie Gregory, center, a development officer for St. Francis Community Services, an adoption and foster agency.

The attraction has been dedicated to St. Francis Community Services, which provides adoption and foster assistance in a number of states. 

Kansas Development Officer Laurie Gregory says St. Francis Community Services just recently started serving Wichita. 

“We have about 9,000 kids in our system that we work with across the organization, about 1500 of those come from Wichita," Gregory says. "And so, there’s certainly been growth challenges internally, because that’s a huge ramp up, to go from 12 employees to 300 employees. But that gives people a feel for the need that’s out here.”  

The organization was founded in Ellsworth, KS in 1945. It also provides psychiatric and drug treatment programs to parents so that children may ultimately end up back home.