A story in the Capital Journal does a beautiful job describing our visit to Topeka last week.
Jim Leiker, president and chief executive officer of Easter Seals Capper Foundation, explained the purpose of Finke’s visit to Kidlink, which is an inclusive
preschool and child care program for children with or without disabilities.
“She has a disability and has lots of challenges,” Leiker said, “and she has lots of goals and dreams, and she’s been able to achieve those. I think that’s a really positive message for the kids.”
The Capital Journal also took a lot of terrific pictures of me, Hanni, and the kids — here’s the gallery.
In addition to visiting the preschool, we were given a tour of the other facilities and did a talk at Capper’s all-staff meeting that day. We had lunch with folks who’d helped sponsor our trip, then gave a keynote at their advisory board dinner that night. It was a lot to pack into one day, but we enjoyed every minute of it. Hanni and I were treated like gold. This was our first trip ever to Kansas, and trust me, it won’t be our last!
The next morning, Hanni and I climbed way in the back of a shuttle van for a two-hour ride to the Kansas City International airport. Hanni snuggled in so close to my feet that anyone who got on after us had no idea she was there. In Lawrence, we picked up a passenger who seemed, hmm, how to say it. Sketchy? Down on his luck? He’d come to Lawrence in a Greyhound bus from Colorado, needed the ride to KCI to catch another Greyhound bus to some other town.
The shuttle van was pretty full. Reluctant to let this guy sit alongside any of us in back, the driver ushered him to the passenger seat right in front.
Ours was the first stop at the airport. We let the passengers seated in front of us get out first, and then finally I asked Hanni to get up and lead us off the shuttle van. As we exited, the Greyhound rider looked back and said, “Hey! I saw you on TV last night!”
I’d almost forgotten. A couple of TV cameramen had been there the day before, taking video images of our visit with the preschoolers.
I laughed and told him I’d missed the news. “How’d I look?”
“You looked beautiful!”
That made my day. What a snob I’d been, thinking this guy was sketchy. Obviously, He was quite sharp! And hey, he had a good eye, too.