by Andy Rausch and Joe Reinecker

A federal grant to assist getting people within the disability community Covid-19 vaccination shots is allowing SKIL to provide free vaccinations at their annual customer appreciation picnics. “It came to us that we were already having these picnics, so we thought, how about we marry these two things together,” explains SKIL President/CEO Shari Coatney.


Coatney says SKIL initially wondered if such a thing would be possible, but by partnering up with Labette Health, the idea became a reality. “We’re doing the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, because it’s a one and done, meaning the recipient only needs the one shot to be vaccinated,” Coatney explains. “That way the person doesn’t have to worry about a follow-up appointment.”


Coatney hopes that if people within the disability community trust SKIL, then the organization’s efforts in getting people vaccinated will help people to trust the vaccination process.


There are also practical considerations. “We know that sometimes people get out to come to our events, when they don’t get out for other reasons,” Coatney says. “So having the vaccination available at an event that SKIL has is obviously a good way to get those people access.”


The vaccinations are free to SKIL customers and DSWs, but just as the events are open to the public, the vaccinations are also free and open to the public. Coatney says there will also be incentives, such as giveaways and drawings for prizes (some of which will likely be monetary).


There will be six SKIL customer appreciation picnics, as well as the annual ADA celebration. Vaccinations will be available at all of them. The dates and locations of these events are as follows: Columbus picnic, June 10th, Chanute picnic, June 24th, ADA celebration in Parsons, July 27th, Independence picnic, August 12th, Sedan picnic, August 26th, Pittsburg picnic, September 9th, and Fredonia, September 30th.  

SKIL hopes to see everyone in these communities come out for free hot dogs and chips, as well as the free vaccination shots.

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