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Area community leaders and representatives of Pawnee Mental Health Services ended a 60 year birthday celebration for the group with a rendition of “Happy Birthday” Thur. Executive Director Robbin Cole was pleased with the special day describing it as “amazing.”

Pawnee Mental Health was found November 19, 1956–with one therapist who also served as the director. Now there’s one executive director and 240 employees who serve 10 counties.
Local legislators, city and county governmental, law enforcement, corrections, and other community officials participated in the ceremony–with many giving brief speeches.
Manhattan Mayor Usha Reddi has great appreciation for the services provided, saying Pawnee takes care of so many needs but in need of more staff, beds, and an outpatient area. Commissioner Karen McCulloh warned while pleased she has some concerns of the impact from the recent election, also at the national level.
Riley County Police Director Brad Schoen shared some thoughts saying Pawnee helps the community in “immeasurable ways.”Schoen indicated he’s looking forward to an even closer relationship with Pawnee with next year’s addition of a program with a couple of people from Pawnee to help his officers in the field.
Riley county Commissioner Robert Boyd also praised the partnership the county has with Pawnee Mental Health saying the provide a “vital, vital service” in the community. Riley County Commission Chair Ben Wilson also participated in the celebration, presenting remarks and commenting on his role with the Mental Health Task Force.
Pottawatomie County Commission Chair Dee McKee had a unique perspective from a couple of different roles she’s played as special education director in Manhattan and now her role in county government saying “it is so important to have this service and have it strong.”
State Senator Tom Hawk of Manhattan reminisced on his history with Pawnee–as a junior high guidance counselor in the early ’70’s when he used Pawnee as a resource… and he mentioned his late wife Tammy in her role as a licensed clinical social worker at Pawnee.

State Representative Tom Phillips of Manhattan was one of many participating, commending the founders in 1956.

Also present were State Representatives Sydney Carlin and Susie Swanson.

The party was complete with birthday presents, toys donated for children who are helped by Pawnee Mental Health.

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