Work of The Kids Ranch to continue in memory of founder

Work of The Kids Ranch to continue in memory of founder

In the 16 years since Anne Rakos founded The Kids Ranch, more than 1,000 children have benefited from tutoring and counseling they’ve received there. On Wednesday many of those children will return, along with volunteers, friends and family of Rakos, to say goodbye.

Rakos, 61, died last Thursday.

“It was never about Anne. It was always about everyone else,” said Mary Bowers, educational coordinator at The Kids Ranch. “She was the most selfless person that I’ve ever met. She was a giver and a doer. Anne got things done.”

Rakos, a child and family therapist, created The Kids Ranch to assist children between the ages of 6 and 10 facing a variety of challenges. The Kids Ranch offered tutoring for children struggling to learn and equine therapy and counseling for those dealing with emotional issues.

On Wednesday at 4:30 p.m., a memorial service for Rakos will take place on the ranch that she built.

“I think the place is going to be packed and I think there are going to be a lot of tears shed,” Bowers said.

“I think there will be an incredible amount of healing done here. Quite frankly, as there always is done here,” said Arie Smouter, board president of The Kids Ranch.

While the memorial service for Rakos will take place Wednesday, the work she started on The Kids Ranch will continue less than 24 hours later. A group of children will arrive Thursday to begin the summer session.

“We will celebrate her tomorrow and we will continue her work the following days,” Smouter said.

The Kids Ranch is a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and donations to operate.