Members of the Menninger family and the Menninger Pocket Park Committee visited the Sunflower Nonprofit Center on Thursday to celebrate the recent dedication of the park in downtown Topeka.
The park, which pays tribute to the Menninger family legacy and its contributions to psychiatry and the Topeka community, features a life-sized statue of C.F. Menninger and busts of C.F., his sons, Karl and William, and grandsons, Roy and Walt.
Dr. Roy Menninger and wife Bev, Dr. Walt Menninger, and their cousin and former Menninger therapist Rosemary Menninger, reunited with former Menninger Clinic employees on Thursday at the site that for many years served as the home of the clinic. Healing Hill, as it oftentimes is referred to, is now the home of Sunflower Foundation.
Other members of the Pocket Park Committee in attendance Thursday included: Gabriella Adorino, former Menninger art therapist; Dr. Robert Conroy, longtime Menninger psychiatrist; Billie Hall, President and CEO of Sunflower Foundation; and Larry Wolgast, former Topeka mayor and Vice President of Development for Menninger. Joe Skeeba, a nationally recognized sculptor and Kansas native who created the artwork for the park, also attended the gathering.
While the gathering was a chance to celebrate the park and efforts to bring it to downtown Topeka, it also served as an opportunity for the Menningers and their former colleagues to gather and reminisce about their days on the hill and the legacy they created in building a revolutionary psychiatric center of excellence.