The staff of the non-profit organization Crossroads Center Inc. have not yet come to terms with the loss of a very special member of their volunteer staff, Victor Keith Rauch.
The sudden death of Victor in early 2012 hit the staff and the participants at the Crossroads riding center especially hard.
Crossroads Center Inc. is a therapeutic horseback riding program dedicated to enhancing the lives of individuals with disabilities. The program offers children and adults with physical, mental and/or emotional disabilities the benefits of therapeutic riding.
Executive Director Rena Cross said that Victor was a fixture at the riding center volunteering almost all of his spare time to helping kids at the riding center.
“Victor just had a way with the kids,” Cross recalled. “There was one little girl that just couldn’t relate to anyone else at the center, but she loved Victor. He was the only one that could work with her.”
Cross remembers Victor as a man with a heart of gold and a big crooked smile.
Cross organized a special memorial to honor the memory of Victor Rauch. With the help of Liberal New Iron and Metal and Top Dead Center Auto and Truck Accessories, Cross commissioned a metal sculpture in Victor’s honor.
The sculpture depicts a horse and cowboy knelt at a cross with Victor’s name, birthday and death date painted in bright orange and yellow across the base.
The steel sculpture was cut by Liberal New Iron and Metal then painted and sealed by Top Dead Center before being delivered to the Crossroads Center building in early August. The staff at Crossroads set the sculpture in its permanent place at the entrance to the riding center under the flag pole on Sept. 11, 2012.
Friends of Crossroad Center described the memorial as “awesome and perfect.”
Donna Meek summed up everyone’s feelings with these simple words, “As I looked at it tonight, I felt a quiet sense of peace. Sometimes you just wish you could turn back time....just for a little while.”
The memorial can be seen at the Crossroads Center on Bluebell Road east of Liberal.