Lillian Lombardi was an important part of our ReFocus family. Lillian lived at home in West Warwick until the age of 16, at which time she was placed in Ladd School by her parents in an effort to “protect” her.
Lillian lived at Ladd for the next 35 years. Lillian was smart; she could read and write, she listened to the staff and knew all the gossip on the ward. She would often get into trouble by sharing the gossip with other staff at the institution. Lillian was unpopular and was pushed into the “back wards” at Ladd. Life was not easy for Lillian. As de-institutionalizing became a reality in Rhode Island, Lil was transferred to a 24-hour supervised apartment operated by Ladd. She didn’t make it, and was sent back to Ladd.
In 1981 Lillian was transferred to St. Charles Residence. This began a whole new lease on life for Lil. Initially, it was clear that Lil didn’t think she was worthy of people’s love, but she always had a spirit that couldn’t be kept down. Over the next twenty years at ReFocus, Lillian became beloved by many, Colleen Casey and Chris Kavanagh being among her favorite people. Lillian had many obstacles, physically, emotionally, and spiritually which she needed to overcome, make peace with, or rise above. Lillian’s spirit was indomitable. She was a fighter and a lover and she was a survivor. Lillian wanted to be known and respected for the wise woman she was. Through the patience and love of many people over the years, Lillian came to know herself as good, loveable and a good friend. Lillian took a difficult hand that life had dealt her and she always made the most of every challenge, as well as any good situation.
We offer this award in Lillian’s memory, to those who have that same love of life and ability to overcome life’s difficulties with a hard-earned smile, a zest for life and a deep love for those special people in their lives.2019 Winner2016 Winner
ReFocus is dedicated to helping people live their lives to their full potential and the ReFocus Achievement Award recognizes those who make huge strides toward their goals each year. ReFocus is all about achievement, being our best selves, and each award winner serves as a model for the rest of us.2019 Winners
ReFocus is blessed to have incredibly generous, extremely dedicated, amazingly creative and unbelievably loving employees. Each year, we invite every client and every employee to nominate the person they felt best lived the mission and philosophy of ReFocus. In deciding who receives this prestigious award, the Administrative Team considers the following qualities:
The ReFocus Lifetime Service Award is not given every year. It is reserved for those special people who time and again have supported the ReFocus mission.2013 Winner
ReFocus is proud of the many men, women and youth who generously donate their time to support our work with the folks. Each year, the time and effort of some of our volunteers stands out so clearly to our staff, that we honor them with our Volunteer of the Year Award. It is a testament to their selflessness and generosity and a glowing example of how volunteering at ReFocus can make a huge difference in the lives of people with differing abilities.2019 Winner