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Lillian Lombardi “Live Your Best Life” Award

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 Employment Achievement Award

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

“Spirit of ReFocus” Outstanding Employee Award

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:

  • Has this person made an impact, for the better, on someone's life?
  • What contribution has this person made to the whole of ReFocus?
  • Has this person made ReFocus a better Agency because she/he is here and because of the work that she/he does?
  • Has this person shown integrity, commitment, initiative and success?
  • Has this person done something that others wouldn't?
  • How long has this person been dedicated to the folks at ReFocus?
2016 Winners2019 Winners

Lifetime Service Award

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

Volunteer of the Year Award

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

ReFocus Lifetime Leadership Award

2014 Winner2016 Winner

ReFocus Team Leadership Award

Award Winners

ReFocus Community Service Award

2016 Winner

ReFocus 2020 Covid-19 True Hero Award

2020 Award Winners

ReFocus 2020 Covid-19 "It Takes A Village" Award

2020 Award Winners

ReFocus 2021 Covid Hero Award

2021 Award Winnders

2022 Sister Janet Baker Living the Mission Award

Janet facilitated many of our conferences throughout the last 30 years.  Her intelligence, sense of humor, skills in working with groups, her wisdom, her faith, her belief in humankind always made her deeply loved and respected by so many of us at ReFocus.

Sister Janet passed on November 10, 2021. We miss her very, very much.

In memory of this wonderful, dedicated, spirited and loving woman, person, Sister of Mercy, we have created the Sister Janet Baker Living the Mission Award to honor those people in different areas of ReFocus, who live the Agency ideals and values as well as the hopes and dreams of the individuals we support. These people exemplify the spirit of the Mission of ReFocus in many varied and wonderful ways.

2022 Award Winners

50th Anniversary Woman of the Year Award

Barbara Papitto