After two years of virtual galas, we were excited to welcome guests to the elegant and historic Cuneo Mansion & Gardens for Celebrating the Spirit 2023.

It was a beautiful evening dedicated to celebrating the courage of our co-founders, the determination of our participants and the hopes and dreams for the future of Lambs Farm.

Participant volunteers greeted and guided guests to the ballroom to start the fun. We kicked off the evening with a special appearance from Patti Horgan and Ruby Perzan, two of the original Lambs who started at the Pet Shop on State Street.

Guests then enjoyed a gourmet dinner, fun games and auctions. Thanks to several generous donors, the silent auction had over 100 unique items, while the live auction consisted of incredible trips to Belize, Mexico, an ultimate sports package and American adventure.

The night continued as our 2023 award winners took the stage. Robert Neiman, longtime chair of the Lambs Farm Board of Directors, received the first Spirit of Giving Award. 

This high honor recognizes the remarkable generosity of individuals who have made a significant difference to Lambs Farm by donating their time, talent, leadership and resources. Nobody else fits this description quite like Bob, as he has been a wise and tireless advocate for Lambs Farm since 1999. He has gone above and beyond to support our mission and is always there to celebrate our successes or help us navigate through challenges.

Each year, a participant is recognized with the Living Legacy Award. This award recognizes Lambs Farm participants who live life as our co-founders Bob Terese and Corinne Owen envisioned — learning, growing, sharing, and contributing to their community. Eli Spector’s courage to try something new made him the perfect candidate. After struggling to find a job that was the right fit, Eli took a chance and helped out in the bakery during our busy catalog season. With guidance from Quest manager Brooke Mezo, Eli had a successful stint as a temporary catalog fulfillment worker which led to a full-time, challenging job that he loves. Eli was so excited to receive this special honor and we are so proud of him.

The Casanova Award was established in memory of Vince Casanova, a long-term board member and champion of Lambs Farm. The recipient of the award recognizes people with his passion and commitment to our participants. The Durbin Family’s deep commitment to Lambs Farm spans three generations, spurred by their love and support for participant Tom Durbin. Tom’s parents Bob and Julie were sage advisers, active volunteers and generous donors. Tom’s brothers, John and Doug, continue to make their parents proud as they and their spouses do everything they can to support Lambs Farm and carry on the Durbin tradition. 

Following the heartfelt award presentations was a paddle raiser. Lambs Farm participant and plant  lover Ja’Don hyped up the crowd as he shared his knowledge and the exciting news that we are building a commercial greenhouse. All generous donations raised from the paddle raiser will help us build the new business, which will provide new job opportunities and act as a stepping stone as we grow our vocational services and community outreach. 

The evening concluded as guests joined the participants on the dance floor to enjoy great music played by Gentlemen of Leisure. 

Special thank you to everyone who contributed to this memorable celebration. It was definitely a night to remember!