2021 is a big year for Lambs Farm because of a special milestone — our 60th anniversary! It’s hard to believe that six decades ago, our Co-Founders Bob Terese and Corinne Owen opened a small pet shop on State Street that has changed the lives of individuals with developmental disabilities.
They started off with just 12 employees and expanded their vision four years later when they moved the business to a 70-acre farm in Libertyville, Illinois, after leasing property from W. Clement Stone, who ended up gifting them the land.
With the help of family members and volunteers, they turned a restored, century-old barn into a new pet store and used the additional land to build more businesses and fulfill their dream of providing residences for people with disabilities.
Today, Lambs Farm serves over 200 adults. Participants work at the Pet Center, Farmyard, Country Store & Bakery, Magnolia Cafe, and Thrift Shop, as well as other areas such as Lambs Industries, janitorial or groundskeeping and have various opportunities in the community. They work hard, build friendships and explore their interests in a wide variety of Quest classes and Special Olympic sports.
Lambs Farm has such a rich, interesting history, and there are five Participants from the very beginning who are still with us today.
Mike Hechtman, Patti Horgan, Dennis Moss, Janice Small and Ruby Perzan are the remaining Original Lambs who were first employed by our Co-Founders. These individuals have spent most of their life at Lambs Farm, growing in ways they never thought possible and proving that adults with developmental disabilities can lead productive and fulfilling lives.
Lambs Farm would not be what it is today without the support of our visitors. We welcomed guests near and far to a special event, 60th Anniversary on the Farm, to celebrate with us on Saturday, September 17 and Sunday, September 18.
It was a beautiful fall weekend, and families enjoyed barrel train rides and rope making stations provided by the Lake County Farm Heritage Association. Kids could do all kinds of fall crafts including decorating a cookie and painting a ceramic pumpkin, visit our Farmyard friends and play games. Guests could shop at our vendor showcase and purchase tickets at our lucky draw raffle. We also heard classics from 1960s band, The Rockets, and the men and women of Lambs Farm were serving up fall treats, snow cones, popcorn and fresh lemonade at their new carts that were recently purchased through our spring fundraiser, Lunch on the Lawn.
As always, volunteers played a key role in the event. We had over 100 people come to help make our 60th celebration extra special, and we can’t thank them enough for their support.
Lambs Farm has accomplished so much in 60 years, and we can’t wait to see what the future has in store for us as we continue to grow.