Lambs Farm Blog

Check back often to get the inside scoop on the happenings at Lambs Farm!

Lean & Green in 2016!

This year the Wellness Department is starting off the New Year with a brand new program! “LEAN & GREEN in 2016!” The goal of the new program is not only to get both Participants and Staff exercising again but to also help them focus on eating and drinking healthy.

The new program is pretty straight forward. Each month you pick a goal and can either focus on exercising, eating fruits and vegetables or drinking water. We wanted to come up with goals everyone could achieve and even switch up from month to month. We want as many people on the Farm to be part of it as possible. The goals to choose from are simple… try to exercise three times a week, try to eat at least three fruits and vegetables each day OR try to drink at least three 16oz bottles of water a day.

The standards for these areas are a bit higher but we think these goals are a great place to start and great way to keep people engaged!
Brought to you by Kreig Alm, Wellness Manager &
Darlene Holop, RDN, LD, Wellness Dietitian.


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Fall into Fit Meals!

Introducing the fall line up of daily Fit Meals at the Magnolia Café & Bakery! All meals are 500 calories or less. Each meal is served with a fresh fruit side (unless otherwise noted) and a 20 oz. brewed iced or hot tea- all for only $5.99 each.

Don’t forget about your loyalty punch card, it’s free! Buy 9 fit meals and the 10th one is free!

Acorn Squash

Turkey Sausage & Apple Stuffed Acorn Squash

(Meals are rotated every two weeks)
Week 1 – begins November 2
House Made Turkey Burger on a Whole Grain Bun
Turkey Sausage & Apple Stuffed Acorn Squash
With a Breadstick

Avocado Chicken Salad on Multigrain Bread
Chicken Crust Pizza with a Side Salad

Chicken Crust Pizza

Chicken Crust Pizza

Pasta Fagioli with a Side Salad

Week 2 – beings November 9
Healthy Grilled Cheese
Mozzarella, Avocado, Tomato on Multigrain
White Chicken Chili with a Breadstick
Tilapia Fish Wrap with Crunchy Slaw
Light Chopped Salad
With Fat Free Raspberry Vinaigrette
Caprese Grilled Chicken

Posted in Magnolia Cafe & Bakery, Special Events | 2 Comments

10th Annual Barn Burner BBQ

IMG_5720The haze over the main parking lot at Lambs Farm on October 17th was filled with the aroma of barbeques from almost 40 teams competing for Grand Champion at the 10th Annual Barn Burner BBQ. Sponsored by KCBS (Kansas City Barbeque Society) teams compete for having the best chicken, brisket, pork and ribs. In addition to the meats, a dessert category is optional for teams. Congratulations to this years Grand Champion, Yellow River BBQ and all of the other teams who competed.

In 2014, KCBS announced their mission to feed the homeless and hungry in America. During the Barn Burner competition at Lambs Farm, teams generously accepted to cook additional meat which then is donated to the residents of Lambs Farm. The extra meat which is cooked is purchased and donated by KCBS. This year, Lambs Farm collected 186 pounds of cooked pork butt from our competitors.

Families were able to enjoy activities offered such as a pumpkin bounce house, hay bale maze, face painting, pumpkin painting and more!IMG_5567


Click here to view pictures and standings from the event!

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Musical Production of Beauty & The Beast

Lambs Farm Participant Theater performed Beauty & The Beast September 19th and 20th at the Gorton Community Center in Lake Forest. Many months of studying, practicing lines, learning songs, costume changes and choreographed dances paid off for this cast and crew.

Co-Directors Janine Neumann and Alison Zieroff spent numerous months preparing for this weekend. “I was so proud of the cast this year. They really stepped up by memorizing their lines and knowing when to enter and exit the stage,” Neumann mentioned. “We had a lot of new faces in the cast this year and they really showed their amazing abilities on stage. I could not be more proud of the things they have accomplished this year,” Neumann added

Family and friends were highly entertained by the wonderful performance. Hats off to all those involved as the Participant Theater has added another successful play to their repertoire.

Click here to view pictures from the performances!

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Thank you for putting the POP in Popcorn Days!

Dino at CardinalWe were delighted that so many of you pitched in for the 7th Annual Popcorn Days on May 1 and 2 to raise $35,000!

We had 125 volunteers at 75 locations in 23 communities and distributed thousands of bags of popcorn — compliments of The Popcorn Factory. New this year was the engagement of local corporations who tagged during the week of April 27 – in their lobbies, cafeterias and other high-traffic office spots.

Thank you to Trustmark, Sodexho/Siemens Health, Abbvie, Cardinal Health, Zurich NA, UL, Akorn Pharmaceutical, Idex, United Stationers, Allstate, Cancer Treatment Centers of America and Brightstar.

Many of these corporations also matched their employees’ contributions and signed on to applaud all Participants working at these locations. We also invited merchants, restaurants and retailers in Libertyville to create popcorn displays during their “First Friday” event. Thank you to Mickey Finns, Julie’s Studio, Townee Square, Lee’s Famous Donuts and so many more.

We are looking forward to next year’s Popcorn Days already!

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The Rogan Tribute Garden Opening in July

From its beginning, Lambs Farm has been a place where people grow – not just the men and women we serve, but also the thousands of people who have visited over the years.

RoganMembers of the Rogan family are among those whose lives have been impacted by their experiences at Lambs Farm. For years, Ed Rogan and his family visited Lambs Farm. He frequently brought his parents for lunch on their way to visit a close relative in a nearby hospital. Those lunches turned into many family holiday celebrations at the Lambs Farm restaurant, a tradition that spanned generations and included many members of his family.

For years, Ed searched for an appropriate way to honor his parents and other late relatives. When he read about our new Tribute Garden, he had finally found just the right opportunity – something that was an important part of their lives. So, he became the Title Sponsor of the project that is now called The Rogan Tribute Garden. Their involvement has been a catalyst in reuniting many of their family members throughout the country, and the entire family will be present for the Tribute Garden’s dedication on July 23.

The Rogan Tribute Garden will be something that will enhance the Lambs Farm campus, and make a wonderful addition to be enjoyed by our visitors as well as the men and women we serve. It will also become a perpetual fundraising endeavor to support the life-enriching programming for people with developmental disabilities for which Lambs Farm is known.

A number of the Tribute Garden’s naming opportunities have already been fund since the project was initiated and many remain available starting at $500. They offer a unique way to honor or memorialize friends and family, as has been the case for the Rogan family, and include a wide variety of specific areas, seating, pathways, wall plaques, objects and plants.

View all of the available Tribute Garden naming opportunities!

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New Wellness Center Provides Holistic Approach to Health for Participants

wellnessAccording to the World Health Organization, wellness is “…a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”

Lambs Farm has embraced this definition with the launch of our new Wellness Center. The goal of this endeavor is to create a comprehensive initiative that fosters an overall wellness culture and utilizes all available resources. At Lambs Farm, wellness includes the sports and activities offered in Recreation, the enrichment and educational elements of Quest and Fine Arts, and the health and & nutrition initiatives of Dietary.

“By collaborating together, our departments will be able to better address the needs of each Participant, young and old,” said Wellness Manager Kreig Alm.

On January 28, Participants, staff, and volunteers celebrated the kickoff of the new Wellness Center in the gymnasium. Everyone was able to participate in fun fitness contests such as a sit and reach test, a shuttle run and raffles while learning about the upcoming wellness initiatives.

As part of the program, each month will feature a wellness theme to educate and inform Participants and staff. Special events will be held and articles will be included in our publications in order to convey a unified message.

“We want the ideas to be integrated into the whole culture of Lambs Farm, so we are also educating the staff each month and encouraging them to sign up to lead an exercise session with the Participants,” said Lambs Farm Dietitian Darlene Holop.

In addition, the continual Healthy Lambs exercise challenges serve as motivating factors to encourage the men and women to stay active. In the month of February, the fitness challenge was to have 50 people exercise each day!wellness_4

A zumba class is also now available for all who are interested and new fitness equipment will be added throughout the year. Our 10 Special Olympics sports will continue to serve as a challenging and competitive component for our Participants.

Each month “Wellness Days,” open to all, will highlight the month’s theme and will focus on specific residences in order to personalize the information. Some themes throughout the year will be: Aging Gracefully, Proper Hydration, Diabetes Awareness and Stress Management.

On February 11, a gymnastics instructor visited our campus to help lead an ability sensitive exercise class for the month’s theme of Sports & Activities. Additionally, Participants were able to take part in a karaoke event that same evening, which allowed them to show off their singing talents.

Because March is National Nutrition Month, our theme will be Nutrition. As part of the activities planned, a Dietitian from Jewel-Osco led an interactive educational session to teach Participants more about healthy eating. Year-round nutrition education will also focus on interactive cooking classes to help Participants learn to prepare meals that meet individual dietary needs.

In addition to the current “Be Well” class, our Dietitian has added a class called “Mission Slimpossible” modeled after Weight Watchers and including food journaling, portion bewell_1control and an overall support system to help achieve wellness goals. Another new offering, “Healthy Adventures,” is designed to take Participants into the community to enjoy wellness related activities such as rock climbing, yoga, indoor bocce and visits to local health food stores.

Our Wellness Center allows Participants to more easily incorporate healthy practices into their everyday lives. From new equipment, to new classes, to special events, it assures that our men and women have the opportunity to experience the highest quality of life no matter their age or disability.

Would you like to donate your expertise and time to make our Wellness Center even better?!  Send us a message to and we will try to connect your talents with our needs!

This year’s Fun & Fit Family Day 5K Run/2 Mile Walk will benefit the Wellness Center!  Join us for this great event with your friends and family!

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Expanding Job Opportunities for Lambs Farm Participants

MaggianoswebAs one of our founding tenets, we strive continually to find meaningful employment opportunities for all of the men and women of Lambs Farm. Whether they work in the community, in a Lambs Farm business, in one of our areas on campus, or at Lambs Industries, they all deserve the opportunity to learn new skills and gain a sense of accomplishment.

Read about all of our vocational services here.

This past year we have secured a number of new community jobs for several Participants, Maryvolzweband we continue to make connections with the promise of job placements in the future. Most recently, Maggiano’s has employed seven of our Participants to roll silverware each week at their new Vernon Hills location. Another Participant was hired as a bagger at the new Trader Joe’s in Libertyville, and yet another was hired at Chick-fil-A in Vernon Hills. All are doing well in these new positions!

In addition, through Goodwill Industries, a new Participant began working at the Great Lakes Naval Station, and Sedgebrook, an employer for several years, has hired an additional Lambs Farm Participant.

Read more about our long history with Sedgebrook in this article!

We appreciate the support of these companies. Help us spread the word in the community about the hard work and talents of our men and women!

wynnwebAdditionally, Lambs Industries is always looking for opportunities from businesses who can benefit from our packaging and assembly services. This work environment provides meaningul employment for our men and women who have limited vocational skills. Personal service and commitment to quality make us a great source for business production needs.

In 2014 the following new jobs were completed by the 60 Participants who work in the facility: putting plastic sleeves on the back of booklets for American Publishing Co., collating and stuffing envelopes for Phoenix Veteran Print and Abbott Laboratory Employee Credit Union, wiring wood picks to pine cones for Hampshire Farm, assembling hooks and connectors for Visual Pak and Inserting parts in plastic bags for Briggs Healthcare/Health Smart.

If you or someone you know is interested in using Lambs Industries services for future business needs, please contact Procurement Specialist Toni Castillo at 847.295.2121.

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Lambs Farm Receives Chicago Cares Community Partner Star Award

discoverAfter months of planning, Discover Financial Services and Chicago Cares joined forces for a very special Volunteer Day at Lambs Farm. Nearly 500 employees of Discover Financial Services converged on our campus in September 2014 for a day of hard work!

And work they did – painting, landscaping, repairing/constructing fencing, creating artwork for the Farmyard area, powerwashing the group homes, and a whole lot more. In between, they enjoyed a delicious breakfast and lunch prepared by our Magnolia Café & Bakery.

Following this service day, Lambs Farm was selected as the winner of the 2014 discover6Chicago Cares Community Partner Star Award, which was presented at their celebration dinner on December 1st.

The Star Award winners were selected by a committee that included Chicago Cares board members and staff, along with previous award winners; who carefully reviewed each nomination.

According to Chicago Cares, award winners exemplify the spirit of volunteerism through their consistent commitment to volunteer service, ability to inspire others, compassion and sensitivity when working with clients, and eagerness to offer services, skills, resources and ideas to improve our community.

discover11“Lambs Farm has done a great job of engaging their Participants in projects when appropriate, and makes sure everyone is aware when Chicago Cares is coming in for a project (staff and Participants alike),” said Chicago Cares. “They truly understand what a volunteer project, regardless of scale, means to their staff and most importantly, to their residents, and work so hard to make it a great experience for everyone involved.”

Thank you to Discover and Chicago Cares for choosing Lambs Farm, and for all the Discover employees who came out to help make this special Day of Service a great success!

If your corporation or business is interested in our group volunteer projects please contact Angela Ramert at, and find out more about all of our volunteering needs here!

Read about other groups who have contributed through volunteer opportunities at Lambs Farm!


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Popcorn Days Team Captains Make a Difference

Popcorn1webOur Annual Popcorn Days would not be possible without the number of volunteers that help us make it successful! Our Team Captains in particular are a vital part of this fundraiser who help identify volunteers, manage volunteer sites and work alongside the Lambs Farm Development team for the event weekend.

Frances Dellutri is one of these Team Captains, who has volunteered her time since the very first Popcorn Days six years ago!

Frances, why do you choose to be a Team Captain each year?

I have a wonderful sister who has been a Participant at Lambs Farm for 30+ years and she is so proud of her accomplishments and independence. I thought the idea of Popcorn Days was a great way to yes, raise money for Lambs, but also it would give me an opportunity to chat with people about the great things that Lambs has done and to raise community awareness of a unique program, surpassed by none in my opinion.

Why should others be involved as Team Captains?

By being a Captain you have the ability to actively work toward getting the community involved in the support of Lambs Farm. I think this is really important. Lambs is a great facility at which people with development disabilities can live and work productively, but most of all it allows them to be a vibrant part of today’s world.

In order for Popcorn Days to be more successful, additional Captains and volunteers are needed to cover a wider geographical area. You can even Captain from home if you have a limitation – there are many creative ways to Captain!

What are some highlights from past Popcorn Days?

I’ve had the privilege to work with many volunteers who were so engaged, selfless, and excited to make a difference for Lambs Farm. I remember the lady with $100, who said she wished she had more to give, the folks that had a very tight financial situation diving into their bags for loose change with a huge smile, and the many happy stories of people working at Lambs, visiting Lambs, or having a loved one nurtured at Lambs. Those things really keep you going! I look forward to Popcorn Days each year!


Popcorn Days is an easy way for Lambs Farm to raise much needed funds to support our programming that enriches the lives of the men and women we serve. Please consider being a volunteer or a volunteer Captain for the 2015 Popcorn Days on May 1 and 2. For more information please contact Elaine Zielinski at 847.990.3865.

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