Lambs Farm has the privilege of serving a truly remarkable group of men and women. They meet each day’s challenges with a courage and enthusiasm most of us could not comprehend, and then move beyond to learn something new, make another friend or conquer another task. Among the beliefs of our co-founders was that given the opportunity, people with developmental disabilities could learn, continue to grow, and enjoy meaningful, full lives as contributing members of society. That vision has surely been emulated beyond expectation by this year’s Honoree, Marc H.
Marc was born at a U.S. Naval Hospital in California. As his family moved around the country during his childhood, he attended special education classes in elementary, junior high and then high school in Illinois, New York and Florida. Throughout his life, he learned from his late parents the importance of both family and religion. He maintains a very close relationship with his brother and sister, and their children, and has been a member of a local church for nearly 40 years, where he also serves as an usher. He is a person with unlimited enthusiasm for just about everything.
When they finally settled in the Chicagoland area, Marc became a resident of Lambs Farm in the 70’s. After initially living in our Dorm, he moved to a campus group home and today lives as independently as possible in his own apartment in our campus building, responsible for his own cooking, cleaning and laundry. He looked forward to going to work as a mail room/supply clerk at an insurance company where he made many friends and was credited by his co-workers with creating an environment of mutual respect. Unfortunately, the office was closed in 2010 and he was laid off just shy of his 30th anniversary. Today, he enjoys working as a dishwasher at a health facility.
On most days, Marc can be found exercising with friends in our gymnasium or practicing his skills in one of the numerous sports offered as part of our Special Olympics program. Over the years, he has earned many medals in tennis, bowling, snowshoeing, basketball, floor hockey, bocce, and softball, and even competed in swimming at the National Games one year. He enjoys ski trips with his brother, and has traveled to a variety of other destinations sponsored by organized groups.
Many years ago, he played leading roles in the Participant Dinner Theatre held each year at Lambs Farm, and was thrilled when it resumed in 2011. He has been showcasing his formidable acting talents in roles he has performed ever since- as the Butler in Annie, the Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz, starring as Danny in Grease, and most recently as Rapunzel’s Prince and The Mysterious Man in Into the Woods.
Marc is the recipient of the 2014 Lambs Farm Living Legacy award, established in 2011 to recognize Participants who embody the vision of our co-founders. There is no question that he exceeds the personification of a productive, contributing member of his community.
For the men and women of Lambs Farm, the pursuit of a full life embodies a celebration of who they are, a sincere compassion for others, and the continuous desire to be treated with the respect and dignity they so richly deserve. Marc is a Living Legacy who personifies the vision that our co-founders created an fought so hard to achieve.