May 27, 2018 marked the ribbon-cutting of the Gene and Rosemary Lamb Inclusive Playground in Seneca, Illinois. Thanks to the incredible generosity of many donors, the Playground was constructed much sooner than anticipated and children were enjoying the new equipment as soon as the ribbon was cut!
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The Lamb Family has been a part of the community in Seneca, Illinois for over 60 years and hopes to continue their commitment to the community for years to come. Gene Lamb first became a part of Seneca when he operated the first crane at The LST Shipyards in 1942. He and wife Mary moved their family of six to Seneca in 1953 where they raised six children: John, Joe, Tom, George, Carol, and Mary. Married 49 years, Gene and Mary were active members of their community.
Gene, who was fondly known as “Grumpy Bear” and “Mean Gene” had a heart for giving back.
He helped construct the first high school football field in 1968, while Mary was very involved in the St. Patrick’s Rosary. Mary was a beloved member of the grade school kitchen staff from 1974-1992, where her sugar cookie and cinnamon roll recipes are still used today. Gene and Mary were proud grandparents of 12 grandkids. Some of their fondest memories with children and grandchildren were along the banks of the Illinois river in Seneca where it wasn’t uncommon to find one of the kids in Gene’s handmade tire swing.
While all of Gene and Mary’s children stayed involved in Seneca well into adulthood, their son George kept the family history alive when he purchased the old LST Shipyards in 1988, where Gene was a crane operator all those years before. George ran a successful industrial park at the site for more than 20 years. As a business owner, he and wife Cindy have remained involved in a variety of community organizations over the years. George and Cindy raised two children, Josh and Lauren, in Seneca also.
Their experience as parents of a child with special needs, along with George’s experiences when his brother Joe was struck with childhood polio, showed the couple how important inclusion for all children of every ability is in the community. George and Cindy are thrilled to be able to give back to the children in Seneca and the surrounding communities by partnering with the Starved Rock Country Community Foundation to bring an all-inclusive, wheelchair accessible playground to Crotty Park. The park is located not far from The Shipyards and will be dedicated to Gene and Mary. The family hopes to provide a variety of equipment at the playground that allows children of any ability to play alongside one another.
Learn about the Lamb family’s other fund here at SRCCF, The Lamb Family Fund for Ability and Adaption, here.