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People Making a Difference

Don and Charlene Lamberti

"I just want to get on with my life." The young man who made that statement over 30 years ago was a member of a small group of families who appealed to the community to help find a way to open an inpatient center dedicated specifically to the needs of persons with brain injury after they were able to leave the hospital. Eli Wirtz, then Casey's corporate counsel, whose own family had been impacted by brain injury, brought this pressing need to the attention of President and CEO Don Lamberti. 


When the city of Ankeny offered to issue $4 million in municipal bonds to build such a center, it was Don and Charlene Lamberti who agreed to personally guarantee that the required matching funds would be raised. After providing the lead gift, Don reached out to many of his friends and colleagues to get the ball rolling, and the dream was realized when On With Life's Post-Acute Inpatient program opened in 1991. 


"It's no accident that On With Life is doing so well," states Don. "They've helped thousands of individuals living with brain injury and their families, in addition to creating new jobs for healthcare professionals. It's exactly what we pictured it would be." 


Over the years, the Lambertis have continued their support for the organization and recently provided the lead gift in the current Life Forward capital campaign. In addition, they have created a family legacy of support for the community and for helping those in need. Their son, Jeff Lamberti, has been on the On With Life, Inc. Board for 20 plus years and is currently President of the Foundation Board. 


Don and Charlene are longtime residents of Ankeny and enjoy spending time with their children, 11 grandchildren and 14 greatgrandchildren. The On With Life family is proof that the entire community enjoys the fruits of their generosity and caring natures.