"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.