Non-profit organization says farewell to longtime employee

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DECATUR, Ill. (WAND) - After 17 years of being an impactful and important employee at Independence Pointe, Lori Brown is starting a new chapter in her life.

She says she was with the organization when it was Easter Seals. Lori started the well-known inclusive child care center that house 70 children with and without disabilities. 

Brown's co-workers say she is a very spirited worker and always gives her all. They say they have heard stories about children becoming stronger and smarter because of programs that Lori has started.

Lori says, "It's been a big part of my life. I've been here a lot of years. My son went through the child care center, and it's pretty much like all of these kids are my family. Often times, the came first in my lie."

As Independence Pointe gathered for a surprise party for Lori, all of the toddlers in the room were more than happy for one last group hug with Ms. Lori. Though they might not have all understood that she was leaving, her co-workers certainly understood and were sad, but they all wished her the best of luck.

Amy Bliefnick, the Executive Director of Macon Resources, says, "She's the perfect person to run a place like this. She's always upbeat, she's always happy, and she's willing to give 120% to the agency. It will definitely be a loss to the agency not to have her here at MRI, but we also wish her lots of luck."

Lori says what she will miss most are the kids and watching them reach many milestones. She says the children and their families will always hold a special place in her heart. After hearing about and seeing all of the children she has impacted in her 17 years, WAND wanted to give her a special 'thank you' gift by awarding her the Spirit of Central Illinois Award.

If you know of someone who did an amazing deed or someone who always gives back, nominate them by scrolling to the nomination form at the bottom of this page.

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