Our Mission at Laradon is to be an organization of excellence that provides superior services to children and adults with developmental disabilities and other special needs to help them realize their full potential and maximize self-sufficiency.
We began in 1948, at a time when the public school system denied education to their two sons because they were “mentally retarded,” Joseph and Elizabeth Calabrese invested their life savings into the creation of a very special school – Laradon. Named after their two sons, Larry and Don, Laradon was the first charitable organization in the Rocky Mountain region to offer support, education, and training to children with developmental disabilities. At a time when few other services were available to children with disabilities, Laradon was a blessing for the many parents who were concerned about their children’s futures.
Within a short time, Laradon gained national recognition as an innovator of educational and training services for people with special needs. In partnership with parents, professionals, philanthropic organizations and generous community members, Joseph and Elizabeth Calabrese created a training center for people seeking the opportunity to expand their work skills, a school for children with special needs and housing for people in need of a home.
The Calabrese’s knew that when provided with the proper education, training and support, people with disabilities could realize their full potential, contribute to the community and become valued members of society. That vision still exists today. It is manifested in Laradon’s culture and operating philosophy, it is embodied in its mission statement and is seen on the faces of the children and adults who are experiencing a life of inclusion, independence and success.
Today you can help us dream big by supporting the important work of Laradon. Please take the time to send your donation so that we can continue to celebrate the best in everyone!