Feature Stories

Summer 2013

AbilityFirst: Lawry’s Lasting Legacy

AbilityFirst and Lawry’s have made a positive difference in the lives of disabled Southern Californians for nearly 100-years.

For nearly a century, AbilityFirst has supported disabled children and adults. For nearly a century, AbilityFirst has supported disabled children and adults.

IN 1926, Lawry’s Restaurants co-founder, Lawrence L. Frank and three other members of the Los Angeles Rotary Club established the Crippled Children’s Society of Southern California – renamed AbilityFirst in 1999.

As its first president, Lawrence’s magnetic personality, vision and what would become a lifelong commitment helped ensure the survival and growth of the Society and inspired a legacy of support by Lawry’s Restaurants and successive generations of Franks.

Lawrence was instrumental in the creation of Camp Paivika in 1947. The San Bernardino Mountain camp – whose name comes from a Native American word for “dawn” – is one of the country’s first fully accessible resident camps for disabled children and adults. Here, they try new things, become more independent and most of all have a lot of fun.

Lawrence’s son, Richard N. Frank, became the Society’s Vice President in 1952. He later raised money to build the AbilityFirst Lawrence L. Frank Center in Pasadena, one of 24 locations, including the Los Angeles L.L. Frank Work Center, providing training and employment for the disabled.

a lifelong commitment helped ensure the survival and growth of the Society

The cause was taken up by Richard R. Frank, a third-generation family member. He has served as the organization’s Board Chair and helps enlist other restaurants and vendors in support of the annual AbilityFirst Gourmet Festival fund raising event.

The Lawry’s connection recently became a professional one when, following its winning bid, AbilityFirst’s Pasadena Work Center was chosen as vendor for Lawry’s personalized bottle-labeling and fulfillment program.

Continuing its close ties, Lawry’s The Prime Rib donated the entire proceeds of June’s 75th Anniversary Price Rollback Event to the charitable organization.

Lawry's The Prime Rib — Beverly Hills

100 N La Cienega Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90211

On Social Media:
Illustration of two women clinking wine glasses together

Upcoming Events

Browse all events
Want to Find Out About Future Events First?

Sign Up For Event Notifications

By signing up, you'll receive an email notification when a new event is posted to restaurants near you.

Get Notified

More From Summer 2013