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Colors of kindness
Paint It Forward winner receives bright surprise
paint it forward pic1
Traci Talkington, left, and Jennifer Beede of Lancaster Painting huddle together with Tom Lombard after giving him a Paint it Forward T-shirt on Saturday morning.

While the Lancaster Painting team is well versed in catering to customers’ needs year-round, there is one special client each year that the company especially looks forward to: the Paint it Forward winner.

This year Tom Lombardo was selected.

The Lancaster Painting Paint it Forward event is a nomination-based program which allows community members to submit people or organizations that they think would benefit from a complimentary paint job. For the past five years Lancaster Painting has donated thousands of dollars in services to give back to those who are either down on their luck financially or health-wise. Unbeknownst to Lombardo, his friend Carrie Dugobic nominated him for the paint job due to his physical limitations.

It was 2002 when Lombardo started noticing the first symptoms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

“I began to lose feeling in my arms and legs,” recalled Lombardo.

While the neurodegenerative disease has progressed throughout the years rendering Lombardo reliant upon a motorized chair, his positive spirit has not been affected. Equipped with a smile and thankful heart, Lombardo enjoyed having the Lancaster Painting crews brighten up his home – literally – on Saturday morning. He chose a warm buttercup yellow to replace the white walls in his home.

“They pulled up at 7:30 a.m. on the dot,” laughed Lombardo. “It’s nice to see the kids running around. Everyone has been really good to me.”

It was the perfect time for Lombardo too as he was hoping to spruce up his home after his son’s recent move out. 

“I get to make it my own,” said Lombardo.

As well as painting the interior walls, Lancaster Painting also darkened the baseboards inside Lombardo’s home, painted a few accent walls and the bathrooms two-toned, as well as pressure washed the exterior of the house.

“We’re doing everything from top to bottom,” said Lancaster Painting customer advocate Jennifer Beede on Saturday morning.

 It took several hours, multiple vans of equipment, and more than 20 employees and their families’ participation, but the job was completed in the highest of spirits said Beede. 

“It is such a great event and we all really enjoy it,” said Beede. “This year was no exception.”