MERRILLVILLE | The Lake County Public Library Foundation hosted its third annual Appreciation Brunch, Literacy without Limits, last month at Innsbrook Country Club.
The foundation, an independent nonprofit organization founded in 1984 to generate funding and endowments for Lake County Public Library programs and purchases, honored longtime foundation member Carol Kalmar with its Distinguished Volunteer Award, recognized Horizon Bank with the Corporate Leadership Award and presented The Times Media Company with its Outstanding Community Literacy Advancement Award.
Currently vice president of the foundation, Kalmar has been a member since 2003 and an advocate for its activities and functions. Owner and stylist for Pretty Woman and Gentlemen's Touch Hair Salon of Merrillville, she has been active with a number of community groups, including United Way, American Heart Association and Southlake Mental Health Advisory Board.
Horizon, a sponsor for the annual Read-a-Thon, Literacy Tea and children's programming, was honored for all of its efforts and support for literacy in the community. The bank, chartered in 1873 as First National Bank, has supported the foundation with financial advice, executive talent and financial contributions.
The Times, serving readers since 1906, has helped promote literacy in the community and supported the library by publishing its events and services to the public. Expanding its print editions by offering news online through nwi.com and social media outlets, the media company hosted a library program on using new media social outlets and "has been and will continue to be a leader in literacy advancement," according to the award presentation.
Also at the brunch, a $1,000 donation to the foundation was announced from the families of John and Mark Thanos, the father and son who drowned in 2008 in Chesterton while attempting to save an 11-year-old caught in the swift current of a flooded drainage ditch in his neighborhood.
Victoria Thanos, Mark's widow, spoke of the love both men had for reading and said the family wanted some of the Carnegie Hero Fund monies awarded to the family to benefit literacy.