With schools out and summer upon us, we figured we’d take a few moments in this space this week to hand out some plaudits, for initiatives being undertaken, for excellent performances and to celebrate dedication to public service.

First, we’d like to give some kudos to the staff of the Linda Sokol Francis Brookfield Library, which earlier this month rolled out a summer-long initiative to provide free lunches, Monday through Friday, to any child seeking one.

There’s no need to “qualify” for the lunches. Kids 18-under simply need to ask for a lunch any weekday between noon and 1 p.m. and they’ll get one. The library is partnering with the Greater Chicago Food Depository on the free lunch program, plugging the gap created at the end of the school year, when free and reduced-cost school lunch service ends.

According to Library Director Kimberly Coughran, the library serves 25 lunches daily (up from the teens during the first week) and can even provide a second lunch if a child is still hungry after the first.

“We will increase the number of lunches we receive with the Greater Chicago Food Depository when needed,” Coughran told the Landmark.

The program runs through Aug. 18. 

Second, let’s hear it for the Nazareth Academy baseball team, which pulled off back-to-back IHSA Class 3A state championships on June 10 by handily defeating Grayslake Central 7-2 in the championship game in Joliet.

The second straight state baseball title was also the program’s second-ever state title, and cements head coach Lee Milano’s place in Nazareth athletic history. Assuming he stays on for a 25th season next year, Milano could seek to notch his 600th victory as Nazareth head coach. 

And we’d offer this congratulations even if – in the interest of full disclosure – Landmark editor Bob Uphues’ sister wasn’t Nazareth’s principal and his nephew wasn’t on the team.

Finally, we just want to take a final opportunity to recognize Dianne Duner, the longtime public library trustee and board president who died June 4 at the age of 81, just 11 days after handing over the gavel to a new president. Unfortunately, she was unable to make that handoff in person; the day of that library board meeting, she was admitted to the hospital.

A trustee for more than 20 years, Duner helped lead the board through its long journey to constructing a new facility, completed in 2021. She was board president during those final crucial years, deciding to retire from the board when her term was up this spring.

Mission accomplished, Dianne. Brookfield is better off for your efforts and those of the board you led.