The Lake County Public Library Foundation recognized first-place winners of the annual read-a-thon at Avalon Manor in Merrillville on May 16, 2012. First-place winners pose with their trophies: John Moon, C.J. Hmurovic, Amelia Marshall, Iris Peck, Antionette Ulrich, Adam Walters, Shirmara Anderson, Keirstynn Elder, Joey LaPatra, Emily McDaniel, and Turner Enderle. Each year the Foundation encourages schools in Gary, Merrillville, Cedar Lake, Dyer, Schererville, Griffith, Highland, Hobart, Lake Station, Munster, New Chicago, and St. John to promote reading.
Children participate by seeking sponsors, then reading as many books as possible during the six-week read-a-thon. Once the funds have been collected, schools receive one-third of the total raised by their students for their library. This year, 1,368 children participated and nearly $23,000 was distributed to the schools. Trophies were given to all students who raised money and gift cards from book stores were given to students in first through eighth place.