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2010 Founder's Award: Capt. Dave Truitt and Karen Pritzker

Karen Pritzker and Captain Dave Truitt both received the Pritzker Military Museum & Library Founder's Award in 2010 for their steadfast support of the Museum & Library's mission and dedication to the preservation of the heritage of the Citizen Soldier.

Karen Pritzker is president of Seedlings Foundation, which supports literacy, housing, and research in the health field. A freelance writer and editor, her work has appeared in Newsday, Working Mother, McCall's, Success, Seventeen, Re-Act, and Kirkus Reviews. She is the editor of My Hero: Extraordinary People on the Heroes Who Inspire Them (Simon & Schuster 2005). Pritzker has been honored twice by the New Haven Free Public Library, and co-founded a statewide literacy organization in Connecticut called "Read to Grow."

She currently serves as a producer o the "My Hero" website, where she has worked with authors such as Doris Kearns Goodwin on Lincoln and Michael Korda on U.S. Grant. She is also the editor for the website of the Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity. The mother of four children, she lives in Branford, Connecticut with her husband, Michael Vlock, where they are involved in numerous philanthropic activities.

A longtime sponsor of programs and luncheons at the Pritzker Military Museum & Library, she considers the stories of citizen soldiers to be a national treasure, and is grateful to have the resources to support the organization.

A lifelong resident of Chicago, Captain Dave Truitt attended the University of Chicago Law School and practiced law in Hyde Park. He was instrumental in the founding of Olive-Harvey College on the city's southeast side, and served for nearly 14 years as the president of the Friends of the Chicago Public Library, where he worked to increase library services in Chicago's poorer communities and establish free, public-use computers in all public libraries. He was twice appointed to the White House Conference on Libraries and Information Services.

During his lengthy career, Truitt has served on innumerable community, library, educational, mental health, cultural, and nautical organizations, including as chairman of the USS Midway Memorial Committee for the Navy League; as founding chairman of the Chicago Marine Heritage Society; and in many capacities with the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary, including as a Flotilla Commander. He is a Coast Guard-licensed Ship Master.

Truitt currently serves and supports the Great Lakes Naval Museum, the Museum of Science and Industry, the Pritzker Military Museum & Library, Chicago Marine Heritage Society, and the Christmas Tree Ship. The Christmas Tree Ship is Chicago's largest all-volunteer organization providing social services, food, and spiritual support to thousands of inner city children every year.

As the chair of the Pritzker Military Museum & Library's 2006 Liberty Gala, Truitt praised the Gala for not only honoring the American military and its heroes past, present, and future; but also for honoring those civilians who could not serve in uniform, but have served honorably through their generous support and service to veterans' organizations and exceptional military history organizations such as the Museum & Library—all of which depend on civilian support.