The Historical Society Board also on Oct. 18 presented its first volunteer appreciation award to retired optometrist and long-time resident Tom Pacyga.

“The Board wanted to give the award on behalf of the members just to say ‘thank you’ to our volunteers,” said Director Diane Hansen Grah. Pacyga donated items his mother had collected over the years while she lived at the Altenheim: marriage certificates, doctor’s notes from the 1930s, postcards and marketing brochures from the Altenheim, Hansen Grah said.

“Collecting was a hobby of sorts with my mom,” said Pacyga. “She would be happy with something she found in the attic or was given to her by her friends, [and]she then passed it to me. I would just put the things in a bag and forget about them on the top shelf in our basement. I’m happy I saved those bags.”

“Tom has been in Forest Park for a long time and since day one of our reorganization he’s been lending support. He gives above and beyond what he should, not just dues,” said Hansen Grah.