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NORWALK, Conn. -- The South Norwalk Branch children's library will be named "Stew Leonard III Children's Library," after the son of Stew Leonard Jr., president and c.e.o. of Stew Leonard's here. Stew Leonard III died as a toddler in a drowning accident in 1989, and the following year his father and mother, Kim, created a foundation that charitably contributes to a range of children's education and health organizations.
The foundation, originally known as the Stew Leonard III Water Safety Foundation and now called the Stew Leonard III Children's Charities foundation, contributed $25,000 to the South Norwalk Branch Library's 21st Century Fund.
"We are honored to have the library named in memory of our son, especially since it will be used and appreciated by the children of this vibrant community," said Stew Leonard Jr. in a statement.
The South Norwalk Branch Library closed in July 2004 for renovation, and is expected to reopen shortly. The modernization and expansion of the building includes compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, an updated electrical system, and the addition of east and west wings that combined measure almost 3,700 square feet.
The original portion of the library, which is one of the over 2,000 that industrialist Andrew Carnegie funded in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, has been preserved as part of the remodel.