The Ridgefield Library’s annual Great Expectations benefit on April 22 will honor Ridgefield residents Rudy and Sally Ruggles with the 2017 Hope H. Swenson Visionary Award for their enduring support of the library and contributions to the community and beyond. The event, which will take place from 6:30 to 10:30 at the library, 472 Main Street, includes a cocktail hour followed by a seated dinner prepared by Sarah Bouissou Catering.

The Ruggles’ association with the library is deep and longstanding. Well before the existing facility, Rudy Ruggles recognized the need for wireless access in the old building.

“In those days wi-fi didn’t work through steel and concrete, and the old library had lots of rooms and lots of walls,” said Mary Rindfleisch, Ridgefield Library assistant director. “Partly because of his science background and his involvement with a cutting-edge research library, the Newberry in Chicago, he understood that wireless was important for a library’s success. He persevered and by 2005 made it happen.”

The Ruggles were strong and early supporters of the campaign for the new library, and as a result, the Fine Arts Reading Room in the historic Morris wing (built in 1903) was named in their honor.

“The Ruggles and the Fine Arts Reading Room are a good fit,” said Rindfleisch. “Both Rudy and Sally have a keen interest in the arts, and the room, like them, is particularly gracious.”  

“Our vision statement says we are a place where people come to ‘read, question, discover, connect, and thrive,’” said Brenda McKinley, Ridgefield Library director. “We are so pleased to honor Sally and Rudy at our Great Expectations gala. Their constant and generous support has helped us to grow our arts program as well as all the other areas in which we touch the community.”