Gerry Hellmann Eckhardt Fund for the Woodbridge Town Library

Est. 2016 by Gerry Hellmann Eckhardt

Harvey and Gerry Eckhardt

They say that books give wings to the mind and flight to the imagination. For lifelong learners like Gerry Eckhardt, her first memory of visiting a library stems back to Waterbury where, as a young girl, she would read anything and everything she could during the summer months at the Silas Bronson Library.

"My upbringing was modest, but my parents' value of education was paramount," Gerry said. "At an early age I developed a special appreciation for our local library and the opportunities it presented. Now, reflecting on this later in life, I believe that you're never too old to learn or to enjoy learning."

Gerry attended college for the first time during her 40's, where she pursued several degrees in education. She went on to become a grammar school teacher, perpetuating her parents' values and nurturing her students' passion for reading.

Libraries have always had a special place in Gerry's heart, ranging from service as the President of the Friends of the Seymour Public Library and volunteering as the librarian for Chatfield School. Gerry and her husband, Harvey, are also active members of the Woodbridge Town Library, where they have come to enjoy its engaging cultural programming.

No longer only archival repositories, libraries in the Valley and across the region continue to evolve into community centers with rich, educational programming. This Designated Fund will support adult cultural and arts programs that will help the library attract more patrons and provide alternatives to other local programs. "Through our fund I hope to support stimulating programs for adults in the same way I encouraged my children and students to enjoy learning," Gerry said.

"After a helpful conversation with Sharon Closius, establishing the fund was easy," Gerry said. "Both of my daughters are now grown and financially independent. I wanted to establish a fund at VCF to give back to the community as much as libraries have continuously given me throughout my life."

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Gerry Hellmann Eckhardt Fund for the Woodbridge Library