BAYarts honors the Purdys
BAYarts' Moondance at Home benefit will honor longtime supporters, Westlake residents Linda and Tom Purdy. The Purdys and their extended family has a rich legacy of service – generation after generation volunteering and donating their collective creative spirit to the fabric of the organization.
The Purdy family has been part of the organization since its inception in 1948. Ruth Purdy, married to Tom's brother, George, was one of the first teachers when it was Baycrafters. She also taught for years at Bay Schools and when she retired, she had planned to return to teaching at BAYarts. Sadly, she passed away before that became a reality so her friends, family and students founded the Ruth Purdy Garden on BAYarts campus (adjacent to Vento in front of the caboose). Ruth's mother, Marion Hosler, was one of the original founders of Baycrafters.
Linda, a longtime volunteer, has lovingly tended to Ruth's garden ever since and continues to garden twice a week with BAYarts' volunteer garden crew. Tom loves building wooden boats. He donated a carved, 18-foot kayak and a 4-foot wooden rowboat to Moondance auctions. He has also donated to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society for their auction. Repair work in some areas of BAYarts is also one of Tom’s specialties; a master woodworker, he has renovated BAYarts' beautiful park benches around the campus.
Linda and Tom celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 2019; they were high school sweethearts from Rocky River High (notably, their daughter also married her high school sweetheart from Rocky River High). Busy with children and grandchildren, they had less time for volunteering, but then about 15 years ago, Linda was driving by Baycrafters, which at the time was transitioning to the new BAYarts. She stopped by and asked if they needed her truck to help clearing out things and thus began a long and productive relationship.
"Linda's laugh and humor has brought us all so much joy," says fellow BAYarts garden volunteer Andrea Richards. "We love the Purdys, so much a part of our BAYarts family."
BAYarts board president Mary Conway Sullivan agrees: “The Purdy family, including children, grandchildren, cousins and friends have been an integral part of the success of this organization. Their contributions are too many to name.”
If you haven't seen the campus lately, its a wonderful place to social distance while enjoying the gardens; thanks to the Purdys, it's pretty magical. Moondance at Home is Sept. 12; for info and tickets, visit bayarts.net.
Nancy Heaton is Executive Director at BAYarts