The late Linda and Joe Ruffolo’s community legacy is commemorated with the newly named Joseph and Linda Ruffolo Grand Staircase.
The centerpiece of the Embassy Theatre’s lobby, the Linda and Joseph Ruffolo Grand Staircase will welcome generations of families to the historic theater. The couple’s children – Joe Ruffolo Jr. and Julie (Brian) Gilpin – said the family chose to name the staircase because of their experiences in attending theater events with their parents. The staircase was a favorite feature for the family. A plaque at the base of the staircase recognizes the Ruffolos’ contributions to the Fort Wayne community.
“We are honored by this generous gift,” said Kelly Updike, president and CEO of the Embassy Theatre. “Linda and Joe were tireless community volunteers. Fort Wayne is a better place because of their commitment to our community. The Linda and Joseph Ruffolo Grand Staircase will welcome thousands of families year-round.”
Linda and Joe advocated for the Fort Wayne community with their professional and volunteer service to area arts and community organizations, including the Embassy Theatre, Arts United, Fort Wayne Youtheatre and the Fort Wayne Philharmonic. Linda retired from IPFW as executive director of development in 2014. Her extensive volunteer work ranged from Fort Wayne Youtheatre to Fort Wayne Bicentennial. She passed away in 2015. Joe, who passed away in 2011, was CEO of NorthAmerican from 1987-93 and a co-founder of Tower Bank. He served on many for- and non-profit boards.