It started with a wish and a dream to provide books to the hamlet of Wilton, and out of that desire Wilton Library Association was born. Today, 120 years later, the dream has burgeoned into a thriving cultural center for the town of Wilton. To celebrate these past 120 years and with a focus on its future, Wilton Library Association is throwing a 120th Anniversary Gala at Silver Spring Country Club in Ridgefield on Saturday, April 2, beginning at 7 p.m..

To acknowledge the past, celebrate the present and look to the future, the library is celebrating the contributions of a formidable couple–Virginia and Thomas Adams. Through Virginia’s guidance as president of Wilton Library Association’s Board of Trustees from 1970 to 1976, she was instrumental in moving the library from a small building (which is now Bank of America) to the basis of the building that is Wilton Library today. With Tom’s standing on the Shoff Foundation and the Ambler Trust, he continued Virginia’s legacy by providing the library with a reading room named for her, several key initiatives that provided better access to the library for all, the library’s wonderful Innovation Station maker space and just this past fall, the dedication of the Children’s Library jungle-themed entrance.

The gala is co-chaired by Wilton Library trustees Michele Klink and Priscilla Thors, both seasoned fundraiser planners for the library.

“We are so humbled by the contributions made by the Adams’s, it was only fitting to honor them in this way,” remarked Klink.

Thors concurred, “It is people such as the Adamses who embraced this great institution and who will keep it going for generations to come.”

This year’s benefit is a departure from previous ones in that the venue has changed. Noted Robin Axness, development director for the library, “In honoring Virginia and Tom Adams, we decided to take the celebration to one of their favorite places, hence the Silver Spring Country Club, where we’ll have wonderful food, a festive live auction emceed by writer and poet Ira Joe Fisher, unique silent auction items, and live entertainment with Wilton’s Bob Riccio—perfect for dancing.”

Elaine Tai-Lauria, executive director of Wilton Library reflected, “We have been so fortunate in this community to have the love and support of so many people through countless generations. And it thrills me every day when I see toddlers running to their beloved Children’s Library through our great jungle entrance, or teens and adults working alongside each other in the Innovation Station. Wilton Library has been a cherished institution within the community and through continued support from patrons we plan to sustain this stewardship for at least the next 120 years.”

A few of the enticing auction items to whet guests’ bidding appetites include an exotic car driving experience for two plus a gift certificate toward overnight accommodations at Mohegan Sun; a one-week stay at a private home in the Poconos for twelve people; a magical day at Disney World for four; an in-home intimate dinner for six prepared by Heather Priest; Yankees, Red Sox and Giants ticket packages; weekly bags of fresh produce from a cooperative; custom-created, one-of-a-kind jewelry piece, and so much more. Proceeds from the auctions and ticket sales support the library’s ongoing mission “to inform and inspire minds, enrich and connect lives.”

The gala is made possible in part through the generous support of the Amadeo Family. Presenting Sponsors for the event are Gregory & Adams and Fairfield County Bank. Michael Kaelin/Lockwood & Cummings LLC is a Platinum Sponsor; Gold Sponsors are The Davatzes Family and GE Capital; Silver Sponsor is Orem’s Diner.  The media sponsors for the evening are Wilton Magazine and The Wilton Bulletin.

Tickets for the benefit begin at $225 with opportunities for priority seating and reserved tables. Invitations are being mailed this week. People also may visit the library’s website and click on the “120th Anniversary Gala” button on the homepage to reserve their spots. Silver Spring Country Club is located at 439 Silver Spring Rd., Ridgefield, CT. Guests are asked to kindly RSVP by March 24.

For more information, sponsorship opportunities and to register, visit the library’s website or call Robin Axness at 203.762.6323.

Wilton Library is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that relies on the generous support from the community for 100-percent of its materials, programs and services.

Pictured above:  Wilton Library’s 120th Anniversary Gala committee: (standing l-r) Wilton Library’s executive director Elaine Tai-Lauria, Kathryn Buis, Tamara Kalin, Betsy Hoffmann, Kathryn Groves, Teresa Waldron, Michele Ferguson Nichols; (seated l-r) Priscilla Thors, Michele Klink and Janel Cassara.