Frank Ruger started working at a young age in the newspaper printing industry and left to start his Hollywood career at the Technicolor plant. He eventually moved to the Universal City TV plant to work on the ground floor in negative printing. He labored his way through several departments and even worked with a special Continuous Contact Printer prototype.
A member of Local 683 for lab technicians, Frank says he "worked every shift in the book" over the course of his 23-year career, which allowed him and his wife Lynn to plan out the course of their lives together. Now retired, they volunteer at MPTF and enjoy benefits like special activities, the gym and pool at the Saban Center on campus, and Lynn's regular walking group. They also appreciate the robust health benefits through UCLA and MPI.
Upon retiring, their weekly volunteering on Thursdays at MPTF led them to the decision to make philanthropic use of their good fortune of being able to own a second residence in Woodland Hills. The property has been left to MPTF as part of their living trust ("Not too soon, we hope!"), a generous and much appreciated gesture to give back to supporting others.
"It takes a lot to keep an organization going," Lynn says about encouraging others to play their part. In fact, one major inspiration for them to decide how to give back was Sue Schubert, MPTF's director of recreation and volunteers, who was like a mentor to the Rugers and, says Lynn, gave them a lot of good guidance.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, volunteering has become a challenge, but the Rugers found a wonderful volunteer program that works for them, MPTF's Care Calls. They are given a list of names and numbers of older industry members to call to help reduce the loneliness and boredom many are feeling during this time of distancing and isolation. Care Calls is a great way to reach out, be a friend and learn if members' essential needs are being met.
Today, Lynn and Frank enjoy spending time together and in the company of their 32-year-old African gray parrot, Lilly, who enjoys dancing to Pitbull, watching the TV show "24" and offering stock market advice in the morning. After their retirement, they also opened a Valley pet shop that weathered storms like the Northridge earthquake. They have enjoyed their fair share of traveling, including to Alaska, Key West, the Bahamas, major cities across China and, of course, the Pacific coastline, all of which provided unforgettable life experiences.
They also are on the wait list to live at MPTF and are thrilled to play a role in helping others in need. "There are many ways to give to MPTF," Lynn explains, "like a percentage of a house or stock or talking to the awesome team at MPTF who can help you figure out how to do this. Everybody can do a little bit; if everyone does something, it does make a huge difference."