Established in the summer of 2008, the Fran Ruzick Debate Travel Fund is dedicated to supporting travel expenses incurred by the T.F. Riggs Debate team. Frances Ruzick (fondly called “Mrs. Ru” by her students) coached debate at Riggs High School from 1958 through the 1960s. The travel fund concept in her honor is based on the Volkswagon Bus initiative. Prior to 1960, parents drove debaters to tournaments. During the 1958 – 1959 school year, they logged 2,966 miles. Fran was approached with the idea of collecting green stamps to purchase a VW bus for the debate program. With tremendous community support and over 10,000 books of stamps, the 1959 – 1960 debaters traveled to tournaments around the state in a 9-passenger VW bus. Mrs. Ru coaxed the “Gutless Wonder” bus to 40 mph going up the hills.
The impact Fran Ruzick had on the debate program and her students has changed hundreds of lives. This fund not only helps the current debate team at Riggs, but also helps the legacy of Fran Ruzick live on for many years to come.