The Thomas Pym Cope Award is presented biennially to members of our community who epitomize Thomas P. Cope’s philanthropic approach in Philadelphia. In 2022, we will honor Connie and Eldredge “Rags” Ragsdale for their extraordinary philanthropic service to our city and community. Proceeds raised through the Thomas Pym Cope Award Celebration support the Fund for the Gardens and Grounds at Awbury Arboretum.
After serving in the U.S. army for 28 years, Rags has dedicated his retirement years to “gardening for the greater good” – in the words of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society. Rags is the long-time president of the Awbury Community Garden Club and sits on the Boards of both the Awbury Arboretum Association and Food Moxie. He has cultivated and donated thousands of pounds of produce to the City Harvest program and given countless volunteer hours to many other gardens, green spaces, and green organizations across the city.
Connie brings the same level of commitment and service to our shared historic and cultural resources. Connie spent 32 years working with Philadelphia youth as an educator, and today she dedicates her time and talents to preserving and interpreting our local history. She is the President of the Board of Directors at Historic Strawberry Mansion, sits on the Board of The Concord School House and Upper Burying Ground, and supports many other local historic and cultural sites, serving in a variety of roles ranging from historian, to docent, to educational advisor.