Avon Grove Scholarship Foundation receives $100,000 donation from the Waltman family
By Steven Hoffman
Larry Waltman recently presented a check for $100,000 to the Avon Grove Scholarship Foundation on behalf of his parents, the late Lawrence and Hazel Waltman.
The funds will be used for an annual scholarship award for two Avon Grove High School seniors.
According to Carol Maguire, the president of the Avon Grove Scholarship Foundation, this is the second-largest donation to the foundation since it was established about 36 years ago.
The Waltman family has been a longtime supporter of the Avon Grove community. Lawrence Waltman passed away on Oct. 29, 2018, at the age of 100, and requested in his will that $100,000 be donated to the Avon Grove Scholarship Foundation. Scholarships will be distributed annually as a $2,000 agricultural award and a $1,000 music award. The Waltmans were extremely passionate about music and agriculture.
“They wanted to encourage kids to continue their education and keep learning,” Larry Waltman said about his parents' donation. With this endowment, Larry Waltman and his siblings hope to enrich young minds and continue the legacy of their parents for generations to come.
Lawrence Waltman was raised on a 100-acre dairy farm in Jennersville and farmed his whole life. In 1939, Lawrence’s father had an idea that would bring the community together. Lawrence and his father built Sunset Park, which became a well-known amphitheater for country music, attracting many top performers, including some of the biggest country and bluegrass stars.
Entertainers like Roy Acuff, George Jones, Hank Williams Sr., and Patsy Cline, and in later years Conway Twitty, Loretta Lynn, Randy Travis, Charlie Pride, and George Strait all performed to large audiences at Sunset Park.
The open-air venue featured a baseball field, a stage, bench seating, a dance floor and a concession stand. Each Sunday throughout the summertime, the Waltmans hosted a celebration of family-friendly entertainment at Sunset Park.
Hazel Waltman, the youngest of 19 children, sang and played country music. Hazel met Lawrence while performing at Sunset Park. They married in 1943, and together they ran the shows and multiple farms for over half a century.
Later in life, the Waltmans sold their three farms. One is now the Jenner’s Pond Community, another is a Giant shopping center and most of the third is owned by Avon Grove School District for future expansion.
Lawrence and Hazel Waltmans had three children—Anita Carr, Larry Waltman and Donald Waltman—who attended school in Avon Grove School District. Anita and Larry still reside in the district.
In 2015, Hazel Waltman passed away at the age of 94 on her and Lawrence’s 72nd wedding anniversary. Around that time, Lawrence Waltman informed Carol Maguire that he would be providing a donation upon his passing to provide financial assistance to Avon Grove students who are studying music or agriculture.
The latest donation will help the Avon Grove Scholarship Foundation with its mission. The Avon Grove Scholarship Foundation was founded as a charitable organization to raise money for a trust fund. Income from this fund is distributed annually for scholarships that are offered to seniors at Avon Grove High School.
Avon Grove High School guidance counselor Jennifer Lubins will work with the Foundation to select the recipients of the awards that are funded by the donation by the Waltmans.
The community can play a vital role in supporting the students in the Avon Grove School District. The annual earnings of the fund determine the number of scholarships awarded each year. The Avon Grove Scholarship Foundation will be able to maintain or increase the number of annual scholarships by increasing the principal. By supporting the Scholarship Foundation in any of the following ways, you can help “Fund a Future”:
~ Gifts of cash, securities, land, bequests, or life insurance policies are gladly accepted.
~ A gift of $36,000 enables the contributor to name a yearly scholarship.
~ A gift of $18,000 enables the contributor to name a scholarship to be given every other year.
~ Donations of any size are welcome.
Donations can be sent to:
Avon Grove Scholarship Foundation
P.O. Box 266
West Grove, PA 19390