West Grove, PA - On April 30, Larry Waltman presented a check for $100,000 to the Avon Grove Scholarship Foundation on behalf of his parents, the late Lawrence and Hazel Waltman.
The donation received by Carol Maguire, president of the Avon Grove Scholarship Foundation, is the second largest donation that the Foundation has received since its inception in 1983, and it will be used to fund an annual scholarship award for two Avon Grove High School seniors.
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, two fields about which the Waltmans were extremely passionate. AGHS guidance counselor Jennifer Lubins will work with the Foundation to select the recipients of the award.
“They wanted to encourage kids to continue their education and keep learning,” Larry said about his parents. 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, a well-known amphitheater for country music that existed from 1940-1995. The open-air venue featured a baseball field, a stage, bench seating, a dance floor and a concession stand. Performers included many of the biggest country and bluegrass stars of the decades. Each Sunday throughout the summertime, the Waltmans hosted a communal celebration of family and fun 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. “At one time we owned three farms. One is now Jenner’s Pond Community, another is a Giant shopping center and most of the third is owned by AGSD for future expansion,” stated Lawrence Waltman. The 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 on her and Lawrence’s 72nd wedding anniversary at the age of 94. Around that time, Lawrence Waltman told Carol Maguire that he would be providing a donation upon his passing, and he wanted the scholarship to be awarded to a student who “learned to play the banjo on his porch.” Hazel loved music and wanted the award to go to a student who played bluegrass or country music. Since farming was Waltman’s first love, an award will also be given to a student pursuing agricultural studies.