Sponsors sought for Waltersdorf tribute garden at Hagerstown Community College

Project would honor two philanthropists who donated millions of dollars to charitable causes

April 14, 2011|By DAN DEARTH |
  • In this 2004 file photo, John Waltersdorf, left, signs the official agreement to create the Waltersdorf/Henson Endowment Challenge Campaign at the Hagerstown Regional Airport. At right is John's wife Margaret Waltersdorf.
Herald-Mail fIle photo

The Community Foundation of Washington County is seeking sponsors to build a tribute garden at Hagerstown Community College to honor John and Peg Waltersdorf, two philanthropists who donated millions of dollars to charitable causes across the county before their deaths.

Brad Sell, executive director of the Community Foundation — a charity that has promoted local philanthropy since 1997 — said the foundation started mailing requests for sponsorships on April 6.

"There's nothing in the area that honors the Waltersdorf family," Sell said. "We want to change that. They supported so many things in the area."

The sponsorships, which range in price from $100 to $5,000, will buy various items for the garden that are engraved with the sponsor's name. A $5,000 sponsorship, for example, will buy a stone bench, while a $100 donation will buy a brick to help build a walkway.

Sell said the garden will be built in the center of the HCC campus between the Administration and Science buildings.

It is estimated that construction will cost between $25,000 and $35,000, Sell said.

Organizers would like to get started on the project as soon as possible and be finished by the garden's dedication ceremony on Sept. 17.

In addition to the Waltersdorfs, the garden will recognize the late Richard Henson, a Washington County native who operated a philanthropic foundation in Salisbury, Md.

Together, the Waltersdorf family and the Henson Foundation donated $5 million that was matched by 16 local organizations to create $10 million in endowments.  

John Waltersdorf was the chief executive officer and chairman of the board of Tri-State Electric until he retired. Waltersdorf contributed more than $6.5 million to Washington County through the Community Foundation alone.

Waltersdorf died Sept. 2, 2010, while Peg Waltersdorf died in 2005.


Henson died in 2002.

Sponsorships available

Available sponsorships for the tribute garden at HCC include:

  • $5,000, stone bench with name engraved.
  • $1,500, tribute marker with name in large print.
  • $1,000, tribute marker with name in small print
  • $100, 4-inch by 8-inch brick with name engraved

To learn more about a sponsorship, call 301-745-5210.

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