To honor nearly 30 years of service by Don Munro of Hot Springs on its board of directors, the Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation Board gave $800,000 to the Don Munro Building Community Endowment at the Arkansas Community Foundation.
Munro served on the board of the Walton Charitable Support Foundation for 28 years as the Community Foundation's appointee. During that time, he advocated and supported philanthropic grants across the state, including an $18 million grant in 1999. That grant took the number of the Arkansas Community Foundation's affiliates from eight to 24.
The Arkansas Community Foundation Board created the endowment in 1992. It supports the foundation's work to build communities statewide, especially through its affiliate network.
"Don has been pivotal in the growth and impact of the Community Foundation. He served 10 years on the state board with three of those as board chair. He was instrumental in creating our statewide affiliate network that includes the Hot Springs Area Community Foundation," Heather Larkin, president and CEO of Arkansas Community Foundation, said in a news release. "Don has been our biggest advocate for building community through local philanthropy."
"Playing any role in a major philanthropic organization that is committed to educational and societal betterment is its own reward," Munro said in the release. "I am thrilled this commitment to building stronger communities will continue for both foundations."
"Don Munro's dedication to positive change through philanthropy helped create a powerful network of community support that reverberates throughout our state," Alice Walton said. "His work through the Charitable Support Foundation and Arkansas Community Foundation will elevate the nonprofit community for decades to come."
A Yale graduate and writer for Stars and Stripes during his military career, Munro moved from New Hampshire to Hot Springs in 1959. He created Munro & Co. Inc., which became the largest domestic shoe manufacturer in the United States.
He also founded the Hot Springs Giving Circle with Dorothy Morris, and, together, they helped establish the Hot Springs Cultural Alliance.