LITTLE ROCK -- The Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation board has made an $800,000 contribution to the Don Munro Building Community Endowment at the Arkansas Community Foundation in honor of Munro's nearly 30 years of service on its board of directors.
"Don Munro's dedication to positive change through philanthropy helped create a powerful network of community support that reverberates throughout our state. His work through the Charitable Support Foundation and Arkansas Community Foundation will elevate the nonprofit community for decades to come," Alice L. Walton said in a statement released through the ACF on Tuesday.
The Arkansas Community Foundation board of directors created the Don Munro Building Community Endowment in 1992 to be a lasting honorarium for his work championing community philanthropy, ACF said in a news release.
The endowment supports the foundation's work to build communities statewide, especially through its affiliate network. With their own grantmaking power, affiliates have executive directors and local advisory boards to help understand the unique challenges and opportunities for their cities and towns.
"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 the release.
"Don has been our biggest advocate for building community through local philanthropy."
Munro served on the board of the Walton Charitable Support Foundation for 28 years as the community foundation's appointee. "During that time, Munro advocated and supported philanthropic grants across the state including an $18 million grant in 1999. This launched the community foundation's local impact to a new level, taking the number of affiliates from eight to 24," the release said.
"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.
"Association with the absolute integrity demonstrated by the Walton Family and their associates is beyond one's aspirations. I have been honored to work with the Walton Charitable Support Foundation and am humbled that my board service would be recognized through this gift to the Arkansas Community Foundation. I am thrilled this commitment to building stronger communities will continue for both foundations."
Munro is the founder of Munro & Co. Inc., which is located in Hot Springs and according to the release is the "largest domestic shoe manufacturer in the United States."
Munro moved from New Hampshire to Hot Springs in 1959. He founded the Hot Springs Giving Circle with local philanthropist Dorothy Morris, whom he met at the local Philanthropy Roundtable. Together they helped establish the Hot Springs Cultural Alliance, which helps support the Hot Springs Arts Festival and Documentary Film Festival, among others, the release said.