They Came Bearing Gifts
The Walton Group of Companies Establishes $600,000 fund to Aid Non-Profits in Prince George's
By PGS Media
When you are one of 18 children, you have no choice but to get a strong sense of family and community from an early age.
That’s the way it was and those were part of the lessons Bill Doherty learned as a child from his mother who hailed from that large family. And that wasn’t all he learned. Doherty’s parents founded the Walton Group of Companies in 1979—a company that is today one of North America’s premiere land asset managers (over 70,000 acres). The Canadian-based company is chiefly recognized in the region for its intention to build Westphalia Town Center, a $2 billion flagship mixed-use development with 2,240,000 sq feet of office space in Prince George’s. It will bring 11,000 jobs and yield $21 million in tax revenues.
All the while, the family-owned business developed a reputation for its sensitivity to community, education and family values—and for its philanthropy.
So, it came as little surprise when Doherty, now CEO of the Walton Group of Companies, announced a partnership with The Community Foundation of Prince George’s and Prince George’s County to launch The Walton Community Fund of Prince George’s on Jan. 14.
The Walton Community Fund will provide $200,000 a year for three years and be made available to eligible non-profits in the county who apply. The fund’s board will maintain a community goal and an educational goal in their decision-making.
County Executive Rushern L. Baker III hosted Doherty and the Walton Group in making the announcement.
“If we are going to make the changes that we all want to see in Prince George’s, then it has to be about more than just building
new buildings,” Baker said of the company’s embrace ofcommunity wellness.
Doherty noted that the fund is an investment in the county. But, as his parents imbued in him, the investment must go beyond a moment in time for a short term goal.
“This is an investment in Prince George’s,” Doherty said. “But it’s not just about now. It’s about investing in a generation.”
For Nancy Estepp, one of the county’s leading family and community advocates, the Walton Group philosophy was what drew her to becoming a board member of the new organization.
“This is a company with a proven track record for being community friendly,” Estepp says. “They are a family business with a heart.”