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William E. Betts, Jr. Family Fund Established At The Greater Lynchburg Community Foundation

Family and friends have established a $30,000 endowment fund at The Greater Lynchburg Community Foundation to support education in Central Virginia in memory of William E. (Ping) Betts, Jr. who died on December 29, 2009 at age 98. Mr. Betts was a successful businessman and community leader in Lynchburg.

A native of Richmond, Mr. Betts attended Virginia Tech, lettered in varsity football, and graduated first in his Architectural Engineering Class of 1932. After earning his M.S. degree in Structural Engineering at Virginia Tech in 1933, Mr. Betts became a Registered Architect in 1934. In 1938 in Lynchburg, he and his friend, A.P. Montague, Jr., founded Montague-Betts Company, a structural steel fabricator of a number of major construction projects including New York’s World Trade Center. Mr. Betts became Chairman of the company in 1956 following the death of Mr. Montague.

During World War II, Mr. Betts was an officer in the United States Army Corps of Engineers, attaining the rank of Captain while serving 39 months in the European Theater. He was among the troops that landed on Omaha Beach during the Allied invasion of Europe at Normandy, France, and was awarded both the Bronze Star by the United States War Department and Croix de Guerre by the French.

Mr. Betts was an active civic leader, serving on the boards of the Lynchburg Chamber of Commerce, Lynchburg Area Development Corporation-President, and the Bedford County Public Service Authority. He was a Director of the Lynchburg Area United Givers Fund (United Way) and of the Lynchburg Fine Arts Center, was a founder and the first President of the Piedmont Club, a Director Emeritus of the Boonsboro Country Club, and was a faithful member of the Virginia Historical Society. Mr. Betts was a member of St. John’s Episcopal Church, where he served on the vestry.

In service to education, he was a Life Trustee of Lynchburg College and of the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges, and a member of the board of the Virginia Episcopal School and of the President’s Committee of Randolph-Macon Woman’s College. Mr. Betts’ son, William Davis, stated “my father was very interested in education, and it is appropriate that this named fund will provide support for educational needs in Central Virginia for years to come. We thank the many friends who made gifts to help establish The William E. Betts, Jr. Family Fund.”

Additional gifts many be made to The Greater Lynchburg Community Foundation, 101 Paulette Circle, Suite B, Lynchburg, Virginia 24502.

The Greater Lynchburg Community Foundation was established in 1972 and exists to promote local philanthropy and to simplify the process of planned giving. The Community Foundation receives and manages permanent gifts for the benefit of the citizens of the cities of Lynchburg and Bedford and the counties of Amherst, Appomattox, Bedford and Campbell. Needs served are broad in scope including human services to children, youth, the needy and the elderly; education; health; the arts; and the humanities.

The Greater Lynchburg Community Foundation currently has 157 named funds and an unrestricted fund, with assets of $27 million. The Community Foundation currently makes grants of over $1.3 million annually in our community. It is one of approximately 700 such community foundations across the nation rendering a valuable service both to the regions they serve and also to donors interested in the present and future of their communities.

June 16, 2010

It's Our Mission

The principal mission of The Community Foundation is to enhance the quality of life in the communities served by the establishment of permanent endowments for the cities of Lynchburg and Bedford and the counties of Amherst, Appomattox, Bedford and Campbell, with income distributed annually to charitable organizations within the community.

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  •   The Greater Lynchburg Community Foundation
      1100 Commerce Street
    Lynchburg, VA 24504
  •   434.845.6500
  •   434.845.6530 fax
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