Manor Moments

Volunteer Spotlight: Walt Hebda

April 2024

Volunteer Spotlight: Walt Hebda
Nature is calling. Answer with an adventure.

As part of National Volunteer Recognition Week, which is held April 21-27, 2024, we will be spotlighting a volunteer each day. Cornwall Manor is proud to recognize 352 volunteers who dedicated their time and talents to Cornwall Manor throughout 2023, contributing 23,821 hours to our community.

 “It’s important to give back and be grateful for what you have,” shares Walt.

After Walt retired from a career as an Accountant and Payroll Manager in 2010, he became active in various volunteer activities. Walt and his wife, Diana, moved to Central Pennsylvania (Lewisburg) and his love of nature, fishing and the environment led to his interest and involvement in Trout Unlimited after retirement, which is dedicated to protecting, conserving and restoring Pennsylvania’s Coldwater Resources.

For Walt, this was an opportunity to meet new people. The Raymond B. Winter Chapter of Trout Unlimited provided him an opportunity to get involved in the annual cleanup of Penn’s Creek, Trout in the Classroom (which offers students of all ages a chance to raise Salmonids in a classroom setting and then release them into a nearby stream or river. Caring for the fish fosters a conservation ethic in the students and the act of walking to a streambank and directly releasing the fingerlings into the water makes a concrete connection between caring for the fish and caring for the water) and also serving as Chapter Treasurer.

Today, he is a member of the Doc Fritchey Chapter of Trout Unlimited which meets at nearby Fort Indiantown Gap. He is a contributing member of the Conservation Committee and is active in stream restoration, especially the monitoring of Hammer Creek. This is one of the largest conservation projects in the history of the Doc Fritchey Chapter and in southeast Lebanon County. Hammer Creek is part of the Hammer Creek Watershed and is situated on a 1,000-acre farm.

When he is not focused on conservation, Walt also volunteers his time on an as-needed basis at the Lebanon VA Medical Center as a Disabled American Veteran Driver (DAV). This program provides free transportation to and from the Lebanon VA Medical Center to Veterans who don’t have other transportation options. Walt is not a veteran but he feels strongly about serving those who served our country.

Joining the Cornwall Manor community in August 2021 with Diana, he is an involved member of the Woodshop, completing several projects for the Manor Shoppe, the onsite gift shoppe and convenience/grocery store located in the Freeman Community Center. He is also a member of the Residents’ Association Tree Committee. He also recently got involved in the AARP Tax Aide Counselor program which allows him to use his knowledge from his career to complete taxes for free for older adults.

When Walt is not volunteering at Cornwall Manor or in the Lebanon Valley community, you can find him working at Ray’s Produce at Root’s Market on a Tuesday morning or participating in a causal bluegrass jam which happens every Tuesday at 6 PM. A bluegrass jam is typically a circle of talented musicians. Everyone in the circle takes turns choosing the next song. This usually goes in a clockwise direction. When it’s your turn, you can either pick a song or pass the privilege along to the next person if you don’t have one in mind. They’re either practicing or performing, but enjoying each other’s company and music while jamming out.

While there are many qualities that comprise the dedication and compassion of volunteerism, those who learn and get involved in local nature and conservation have the opportunity for personal growth while connecting with others in their community who want to make a difference and that is evident with Walt’s involvement within the Lebanon County community and at Cornwall Manor. We appreciate all that you do, Walt. Thank you.