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Late Sen. Harry Byrd Jr. Donates Money to Va. Organizations

Several organizations in Winchester received generous donations Monday morning from Senator Harry Byrd Jr., who passed away in July.

WINCHESTER, Va. - Several organizations in Winchester received generous donations Monday morning from Senator Harry Byrd junior, who passed away in July.

Born and raised in Winchester, the late senator never forgot his roots.

In his will, he left a total of $800,000 dollars to several institutions in Virginia, including $250,000 for the Handley Regional Library in Downtown Winchester, and $100,000 for the Winchester Salvation Army.

"Tom Byrd and Harry Byrd III, who are the two executors of the estate, came along with Harry Byrd’s wife Beverly and presented the check to us," said Trish Ridgeway, outgoing director of the Handley Regional Library.

Both the library and the Salvation Army say they are thankful for the Byrd family's generosity.

"It’ll help quite a bit I’ll tell you that much,” said Capt. Raquel Lorenzo of the Winchester Salvation Army. “And like I said, anything helps and when we have amounts like that it helps quite a bit."

While the Salvation Army is still working out the details of how they will use the money, those at Handley Library say the Byrd family agreed to set up an endowment for maintaining the building, which about 100 years old.

"Senator Byrd has always been a great supporter of the library. And while we were doing the renovation, he was particularly fascinated by the building and the process of restoring the building,” said Ridgeway.

They say Senator Byrd had visited the library since he was a child, and they hope his donation will help preserve an important piece of Winchester’s history.

"It’s going to be a great improvement to help keep this building the way it is, which is a beautiful example of Bozar architecture,” said Handley Regional Library Director John Huddy. “And it's a little highlight here of the city of Winchester."

Directors of the Handley Regional Library say the Byrd family's gift will also allow them to invest more money in things like new technology.

Senator Byrd also gave money to some employees of the Winchester Star, which his family still owns today.

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