History of The Comm.
The mission of the Waverly Community House is to enhance the lives of individuals and families in the region by fostering educational, recreational and cultural opportunities.
History of The Waverly Community House
Margaretta E. Belin, as a memorial to her husband, Henry Belin, Jr., created The Waverly Community House, fondly called “the Comm”, after his death in 1917. The cornerstone was laid on July 26, 1919, and on June 4, 1920, the building and a portion of the land were deeded to Abington Township for the benefit of “any and all residents of the Township.” Governor Sproul of Pennsylvania dedicated the central portion of the present building on June 25, 1920. In 1926, Margaretta E. Belin began a Trust Fund, which benefits the Community House today.
When Margaretta E. Belin died in 1927, her children enlarged the Community House in her memory by adding two wings and increasing the auditorium space.
The remainder of the square was acquired and conveyed to the Township in 1927 and 1930. In 1935, her children created the Nileb Trust, the income from which is paid to the Community House at the present time.
In 1955, the stage was enlarged and four bowling alleys were added with funds provided by F. Lammot Belin as a memorial to his wife, Frances Jermyn Belin. The funds leftover from this project were set aside in 1960 by the Board of Trustees as an endowment for the benefit of the Community House and is supplemented since by memorial bequests.
In 1964, Captain Peter Belin established an art scholarship, the F. Lammot Belin Arts Scholarship, in memory of his father, and provided the funds necessary to endow this scholarship. The Board of Trustees administers the F. Lammot Belin Arts Scholarship and selects the recipient of this prestigious annual award.
The Waverly Community House, Inc., was incorporated as a Pennsylvania not-for-profit corporation in 1981. The Articles of Incorporation state the Community House was organized for the charitable and educational purposes of providing educational, recreational, cultural and social opportunities to local residents and promoting a sense of friendship and fellowship, thereby enriching the lives of all individuals in the vicinity.
The Waverly Community House is exempt from federal income taxation under Section 501 ( c) ( 3 ) of the Internal Revenue Code and is governed by a twenty-one member Board of Trustees and managed by the Executive Director.
In 1990, with the help of a Pennsylvania Recreational Improvement and Rehabilitation Grant and support from the community, a state-of-the-art Robert S. Leathers Playground was constructed on the grounds.
In 1996, a Memorial Garden was constructed and funded by a gift from Harry Belin. This garden, which offers a peaceful haven for children and adults, was created as a memorial to his father, Captain Peter Belin.
The programming at “the Comm” includes many special events such as the annual Antiques Show & Sale, the Artisans’ Marketplace, the House & Garden Show, the annual Summer Music Concerts and seasonal children’s parties, Artist in Residence, The Comm Classic Golf Tournament and tennis leagues. We also offer many educational, cultural and recreational activities.
Through its tremendous spirit of volunteerism, the Waverly Community House has served the public for over eight decades. Hundreds of dedicated volunteers work throughout the year raising funds and working on special projects and events.
The small, but very hard-working staff members of the Comm, along with the Board of Trustees, are enthusiastic and committed to the spirit of the Waverly Community House.