The Eater Family Foundation (pronounced with a silent
“E”) was established in memory of Gene Eater Herchelroth
in 2012 for the benefit of historic preservation and
economic development in Marietta Borough. Every year
the foundation receives many grant requests from eligible
non-profits within the borough. It has consistently been
able to give awards larger than required by the IRS.
In big ways and small, the foundation has supported
most every non-profit organization in town to preserve
and protect our town’s historic structures and develop
economic activity for the borough. These awards can also
be used as matching funds for other grants, multiplying
the benefit to our town.
Some of the significant projects the Foundation has
backed in previous years:
• Over $180,000 has been given to the borough to develop the
Northwest Lancaster County River Trail. That money, along
with funds from the state and other organizations, has helped
develop that wonderful trail along the river.
• $200,000 for Pioneer Fire Company #1 to help expand
their station and add a dining hall.
• The Marietta Restoration Associates received money
to help restore the Vesta Building. It’s now open to the public on Sundays
providing wonderful glimpses into the past
iron operations in the area.
This year, the foundation presented its biggest award yet,
a $500,000 multi-year grant to the Susquehanna Stage Company
for work in restoring the Old Marietta Theatre downtown. At the time the last
movie was shown, it was the oldest operating movie
theater in the state of Pennsylvania. Miriam Fletcher,
foundation trustee, fondly remembers going to movies
in her childhood, and even got her first job there
Also receiving grant awards this year was the Marietta Restoration
Associates. They received money to help build walkway around the Union
Meeting House. Lighting, parking, and walkways are being
added to improve this historic event space. In
addition, The Marietta Community House, The Pioneer
Fire Company, and the Marietta American Legion Post
466 also received grants.