Remembering Leonard Solomon

By Jesse Campbell (jesse.campbell@mountaintimes.com)



Article Published: Aug. 22, 2013 | Modified: Aug. 22, 2013
Remembering Leonard Solomon

Sandi Solomon shows the many sights and amenities that adorn her private riverside park that is frequented by kids from Grandfather Home for Children.
Photos by Jesse Campbell



Sandi Solomon is continuing her husband’s legacy of giving, and she is hoping others will someday join her.

Her husband, Leonard Solomon, died last summer, leaving behind several local charitable organizations that he contributed to on a regular basis.

His philanthropic endeavors were diverse and calculated, yet generous, his wife explained.

He gave to the Walker School of Business at Appalachian State University. He provided an undisclosed amount to help build the High Country’s first Jewish temple. The sanctuary there has since been named in the couple’s honor.

Later, he cleared away shrubbery on a piece of property he owned on the Watauga River to build a playground and park for underprivileged youths from Grandfather Home for Children.

“He did so much for the world, and I didn’t want it to stop when he stopped,” Sandi Solomon said of her late husband.

As she sat in her Foscoe home, recalling stories of Leonard’s past accomplishments and his overall gentle nature, she gazed at several photographs on display.

Leonard has met and chatted with several former U.S. presidents, carried the Olympic torch, and his ambitious tennis career from his younger years led to several meetings with the great Arthur Ash.
The photographs are proof.

Sandi recalled his cross-country bike ride from Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., to the West Coast in an effort to raise awareness for world hunger. He also started what he dubbed “Ecology Corps,” which educated local youths on protecting the environment.

All the while, Sandi said, Leonard remained well adjusted and down to earth.

When Leonard told his wife he wanted to build a park on the riverbank near their home, Sandi was not the least bit surprised.

Soon, visits from the Watauga Youth Network and Grandfather Home for Children followed.

“When we did it, he said, ‘Let’s have underprivileged children come over,’” Sandi said. “And I thought, ‘How can I honor him and continue his philanthropic endeavor.’ I just never stopped inviting the kids over.”

Sandi hopes others will take note of Leonard’s endeavors so they, too, can play a role in helping out some of the community’s numerous charitable organizations.

“We’ve enjoyed giving back to the community, and we hope others will chime in and help the community along,” Solomon said.

Today, Sandi spends her time networking with local community players to continue her husband’s level of giving and practicing her favorite pastime — dancing — in her home studio.

“I’m always looking for a new dance partner, too,” Sandi said in with a laugh.

Additional Images

Sandi Solomon shows the many sights and amenities that adorn her private riverside park that is frequented by kids from Grandfather Home for Children.
Photos by Jesse Campbell

Solomon’s private park is joined by the Watauga River.

The children who frequent the Solomons’ park are treated to games of basketball, volleyball, a tire swing and other games.

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