By Randy Arrington
LURAY — Although the housing market may have slowed from a fever pitch for sellers in recent years, one recent sale in Luray benefitted two local non-profit organizations in Page County.
Rita Hawkins Short was a longtime supporter of both the SPCA and the local hospital.
“I fondly recall Rita’s vibrant enthusiasm and support for our hospital,” said Travis Clark, a vice president of Valley Health and President of Page Memorial Hospital.
On Oct. 31, 2022, the sale of Rita Hawkins Short’s former home at 300 North Court Street in Luray closed for $169,000. After closing costs, the net sale of $155,208.12 was divided evenly between Valley Health’s Page Memorial Hospital and the Page County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) chapter.
“We are grateful she designated this gift to us. Her generosity will enable us to continue improving health in the communities we are proud to serve,” Clark said. “I am not aware of a tangible asset of this size being donated to the hospital in my 25 years at PMH. That said, the hospital did raise approximately $1.5 million in the 2014 capital campaign for our new hospital [in Luray].”
Despite naming the two non-profit beneficiaries, the home was also left in a Life Estate to James Louderback, who lived in the home for many years. Upon his passing in February, the home was later placed on the market and sold this fall.
Upon the sale of the 864-square-foot home on 0.46 acres, longtime local Realtor and chairman of the Foundation for Valley Health’s Page Memorial Hospital, Bill Dudley, said his Luray firm waived their fees on the transaction.
“Bill Dudley & Associates waived the listing side real estate fee and coordinated the sale of the property with a co-operating selling broker as a community service, acknowledging this wonderful gift by Rita Hawkins to our community and being the hometown real estate company,” Dudley said.
In November, both non-profits received a donation of just over $77,000 from the sale of the North Court Street home.
“At this time the money is in our foundation’s general use fund until we specify a use for it,” Clark said of PMH. “We will permanently recognize Ms. Hawkins for her generosity when we utilize the donation.”
Efforts to reach local SPCA representatives for comment and specifics were unsuccessful prior to publication.
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