For Heidi Allen and Tibor Lazar, the love of nature is deeply rooted in their family history. Growing up, Heidi’s interest was inspired by her stepfather (pictured) Jim Hawthorne’s passion for hiking and canoeing in the Adirondacks, and Tibor’s love of nature and animals stems from his parents’ commitment to improving the natural world around them. “They established a program to help the environment in their community,” Tibor said with affection. “Their heart is helping people and sustainability.”
Now, this husband-and-wife veterinary team is carrying on the tradition with a generous commitment to the Fairfax County Park Foundation. Surrounded by their sons Corvin and Keaton and an impressive array of family pets, these modern-day Dr. Dolittles recently signed an agreement to donate at least $3,000 per month for the next 10 years to establish The Lazar Family Fund. The goal is to create an endowment to support natural resource stewardship efforts on Fairfax County parkland.
“Some of the donated parkland is in poor condition, and we want this fund to be a starting base and encourage other people to give to this fund so we can have good-quality parkland that people can enjoy,” said Heidi, a dedicated volunteer who often helps with local invasive management clean-up efforts. “We need to take better care of the land and control invasive plants.”
Heidi and Tibor have a long history of supporting environmental causes around the globe, but this contribution close to home has sentimental value. It was established in memory of Tibor’s parents, Rita and Caaba (pictured), Hungarian immigrants whose environmental legacy continues in their neck of the woods in Rappahannock County.
The Lazar Family was honored as recipient of the FCPF 2019 Eakin Philanthropy Award and 2020 National Association of County Park and Recreation Officials (NACPRO) Award in the Outstanding Contributor category. Heidi Allen earned the 2019 Elly Doyle Outstanding Volunteer Award for significant work with the FCPA Invasive Management Area program.
“I’m so happy we’ve been able to put this together,” Heidi said. “My hope is that down the line, our sons, who both love nature, will continue supporting charitable funds, follow through and choose well.”