Marty and Iris Walshin, Founders
The life story of Martin (Marty) and Iris Walshin is nothing short of remarkable. Rather than turn bitter towards the world after suffering the loss of their daughters Donna and Helen, from two separate tragedies, Marty and Iris made giving to others their life's focus and became extraordinary philanthropists. During their lifetime, the generosity of Marty and Iris Walshin touched the lives of countless individuals.
Marty and Iris Walshin were lifelong New Yorkers, having grown up in the Bronx and resided for many years in Yonkers. Iris initially worked in the fashion industry, while Marty worked for his father’s plumbing business. In 1960, they opened Martin Walshin, Inc, a company that distributes temperature controls for heating, cooling and refrigeration systems. Starting the business out of the trunk of their station wagon they built Martin Walshin, Inc. into a multi-million dollar business with nothing but hard work and perseverance.
Marty and Iris's care and concern for others was expressed in their active participation and generous philanthropic endeavors. Among the many organizations that benefitted from their generosity were St. John’s Riverside Hospital and its Cochran School of Nursing, Yonkers Police Athletic League, Jewish Council of Yonkers, Andrus Children's Center, North Yonkers Preservation & Development Corp. (Donna Walshin Center), and Make a Wish Foundation of the Hudson Valley. Marty and Iris were unique, caring people who were dedicated to improving the lives of others and the community around them.
As much as Iris and Marty had a devotion to their business and their community they also had strong dedication to their family and friends. When Iris and Marty were newlyweds they spent their first Thanksgiving alone together eating at a diner. During that quiet meal, Marty vowed to Iris that they would never spend Thanksgiving alone again and they opened up their home to many friends and family members for Thanksgiving dinner each year thereafter. Aside from Thanksgiving, the Walshins were also known for the wonderful parties that they hosted – whether it was the pool side Memorial Day, July 4th and Labor Day parties – or the extravagant Christmas holiday party in which each and every guest received spectacular gifts that were beautifully hand wrapped by Iris. Even after the loss of their daughters, Marty and Iris would host a gathering for close friends and family on Mother’s Day and Father's Day.
In 1999, Marty and Iris created the Marty and Iris Walshin Foundation as their long-term vehicle for consistent charitable activity that would continue long into the future after Marty and Iris were gone. Marty Walshin died on December 16, 2001 and almost seven years later his beloved wife, Iris passed away on September 8, 2008. The legacy of Marty and Iris Walshin lives on in the good work of the private foundation they established over 20 years ago.