Last Updated: Jan 8th, 2015 - 07:42:25

Henricus gets big gift from Jimmy Dean
By Staff Reports
Aug 2, 2013, 14:02

CHESTERFIELD – A historical park that tells the story of the second successful English settlement in North America is getting a big boost from a country music icon.

The Henricus Foundation announced it has received a $100,000 donation in honor of the late sausage king and entertainer Jimmy Dean. The Dean Foundation has made the donation to support the educational mission of Henricus Historical Park. Supporters of Henricus are challenged to match the gift with donations of $5,000 or more.

The Dean Foundation is a nonprofit organization designed to support public education around Richmond. Dean lived in Varina, which is between Richmond and Hopewell. Henricus is just south of Varina on the James River.

“Jimmy Dean was a successful singer, actor and businessman who held a passion for philanthropy and education,” said Donna Dean Stevens and husband Jayson Stevens, administrators of The Dean Foundation. “Jimmy and I set up the foundation years ago specifically to support education in our community,” Donna Dean Stevens said. “After working with Barbara Bush on her Reading is Fundamental program, education became a cause close to his heart. Jimmy loved his home on the historic James River, his final resting place, and after a recent introduction to Henricus Historical Park by friend and Henricus Foundation board member Dickie King, Jayson and I felt supporting the museum in Jimmy’s honor was the perfect thing to do. I’m sure he would have approved.”

A Grammy award-winning country music singer, Jimmy Dean is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame. In the early 1960s, Dean began hosting The Tonight Show occasionally and later helped bring country music mainstream though his popular variety show, The Jimmy Dean Show. He acted in several television series and appeared in the James Bond movie, Diamonds Are Forever. Dean later established the Jimmy Dean Sausage Company made popular by his humorous commercials. He died in 2012.

Henricus Historical Park is a nonprofit that operates in partnership with the Henricus Foundation and counties of Chesterfield and Henrico. Private philanthropy bridges the gap between county resources and what the museum needs to expand educational outreach to children, fund archeological projects, build new facilities and recruit and retain professional staff.

“We are incredibly grateful to The Dean Foundation for supporting our education programs, which reach more than 30,000 students each year,” said Charles L. Grant, executive director of Henricus Historical Park. “Generous support from donors to the Henricus Foundation makes improving our community possible.”

Commemorating 400 years, Henricus Historical Park re-creates everyday 17th century life in the second successful English settlement in North America and resides on the original site of the Cities of Henricus. Due to its prime location as a military outpost on a bluff overlooking the James River, the site also boasts rich Civil War history which visitors may experience through special events and programs during the Sesquicentennial. Surrounded by the Dutch Gap Conservation Area, the living history museum offers exceptional Pre-K-12 and adult education programs, including indoor and outdoor meeting and special event space available for rental. Henricus Historical Park is a nonprofit organization which operates in partnership with the Henricus Foundation and the counties of Chesterfield and Henrico.

Henricus Historical Park is located on 32 acres along the scenic and historic James River and is surrounded by the 810-acre Dutch Gap Conservation Area. The living history museum is located at 251 Henricus Park Road, Chester. 

The Henricus Foundation will also be participating in the Amazing Raise, a 36-hour online giving event sponsored by the Community Foundation. This year’s event takes place from Wednesday, Sept. 18 at 6 a.m. until Thursday, September 19 at 6 p.m. More than $1.2 million dollars was raised for 400 local nonprofit organizations last year. For more information or to make a donation, visit

For more information about Henricus Historical Park visit

Copyright © 2004 - present