Becky Banadyga’s Hendersonville roots run deep: She’s the third-generation owner (with husband Rex) of the city’s Sherman Sporting Goods, which was opened by her grandfather, Louis Sherman, in 1922 and run by her father, Kalman Sherman, until his retirement about 20 years ago. Those roots are literal as well — in 1997, Kalman Sherman partnered with the Community Foundation of Henderson County to create the Sherman Tree Fund, donating $7,500 to mark the 75th anniversary of the family business.
Banadyga laughs when asked if her father was a big outdoorsman. “No! But he loved trees. He thought they were vital for the well-being of the community and brought beauty to the commercial area.”
The fund, which has grown to over $40,000 through gifts and investments, continues to purchase replacements for downtown trees that are old, diseased or removed for redevelopment. Not all of the trees on Main Street are gifts from the Sherman Fund, but the many that are likely played a role in Hendersonville’s 2018 designation as North Carolina Tree City of the Year by the N.C. Forest Service.
“I remember coming to the store when I was a kid and seeing all the big mature trees on Main Street,” Banadyga says. “A lot of those are gone now, but the ones we have are thriving and beautiful.”
Editor’s note: As part of our monthlong celebration of this region’s commitment to sustainable ways of living and working in community, Xpress is highlighting some of those who are making a difference by taking action on a variety of creative and inspiring initiatives.