As Kettering resident and avid sports enthusiast Barbara O'Hara sees it, sports are a reflection of life. The lessons learned on the playing field help build character, shape lives and bring communities together.
"Through sports you learn trust, dependability, respect for others and discipline. Life, like sports, is challenging. Sometimes you win, and sometimes you lose," she said. But to Barbara, it’s the journey and the teamwork involved that makes good things possible.
She carries this philosophy through to her charitable giving, as well as to her volunteer efforts. Well known in the community as a passionate advocate and fundraising guru for numerous Greater Dayton not-for-profits, Barbara enjoys being a cheerleader for enterprising efforts and inspiring others to become involved. She is a founder of the Greater Dayton Rowing Association, a board member of Dayton History and the new Dayton Performing Arts Alliance, and a volunteer youth mentor for Montgomery County Ohio College Promise.
"I firmly believe that when you live in a city and partake of all that it has to offer, it’s your obligation to help make it a good place to live. That includes giving your time, as well as your charitable gifts," Barbara said. "If I see someone involved in something important for our community that is of interest to me, I think 'I can do that too!' I hope that what I'm doing inspires someone else to do the same."
Originally introduced to The Dayton Foundation through her attorney, she has found the Foundation to be a good partner in her charitable giving.
"I enjoy doing my part to help launch a project that has the potential to do something great for our community’s future. The Dayton Foundation and my Charitable Checking AccountSM help me to do this," she said. "The Foundation certainly has made me more aware of the needs of local nonprofits that I might want to help motivate, support and nurture."
Barbara also has a scholarship fund through the Oakwood Schools Foundation of The Dayton Foundation to benefit aspiring female athletes at her high school alma mater and a deferred fund that will continue her gifts to her favorite charities in perpetuity.
“I enjoy doing my part to help launch a project tha thas the potential to do something great for our community’s future. The Dayton Foundation and my Charitable Checking Account help me to do this,” said Barbara O'Hara.
"It can be a challenge to know when and how to give wisely, what start-up organizations or entrepreneurial efforts to invest in, what it will take to seed them and watch them grow," Barbara said. "My giving makes me feel privileged and satisfied in knowing that I'm doing what I can to make Dayton be the gem that it once was...and it will be again. This is my hometown, and I care deeply about its future."