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Donor Stories from the The Dayton Foundation’s 2012-2013 Annual Report
We Believe...in Embracing Diversity: Susan L. & Stanley J. Katz
For Kettering residents Susan and Stanley Katz, giving is second nature. It’s a passion that speaks to the heart of their Jewish upbringing.
"Judaism teaches us 'tikkun olam,' which is the act of repairing the world through charity," said Stanley Katz, founder of ClientFirst Financial Strategies, Inc., and a longtime volunteer on The Dayton Foundation’s Development committee. "We believe there is no greater expression of our commitment to the community than to give our time or dollars to help those in need. It’s our responsibility. It’s what connects us to our community."
Growing up in the 1950s as one of few jewish children in a rural Kentucky town, Susan Katz experienced firsthand the prejudice of others and witnessed the effects of a segregated community.
"It was a difficult time for me, and for many others, I'm sure. And although great strides have been made, we must continue to reject divisive bias or stereotypes of all forms," said Susan, a well-known community advocate, who has volunteered on the boards of more than a dozen nonprofits, including Daybreak, the Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton and the Junior League of Dayton. She also has been the recipient of numerous community awards, including the National Conference for Community and Justice Humanitarian Award.
“...there is no greater expression of our commitment to the community than to give our time or dollars to help those in need." – Kettering resident Stanley Katz “I Believe!” Partner.
"The gifts of a diverse population are many and present the potential for a greater, collective good," she added. "We all are part of humanity and responsible for the welfare and treatment of others."
Through their Dayton Foundation Charitable Checking Account℠ and an endowed Foundation fund that one day will be advised by their children, the Katzes have made significant contributions to support causes that embrace diversity, empower women and aid children.
"The Dayton Foundation makes giving to charity so simple and worry-free. They do all the work, including the due diligence," Stanley said. "It’s a strong organization that, like its donors, truly cares about Greater Dayton."
"When we look in the mirror every morning, it is our desire to believe that we are doing the absolute best that we can to help others," Susan said. "We wouldn't feel good about ourselves if we didn't contribute to our community."^ top of page
For the first time in The Dayton Foundation’s history, Greater Daytonians have put the Foundation across the $400 million mark in assets. Read more here.
I Believe...in Investing in Our Children’s Future: Alphonso Wofford
Springboro resident and local entrepreneur Al Wofford believes in the well-known proverb, "it takes a village to raise a child." As one of five children raised by a single mother in South Carolina, Al credits the example of others for instilling in him a strong work ethic and a thirst for knowledge that has helped him achieve success today.
Working since he was 15 years old to help support his family, Al developed a passion for engineering and technology in high school while taking an electrical technology class and later a computer programming course. After serving as a software developer, systems analyst and program manager for the United States Air Force, Al transitioned into the private sector, eventually launching two successful technology solutions companies, CDO Technologies and VT Design Solutions. According to Al, CDO appropriately stands for "Can-DO".
"With hard work, determination and good people to stand beside you, anything is possible," he said. "I've stood by my 'can-do' attitude in everything I do - work, community involvement and family."
With a drive for being involved and making things happen for his community, Al has volunteered with dozens of local boards and special initiatives. These have included serving as chairman of the Dayton Technology Task Force and board member for the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Coalition, among others.
“...With hard work, determination and good people to stand beside you, anything is possible.” – Springboro resident Al Wofford “I Believe!” Partner.
"Helping students, particularly African-American students, develop a better understanding of STEM education is an important part of creating a more diverse business environment and is pivotal to meeting future challenges in clean water, energy, manufacturing and more," he said. "It’s about awakening kids to what’s cool about science and engineering."
His involvement with The Dayton Foundation started with the Commission on Minority Inclusion and the Engineering and Science Foundation fund of The Dayton Foundation, both of which Al serves as a board member. Al also has opened two Charitable Checking Account℠ to manage his and his companies' giving.
"The Dayton Foundation is at the root of efforts that are making our community stronger. They bring people to the table to address diversity and urban education, two issues I feel very strongly about supporting," he said. "I admire the Foundation for taking the initiative to tackle such bold, and often difficult, issues."
His commitment to community reflects his "can-do" attitude.
"I owe a lot of my success to the people of this community," he said. "I'm part of my community, and I know that together we can achieve great things."^ top of page
Creating a Dayton Foundation fund is easy and can be done in five easy steps. Learn more here.
I Believe...in Making a Difference: Ann M. Shaw-Kremer
Military orders brought Beavercreek resident Ann Shaw-Kremer and her family to the Dayton Region when she was just 15 years old, but she quickly adopted the community as her own.
"Dayton is a great place to raise your family and to get involved," said Ann, chief operating officer and senior vice president of James Investment Research, Inc., where she’s worked for 35 years. "Whether you give $5 or just volunteer your talents, anyone can make a difference. You don't have to be a wealthy donor to make an impact."
Her parents' influence, along with the example set by her mentors, Dr. and Mrs. Frank James, instilled in her this desire to help others. She created an endowed fund and a Charitable Checking Account℠ through The Dayton Foundation to support the charities she and her family care about most.
“...You don't have to be a wealthy donor to make an impact." – Beavercreek resident Ann Shaw-Kremer “I Believe!” Partner.
"Because my dad was in the military, we moved a lot. My mother often volunteered at base thrift shops to help her new-found communities," Ann said. "I'm a helper by nature, so I enjoyed going with her when she volunteered. Once we helped at a camp for children with disabilities, which I thought was great fun. It opened my eyes to individuals with special needs."
After her mother passed away, Ann created the Naum Family Foundation funds in honor of her parents. "I know they would be proud of these funds that are carrying on their legacies," she said.
Ann chose The Dayton Foundation because "it offers an easy way to give. "They do the work for you," she said. "It is a wonderful organization run by a great Governing Board and staff."
She’s not only changing the lives of others through her charitable spirit, she’s reaping benefits of her own. She met her husband, Doug Kremer, while volunteering at a Multiple Sclerosis bike event in the late 1980s. Eleven years ago, when the event moved out of the area, she helped organize The Young’s Jersey Dairy Charity Bike Tour. She continues to be involved with this local event, which has raised $640,000 since 2002 and benefits four charities that are close to the Kremers' hearts. One of the recipients is United Rehabilitation Services of Greater Dayton, where Ann has served as a board member for nine years.
"It’s important to share, to get back to your roots," Ann said. "Ralph Waldo Emerson summed it up best when he said, 'To know even one life has breathed easier because you lived, this is to have succeeded.' This statement represents the legacy I want to leave my children and grandchildren."^ top of page
Want to learn more about how The Dayton Foundation can help you help others? Visit our Who Here Can Help You page for the staff member who can address your specific question or comment.
We Believe...in Helping Families: Ann & Charles V. Simms
Oakwood residents Ann and Charles Simms believe that solid foundations are centered on faith, family and education - and that everyone deserves a place to call home.
For nearly 40 years, through land development and residential construction, Charles built hundreds of single-family homes, condominiums and apartment communities in Greater Dayton. In retirement, he and his wife are helping others secure affordable housing through their work with Dayton Ohio Habitat for Humanity, one of many organizations they have supported with their Dayton Foundation endowed funds and Charitable Checking Account℠.
"People often focus on the fact that we are building homes, but really what we are doing is helping families," Charles said. "It’s a hand-up, not a hand-out."
“...We want to make the Dayton region viable and maintain the beauty we’ve come to love.” – Oakwood resident Charles Simms “I Believe!” Partner.
They began working with Habitat through their church, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, which they also have supported through their Dayton Foundation funds.
"The Foundation is a valuable tool for our charitable giving," Ann said. "We read about what the Foundation promotes in their newsletters and often support those causes."
Ann and Charles have a strong belief in education, inspiring them to establish two Dayton Foundation funds to assist students with college expenses. "We've worked hard, but we've also been blessed," Charles said. "Our scholarship funds help us give an education to students who haven't had the opportunities that we've had."
Family comes first for the couple - a tradition they are passing down to their children and grandchildren, as their parents passed on to them. They wanted to raise their family in the Dayton Region because "it has many of the amenities of bigger cities, but with a small town feel," Ann said.
"The families in the court system are no different from the rest of us," Jane continued. "They want the best for their children - a good home, food, education. They just don't always know how to do it. The joy is seeing individuals make major life changes because of the work that I do and the help I may have provided. I'm so proud and impressed by the people I've met. I feel blessed to have this opportunity and to know that I'm making a difference."
"We love this community, and so does our family," said Charles, a fifth generation Daytonian. "Three of our four children have remained in the area, and our son, Charles H. Simms, took over the family business when I retired."
They view The Dayton Foundation as a key player in helping the community they love continue to thrive. "The Dayton Foundation has been a great catalyst for bringing people together," Charles said. "It’s a big organization that can make a big impact."
"We want to make the Dayton region viable and maintain the beauty we've come to love," Charles said. "If we help just one family through our support for Habitat for Humanity, one student through our scholarship funds, or one person to get their life back on track...then we know we've made a difference."
To learn how the Charitable Checking Account℠ Service can help you help others, click here.
You also may download our brochures, The Charitable Checking Account℠ Service and Guidelines for Using Your Charitable Checking Account℠.
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We Believe...in the Power of Community: Lisa E. Hanauer & Susan G. Spiegel
For many, the desire to give often is sparked from a deeply personal experience. This is especially true for Centerville resident Lisa Hanauer, whose humble beginnings inspired her to help her community later in life.
"Growing up, my family was very poor. We were beneficiaries of governmental programs that helped us get by, so I know what it’s like to be dependent upon others to live from day-to-day," said Lisa, founder of MED-PASS, Inc., a company she launched in 1989 and sold earlier this year to Reynolds and Reynolds. "I always hoped that someday I would give back what I had received. As my business grew, I was able to do just that. Today I see the fruits of my giving, and it’s so rewarding."
In 2000 Lisa and her partner of 25 years, Sue Spiegel, established a deferred endowment fund through The Dayton Foundation and later a Charitable Checking Account℠ to support the causes and organizations they care about most, including the Foundation’s unrestricted fund.
Lisa and Sue also are passionate volunteers. Lisa currently serves on the boards for both The Dayton Foundation and Hospice of Dayton Foundation. Sue volunteers with AIDS Resource Center (ARC) Ohio as chairwoman of its RED Gala for the third time.
“We give not because we can, but because we want to. We care about Greater Dayton and its future.” – Centerville resident Lisa Hanauer “I Believe!” Partner.
"An HIV diagnosis once was considered a death sentence. Thanks to research and medical advances, people now are able to live full lives," said Sue, who has raised more than $875,000 for ARC. "We still need to raise awareness to prevent the spread of this disease. That’s why ARC’s education and prevention programs are so important."
Through volunteerism, Lisa learned the power of participation and community. "Being on The Dayton Foundation’s Board has opened my eyes to the many worthwhile efforts happening in the region – efforts like Learn to Earn Dayton that has individuals and organizations working together to prepare our children for a successful future. It’s so encouraging," Lisa said.
When it comes to supporting their community, Lisa and Sue both agree that doing nothing simply isn't an option. "There are so many needs. If you can't give money, then give your time," Sue said.
"Knowing how I was raised with so little and knowing how fortunate we are today, the idea of not helping others would be unconscionable," Lisa added. "We give not because we can, but because we want to. We care about Greater Dayton and its future. We're here to stay."
The Dayton Foundation has had a long history of collaborative community leadership that’s helped to strengthen the Dayton Region. Learn more about our track record of effective leadership, stability and results.
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IN HER WORDS
“It’s important to me that my children understand just how much their actions can help others, and why they must give back some part of themselves to the community.”
– Helen Jones-Kelley, Governing Board member and donor, on the Helen and Tom Kelley Family Fund.