Donor Stories from the The Dayton Foundation’s 2014-2015 Annual Report

We are...nourishing the souls of others through the arts: Beth W. & Alan B. Schaeffer

We are...teaching others as we were taught: Shirley A. & Lawrence E. Porter

We are...picking up our tools to go help: Heapy Engineering

We are...helping others achieve their potential: Rebecca H. Appenzeller & Craig J. Brown

We are...transforming the world through acts of kindness: Debbie A. & Mike J. McGraw


We are...nourishing the souls of others through the arts: Beth W. & Alan B. Schaeffer

Beth W. & Alan B. SchaefferFor Oakwood residents Beth and Alan Schaeffer, giving both time and treasure was part of their upbringing through their parents and their church. It also has helped define them as members of the community.

A native Daytonian and grandson of one of the founders of the law firm Pickrel Schaeffer and Ebeling, where he now serves as a partner, Alan has been involved with numerous regional organizations, most recently as the chair of Culture Works.

“My mother, Paula, never did anything without putting her whole self into it. She wasn't afraid to be the one to address an issue that no one else wanted to tackle," he said. “Even at age 96, she has great passion and commitment for her community. That sticks with you. It's why my volunteer experiences mean more to me than a resume builder.”

Beth and Alan share a passion for the arts, which they have supported through their volunteer experiences, as well as charitable gifts made through their Dayton Foundation Charitable Checking Account℠.

“Feeding the body is important, but so is nourishing the soul. The arts inspire our imagination and fuel our desire to be more compassionate,” said Beth, a retired attorney and longtime board member for The Human Race Theatre Company. “Our rich arts community permeates the creative spirit that's part of Dayton's history.”

“The Dayton Foundation is a valuable community asset, as it has made our giving more meaningful and so much easier.” – Oakwood resident and “I Believe!” Partner Beth Schaeffer

A former staff member of The Dayton Foundation's Development department and now volunteer on the Foundation's Grants and Programs Committee, Beth knows firsthand the vital role the Foundation plays in carrying out the wishes of others. “The Foundation is a good steward and is willing to try innovative ways to assist charitable people. The Dayton Foundation is a valuable community asset, as it has made our giving more meaningful and so much easier.”

For the Schaeffers, giving is a simple concept of sharing one's gifts with others.

“We were raised to appreciate the gifts that we receive. Being able to pay it forward to enable these gifts to be here for the next generation is a part of my fiber,” Alan said.

“We're investing in the causes and organizations we care about so we can help ensure their sustainability going forward,” Beth added. “The payback is that we will continue to benefit from their work, and the community will be much richer because they exist. Our investment is intangible but far greater than any monetary dividend."

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We are...teaching others as we were taught: Shirley A. & Lawrence E. Porter

Shirley A. & Lawrence E. PorterA job at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base (WPAFB) lured Larry Porter and his wife, Shirley, to Dayton in 1958 after they both graduated from Tennessee State University. But their deep love of the city kept them here, where they raised two daughters and built a life centered on serving the community that's been so good to them.

Education has been at the forefront for the Porters. Larry, retired chief of management operations and facility divisions, Avionics Directorate, Wright Laboratory at WPAFB, came from humble beginnings but was encouraged to go to college by teachers who saw potential in the future electrical engineer. He also was influenced by Shirley, his high school sweetheart, and her unfathomable will to get her college degree.

“Being poor was my motivation,” said Shirley, a Dayton Public Schools educator for 32 years. “My mother wasn't able to go to college, so she made sure her four children would get their degrees. It was never a question for me.”

They support education and other causes important to them through their donor-advised fund under the African-American Community Fund (AACF) of The Dayton Foundation and through their volunteer work. Larry was Chairman of the Board of Sinclair Community College and several other community organizations. He has worked to recruit black engineers to the area, secured research and development for Historically Black Colleges and Universities and advocated for economic development in West Dayton. Shirley currently serves on the AACF board and is a "golden" member of 50 years in Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and the Dayton Chapter of The Links, Inc.

“The AACF is growing. I'm proud of what we have done,” Shirley said. “Through meetings with churches and other groups, people are becoming more involved and learning what AACF is all about.”

“Dayton has been very good to us. We've enjoyed a good life here, and we want to give something back.” – Dayton resident and “I Believe!” Partner Larry Porter

“AACF and The Dayton Foundation train people in philanthropy,” Larry said. “Some individuals don't have a background where they learned about giving. The Foundation teaches them the basics.”

“As a child in school, people gave to me, and I was taught to give,” Shirley said. “It was what you did then - give to others as part of a greater effort.”

Giving also is a lesson the Porters have passed on to their daughters, who Shirley says “are more active in their own communities than we are! Our hope is that our children will continue our Dayton Foundation fund after we're gone.”

“Dayton has been very good to us. We've enjoyed a good life here, and we want to give something back,” Larry added. “Dayton is a good little city."

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Creating a Dayton Foundation fund is easy and can be done in five easy steps. Learn more here.

We are...picking up our tools to go help: Heapy Engineering, Rick Pavlak, president

Heapy Engineering, Rick Pavlak, presidentMany area residents are familiar with Heapy Engineering as a nationally known engineering firm located in Kettering. Equally impressive, however, is the company's commitment to its employees and to giving back to the communities in which it does business. Through a Dayton Foundation donor-advised fund, the company supports nonprofit organizations it's connected to, both personally and professionally.

“For employee-driven fundraising, grants are decided by an individual who is touched by a particular cause or nonprofit organization,” said Rick Pavlak, president of Heapy Engineering. “We also have a corporate giving strategy that supports nonprofits in areas that we do business - hospitals, healthcare, universities and so on. We feel this gives us a broad, community-based giving focus.”

Heapy established the fund to utilize The Dayton Foundation's expertise and easier record keeping.

“We promote a culture of giving back and encourage our employees to get involved.” – Rick Pavlak, president of Heapy Engineering located in Kettering.

“Verifying that you're donating to a legitimate organization should be simple, but it isn't always easy,” Rick said. “The Dayton Foundation can do that for you - and help you stay organized with your charitable giving.”

Heapy's owners are committed to growing the fund through continual donations and by encouraging employees to contribute through fundraising activities, such as their "Casual for a Cause" days that allow them to dress casually in exchange for a donation.

The generosity of Heapy's 180 employees stretches beyond the pocketbook. Several staff members currently tutor students at neighboring Southdale Elementary School. Past volunteer work includes building a Habitat for Humanity home and assisting Five Rivers MetroParks with sustainability efforts.

“We promote a culture of giving back and encourage our employees to get involved,” Rick said. “Now they bring to us causes they are passionate about and encourage us to get involved.”

Rick sees this level of community involvement as a key to the region's future.

“Greater Dayton has huge potential. People want to talk about the good old days, but we have the opportunity to make the good old days today,” Rick said. “Leaving is easy; staying and fixing the problem is hard. In the long run, coming together to provide solutions is much more satisfying.

“Everybody would like to feel pride about where they come from,” he continued. “Don't wait for outsiders to come in and solve the problem. Whether it's with money, time or expertise, pick up your tools and go help.”

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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 are...helping others achieve their potential: Rebecca H. Appenzeller & Craig J. Brown

Springboro residents Becky Appenzeller and Craig Brown had what they both describe as typical small town Midwestern upbringings and credit the inspiration of their parents and other role models for shaping their views on community service.

Becky learned early in her career about the importance of community service from a mentor, who helped place her on the Springfield, Illinois, Civil Service Commission and as a volunteer with the local United Way. From there, Becky has held a variety of volunteer board positions in the communities where she has lived, including for a hospital, her church and a YWCA. Along with her board affiliations, Becky especially has enjoyed her one-on-one time mentoring at-risk teens.

It’s very gratifying to play even a small role in helping others who work hard to overcome obstacles to achieve their goals,” said Becky, a retired corporate attorney who currently chairs the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance.

Craig, retired senior vice president, treasurer and CFO for The Standard Register Company, recalls his father’s influence for much of his desire to help others. Dad never said a word about volunteering or contributing to charities, but he set a strong example as president of the school board, treasurer of the church and a member of several service organizations in our small town. He quietly went about doing good works,” said Craig, who is a past chair of The Dayton Foundation’s Governing Board.Becky Appenzeller and Craig Brown

“It’s very gratifying to play even a small role in helping others who work hard to overcome obstacles to achieve their goals” – Springboro resident and “I Believe!” Partner Becky Appenzeller.

In a recent conversation about the Foundation, Craig remembered President George H. W. Bush's "Thousand Points of Light" message in the late 1980s that called attention to the important roles that private contributions and volunteerism play in the success of communities.

"I see The Dayton Foundation as one of those really bright lights, harnessing the aspirations of so many generous donors and volunteers to improve our community,” he said.

To perpetuate their charitable giving, Becky and Craig established a Charitable Checking Account℠ in 2009 and have made plans for a legacy fund at The Dayton Foundation that includes an unrestricted portion for the Foundation's community grantmaking. As they see it, their giving supports their desire to help others achieve their potential.

"The opportunities I was exposed to when I was young, to become involved in my communities by giving first my time and later financial contributions, helped me to feel truly connected,” Becky said. Because I became involved, I had the satisfaction of doing something positive for others and found my own life enriched because of those experiences.”

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 are...transforming the world through acts of kindness: Debbie A. & Mike J. McGraw

Debbie A. & Mike J. McGrawIt's often said generosity is rooted in gratitude. This Christian belief, coupled with their desire to help others, inspires Beavercreek residents Debbie and Mike McGraw to pay forward their blessings.

“Debbie and I feel very fortunate for the blessings we've received,” said Mike, a lifelong area resident and president of James Capital Alliance. “It's important to give a helping hand to those who are not as fortunate and those who do not have a voice.”

“I was taught by my parents to live by the Golden Rule: Treat others as you'd like to be treated,” said Debbie, whose family settled in Dayton in 1965 after her father's retirement from the U.S. Air Force. “I truly believe that the world can be transformed by one act of kindness being passed along.”

“I truly believe that the world can be transformed by one act of kindness being passed along.” – Beavercreek resident and “I Believe!” Partner Debbie McGraw.

Through their Dayton Foundation Charitable Checking Account℠, the McGraws have extended many acts of kindness by awarding grants to nonprofit organizations that are close to their hearts. This includes organizations that address basic human needs, such as St. Vincent De Paul, for which Mike serves as an investment committee board member, and religious organizations that support their Catholic faith. The McGraws also serve as ambassadors for Dynamic Catholic, a movement that is helping to re-energize the Catholic Church in America. They consider The Dayton Foundation a valuable charitable-giving partner, helping them to facilitate gifts in a timely manner to those in need.

“The Dayton Foundation has made it simple to help others,” Mike said. “It is a win-win for the donors as well as the recipients.”

But the McGraws feel there is more to giving than just dollars. They continue to look for ways to connect with others in the community they call home and where they raised two children during their 27-year marriage. They are hopeful that others feel the same and are optimistic about the good things that can happen when everyone gets involved.

“It's so important to give to an organization that represents your heartfelt purpose in life," Debbie said. “To give energy to a good cause makes our humanity move forward. Together we can do what can't be done alone.”

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.

For recent news and updates about The Dayton Foundation, read our press releases on line.

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File date: 07.16.18

IN HER WORDS

Helen Jones-Kelley

“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, former Governing Board member and donor, on the Helen and Tom Kelley Family Fund.

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