Donor Stories from The Dayton Foundation’s 2016-2017 Annual Report

#Hometown360... Inspiring the Giving Spirit: Ann & Timothy O. Cornell

#Hometown360... Changing Lives for the Better: Roberta A. & J. Norman Eckstein

#Hometown360... Sharing Their Blessings: Candice A. & Randale J. Honaker

#Hometown360... Impacting Lives Through Service: Rosalind J. Jackson, M.D.

#Hometown360... Shaping Lives Through Education: Aleksandar Svager, PhD

What’s your #Hometown360? Visit us on Facebook to experience a 360-degree view of the stories of impact in this year's Report to the Community and participate in the Foundation’s #Hometown360 Challenge for an opportunity to have your favorite charity receive a one-time $1,000 grant.

#Hometown360... Inspiring the Giving Spirit: Ann & Timothy O. Cornell

Ann and Timothy O. CornellWhether he’s running half marathons with his adult children, spending quality time with grandchildren or inspiring his staff to pay it forward, Tim Cornell is passionate about family, faith and giving to help others.

Originally from Indiana, Tim and his wife, Ann, made their home in the Dayton area in 1980 when they relocated here for his work. Three children and six grandchildren later, Tim and Ann feel extremely blessed.

“A client once told me that everything in life is overrated except for grandchildren. He absolutely was right,” said Tim, managing director, Wealth Management at the Cornell/Nicholson Team of UBS Financial Services, Inc.

The giving spirit runs deep in the Cornell family. Tim and Ann’s oldest son, Patrick, is a musician and web designer residing in Nashville. His internet video series called "Loved On" documents his efforts to inspire others to give unconditionally. Blair Cornell, who works with his father, recently established the JoyRide Fund through The Dayton Foundation to support a car club exclusively for children with special needs. And, despite an incredibly busy schedule managing her own public relations firm, the Cornell’s daughter, Sarah, finds time to host a foster child.

As Ann and Tim believe, their children’s selflessness is a product of being raised in Greater Dayton. “Certainly family played a role, but their passion for giving truly came from the spirit of this community where people care deeply for one another,” said Tim. “That’s what their 'hometown' has meant to them and to us.”

“The Dayton Foundation is something that everyone can be a part of, whether you have $5 to give to charity or $5 million.” – Kettering resident Tim Cornell

As a financial planner, Tim has assisted dozens of clients in establishing charitable funds at The Dayton Foundation. He also is an enthusiastic user of the Foundation’s Charitable Checking Account℠ Service, which he and Ann draw upon for annual giving to their favorite charities, including Fairhaven Church where they are members. Additionally, the Cornells have made plans for a gift through their estate to another Foundation fund after their passing.

“The Dayton Foundation has been an incredible partner in helping me both personally and professionally,” he said. “The Foundation is something that everyone can be a part of, whether you have $5 to give to charity or $5 million. It is part of the lifeblood of our community.

“You never know what a simple gesture, like paying for a dinner or groceries, can do to make an impact in someone’s life,” said Tim, who offers his personal credit card to his employees so they can perform random acts of kindness. “At our weekly staff meetings, we share stories of the impact their efforts have made, and there have been so many. It’s like the ripple effect of a pebble hitting a pool of water. It’s rewarding to know we can do so much with so little.”

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#Hometown360... Changing Lives for the Better: Roberta A. & J. Norman Eckstein

Roberta A. & J. Norman EcksteinAt a time when there are so many critical needs and worthwhile organizations, knowing how best to make a difference can be overwhelming. For native Daytonians Norm and Bobbie Eckstein, however, their approach is direct and simple - know your values, get involved with organizations that advance those values and support them with your time, talent and treasure.

The Ecksteins have multiple philanthropic priorities, but education is of special interest to them.

“Early learning, particularly between birth and age three, is extremely important to establishing a solid foundation for a child’s life,” said Bobbie, a former educator for the Oakwood City School District and the University of Dayton.

“For example, we feel strongly about The Dayton Foundation’s leadership initiative Learn to Earn Dayton and its Preschool Promise program to help children get started on the right path for educational success,” added Norm, senior vice president of Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC

Seeing what many respected community leaders were doing for our region motivated Norm to become more involved and to give back. His long record of service includes serving as a board member for The Hundred Club of Dayton and the YMCA of Greater Dayton, as well as initially co-chairing the Leadership Council for Miami Valley Works, a workforce development initiative launched by The Dayton Foundation and other organizations.

“People using their gifts and expertise to better the quality of life for everyone - that’s what being a part of a community truly means.” – Kettering resident Bobbie Eckstein

As a member and past chair of The Dayton Foundation’s Governing Board, Norm sees firsthand “the Foundation’s vital role as a convener in numerous regional efforts that are helping to move the needle on critical issues, such as generational poverty and unemployment through the Miami Valley Works initiative.”

Through their Dayton Foundation Charitable Checking Account, they are deepening their philanthropic relationship, locally and across the nation. They also established an endowed unrestricted fund to support Greater Dayton through the Foundation’s initiatives and competitive grantmaking to local charities.

“People using their gifts and expertise to better the quality of life for everyone - that’s what being part of a community truly means” said Bobbie, who currently is chairing a committee to build a visual arts center in South Carolina.

“The Foundation’s ability to bring people and resources to the table to address community needs is an important role that helps fill the leadership and funding void created by larger corporations and industries that are no longer here,” Norm said. “Unrestricted funds, like ours, are guaranteed to stay in Greater Dayton to address our needs today and in the future. It’s reassuring to know that the Foundation’s staff will have the flexibility to support the efforts with the greatest impact long after we are gone.”

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

#Hometown360... Sharing Their Blessings: Candice A. & Randale J. Honaker

Candice A. & Randale J. Honaker, CPA, JD, CFPIn 1977, Randy Honaker packed everything he owned into his car and made his way to Dayton from West Virginia for a job opportunity. Forty years later, he and his wife, Candi, have built a life in this community based on faith and giving back.

“Dayton may not be as well-known as other cities, but we have lots of character,” said Candi, a Dayton native who, along with Randy, currently resides in Centerville. “s This community has great schools, great neighbors, and is a wonderful place to live and raise a family.”

“I believe that giving to those in need equals treasure in Heaven. I don’t want to be the richest person in the cemetery.” – Centerville resident Randy Honaker

As devout Evangelical Christians, the Honakers believe in serving others and giving to those in need. This is a traditional they learned early in life, while watching their mothers tithe at church every Sunday, even when money was tight.

Randy credits his mother’s example and his strong faith for gifting the entirety of his first large bonus check to his church when he was a young professional.

“While my initial thought was that it was a lot of money, it was the right thing to do and I’m glad I wrote the check,” Randy said. “I believe that giving to those in need equals treasure in Heaven. I don’t want to be the richest person in the cemetery.”

As senior vice president of Wealth Management for the Honaker Hayes Wealth Management Group of UBS Financial Services, Inc., Randy helps his clients by assisting them in their financial security, as well as realizing their charitable goals. He encourages them to use The Dayton Foundation as a resource, because “it’s a great organization that is innovative, flexible and willing to do whatever is needed for its donors.”

Randy practices what he preaches with the Family Foundation Plus℠ fund and Charitable Checking Account℠ that he and Candi established through The Dayton Foundation in 2015. Their funds help them to support causes and charitable organizations they care about most, while honoring their Christian faith.

“We feel that God has been generous to us, so we should be generous in return,” Candi said. “The times in my life when I feel the most blessed is when I give unconditionally to others.”

“Our faith teaches us that we should enhance the flavor of life and preserve the good in the world,” Randy added. “Everything I have was made in Dayton. I enjoy giving and helping those in need to make our community a better place.”

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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.

#Hometown360... Impacting Lives Through Service: Rosalind J. Jackson, M.D.

Rosalind Jackson, M.D.It’s been 22 years since Rosalind Jackson moved from her hometown of Grand Rapids, Michigan, to Dayton to attend medical school at Wright State University. In that time, she’s made quite an impact on Greater Dayton, dedicating herself to the well-being of her patients and volunteering her time and treasure to help those in need.

“I believe that to whom much is given, much is expected,” said Dr. Jackson, owner of Total Health & Wellness OBGYN LLC, a private practice she established in 2013. “The feeling I get when I give and am able to bless someone else is overwhelming. It feels good to know that I am serving my true purpose.”

She credits John E. Moore, Sr., a former Dayton Foundation Governing Board chair and co-founder of the African-American Community Fund (AACF), as an influence in her charitable giving and volunteerism. The two worked together while serving on the board of Mary Scott Nursing Center.

“There is nothing more powerful than being of service for others. This is why I’m here.” – Dayton resident Rosalind Jackson

“Mr. Moore says, ‘It’s your responsibility to give to help others and to make the ask on their behalf,” Rosalind said. “From his gentle spirit and firm counsel, I learned the importance of advocating for others.”

In addition to her work with the Center, she is a mentor for Horizons, and organization that matches high school students interested in a career in medicine with opportunities to shadow medical professionals. She also has traveled to Uganda, Africa, for missionary work to perform surgeries, and recently joined the Advisory Board of AACF, a component fund of The Dayton Foundation through which she established a Charitable Checking Account℠ in 2011.

“The Dayton Foundation and the AACF provide an avenue to give and connect me to the community,” Rosalind said. “They inform me of pressing local needs, identify opportunities to give, and serve and elevate programs that impact the lives of others.

Growing up in the inner city, Rosalind knows firsthand the importance of community initiatives and programs like these and the difference they can make in an individual’s life.

“As a child, I was involved in groups like the 4H Club and other community outreach programs,” Rosalind said. “These groups are so important and require support from private donors to enable them to give guidance to those in need and impact lives.”

“There is nothing more powerful than being of service for others,” she continued. “This is why I’m here.”

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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#Hometown360... Shaping Lives Through Education: Aleksandar Svager, PhD

Aleksandar SvagerAlthough there are nearly 5,000 miles between Dr. Aleksandar Svager’s hometown of Sarajevo, Bosnia, (formerly Yugoslavia) and his longtime residence in Wilberforce, Ohio, both communities hold a special place in his heart. Without them, the retired Central State University (CSU) physics professor may not have met his late wife, Dr. Thyrsa Svager, nor helped shape the lives of so many of his students.

“I had several offers from other universities, but I chose Dayton because it had the lowest cost of living,” said Aleksandar, who moved to the area in 1964. “I was accepted in Wilberforce right away. The people were so friendly and made me feel at home.”

A holocaust survivor, Aleksandar has long been an advocate for the underserved. During World War II, his family kept him indoors so he wouldn’t be subjected to wearing the yellow armband that Jews were required to wear at the time. In 1941, they escaped, fleeing their home and narrowly missing German troops who had arrived to take them to Auschwitz. They traveled to Italy, where he recalls the generosity of the Italians who welcomed them into their community.

“They treated us like long-lost family, sharing their fruit, bread and other items that helped us to survive. One neighbor even let me ride his children’s bicycles,” Aleksandar said. “Memories of their generosity inspire me to pay it forward.”

Dr. Svager has done this through his work as an educator and also by supporting several scholarship funds, including one he established through the African-American Community Fund of The Dayton Foundation in memory of his wife. The two met on CSU’s campus, where Thyrsa also was an accomplished professor. They were married until her passing in 1999.

“Anyone who can help others get an education should get involved. We won’t have equality until this happens.” – Wilberforce resident Aleksandar Svager

“If students came to Thyrsa in trouble, she would pay their tuition, when there was no tax benefit,” he said. “This fund carries on her legacy of helping students succeed.”

Aleksandar shares this legacy with his wife and estimates that he taught more than 20,000 students in the United States and Yugoslavia during his 59-year career. Of these students, 36 earned advanced degrees in physics, including six who attained PhDs. In retirement, he also has worked with the American Physics Society to start a new program that has helped hundreds of African-American students earn graduate degrees in physics.

“Many of our country’s problems could be solved if everyone had an education,” Dr. Svager said. “Anyone who can help others get an education should get involved. We won’t have equality until this happens.”

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

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File date: 11.15.2017


Michelle Lovely

“Let us help you determine the most efficient and effective giving option for you, your family or your organization. Talk with me or a member of our Development team.
– Michelle Lovely, vice president, Development, (937) 225-9948

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