Donor Stories from The Dayton Foundation’s 2017-2018 Annual Report

We Are Changemakers: A Culture of Giving.... Avni Arora, M.D. & Rakesh Arora

We Are Changemakers: Giving for the Greater Good.... Roy G. Chew, Ph.D. & Shelley Chew

We Are Changemakers: Helping Others Achieve Their Goals.... Fred Conway, Jr., & Anita R. Conway

We Are Changemakers: Bridging Past, Present and Future... Jon M. & Diana P. Sebaly

We Are Changemakers: A Culture of Giving.... Avni Arora, M.D. & Rakesh Arora

Avni Arora, M.D. & Rakesh AroraWhen Avni and Rakesh Arora moved more than 7,500 miles from their hometown of New Delhi, India, to Beavercreek, Ohio, in 2006, they brought with them a deep tradition of giving inspired by their culture, families and faith.

“Growing up in India, giving is just something you do. We never questioned it,” said Avni, an anesthesiologist at Southview Hospital. “If you have more than what you need, then it doesn’t belong to you. God gave it to you, not to splurge on yourself but to use as a means to help others instead.”

Rakesh Arora, who experienced a similar upbringing as his wife, credits his grandfather for influencing his charitable beliefs. Giving back is a philosophy they’ve tried to instill in their two daughters as well.

“My grandfather taught us that you can give a man a few dollars for something to eat, but that will last him only a few days,” said Rakesh, director of Clincare International Center, Ltd. “The real gift is providing him with the education or means to support himself.”

“The Dayton Foundation is a wonderful platform for charitable giving.... You can donate where you’d like.” – Beavercreek resident Rakesh Arora

From volunteering at the India Club of Greater Dayton or Hindu Temple of Dayton, to supporting basic education for children across rural India through Ekal, USA, the Aroras are donating their time and resources to the causes close to their hearts, both locally and in their homeland. To make their charitable giving easier, they established a Charitable Checking Account℠ in 2017 through the Asian-Indian Community Fund (AICF) of The Dayton Foundation.

“The Dayton Foundation is a wonderful platform for charitable giving. No one is pressuring you to give your money anywhere. You can donate where you’d like,” said Rakesh, who also serves as an advisory member of AICF. “I am looking forward to connecting more people to AICF and letting them know about its many benefits.”

The Aroras feel the opportunity to give back comes from being blessed. Anyone can be a changemaker if they are making even the smallest positive impact on the community.

“There are a lot of people in our community who want to help others. If we can connect charitable individuals and our resources to those in need, then it will be our small way of being positive changemakers,” Rakesh said. “A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality.”

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We Are Changemakers: Giving for the Greater Good.... Roy G. Chew & Shelley Chew

Roy G. & Shelley ChewsWhen you think of Greater Dayton’s many charitable campaigns, it’s difficult to name one in which Springboro residents Shelley and Roy Chew have not been involved in some capacity. With a drive for helping others and making good things happen for their community, the Chews have supported dozens of local organizations, including the American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, Foundations of Kettering Health Network Hospitals, Kettering Seventh-day Adventist Church, Spring Valley Academy, United Way and the YMCA.

“We all have a responsibility to give,” said Roy Chew, Ph.D., president of Kettering Health Network.

“Giving is part of our journey,” added Shelley, a former nurse who has devoted her time to family and volunteering. Currently she’s working with Good Neighbor House on their annual golf tournament fundraiser. “We’ve been blessed with good careers, family and friends, and we believe in sharing our blessings with those in need, whether it’s through our time or money. Both are equally important and very rewarding.”

“The best way to feel that your are part of a community is to give back to the community.” – Springboro resident Roy Chew

It’s a philosophy the Chews have instilled in their two sons as well. Their youngest, Alec, participated on a mission trip to Peru while in high school, and their eldest, Greg, launched a chapter of Habitat for Humanity at his college during his junior year.

“When other kids were on spring break, he would build houses,” Roy said. “Now he continues to serve others as a member of the Air National Guard Reserves in Virginia.”

They were introduced to The Dayton Foundation 20 years ago through their tax accountant, who encouraged them to open a Charitable Checking Account℠.

“I can’t imagine a more direct, efficient and tax-effective way to give,” Roy said. “The Foundation does an excellent job of helping to manage our gifts. It’s a well-run and trusted organization.”

To the Chews, “changemaker” is a title that they embrace with modesty.

“When we see the impact that’s made from supporting kids to go on mission trips, tithing for our church or leading a campaign for a worthy cause, it’s hard for us not to open our wallets or volunteer our time,” Shelley said.

“Giving is a part of who we are as people,” Roy added. “The best way to feel that you are part of a community is to give back to the community.”

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

We Are Changemakers: Helping Others Achieve Their Goals....Fred Conway, Jr. & Anita R. Conway

Fred Conway, Jr. & Anita R. ConwayFor Dayton residents Anita and Fred Conway, giving to help others is a way of life. Inspired by their families and their religious upbringings, the Conways are donating their time and treasure to change lives and help individuals reach their full potential.

“Growing up in the church, we learned at an early age that charity and volunteerism were the right things to do,” said Fred, who worked as a civilian employee at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base for more than 30 years. “We believe that people want to live in a community where everyone has the ability to develop and enjoy all the benefits of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It’s important to give, no matter how little, so those in need can achieve life’s rewards.”

In addition to their own charitable giving, the Conways encourage others to give back. It’s something they’ve passed on to their three daughters and their grandchildren. For their 50th wedding anniversary celebration in 2016, they requested that in lieu of gifts guests make donations to their Donor-Advised Fund through the African-American Community Fund (AACF) of The Dayton Foundation. They were overcome by the generosity of their family and friends and thankful for the opportunity to pay the gifts forward.

“Helping others to achieve their goals and become resonsible members of society is what being a changemaker means to us.” – Dayton resident Fred Conway

“We were really surprised by the overwhelming response and significant donations that were made,” said Anita, a retired longtime Dayton Public Schools teacher. “AACF and The Dayton Foundation provided us with a vehicle for sharing the gifts that we have been given.”

The Conways became involved with AACF after learning about it through friends who were a part of its organization and management. They see it as a group of community members with a sense of unity and a common interest in giving back.

“AACF serves as a beacon of support to others and can uniquely identify, shed light on and meet some of the unmet needs in the community,” Fred said. “Through our AACF fund, we have the opportunity to access those needs and see how our gifts are helping to meet them.”

Whether supporting their church, youth educational programs or senior service organizations, Anita and Fred are most proud of their volunteer work and its transformational results.

“Helping others to achieve their goals and become responsible members of society is what being a changemaker means to us,” Fred said. “If we can provide someone else with the necessary means to change their lives no matter what their start in life, then we have fulfilled some of our responsibilities as citizens in this community.”

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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 Changemakers: Bridging Past, Present and Future....Jon M. & Diana P. Sebaly

John & Diana Sebaly.Growing up in the 1940s, the effects of the Great Depression and World War II left an indelible mark on Jon Sebaly, attorney and co-founder of Sebaly Shilito + Dyer, a downtown Dayton law firm since 1986.

“So many people were struggling,” he said. “You never saved anything with the idea of benefiting yourself in mind. Everyone helped everyone else, including giving whatever you had to give.”

Helping others also was ingrained in Diana Sebaly’s upbringing, particularly by her mother who was a member of the local Junior League and a frequent volunteer at their church.

“The Junior League provided a lot of programs and services to families, especially during the Depression,” Diana said. “My mother got a lot of joy out of serving others.”

Today, the Sebalys find particular joy in giving through their Dayton Foundation Charitable Checking Account℠ and a fund established with their IRA assets. Animal welfare is a cause close to their hearts that they support through gifts to the Humane Society of Greater Dayton and to WagsInn Canine Charities, a Clark County rescue organization where Diana serves as a board member. They also award scholarships so students can attend Miami University, Diana’s alma matter, and Interlochen Center for the Arts in Michigan where they can experience world-class arts educational programs.

“It’s just a wonderful feeling to help change lives by providing opportunities that someone might not have otherwise.” – Oakwood resident Diana Sebaly

“A fellow parishioner recently told us about her son, who is attending the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music,’ Jon said. “Years ago Diana and I had sponsored him to attend a summer camp at Interlochen. ‘That experience changed his whole life direction,’ the parishioner said. I can’t help but feel good knowing that we made a difference in his future.”

It’s clear that the Sebalys are changing lives, but when asked if they believe they are changemakers, Diana summed it up best. “I hope so!” she said. “But we don’t give time or dollars for the recognition. True joy comes from giving. It’s just a wonderful feeling to help change lives by providing opportunities that someone might not have otherwise.”

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

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File date: 01.15.2019


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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