Donor Stories from The Dayton Foundation’s 2018-2019 Annual Report

We Are Here for You: Inspiring Future Generations.... Trent P. Fisher, PE & Mary I. Fisher, PT, PhD, OCS

We Are Here For You: Paying Forward Our Blessings.... Michael J. & Margaret K. McQuiston

We Are Here for You: Giving Is a Family Affair .... Dottie Miller

We Are Here for You: Being True to Their Beliefs... Dave L. Fischer & Robin L. McCall-Fischer

We Are Here for You: Inspiring Future Generations....
Trent P. Fisher, PE & Mary I. Fisher, PT, PhD, OCS

Avni Arora, M.D. & Rakesh AroraYellow Springs residents Mary and Trent Fisher knew that someday they wanted to leave a charitable legacy for future generations. When Trent merged his longtime automation and robotics tooling company with another company in 2017, they came to The Dayton Foundation to make their dreams a reality.

“I always thought leaving a legacy would happen when we were much older,” said Mary Fisher, associate professor for the University of Dayton and physical therapist for Premier Health. “I dreamed that one day we could have a lasting impact. With resources and support from The Dayton Foundation, we can.”

They established a Family Foundation Plus℠ fund through the Foundation with some of the proceeds from the company merger. The fund allows the Fishers to name their children as successor advisors and continue their charitable legacy through the generations.

“It’s nice because we can see the benefits of our charitable giving during our lifetimes,” said Trent Fisher, professional engineer and business owner. “Our hope is that our children and future descendants will contribute to the fund and continue our family’s charitable legacy, making it their own.”

“I dreamed one day we could have a lasting impact. With resources and support from The Dayton Foundation, we can.” – Yellow Springs resident Mary Fisher

Inspiring the next generation of givers is a priority for the Fishers, who encourage their three children to pay forward their blessings at Thanksgiving by giving them each $100 to donate to charity. They also have allotted a portion of their fund’s assets for students at the University of Dayton Davis Center for Portfolio Management to invest. This Dayton Foundation/UD partnership gives students real-world experience, both in managing assets and philanthropy, by reducing its management fee and using those dollars for students to direct grants to charity.

“We are hoping it lights a spark in the students to get involved in giving back,” Trent said.

“Philanthropy is not just Bill Gates. It cuts across all backgrounds and ages,” Mary added. “Teaching philanthropy is hard. We want to inspire the next generation.”

To the Fishers, giving means more than just writing a check. Mary helps raise funds for Living with Lymphedema and educates women about breast cancer. Trent volunteers for their church and coaches youth basketball. He also counsels new start-ups at the Dayton Entrepreneurial Center as an executive-in-residence to help them “avoid some of the pitfalls I ran into when trying to start my business.”

The Fishers want their family to leave a lasting legacy for the community they have called home for more than 30 years.

“It’s comforting to be in a community that unites during rough times. We are proud to be a part of it,” Mary said. “Our kids helped clear tornado debris, even though we were spared that evening. Our neighbors and friends rallied to help those impacted by the Oregon District tragedy, even though they did not know anyone personally.”

“It speaks volumes that complete strangers have reached out to lift others up,” Trent said. “This is what community means, and we are part of one of the best.”

^ top of page

We Are Here For You: Paying Forward Our Blessings....
Michael J. & Margaret K. McQuiston

Roy G. & Shelley ChewsFor as long as Oakwood residents Peggie and Mike McQuiston can remember, paying forward their blessings has been a part of their lives. From Mike’s early memories of collecting money at St. Albert the Great Catholic School for underfed overseas families, to Peggie’s childhood recollection of tithing 25 cents of her allowance each week, the McQuistons credit their faith and family as the foundation for their desire to give back.

When Mike’s career brought them back to the area in 1997, they found no shortage of opportunities to help others.

“Giving back was always a priority, but when I came back to Dayton, I really got involved,” said Mike McQuiston, a partner for The Connor Group. “Our company does a lot of philanthropic endeavors, which created an awareness for me and motivated me to do more.”

His volunteer work includes serving on the boards of Dayton Children’s, Montgomery County Ohio College Promise and Dayton Early College Academy, a K-12 charter school system that prepares students for college. He believes that “financial contributions are important, but personally participating is even more important.”

“We’ve always known that we are #DaytonStrong. It makes me proud that I’m a part of that.” – Oakwood resident Peggie McQuiston

The McQuistons focus their giving on helping youth and supporting the arts. Arts is particularly important to Peggie, who began ballet lessons in kindergarten. She leads a show choir and is a song leader for St. Albert the Great Catholic Parish. She also volunteers for the Little Exchange and was a scout leader.

“My mother and my faith taught me to share my blessings.” Peggie said. “From being a scout and parish leader, to leading community development efforts for my hometown of College Hill, Ohio, my mother always gave her time and resources to help others.”

The McQuistons established a Charitable Checking Account℠ (CCA) through The Dayton Foundation in 2016 to simplify their charitable giving and give them the flexibility to gift appreciated assets.

“Our CCA is convenient. When you want to donate, it helps you make that step because the money’s in there,” Mike said. “The Dayton Foundation also creates awareness of the needs in the community.”

Community is important to the McQuistons, particularly in times of need.

“When you have adversity, you see what the soul of the community is all about,” Mike said. “The way that we’ve responded to the events of the last six months, it says a lot about Dayton and who we are.”

“It’s not surprising, though. Dayton always has been a resilient community,” Peggie added. ”We”ve always known that we are #DaytonStrong. It makes me proud that I’m a part of that.”

top of page

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

We Are Here for You: Giving Is a Family Affair....
Dottie Miller

Fred Conway, Jr. & Anita R. ConwayThroughout their 51-year marriage, Kettering resident Dottie Miller and her late husband, Marty, a partner of MillerValentine Group, built a life centered on family, community and causes near and dear to their hearts.

“Marty was raised in a family that was taught to give back, and he inspired me to do the same,” Dottie said.“This motivated us to champion many causes and organizations throughout Greater Dayton.”

From helping individuals with disabilities, to supporting the University of Dayton, their alma mater, the Millers have made charitable giving a family affair. Their daughter, Amy, and granddaughter, Kelly, are strong advocates for helping others, particularly those with special needs, an interest that hits close to home.

“Kelly was diagnosed with a sensory integration dysfunction at age 7 months,” Dottie said. “Her initial diagnoses projected that she wouldn’t progress past a third-grade level.”

Thanks to early intervention therapy with United Rehabilitation Services, a nonprofit organization that the Millers became involved with when Miller-Valentine helped construct its facility years earlier, Kelly has thrived despite her prognosis. She now is majoring in neuroscience at the University of Notre Dame and holds a 3.9 G.P.A. The family calls her their “miracle child.”

“Kelly is a perfect example of how therapy for individuals with sensory and other disorders can be so beneficial,” Dottie said. “If babies receive this type of intervention from birth, it makes such a difference in their lives.”

“Dayton is our home. It’s our family.... I feel lucky to be in a place where I can give to make a difference in the lives of others.” – Kettering resident Dottie Miller

The Millers established a Charitable Checking Account℠ in 1994 because Marty, who believed in The Dayton Foundation, often said that it made “giving so much simpler.” Their children are the successor advisors, and together with the grandchildren, they assist Dottie in deciding which organizations to support.

“I watch our family give so much of themselves,” Dottie said. “I feel blessed to be able to support them in their important work to help others.”

Dottie plans to leave a portion of her estate to a Family Foundation Plus℠ fund. She established the fund through The Dayton Foundation to award grants to nonprofit organizations she and her husband have supported during their lifetimes. This is especially meaningful in light of recent events in the region

“Dayton is our home. It’s our family,” Dottie said. ”Marty always wanted to help individuals who needed help. I feel lucky to be in a place where I can give to make a difference in the lives of others.”

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 Are Here for You: Being True to Their Beliefs....
Dave L. Fischer & Robin L. McCall-Fischer

John & Diana Sebaly.Robin McCall-Fischer and Dave Fischer have deep roots in the Dayton Region. Both born in the now-closed Good Samaritan Hospital, Robin was raised in New Lebanon by her grandparents and mother, and Dave grew up in Vandalia as the youngest of seven siblings. They both loved to explore the outdoors and learned valuable life lessons from their beloved families and neighbors. Their paths didn’t cross, however, until the late 1990s. “He was an employee at a company that my business partner and I represented for their 401k plan,” Robin said. “I finally agreed to go out with him, and we clicked immediately.”

As they grew in their respective careers, Robin, who provides investment management and estate planning services at one of the largest financial institutions in the country, and Dave, a mechanical engineer who holds nearly a dozen patents for his inventions, have given their time and treasure to support charitable causes close to their hearts.

“The Dayton Foundation puts our community first.” – Fairborn resident Robin McCall-Fischer

“We lend our skills to help groups grow responsibly through strategic planning and governance, but we also aren.’t afraid to roll up our sleeves to get a job done,” Robin said.

Dave, who Robin describes as ‘a big kid at heart,’ volunteers for the FIRST® LEGO and Robotics competitions helping children learn how to design and problem solve in a competitive arena. As the current Governance Chair for the Dayton Horse Show Association, Robin is helping the 152-year-old organization reinvent itself for the next generation of horse enthusiasts.

Together, their passion for all creatures great and small extends into their home, which they share with several cats adopted from Advocates 4 Animals, a Greene County rescue and adoption program. “They are a wonderful resource working to reduce feline abuse, neglect and homelessness,” Dave said.

Besides opening a Charitable Checking AccountSM with The Dayton Foundation for their personal giving, Robin also serves on the Development Committee and frequently refers her clients to the Foundation.

“The Dayton Foundation puts our community first, particularly with their quick response to the two tragic events this summer, and has quietly led without fanfare,” Robin said.

As Robin and Dave look toward the next chapter of their lives, they believe that philanthropy will continue to play a significant role

“We really want to be remembered for being kind, loyal and giving members of our community, but also creative and for having a good sense of humor,” Robin said. “Life is short. Work hard, play hard and be true to your beliefs.”

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℠.

top of page

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

^ top of page
File date: 11.19.2019


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 and Donor Services, (937) 225-9948

  • foundation
  • foundation
  • foundation
  • foundation