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Published: Thursday, November 23, 2017 @ 2:09 PM
Every year for the past several, Marquita R. Robinson sits at a table at the Feast of Giving inside a massive room at the Dayton Convention Center to have Thanksgiving dinner with several thousand of her neighbors.
It’s also a homecoming of sorts.
“This is the place where a lot of my friends (meet) to see each other and we haven’t seen each other throughout the whole year,” the 32-year-old Dayton resident said before standing up and shouting and waving at a friend.
More than 8,000 people were expected to stream through the convention center’s doors Thursday. Marking it’s 49th year, the Thanksgiving Day tradition draws people of all ages and backgrounds who come together one day as a community, many interacting with strangers they have never met.
Richard C. Jones, 50, of Dayton, stopped in for his first trip to Feast of Giving since moving to the Gem City from Atlanta.
“I didn’t have any plans and I’m relatively new to Dayton,” he said.
Last year, he said he spent Thanksgiving alone. That changed this time once he found out about the dinner.
“I’m hoping to meet some of my Dayton neighbors,” he said as a band played on a stage near his table. “I’m not really an outgoing person. This is like something brand new and hopefully becomes a tradition.”
The gathering had 500 volunteers — and turned away another 700 — to prepare and serve free meals to throngs of attendees, said Stephen Levitt, one of the event’s organizers.
“There’s always a few hang-ups, but we make it work,” he said.
Stephanie Richardson, 53, of Dayton, and Amy Schmitt, 59, of Beavercreek, set out place mats and prepared decorations in a room set aside for children.
The Thanksgiving spirit of giving “just spoke to me,” said Richardson, volunteering for the first time at the dinner since she recently moved to Dayton from the Virgin Islands.
Schmitt, a self-described “people person” and a public health nurse, wanted to work with children.
“It’s fun,” she said. And it gave her a sense of appreciation. “You come in here and serve today and you walk out with no complaints.”
Carol and Roger Ober of Beavercreek, volunteered for the first time, working as security monitors.
Carol Ober, a 71-year-old retired school teacher, said they wanted “to be part of something bigger than yourself and this is definitely big.”
The community dinner is so big it takes days to cook food for thousands.
Thursday started with a very basic ingredient that was the hardest to manage: Boiling water, said Sous-Chief Andrew Payne.
“Probably close to 1,000 gallons of water we had to get to a boil to be able to make the stuffing, to make the gravy, to make the mashed potatoes,” he said. “It’s constant. We started boiling water at two o’clock this morning.”
Payne also was one of about a dozen who spent seven to 10 hours Monday slicing 3,000 pounds of turkey.
The shopping list this year included 2,600 pounds of mashed potatoes, 2,000 pounds each of green beans and breaded stuffing, and 100 gallons of gravy. For dessert, the feast rolled out 900 pies of all sorts and 8,000 servings of ice cream.
Vanilla is the most popular flavor, said Joe Hartenstein, 62, of Trotwood. The long-time event volunteer and retired school truant officer also hands out chocolate and sherbet ice cream.
For Robinson, a restaurant cashier, the mashed potatoes are the best on a filled Thanksgiving plate.
“I always get double mash every time I come down here,” she said. “Because it’s all silky. You add some butter to them and they’re awesome.”
Organizers stepped in nearly a decade ago when the Beerman Foundation, which had sponsored the event since 1969, announced plans to end the Thanksgiving tradition in Dayton.
Published: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 12:49 PM
UPDATE @ 1:32 p.m. (March 22):
The vice president for the company constructing the new CareSource building in downtown Dayton said all employees and construction workers are accounted for and there were no injuries in the fire this afternoon.
“We had an incident on the roof of the building,” said Troy Erbes, Vice President with Danis. “Some roof insulation caught on fire.”
Erbes said they are still working to determine what caused the fire to start.
“Now we’re in the investigation state,” Erbes said.
CareSource planned to open its new downtown Dayton campus in the spring of 2019.
The company had started construction last year on what is to be the first newly constructed office tower in downtown Dayton in a decade.
The six-story CareSource Center City is the first newly constructed downtown office project underway since the nonprofit - a fast growing Medicaid managed care company - broke ground on its Main Street headquarters.
The building, with construction led by Danis, will be at the site of the former Patterson Co-op High School on the 100 block of East First Street.
It will have the space to house 800 employees from CareSource, have a similar design to its headquarters and is intended create a walkable, campus like environment for its employees.
CareSource, which now has about 2,000 employees in downtown Dayton, has been rapidly growing in recent years into a nonprofit with more than $7 billion in revenue and members in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, West Virginia and now Georgia, which it just expanded into this year.
The insurer has become a major employer in Dayton, anchoring downtown with its employment base. It struck a deal with the Ohio Tax Credit Authority late last year to increase its job-creation commitment to 1,920 jobs by 2019 — including current positions being filled and the new jobs promised — raising the company’s annual payroll in Dayton to more than $129 million.
Along with its 230 N. Main St. headquarters, CareSource bought a building it had been leasing called Ballpark Village, across from Fifth Third Field.
Published: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 1:14 PM
DAYTON — A fire at a construction site for a new CareSource building on North Jefferson Street is believed to involving roofing materials, according to the Dayton Fire Department.
According to Dayton fire officials, everyone has been able to get out of the building and the only people believed to have been inside at the time the fire started were construction workers.
“All of the occupants are out of the building,” said Bryan Adams, spokesman for the fire department. “There’s lots of material up there.”
Published: Friday, March 02, 2018 @ 2:52 AM
Updated: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 12:50 PM
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Traffic conditions are updated every six minutes on AM 1290 and News 95.7 FM.
Roads are closed in Downtown Dayton from Jefferson St. to St. Clair and from Second St. to Monument St. due to a working fire. Motorists are advised to avoid the area.
#TRAFFICALERT - Roads are closed downtown from Jefferson St. To St. Clair and from Second St. to Monument St. Due to a working fire. Please avoid the area.— Dayton Police Dept. (@DaytonPolice) March 22, 2018
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Published: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 11:52 AM
TROY – Two finalists for superintendent have been selected by the Troy City Schools Board of Education.
Jeremy Miller, current district assistant superintendent, and Christopher Piper, superintendent of the Triad Local Schools, were selected from among 16 applicants and eight semi-finalists.
District staff and stakeholders were notified about the selections on Thursday by Jeff Price, the district’s treasurer and chief financial officer.
The public will have the opportunity to meet the finalists on April 10 for Miller and April 11 for Piper at 4:15 p.m. at the Troy Junior High School Library. The board of education will meet both days at 6:30 p.m. in a closed executive session to interview the candidates.
District Superintendent Eric Herman announced earlier this year he would retire at the end of July.