Reunions, friendships, gratitude highlight 49th annual Feast of Giving

Published: Thursday, November 23, 2017 @ 2:09 PM

Feast of Giving held in Dayton

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.”

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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.

RELATED: Thousands enjoy friends, good food at Feast of Giving

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.

The event costs about $180,000, half of which represent purveyors who donate food and equipment and the rest represents monetary donations, Levitt said.

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BREAKING: What is the building on fire in Downtown Dayton?

Published: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 12:49 PM

A Caresource building under construction in downtown Dayton is on fire. STAFF PHOTO/Cory Frolik
A Caresource building under construction in downtown Dayton is on fire. STAFF PHOTO/Cory Frolik

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. 

>>TRENDING: Latest information on building fire in Downtown Dayton

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.

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Dayton Fire Department: CareSource fire involves roofing materials

Published: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 1:14 PM


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.

PHOTO GALLERY: CareSource construction fire

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.

UPDATE: CareSource construction site on fire in downtown Dayton

“All of the occupants are out of the building,” said Bryan Adams, spokesman for the fire department.  “There’s lots of material up there.”

An exact cause of the fire has not yet been determined.

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Numerous roads in downtown Dayton closed due to building fire 

Published: Friday, March 02, 2018 @ 2:52 AM
Updated: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 12:50 PM

Traffic issues can be reported by calling our newsroom at 937-259-2237 or tweeting @WHIOTraffic .

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. 

Major Highway Incidents

  • On the ramp from northbound I-75 to northbound I-675, there is a crash in the right shoulder.
  • On southbound Interstate 75 in the area of Wagner Ford Road and Needmore Road, a crash was reported around 8:06 a.m. A vehicle reportedly crashed into the center divider and antifreeze is down on the ground. Traffic is backed up in the area.

Surface Street Incidents

  • On Indian Ripple Road at the I675 overpass in Beavercreek, a crash was reported around 7:50 a.m.
  • At Main and Franklin streets in Centerville, a crash was reported around 7:45 a.m.
  • At County Line and Dorothy Lane roads in Kettering, a crash was reported around 7:45 a.m.
  • A crash at Bird and National Road in Clark County was reported shortly before 8 a.m.

>> RELATED: WHIO App-Winter

>> RELATED: Track the latest conditions in your neighborhood on our live WHIO Doppler 7 Interactive Radar

Ongoing Construction & Other Closures 

Live look at highways on our traffic cameras here.

Latest traffic conditions are also available on our traffic map. 


  • Arlington Road between Pleasant Plain and Upper Lewisburg Salem Road, BRIDGE CLOSURE, March 5 - Sept. 30. All ramps for I-70 will remain open. 
  • Keowee Street north of Stanley Avenue, bridge closed until 2019. The official detour is: Keowee Street to Stanley Avenue to I-75 to Wagner Ford Road and back to Dixie. More information is available here.
  • Stewart Street Ramp to US 35 East, RAMP CLOSURE March 28 - Sept 30, 2018. The official detour is: Stewart Street to Edwin C. Moses Boulevard to I-75 north to US 35 west to James H. McGee Blvd. to US 35 east.
  • SR 48 between First Street and Riverdale Street, Lane closures March 19 - April 1. One lane will remain open in each direction.
  • SR 4 north/south between I-70 and Lower Valley Pike, Lane closure April 2 - 26. One northbound and two southbound lanes will remain open. 
  • I-75 north Ramp to US 35 west, RAMP CLOSURE, March 12 - Sept. 30. The official detour is: I-75 north to US 35 east to Jefferson/Main Street to Ludlow Street to US 35 west. 
  • I-75 north Ramp to US 35 west and east, Lane width restriction until Apr. 1, 2018. One lane will remain open on the ramp with a width of 11 feet.
  • US 35 east between Edwin C. Moses Boulevard and Jefferson Street, Overnight lane closures March 19 at 8 p.m. - March 20 at 6 a.m. Two eastbound lanes will remain open.


  • N. Market Street between Foss Way/Kirk Lane and Stonyridge Avenue, ROAD CLOSURE March 5 at 7 a.m. - Aug. 10 at 5 p.m. 
  • I-75 south near CR 25A (Piqua), Lane closure March 19 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. One southbound lane will remain open. 
  • US 36 westbound between Scott Drive and Kienle Drive, Lane closure March 26 - June 30. One westbound lane will remain open. 


  • SR 47 between Fifth Avenue and Wilkinson Avenue, Lane closures Jan. 21 - Nov. 27. One lane will remain open in each direction at all times. 
  • SR 274 between Shroyer Road and Island Avenue, Lane closure April 9 - June 9. One lane will remain open in each direction. 


  • SR 121 between Washington Street and Fairview Street, ROAD CLOSURE Mar. 12 - April 13. The official detour is: SR 722 to US 127 to SR 503. 
  • SR 121 between Arnold Street and Harter Road, ROAD CLOSURE Mar. 12 - April 13. The official detour is: SR 722 to US 127 to SR 503. 


  • I-70 east Ramp to I-675 north, RAMP CLOSURE March 15 - Aug. 15. The official detour is: I-70 east to I-675 south to SR 444 to I-675 north


  • US 68 between SR 508 and Township Road 310, ROAD CLOSURE April 23 - 27. The official detour is: US 68 to SR 296 to SR 29 to SR 235 to SR 47 to US 68. 

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2 Troy school superintendent finalists will meet with public

Published: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 11:52 AM

            Troy schools superintendent Eric Herman announced Jan. 25, 2018, that he will retire at the end of the school year. CONTRIBUTED
Troy schools superintendent Eric Herman announced Jan. 25, 2018, that he will retire at the end of the school year. CONTRIBUTED

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.

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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.

Doug Trostle, board of education president, said a new superintendent would be hired by the end of April.

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