Why this 60-year-old ‘Kettering boy’ just gave $100K to Fairmont music

Published: Wednesday, March 07, 2018 @ 12:47 PM
Updated: Wednesday, March 07, 2018 @ 3:44 PM

            Kevin O’Donnell, with Kettering Fairmont band director Mike Berning and music teacher Bryce Newton, as O’Donnell’s donation of $100,000 is revealed to the audience Tuesday night. CONTRIBUTED
Kevin O’Donnell, with Kettering Fairmont band director Mike Berning and music teacher Bryce Newton, as O’Donnell’s donation of $100,000 is revealed to the audience Tuesday night. CONTRIBUTED

A Fairmont graduate who has served as a substitute teacher for Kettering City Schools more than 30 years and worked for UPS for more than 40 years has pledged $100,000 to the Fairmont Music Department.

Kevin O’Donnell announced the donation of $20,000 each year for the next five years on Tuesday night. School officials said it was the largest private donation ever made to the Fairmont Music Department. The Fairmont Band Boosters will oversee management of the funds.

The irony is, O’Donnell said, “When I sub in music class, I feel like a fish out of water.”

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He said Kettering schools were full of precise, exact musicians.

The lifelong Kettering resident — who said he never sends a text message or email — said he loves Kettering schools.

“I’m a Kettering boy, and Kettering schools just do a fantastic job,” he said.

O’Donnell attended Prass Elementary and Kettering Middle School and is a Fairmont East graduate. He is also a University of Dayton graduate.

His nephew, also named Kevin O’Donnell, is a Kettering Fairmont graduate known for his music skills. The nephew was very involved in the music program at Fairmont.

O’Donnell told the school district that he wanted to do something for the music department while he is still alive.

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O’Donnell asked that the funds be used to help students with instrument repair costs and with scholarships for students wanting to pursue music in college. It also can be used to help purchase “step-up” instruments — better quality instruments that students who are serious about music or are wanting to make a career out of music should be using once they get to the high school level of music programs.

“A lot of kids that might have $150 repair bill on their saxophone, and their family might not be able to fix it,” he said. “That is not going to happen on my time.”

He thought about the donation for about six months and decided to move ahead with it “so kids can keep on playing and chasing their dreams.”

O’Donnell, who turned 60 this year, said he was more of an athletic type but thought music deserved the help.

“The athletics always get the No. 1 seed over everything else,” he said.

O’Donnell often substitute teaches in Kettering or Dayton by day and works a night shift with UPS, he said.

“I like to help out when I can,” he said. “I am usually pretty low-key on how I operate.”

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Reports: Shots fired towards Dayton officers, police assistance requested

Published: Monday, March 19, 2018 @ 10:42 AM

Incident happened near West Second Street & Bungalow Road

A report of shots fired at officers has prompted a large police response in the area of West Second Street and Bungalow Road in Dayton Monday morning. 

Officers requested assistance near the intersection around 10:45 a.m. after shots were fired in their direction, according to police scanner traffic. 

The suspects have reportedly fled in a vehicle and no injuries have been reported. 

It was not immediately known if the officers returned fire. 

We have a crew on the way and we’ll update this page as new details become available.

Dayton Police issued a signal 99

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Dayton police, fire rescue cat from tree after community members plead for help

Published: Sunday, March 18, 2018 @ 7:56 PM

Cat is rescued from tree near Hospice of Dayton

- UPDATE, 9:02 p.m.: 

The cat has been rescued, according to a Hospice of Dayton spokesperson.

 Dayton fire and police personnel were able to remove the cat from the tree. The cat was said to be healthy and will be taken a local animal facility that accepts stray cats. 


A cat with apparent injuries up in a tree on Hospice of Dayton grounds tonight has some people in the community concerned.

A cat was stuck in a tree near Hospice of Dayton. PHOTO COURTESY OF BETHANY WALKER

There have been posts on social media, including the WHIO Facebook page, and calls to our newsroom from people who want to get help for the animal.

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We reached out to Hospice of Dayton, and officials there said they are working to resolve the issue.

Earlier, police were called to stop citizens from trying to retrieve the cat.

It’s not clear how long the cat has been in the tree.

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Clayton group recognized for making city parks more inviting

Published: Monday, March 19, 2018 @ 12:04 PM

            Clayton’s Parks Advisory Commission members were recognized by the city for their talents and for recent events and work at the parks. CONTRIBUTED
Clayton’s Parks Advisory Commission members were recognized by the city for their talents and for recent events and work at the parks. CONTRIBUTED

Clayton leaders praised the work of the Parks Advisory Board, noting that the group has achieved several of its goals the past few years.

Members of the Parks Advisory Commission first met in 2015 with a mission to make the parks of Clayton more welcoming and bring in more events than it had in past. The advisory group is made up Chairman Earl Harlamert, Co-Vice Chair Traci Barnes, Co-Vice Chair Helen Senu-Oke, Jakie McArdle, Lisa Menker and Robin Spiller.

In the years since, the Parks Advisory Commission has accomplished many projects, city leaders said. They have replaced the signs in and around the parks, improved the landscape with work on trees, sidewalks and flowers, and they have helped provide more community events.

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Many popular events for the city include the Labor Day Fireworks, Breakfast with Santa, picnics with bounce houses for children, food, fun and games.

According to city officials at the last council meeting on Thursday, commission members went above and beyond the call of duty, aspiring to bring better service to the community.

Visit the city’s website for further information on the Parks Advisory Commission or contact the Assistant to the City Manager Lisa Brown at (937) 836-3500, extension 113.

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Police: Dayton school bus runs red light, crashes into SUV

Published: Monday, March 19, 2018 @ 8:49 AM
Updated: Monday, March 19, 2018 @ 9:34 AM

A Dayton Public School bus and a SUV got into a crash

UPDATE @ 11:43 a.m.:

Dayton Public Schools spokeswoman Marsha Bonhart released a statement regarding today’s bus accident. 

"We are aware there was a traffic accident involving a Dayton Public Schools bus this morning in the downtown area. We are waiting on an official report from the Dayton Police Department.”

UPDATE @ 9:30 a.m.:

A crash involving a Dayton Public Schools bus and an SUV has resulted in only minor injuries according to the Dayton Police Department.  

Police report the school bus was traveling South on Ludlow Street and ran a red light causing a collision with a SUV. 

There were about two dozen students on board the bus and two children reported minor injuries, the driver of the bus and the driver of the SUV were uninjured. 


At least two children have been injured in a crash involving a Dayton Public Schools bus in downtown Dayton Monday morning. 

The crash was reported at the intersection of West Sixth and Ludlow streets around 8:40 a.m. 

Initial reports indicate two of the children suffered injuries, but the injuries do not appear to be serious, according to police scanner traffic. 

Additional details were not available. 

We have a crew on the way and we’ll update this page as we learn more. 

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