Here’s how to get your hands on a hot ‘Hunks and Ladders’ firefighter calendar for 2018

Published: Tuesday, December 05, 2017 @ 6:00 AM
Updated: Wednesday, December 06, 2017 @ 11:59 AM

Sidney firefighter Dallas Davis pulled out the little guns when competed in Hunks and Ladders Combat Challenge for A Special Wish, Pink Ribbon Driven and Miami Valley Firefighter/EMS Memorial Association. Video by Amelia Robinson

Time flies when you are taking off your shirt, pulling fire hoses and raising money for Dayton charities. 

Local firefighters are celebrating 30 years of the Hunks and Ladders calendars. 

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Miami Valley Firefighter/EMS Memorial, A Special Wish Foundation – Dayton Chapter and the Pink Ribbon Driven Foundation will each receive checks for $2,000 during a special launch party 10 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 16 at Jimmie’s Ladder 11, 936 Brown St. in Dayton’s South Park neighborhood.

The band Full Frontal will perform and calendars will be sold. Admission is $5. 


Hunks and Ladders organizer Jake Preston said all 118 firefighters featured in the project’s 30 years are featured in this year’s calendar, which is on sale now at the Dayton Firefighters Credit Union, 338 S. Patterson Blvd., Dayton. 

Calendars are $20 each.

“We were really swinging for the fences (with the 30th anniversary calendar),” Preston said. “It kind of pays homage to our forefathers who created Hunks and Ladders.” 

The calendar is dedicated to Caleb Smith, the brother of firefighter Dan Smith, the champion of  this year’s Hunks and Ladders Firefighter Combat Challenge. 

Caleb is battling brain cancer.  

Preston said A Special Wish Foundation is sending Caleb and his family to Hawaii. 

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The word is spreading about the organization. 

More than 2,000 people attended the Hunks and Ladders Firefighter Combat Challenge held this summer at Austin Landing. Preston said about 500 attended the prior year.  


Hunks and Ladders was started in 1987 as a fundraiser for the burn unit at Children’s Hospital. 

Keith Bayer, the son of Cathy Hillman and Dayton firefighter Steve Bayer, was badly burned in a fire as a child and treated at the hospital. 

Hillman and members of the Dayton Fire Department IAFF Local 136 hosted a special runway show featuring nearly 70 Dayton firefighters. 

Dayton Daily News columnist Dale Huffman hosted the show, which was judged by local TV news anchors. 

The 1988 calendar was Hunks and Ladders’ first. 

Through the years, Preston said Hunks and Ladders firefighters were recognized by talk show host Oprah Winfrey and appeared on Phil Donahue’s national show.

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At one point, the Sirens calendar was produced and featured female firefighters and nurses.

The 30th annual Hunks and Ladders calendar is on sale now.

The 30th annual Hunks and Ladders calendar is on sale now.

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Festival season officially kicks off this weekend with SWEET treats

Published: Monday, April 23, 2018 @ 6:00 AM

Festival season is officially here! Scenes from the 39th annual Bellbrook Sugar Maple Festival, which took place April 21-13, 2017.
Festival season is officially here! Scenes from the 39th annual Bellbrook Sugar Maple Festival, which took place April 21-13, 2017.

Get ready for it! Festival season is officially upon us.

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It all starts with Bellbrook’s Sugar Maple Festival, which runs Friday through Sunday, April 27-29. 

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This year’s Sugar Maple Festival marks the 40th anniversary. Here are a few things to know before you go:

Take the free shuttle to the festival from Bellcreek Intermediate School, 3777 Upper Bellbrook Road. Parking will be virtually non-existent downtown. 

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Festival season is officially here! Scenes from the 39th annual Bellbrook Sugar Maple Festival, which took place April 21-13, 2017.


Grub vendors and 75 craft peddlers will line Franklin Street. Everything from candles to fabric crafts to window art will be up for grabs.

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Warped Wing, Yellow Springs Brewery and Angry Orchard brews and booze will be for sale in the beer tent near the live music. Friday night’s kickoff event will include music from Full Frontal. On Saturday, Spungewurthy takes the stage.

As for the food, you can expect local food trucks and tent setups offering an array of flavors and foods.

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The annual pancake breakfast is set for 8-11 a.m. Saturday at Bellbrook United Methodist Church, 47 E. Franklin St. Admission is $7 for adults and $4 for children older than 2. Family admission is $15.


The Sugar Maple Festival Parade starts at 10:30 a.m. Saturday. The Mini Sweetheart Parade is at 1:30 p.m. Sunday at Bellbrook Park. 


Kids, teens and adults will be able to submit entries for a recycled sculpture contest. All entries will be displayed during the festival weekend. First, second and third place winners will receive a cash prize; all others receive a participation ribbon. For guidelines and entry details, visit the event Facebook page. Commemorative tees will also be available at the information booth and beer garden for $15. 

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There will also be “Real Housewives of Bellbrook” themed steins, which grants a free beer. But only 25 will be available for sale Friday. These steins are available for presale and can be ordered through

Another stein option will be available in limited quantities at the festival — also offering free beer with its purchase. No pre-sale options are available for the second stein.  

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Festival season is officially here! Scenes from the 39th annual Bellbrook Sugar Maple Festival, which took place April 21-13, 2017.

Dogs will get their chance to strut their stuff at the festival’s annual dog show Friday at 6:30 p.m. This show is not about breed or agility. Awards will be given out for for important things, like cutest puppy, cutest dog, ugliest, smallest, largest, best costume and silly dog tricks 

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Want to go?

WHAT: Bellbrook Sugar Maple Festival

WHEN: April 27 to 29

WHERE: Downtown Bellbrook, Ohio (1 W. Franklin St.)

COST: Entrance to festival is free; pancake breakfast is $7 for adults, $4 for children older than 2, $15 for family admission.

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The region’s premiere arts event showcases the best Dayton has to offer

Published: Thursday, April 19, 2018 @ 6:00 AM

Andy Snow
(Andy Snow)

The Dayton Visual Arts Center is gearing up for its 24th Annual Art Auction at The David H. Ponitz Center at Sinclair Community College, and Dayton’s art community is feeling the excitement. 

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“There are a lot of artists that live in this community, but there are not a lot of opportunities for artists to show and exhibit and sell their work to the public,” said Eva Buttacavoli, executive director of DVAC. “So the auction becomes important to show off the rich talent we have in the community.”

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(Contributed DVAC)

>>PHOTOS: DVAC Art Auction 2017

DVAC’s mission is to open the door for Dayton to have a closer relationship with art. The center helps sustain the arts community by providing a place to show, market and sell work. All the money raised goes to educational programs and events through the center. 

(Contributed DVAC)

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As Dayton’s premiere arts event draws nearer, the public continues to catch glimpses of the stellar works up for auction. Buttacavoli said attendees will not only get to sip and snack on “heavy hors d’oeuvres while taking in some of Dayton’s most dazzling accomplishments, but they’ll get to rub shoulders with the artists themselves and hear what inspires them.”

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Approximately 120 works, including paintings, photographs, prints, glass, jewelry and more will be for sale, so anyone can purchase a piece of fine, Dayton-made art. Featuring a variety of different mediums, styles and processes, there is certain to be a piece that speaks to you. 

silent auction for most works will take place from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., while the live auction is set to take place from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The live auction will feature 14 pieces from some of Dayton’s most notable artists, including Annie Bowers, Virginia Burroughs, Ron Rollins and Terry Welker. 

(Contributed/ DVAC)

Brand new this year is Silent Auction Mobile Bidding, where anyone can bid on pieces with their smartphone -- from anywhere

“No more paper bid sheets, crowded auction areas or complicated check out ... If you can’t attend the event, you can log in remotely from anywhere and bid on the perfect piece of art for your home or office,” Buttacavoli said. 

“Mobile bidding will be available at no charge to event ticket holders beginning April 22. People not attending the event may bid on items beginning at 6:30 p.m. the evening of the Auction with a $10 donation,” according to a DVAC press release. 

For more information about the Mobile Bidding experience, as well as registration, visit

(Contributed DVAC)

Signature to DVAC’s auction and differing from many arts events, it’s a casual attire event with an affordable ticket price. Tickets are $50 for DVAC members, $60 for nonmembers and $75 at the door. 


WHAT: Dayton Visual Arts Center 24th Annual Art Auction

WHEN: 6 p.m. Friday, April 27

WHERE: Sinclair Community College’s Ponitz Center, 

444 W Third St., downtown Dayton

INFO & TICKETS: | 937-224-3822

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Dayton food truck giants to face off in Battle of the Breakfasts

Published: Monday, April 23, 2018 @ 6:22 AM

The Drunken Waffle will start serving brunch every Sunday starting in April. CONTRIBUTED
The Drunken Waffle will start serving brunch every Sunday starting in April. CONTRIBUTED(HANDOUT)

There will be no losers in this battle. Only full bellies.

Returning for Round 2 of the Battle of the Breakfasts, the Ghostlight Coffee Truck and Son of a Biscuit are hosting all 2018 battles at White Allen Chevrolet on North Main Street. Reigning champs of the first Breakfast Battle back in November, Son of a Biscuit, will be facing off against Greek Street Food Truck.

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“We had a great time at our first battle last November,” said Brad Manning, owner and operator of Son of a Biscuit. “The ladies at Drunken Waffle gave us a real run for our money, and we’re expecting more delicious competition from Greek Street this month.”

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Son of a Biscuit and The Drunken Waffle will square off in the first ever Battle of the Breakfasts. The event is presented by Ghostlight Coffee and Son of a Biscuit. Pictured: food from Son of a Biscuit.(Submitted)

The battle will be officiated by Ghostlight Coffee Truck, which also will be serving up coffee to go with breakfast. 

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The truck with the most sales will get “Best Breakfast” bragging rights and will go on to face a new competitor in May. 

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Greek Street Food Truck's Baklava(Alex Perry)


WHAT: Battle of the Breakfasts Round 2

WHEN: 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. Sunday, April 29

WHERE: White Allen Chevrolet, 429 N. Main St., Dayton

INFO: Facebook

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Janet Jackson extends tour to include a stop very close to home 

Published: Monday, April 23, 2018 @ 12:34 PM

10 live performances

Janet Jackson is coming to Cincinnati this summer during her State of the World Tour.

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The newly announced U.S. dates will kick off July 11 in Austin, Texas, and visit cities across the country including Cincinnati at Riverbend Music Center on Sunday, July 15.

Tickets go on sale Friday, April 27 at 10 a.m. Tickets range in price from $26.45 to $996.50.

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Citi credit card members will have access to purchase pre-sale tickets beginning Tuesday, April 24 at 10 a.m. until Thursday, April 26 at 10 p.m. through Citi’s Private Pass® program

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With sales of over 160 million records worldwide, Jackson stands as one of the best-selling artists of all time with a string of hits yielding 6 GRAMMY® Awards, 2 Emmy Nominations, a Golden Globe Award, a nomination for an Academy Award along with dozens of American Music Awards, MTV Video Music Awards and Billboard Music Awards.

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Want to go?

WHAT: Janet Jackson
WHERE: Riverbend Music Center, 6295 Kellogg Ave, Cincinnati

WHEN: 8 p.m. July 15

TICKETS: 1.800.745.3000 | Ticketmaster

INFO: Website

*While supplies last. Ticket prices include parking and are subject to applicable Ticketmaster fees and day of show increase. All events are rain or shine. Dates, times and artists subject to change without notice.

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