Local community group saves summer day camp

Panera Bread hosted the 7th Annual Dayton Panerathon 5K and 10K at Centerville High School to raise money for the Children's Hunger Alliance. (WDTN Photo/Chris Smith)

Southern Dayton View, Ohio (WDTN) – There is a neighborhood in northwest Dayton that has been neglected by some social services and because of a SNAFU as recently as last year.

But the staff members at a small non profit that also runs a summer day camp developed some innovative ways to keep kids rolling.

The Dayton Urban Ministry keeps the Otterbein neighborhood free from harm. Director Willie Walker, fresh from college graduation, has taken over a camp that had been closed.

Walker said, “we opened again in February after it closed in October. Funding is a huge issue to keep the doors open currently.”

Before Walker took over, paperwork had not been properly filed and the budget was cut by the United Way. So, the recent Central State University graduate had to hustle to keep the camp running.

The staff tapped the coffers of local and national corporations, showing Fortune 500 companies the benefits of making sure these kids kept their camp.

“We toured the Air Force Museum – we took 73 students to different places around Dayton that families had never seen and didn’t know existed. We went to the Wright Bicycle shop and even to the movies. It was good for the staff  and for these families.”

The center also offers meals, after school care and help with applications for utilities.

Anyone can help advance the center’s mission – 937-567-9445.


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