Orange Leaf partners with Team Zaden for reward fundraiser

Team Zaden teams with Orange Leaf for fundraiser in Zaden McKnight's honor and a reward fund for the 5-year-old missing boy. (WDTN- Beairshelle Edmé)

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – A fundraiser  was held Saturday in support of Zaden McKnight, the 5-year-old boy who has been missing for nearly seven months.

From open to close, members of Team Zaden, a volunteer-based organization, raised awareness about the boy.

In rotating shifts, outside of the Orange Leaf, a yogurt shop, women could be seen cheering loud for all to hear.

“Help us bring Zaden home,” they shout!

The boy went missing last April with his mother Nichelle McKnight.

She was found later in the Stillwater River, but her son remains missing.

He would have turned 5 this summer and every day that passes is one the family has no closure.

Earlier this month Dayton Police thought they found McKnight, but it turned out to be nothing and that hurt these organizers.

“It’s hard, it’s hard. It kind of put a lump in your throat and your heart beats fast and you get nervous,” an organizer Victoria Moore described. “And you know, we just follow the stories and we try not to get our hopes up too much and we’ll just wait to see what happened.”

Optimism is what’s keeping the organizers active.

They teamed up with the yogurt shop, who volunteered to have 15 percent of their proceeds on Saturday go back towards the reward fund.

And until McKnight comes home, Team Zaden plans to be out in the community doing all they can.

“When I heard the story it touched my heart in a special way and I knew we had to support this family,” Moore explained. “And, we had to rally around them and it’s also important to rally the community together and make sure people are communicating and they are talking and talking about the important things.”

If you weren’t able to make it to Saturday’s event, you can still donate to the reward fund by visiting here.

As well, if you have any information about this case you’re urged to call police. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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