The Rotary Club of
Centerville, OH
Chartered 1972
Rotary Club of Centerville - September 22, 2022
Centerville Rotary Meeting Highlights
NOTE: THANKS to Carrie Dittman from Centerville-Washington Park District for the photos today!
President Arnie Biondo welcomed everyone to the Centerville Rotary Club at the meeting held at the Kennard Nature Nook in Grant Park. President Biondo led the Pledge of Allegiance and Brian Hayes provided the prayer.
President Biondo thanked our greeters today: Ram Nunna and Chris Norman.
Boyd Preston reminded all to pick up your packet of pancake tickets and to let him know right away if you need an invoice for your tickets.
Our guests today included Pastor John Guliano, pastor at Normandy United Methodist Church, guest of Dick Hoback, Jackie D’Aurora, guest of Judy Budi, and Kristen Marks, Director of the Centerville-Washington Park District.
Happy Bucks this quarter go to support Operation Warm, providing new winter coats to children.
  • Boyd Preston was our Sergeant-at-Arms today and gave for Operation Warm.
  • Frank Perez gave for Operation Warm.
  • Ron Hollenbeck for DG Frank Scott & Assistant DG Mary Nenninger.
  • Ram Nunna said Thursdays are bad for him but came here today since he was a greeter. He then pledged 10 coats! Thank you Ram!
  • Crissy Allums gave for Operation Warm.
  • Mark Febus for the first day of fall
  • Jackie D’Aurora was happy.
  • Chris Norman gave for the psychological effects of gratitude on the body.
  • Tom Broadwell was happy.
  • Bob Fry was happy to be here.
  • Ger Eastabrooks was happy.
  • Susan Schnell gave for Operation Warm.
  • Matt Kuhn for his wife being named Dayton Business Journal’s Health Care Hero.
  • Ray Merz for the nice day.
  • Dale Berry for Operation Warm.
  • Elda Gotos Gay for Operation Warm and was sad for the Puerto Rico flooding.
  • Don Overly was happy Pastor John joined us today.
  • Dan Johnson was happy.
  • Brad Thorp for Ram Nunna being here today.
  • Dick Hoback for pastor John who is interested in joining the club.
  • Pastor John Guliano for all of the Normandy church people in the club.
  • Mary Nenninger for Operation Warm and because she loves winter and is enjoying the cooler temperatures.
  • Adam Manning for his birthday tomorrow that will bring him closer to 40.
  • Harvey Smith for Pastor John, noting he wants him to join the  club so he has more help dealing with us!
  • Chuck King for a coat and once his dog had successful cancer surgery, he takes more pills than Chuck!
  • Sofie Ameloot was happy and discovered she lived in NC when Chris Norman did, and she’s halfway to her Tour de Gem goal.
  • Kelly McDonald apologized for arriving late - better late than never!
  • Jim Harris gave for Operation Warm.
  • Lee Hieronymus was pleased to see our District Governor here today.
  • Carol Kennard was happy to be meeting at the Nature Nook and to kick off our 50th Anniversary project.
  • Arnie Biondo was happy to announce Sofie Ameloot has agreed to step in as Vice President.
  • Mike Wier for seeing blue skies and the nice day, noting the  world has not stopped turning
  • Jeff Senney was happy to be with the fine people at his table.
  • Brad Huffman was happy to be here at the Kennard Nature Nook.
  • Wayne Davis was happy to have Mayor Compton join us today.
Our program today was the ground breaking for our 50th Anniversary project.
Our club is assisting the Centerville-Washington Park District with renovations at Grant Park - McEwen Road. We gathered outside the Kennard Nature Nook, overlooking the meadow where we scattered pollinator seed in the spring.
Kristen Marks, Director of CWPD welcomed everyone and introduced the Board of Park Commissioners. Jason Riley, Jeff Senney, and Alex Pearl. She also pointed out that we had two former Park District Directors here and one former Park Commissioner. Carol Kennard who worked at the Park District for nearly 33 years, director for 17, Arnie Biondo, who served as Director for nearly 7 years, and a Park Board commissioner for 23 years, Harvey Smith. She thanked all for their contributions in providing outstanding park experiences for all to enjoy.
Alex Pearl, Park Board President thanked the Centerville Rotary Club, Township Trustee Dale Berry, City of Centerville Mayor Brooks Compton, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, and Choice One Engineers for being in attendance today. He then congratulated the Centerville Rotary Club on our 50th Anniversary Year, and our contributions to the community over that time!
He then shared that Grant Park is a unique gem, and we are lucky to have it right in our community’s backyard. The park is about to become the largest nature park in the district growing from 189 to 222 acres. The park holds a special place in the history books of both Centerville and Washington Township as well as the Dayton region.
The Grant family owned the land and lived in a large home, that is now part of Normandy Methodist Church, just up the road. The family also operated a working farm on this land for many years. Of course, farming was not his claim to fame, Richard Grant Sr. was well-known in the region and fit right in with Dayton’s reputation for entrepreneurship and inventing.
The history of this place and the fact that it is now parkland for the community to enjoy is a wonderful asset to the region. Carol Kennard served as the Park District’s first full-time programmer, and was instrumental in starting up programs at Grant Park, such as Hidden Meadows Day Camp which still runs today and many, many other nature and history programs in Grant Park and throughout the District.
Through the master planning process for the park, CWPD gathered public input to help create a plan for an improved visitor experience. One project that was prioritized was designating a “front door” to Grant Park, while still maintaining the natural experience visitors have come to enjoy.
With expanded parking, a delineated trailhead plaza in partnership with Rotary, and an all-access nature path, CWPD will be showcasing the park the moment people arrive. Additionally, the creation of a storm water wetland will serve to reduce runoff into nearby Hole’s creek and provide wildlife habitat as well as exploration opportunities for visitors. (NOTE: Rotarian Ginger Clark wrote the grant that provides funding from the H2Ohio program for this portion of the project!)
Frank Scott, Rotary District 6670 Governor then congratulated the Centerville Rotary Club on our 50th Anniversary. He noted we are always one of the top clubs in the district with community projects and giving. He is excited for our participation in a project to enhance the natural environment.

Arnie Biondo, Centerville Rotary Club President thanked all of the special guests who were in attendance and noted, with Rotary International’s new focus on the environment, this project was a perfect fit.
He recognized our Charter Members: Lee Hieronymus, Harvey Smith, and Don Overly (first president.)
Our portion of the Grant Park improvements includes seeding pollinator plants in the meadow, planting trees, and relocation/upgrade of the Rotary memorial bricks. New memorial area will be a plaza entrance to the trails in the park, with benches, plantings, boulder recognizing Rotary, and bricks memorializing deceased Rotarians.
President Biondo shared our fundraising for the 50th anniversary project came from:
- District 6670 grant $6,000
- Pancake Breakfast
- Golf Outing
- Sponsorships
- Club member donations
And he thanked the 50th Anniversary committee who has worked hard for two years to get to this point.
50th Anniversary Committee:
Carol Kennard & Sofie Ameloot, co-chairs
Judy Budi
Lee Hieronymus
Dick Hoback
Ron Hollenback
Chuck King
Adam Manning
Boyd Preston
Rebecca Quinones
Kim Senft-Paras
Harvey Smith
With assistance by Ginger Clark & Bill Menker and past presidents, Frank Perez and Brian Hayes
A group then assembled for the ground breaking, complete with matching shovels!
Don Overly, 1st President; Sofie Ameloot, 50th Co-chair; Harvey Smith, Charter member; Lee Hieronymus, Charter member; Carol Kennard, 50th Co-chair; Dale Berry, Washington Township Trustee; Mayor Brooks Compton; Jeff Senney, CWPD Park Commissioner; Alex Pearl, CWPD Park Board President; Jason Riley, CWPD Park Commissioner; Frank Scott, District 6670 Governor; Jacqueline Huelskamp, Choice One Engineering; ?? ODNR; Nick Meyer, CWPD Project Manager; Arnie Biondo, Centerville Rotary Club President.
President Biondo presented CWPD Park Board with a BIG check for our 50th Anniversary donation to the project - $51,448.
The McEwen Road entrance to Grant Park will close on Monday, September 26 through the end of the year for construction. Get out there this weekend for a last hike through the pollinator meadow!
Next week’s speaker will be Kelli Campbell with We Care Arts.
- Time to sell tickets! Pick up your packet at the meeting or let Boyd Preston know if you need them delivered.
- Sign up for your favorite work assignment now before someone beats you to it! See Adam Manning to sign up.
Please arrange for a sub if you are unable to greet on your assigned day or contact Crissy Allums.
September 29 = Bob Fry & Mike Norton-Smith
October 6 = Mark Gerken & Ray Merz
October 13 = Jen Gibbs & Kelly McDonald
October 20 = Carl Gill & Larry Marchand
October 27 = Elda Gotos Gay & Adam Manning
To view the 50th anniversary videos, visit the Centerville Rotary Club YouTube:
Celebrating 50 Years
Exchange Student Reflections
Charter Members Share Fellowship
Club Information
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Meeting Greeters
Please get a sub if you're unable to greet on your assigned day or contact Crissy Allums!
September 29 = Bob Fry & Mike Norton-Smith
October 6 = Mark Gerken & Ray Merz
October 13 = Jen Gibbs & Kelly McDonald
October 20 = Carl Gill & Larry Marchand
October 27 = Elda Gotos Gay & Adam Manning
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