Ryan Ernst, Greater Dayton School

President Gary Hansen’s Theme for the Year

Gary’s theme for 2021-2022 is titled, “Even more!”. This means, “Even more of us, doing even more, to help even more kids, even more!” He said we need more members; we need more members participating more. Doing this means we can help more kids by having more events and bigger scholarships. Please share ideas you have with him and others.


  • Karl Frydryk announced that he needs lots of volunteers on 11/6/2021 from 9 AM to Noon to help with the initial tree lot setup. There will be high school kids there to help with the heavy lifting.
  • Christy Gariety, Adopt-a-Family co-chair, announced that she and Sue Jessee are accepting $50 gift cards at CNO lunches and on Christmas Tree Delivery Day (Nov 20) with activation code receipts from Kohl’s, Target, or Walmart to be given to families this holiday season. The cards need to be received by 11/29/2021. You may also mail those gift cards with the activation receipts and a note stating, “From Centerville Noon Optimist Member”, to Centerville Schools, Adopt A Family Program, 111 Virginia Ave, Centerville OH 45458. Email her if you send a donation.
  • Mike Bevis announced that on 10/31/2021 there will be a drive through Trick or Treat at the covered entrance of the Franciscan restaurant at St Leonard, from 3:30 PM to 4:30 PM. Feel free to drive through, they have lots of candy!
  • Chris McAlpine, chair of Tri-Star Soccer, announced that 230-240 kids went through the activity stations. Thanks to everyone in CNO that helped. Thank you to the CHS soccer players who carried most of the load of working with all the kids.
  • Larry Lynde announced that the Haunted Trail was a tremendous success. Thanks to all the volunteers. Special thanks to Mike Cordonnier and the high school students who were a tremendous help in building the sets, delivering them and then tearing them down. Thank you to the corporate sponsors Dorothy Lane Market, Sam’s Club, and Bills Donuts and Coldwell Banker. Thanks to the Montgomery County Sheriff’s department for helping with the crowds. The lines had to be shut down early since there was so much interest in the event. We collected 10 Barrels of food donations. Thank you to the RecPlex staff for being very helpful with the event, including helping move the food barrels with their forklift.
  • Diane Arehart, chair of Membership Engagement, announced the results of the membership drive. We had 13 members brought in 32 guests resulting in 8 new members. In 3rd place was Donna Huss. Tom Novak and Mike Bevis tied for first place.
  • Jesse Gaither announced that on November 13 the 4th annual Freedom Whiskey Co. Honoring Those Who Served Veterans Day celebration will be held in Miamisburg. The event will also honor Zach Hollingsworth who tragically died recently. He started Freedom Whiskey Co and spoke at CNO 2.0 this summer. All proceeds go to local charities. If you want a poster to place in a public area of your business let Jesse know.

Committee Meetings

  • 11/15/2021, 6 PM, Monthly Board of Directors Meeting

Happy Birthday Greg Griffin

Today was Greg Griffin’s Birthday! He and Evelyn brought a cupcake for everyone at lunch today. Bob Duffy led us in singing Happy Birthday to Greg. The singing was both awful and great. The more we sing it the worse it sounds! Have a great year, Greg! Greg is currently the Governor of the Great Ohio District of Optimist International.

Ryan Ernst, Greater Dayton School

Debe Dockins introduced Ryan Ernst, the director of The Connor Group Kids & Community Partners (CGKCP), which is the non-profit arm of The Connor Group, a real estate investment firm. Over the next decade the organization plans to invest roughly $400 million in programs it believes will pull kids out of generational poverty. CGKCP also starts non-profit programs of its own, including a Bellbrook-based program for young adults with special needs, a summer camp for inner-city youth and the state’s first private non-religious school exclusively for under-served students. Before joining The Connor Group in 2011, Ryan was a sportswriter.

Ryan thanked us for inviting him to speak to CNO today. His organization finds a niche and tries to fill it. They are big investors in kids in Dayton and other districts. They are long time investors in Dayton City Schools.

CGKCP will start the Greater Dayton School next year and will start with grades pre-K-3rd. The first year the new building will not be completed so they will occupy a building in downtown Dayton. The intent is to eventually serve pre-K-8th grade.

Candidates for the school will be selected from families at or below 130% of the federal poverty guidelines that are Medicaid eligible. They are still figuring out the baseline for the school. They want kids with parents that want something better for their kids and that will be involved in their kids’ education.

They will look for a cross section of kids to select. No more than 40% of students will come from Dayton Public Schools. They will also look for candidates in some of the low performing charter schools in the area.

The Greater Dayton School model is the first one in Ohio and among just a few in the nation. CGKCP has studied other schools with similar models.

You can view Ryan’s slide deck here. It includes design plan pictures and maps not included in this article.

The Greater Dayton School

  • Will have a revolutionary model and will be Ohio’s first private, non-religious school for under resourced students
  • Wraparound services to help pull thousands of families from generational poverty
  • Grades pre-K-8
  • 400 students; capability to grow to 600
  • Extended school day, extend school year
  • Students will eat breakfast, lunch and dinner at the school

Goals to achieve by Age 27

They will have a world-class innovative curriculum. The long-term approach will be that as the students become adults they achieve the following:

  • Living lives of character and integrity
  • Financially independent
  • Successful by their own definition
  • Physically and mentally healthy
  • Established in their career

Investment Amounts

  • They estimate it will cost $30,000/year/student
    • They will cover mental and health care including pediatric care, alumni services, family programs, fitness programs, vision, dental and more
  • $35-milllion campus
  • $10-$12 million annual budget

Reasons to Locate at Deeds Point

  • Centrally located
  • Accessible
  • Promotes diversity
  • Safe
  • Greatest potential impact
  • Positive environment
  • Development site

Community Benefits

  • World-class educational experience for kids in adjacent neighborhoods
  • Family services
  • Colonel Deeds Park – 2.5 Acres
  • Public access to outdoor facilities
  • Partner with neighborhood associations
  • Job Creation

Project Supporters

  • City of Dayton
  • Five Rivers Metroparks
  • Miami Conservancy District
  • Downtown Dayton Partnership
  • Dayton Development Coalition
  • Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce
  • University of Dayton
  • Sinclair Community College
  • McCook Field Neighborhood Association
  • Learn to Earn Dayton
  • Old North Dayton Neighborhood Association
  • Various individuals

Thank You

Thank you, Ryan Ernst, for joining us to talk about the plans for the Greater Dayton School.

New Member Readings and Inductions

NameSponsor1st 2nd 3rd Reading or Induction
Dennis DockinsDebe Dockins3rd reading
Tom YoungDebe Dockins1st Reading

Welcome Guests!

GuestGuest Of
Brandi LuttrellProgram
Brigid PaleyDebe Dockins
Ryan ErnstSpeaker
Scott SchutzmeisterDebe Dockins

Happy Bucks

Beth DuncanBill Stone had successful knee surgery this morning.

Sergeants at Arms

Gail AikenAt the Haunted Trail there were around 2000 people attending. The trail is over 1 mile and some guides walked it two nights and were tired.
Chris McAlpineApproximately 230 kids were sent away at Tri-Star Soccer without being told who won. It was shut down immediately near the end as lightning was in the area.
Debe DockinsDebe told Sergeant Scott Langer that he was doing it wrong when being a guide at the Haunted Trail.
Vida McDowellSitting at the birthday table when it is not her birthday.
Bob DuffySitting at the birthday table when it is not his birthday.
Gary HansenThe welcome to the club letter was not signed for new member Jackie Powell.
Patrick and Diane ArehartScheduling the Wine and Beer party at their home when Sergeant Ron Tinnerman couldn’t make it.

Membership Anniversaries

Becky KeeganOctober 12, 20183
Carrie MillionOctober 21, 20156
Evelyn GriffinOctober 21, 20156
Steve BlakeOctober 21, 20156
Keith MeyerOctober 16, 20138
Jean PummillOctober 17, 20129
Aaron CampbellOctober 20, 200912
Monty ZinckOctober 20, 200912
Steve CampbellOctober 20, 200912
Tom HendersonOctober 20, 200912
Bob FosterOctober 22, 200318
Mike FanelliOctober 22, 200318


Sue JesseeOctober 14
Donna RobinsonOctober 14
Wes CleavesOctober 15
Craig DringOctober 16
Renee GlennOctober 17
Steve RudisillOctober 17
Bill ShislerOctober 18
Greg GriffinOctober 19
Gary AndersonOctober 20

CNO Donations – 2013 through August 2021

Click here to see a summary of donations the club has made since 2013

Thank You Notes Received

CLICK HERE to see the Thank You Notes the Club Received this Week

Links to PowerPoint and Pictures

A Copy of this Week’s Meeting PowerPoint Slide Deck is here

The photos taken at Today’s Meeting are here.

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