CNOtes – January 7, 2020 – Community Champion Award Presentation

Phather Phil’s Prayer

Phather Phil did not provide a copy of his prayer this week – he said to tell all club members to come to lunch at noon and hear it in person!

Today’s Guests – WELCOME!

Sue Bicknell
Ann Christie
Jeff Danner
Brian Hogarth
Mike Kistler
Sybil Martin
Yvonne Petty
Jenell Ross
Andrea White
Ralph Young

All Photos from the Meeting are Here

Social Events

1/19/2020, 2 PM – Sunday, U.D.  Women’s basketball game followed by a group meal at the Spaghetti Warehouse. Tickets are $5.00 for the game and dinner at Spaghetti Warehouse is on your own. Sign up at lunch or contact Beth Duncan.

Optimist Community Champion 2019, Jenell Ross

Mike Bevis and Judy DeMarco discussed our annual Optimist Community Champion award.

Mike Bevis notes

Five years ago, we started our Optimist Community Champion recognition. If you are new to the club, you probably are asking what is a community champion?

It is the goal of your club and your committee to honor unsung and unrecognized citizens who have gone over and above to make a difference in our community.

These community leaders can be from any walks of life. They could be a coach, a neighbor, a mentor, a teacher, a businessperson, a doctor or even a member of our club.

Over the past years we have received numerous recommendations and have spoken with many worthy citizens in our community. We have found so many who are worthy of such awards, so we always have our work cut out for us.

Why do we recognize these worthy individuals? Well that is up to you…on your tables, you have forms where you can nominate the next honoree or pass it on to someone else. Make sure you check this out or go to the website and download one. There are many unsung heroes out there.

We are always searching for people who have given back. Ones who have touched someone. Someone who has gone over and above. A person who has provided hope and a positive vision to bring out the best in our community. We were looking for people who have dedicated their life or career to encourage friendship among all people or have encouraged the development of youth to advance the well-being of life in our community.

Judy DeMarco notes

We have been honored to find that there are a few special unsung members in our community who have been recognized as Community Champions.

In the past few years, we have honored the following community champions:

  • Lisa Elam Tucker, owner of Bill’s Donuts
  • Randy Eldridge, former manager of the Kroger Market Place
  • Marc Colclasure of Synergy Family Therapy
  • Karen Chatman, a special education teacher
  • Greg and Tiffany Moehl who started the First Dawn food pantry in Centerville.
  • Dean & Mindy Heyne foster parents for more than 35 special needs children
  • Tonya Johns who started Operation Prom Dress
  • Jani Rice a 35-year veteran nurse at Dayton Children’s Hospital


It is the goal of your club and your committee to continue to honor these unsung and unrecognized citizens who have gone over and above to make a difference in our community.

Tom Novak’s nomination of today’s recipient

This Club’s “Community Champion” Award is our way of reaching out into our community to recognize those who have stepped forward to also “give back” in their own special way.  Today, we recognize Jenell Ross as our Community Champion of 2019.

As the President of the Bob Ross Auto Group in Centerville since 2010, we might assume that this role may prevent her from actively involving herself in giving back to our larger community.  Those of us who had the opportunity to hear from her as our featured speaker at our 2.0 meeting in August of last year, know differently.

My introduction to Jenell’s generosity came thru her support of our Avenue of Flags program as one of our earliest subscribers, and the first of all the auto dealerships on Loop Road; then, at the beginning of last year, in a time of explosive growth of flags, (but still in need of additional flag-carrying vehicles), she responded to us with the use of a vehicle from her dealership – all 5 holidays.

I learned that she has been active in many community groups and community causes – too many for me to mention at this time, but they are best illustrated when, in 2018, the Presidents Club of Dayton presented her the Citizen Legion of Honor Award for her outstanding volunteer leadership. 

In 2010, she formed the Norma Ross Foundation to honor her mother after her mother lost her battle to breast cancer.  I hope she will share some thoughts on the efforts of that foundation which has raised over $300,000.

This past summer, when the tornado devastated our Dayton community, she partnered with the Red Cross and was at the forefront collecting and delivering items for those in immediate need. 

Jenell’s spirit of “giving back” continues to make a difference in the lives of many in our community – please give her a warm welcome.

Jenell Ross Acceptance Speech

Jenell Ross is President of Bob Ross Auto Group which celebrated 45 years of business in 2019.

She feels she was chosen for this award because of her parents. Her parents always had everyone in her family giving back to the community. She grew up thinking this is what everyone did.  Giving back and being involved in the community is part of life. She appreciates that she and her team can give back. The 100 employees of her company make it possible for her to have the time to give back.

She lost her mother Norma J Ross to breast cancer in 2010. Jenell started the Norma J. Ross Memorial Foundation. Their website is To date they have raised $350,000 for the American Cancer Society. The foundation also helps make breast cancer screening available for those who are under served.

She thanked CNO for the honor and she looks forward to working with CNO and the community.

Thank Notes sent to CNO

You can read recent thank you notes here.

CNO Donations 2013 through September 2019

Click this link to see a summary of the donations our club has made.

Over 50 years, we have donated close to $2,000,000 to our youth community. In the past 6 years, we have donated nearly $700,


Member Birthday
Ted Humphrey January 7
Laura Caschera January 8
Wilma Quarin January 8
Don Massie January 10
Bill Williams January 11
Jesse Gaither January 11
Jordan Feldkamp January 11
Candace Rinke January 11
Joe Soucy January 12
Rob Jones January 13

Membership Anniversaries

Member Month Day Joined # Years
Greg McAfee January 7 1/7/2008 12
John Speers January 7 1/7/2008 12

New Member Readings and Inductions

Name Sponsor 1st 2nd 3rd Reading or Induction
D Ralph Young Charlie Tapp 1st Reading
Jay Schindler Mike Bevis Induction

Sergeants at Arms

Member Infraction
Gary Smiga Picture in the paper at UD basketball game under the basket
Brandon Barrett For trying to pardon himself from future fines on last day of being a sergeant
Donna Huss For trying to pardon herself from future fines on last day of being a sergeant
Judge Long For helping Donna Huss and Brandon Barrett try to exempt themselves from fines on their last day of being  sergeants
Christine Balsan and Wes Cleaves For showing up at the lunch meeting 12/10/2019 when it was cancelled since the holiday party was that night
Chris McAlpine Letting his wife and children run out of gasoline
Art Hung Accusing sergeant Jay McAlpine of wearing a clip on tie
Gary Anderson For never inviting Jay McAlpine to a CNO lunch meeting
Doug Reno Left CNO holiday party early

 Happy Bucks! 

Member Reason
Dr. Dan Passidomo Welcomed a new grandson
Doug Reno Welcomed a new grandchild; He celebrated by buying a truck from today’s speaker Jenell Ross from Ross Auto Group
Cherie Gentry The Toys for Tots organization that she chairs went from helping 500 kids in 2018 to 2300 for 2019
Gary Hansen Finished Master Bedroom remodel after starting the project in April 2018
Gary Hansen 45th wedding anniversary
Jack Anderson Minnesota Vikings won their playoff game
Bob Burkman 57th wedding anniversary
Myron Rheaume Thankful for the Optimist Creed helping him through many relatives health challenges over the holiday season
Myron Rheaume Thankful for how much CNO gets to give away from happy bucks and fines
Myron Rheaume This spring at the original site of the first Optimist Club, the Great Lakes region will have their first regional meeting (CNO is part of this region)