January 26, 2021 – Chuck Gabringer – Dayton Hockey History

Phather Phil’s Prayer, Read by Bob Burkman

Heavenly Father,

Heavenly Father, sometimes we know what we want to say to you, but have trouble putting all the thoughts in a way that makes sense. We need not worry, You don’t just hear our words. You listen to our hearts. We need to realize that when we try to extol the virtues of Optimism to others, others are not as impressed with our words as they are by what we do and why we do it. We pray that You keep us strong in Your spirit and in Optimism for our sake and our kids.

It’s also good to know we can always add a P.S. Thank you Lord.



Liz Fultz, chair of the Oratorical Contest, announced that the annual contest will be held during CNO Zoom meetings on February 9, 2021 and February 16, 2021. The committee needs judges. Please contact Liz Fultz or Ron Thompson if you would like to help.

Kristen Marks, chair of the Essay Contest, needs more judges to help with the essay contest. There is a judging rubric to follow to help you score the essays.

Committee Meetings

2/17/2021, 6 PM, Tom Frazier Tee Off for Youth Golf 2021, Zoom hosted by Mike Bevis. Meetings in 2021 will be on Wednesdays on 1/13, 2/17, 3/17, 4/14, 5/12, 6/16, 7/7. Additional volunteers are always welcome. The golf outing will be held on 7/12/2021.

Community Events

Beth Duncan announced a new community event will be held soon. It is the Washington Township Centerville’s Got Talent. Kids ages 4-19 that live or go to school in Centerville or Washington Township will be participating in the event via videos they create of their talent. Beth is looking for people to join the new committee to help organize this event.

Social Events

2/19/2021 at 7 PM, Sue Jesse and Sara Umbreit said to save the date for a fun virtual event that evening.

Chuck Gabringer, History of Hockey in Dayton

Mike Bevis introduced Chuck Gabringer, the author of the 2015 book Hockey in Dayton. Gabringer earned a Master’s Degree in Behavioral Sciences and a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Media-Journalism-Communications from Wright State University. He is currently the Retail Lending Project Manager at PNC Bank.

His book, Hockey in Dayton is a pictorial history of professional hockey in Dayton beginning with the 1950’s Troy Bruins, continuing through the Dayton Gems of the 1960’s and 1970’s and the Dayton Bombers of the 1990s and 2000’s. Also included are histories of other hockey teams that have called Dayton home.

Gabringer stepped us through dozens of pictures associated with hockey played in Dayton.

The first picture was a recent photo of the abandoned Hara Arena that was destroyed by the Dayton Area Memorial Day 2019 tornado disaster. He said he wanted to start at the end.

Hara Arena was a basic building built in 1953 by the Wampler brothers. It started hosting the original Dayton Gems in 1964. Gabringer’s brother won the contest to name the team. To break the tie of the 39 people who submitted “Dayton Gems”, there was a drawing. Gabringer’s brother’s name was drawn. This happened before Gabringer was born. His family loved hockey and Gabringer also grew up loving the sport.

Hara Arena’s name is a combination of the two brothers who built the facility. It is the combination of the first 2 letters of each of their names of Harold and Ralph Wampler.

Gabringer said that opposing teams hated going to Hara Arena because the boards were made from concrete instead of wooden boards that would give a little. A body check was particularly brutal at Hara.

Hobart Arena was built in Troy, Ohio in 1950 when Troy only had 10,000 residents. It was designed for ice skating and conventions.  A Michigan hockey promoter heard about the building and was able to get an independent hockey team started in Troy. Eventually, the team joined the International Hockey League (IHL). The IHL existed 55 years. The team was named the Miami Valley Bruins from 1951-1959 and then they became the Troy Bruins.

The Wampler brothers were asked if they would be willing to install cooling pipes into Hara Arena. The IHL announced that a franchise would be added to Dayton, Ohio. After raising $40,000 to start the franchise, their first season was 1964-1965. Pat Ruff played for the team from 1964-1968 and he was a member of the US Olympic Hockey team in 1964 and 1968. During this time, Grismer Tire was a sponsor for Dayton Hockey. Grismer awarded players with a set of 4 tires if they earned a “Hat Trick”, for scoring 3 goals in a game.

The 1976 Dayton Gems team was very successful and won the IHL. Ten players from that team went on to the NHL.

The EHCL Dayton Bombers Hockey team played at Hara Arena from 1991 to 1996. During 1996 the team moved to the Ervin J. Nutter Center and played there until 2009.

Thank you, Chuck Gabringer, for joining us today and sharing Dayton’s very interesting history with various hockey teams.

New Member Readings and Inductions

NameSponsor1st 2nd 3rd Reading or Induction
Julie RadoBeth Duncan1st Reading
Doug FlandersJoe MaddenInduction

Welcome Guests!

No Guests this week – WHO can YOU Invite for a lift every Tuesday?

Happy Bucks

Debe Dockins$5 for “Phather” Phil Robinson and Lynn Reilly attending the meeting today
Myron Rheaume$5 for being home after recovering from COVID-19

Membership Anniversaries

MemberMonthDayJoined# Years
Chris McAlpineJanuary271/27/20095
Todd KelchnerJanuary301/30/19926
Mike BevisJanuary311/31/20027
Rachel GoetzJanuary311/31/20137


Dr. Dan PassidomoJanuary 26
Gary HansenJanuary 28
Scott LangerJanuary 29
Clint FreeseJanuary 29
Karen SirmansJanuary 31
David LaddFebruary 1
Donna HussFebruary 1

CNO Donations – 2013 through December 2020

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

Thank You Notes Received

No Thank You Notes received this week.

Sergeants at Arms

No Sergeants this week.

Zoom Meeting This Week

We had another meeting using Zoom. We will continue our weekly meetings via computer, cell phone or tablet for at least the next several weeks. Please join us and keep inviting guests.

Who can Attend Zoom Meetings?

Any member of any type of Centerville Noon Optimist can attend Zoom meetings. CNO 2.0, St Leonard’s and CNO full members or CNO monthly members can ALL attend.

Guests are also welcome. Please invite guests and introduce them if you like. Just share the Zoom link with them for that week.


In keeping with social distancing requirements – our CNO Meetings have transitioned temporarily to a online format using ZOOM.

Club Member Joe Madden was inspired to rewrite The Optimist Creed – so we give you now – The Corona Creed -with apologies to Christian D. Larson, Author of The Optimist Creed.

Links to Recorded Meeting and PowerPoint

This week’s Zoom meeting video is here

This week’s Zoom meeting podcast is here

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