Dakota Center needs items for kids, seniors

Each Thursday, staff writer Meredith Moss writes about non-profit organizations in our community and their particular needs. If your group has a wish list it would like to share, please contact Meredith: MMoss@coxohio.com

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Earlier this month the Dakota Center celebrated its 50th anniversary with a parade, open house and festival. An estimated 200-300 attended.

There was reason to celebrate.

‘Many youth, seniors, and families in the Dayton community have benefited from the services of the Dakota Center,” said the organization’s executive director, Sharon Barrett-Mitchell. “Fifty years ago, Father Philip C. Hoelle, S.M. and William Hoben (former Dean of Business, University of Dayton), created a safe haven for youth, a home away from home at 645 S. Dakota St. in Dayton. We are continuing this legacy today.”

The center, now located at 33 Barnett St. in the MacFarlane neighborhood, was built in 2000 with the aid of $1.7 million. Father Hoelle and many of his friends — including Mrs. Virginia Kettering — raised most of the funds to build the center at the former location of Garfield Elementary School.

Dakota Center serves youth ages 6-18 in its after-school program and seniors (55 and older) in its senior program and Golden Age Club. The Center’s slogan is “Building Character, Connecting Community.”

“We have a Drill/Dance/Percussion Program for youth ages 3 to 25,” says Barrett-Mitchell. “And our Summer Camp impacts youth ages 7-12 during the summer months.”

The Center also offers recreational sports featuring three basketball teams for inner-city youth, and extends the use of the center gymnasium to other organizations ranging from City of Dayton Recreation department to Gem City Basketball Association and Greater Dayton Youth Golf Academy.

Here’s what they need:

  • Hats
  • Gloves
  • Basketballs
  • Volleyballs
  • Kickballs
  • Jumpropes
  • Exercise mats
  • Exercise bands
  • Exercise balls
  • Wii Fit program

  • Small television

  • Fitness videos

  • School supplies: calculators, dictionaries, pencil sharpeners, notebooks
  • Backpacks
  • Paper plates, napkins, plastic utensils, styrofoam cups
  • PlayStation or Xbox
  • Games for kids and adults
  • Gift cards to local stores

Any of these items may be dropped off from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Dakota Center, 33 Barnett St., Dayton (West Fifth and Barnett streets).

For more information, check out the Dakota Center, (937) 228-8961. or www.dakotacenter.org

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