WASHINGTON TWP., Montgomery County — There are many Dayton-area residents who count themselves as lifelong Cincinnati Reds fans, but that distinction may carry more weight for 99-year-old Alverna Dishun.
Dishun of Washington Twp. was a Reds fan even before she attended an Opening Day at Crosley Field with her husband, Paul.
Her daughter, Linda Spyridon of Centerville, said her mother used to own a travel agency and would organize tours to many National League ballparks and cheer on the Reds as a member of the Red Rooters fan club.
Dishun still watches every Reds game at Sterling House assisted living facility, and “she never gives up on them,” her daughter said.
Her favorite player is pitcher Bronson Arroyo.
“She’ll say, ‘That’s my boyfriend,’ about Arroyo,” Spyridon said with a laugh. “For some reason, she likes his hair.”
However, before May 15, Dishun hadn’t seen a Reds game in person for at least 15 years. But thanks to the efforts of The Senior Dream Center of Southwest Ohio, Dishun watched the Reds beat the St. Louis Cardinals, 9-7, at Great American Ball Park.
The dream center was created by Next Steps Senior Transitions, a Centerville business, and The Senior Dream Center, a nonprofit organization based in Clark County.
The dream center organized the event, and the Reds donated seven tickets behind home plate and a parking pass for Dishun and her family and friends. Wayne Essex of Essex HR paid for food and souvenirs at the game.
“It’s a real honor for us to be connected with this organization,” said Allen Nelson of Next Steps. “The joy and happiness that comes with the fulfillment of long-cherished dreams is priceless to the seniors.”
Spyridon said that even though Arroyo wasn’t pitching that day, her mother absolutely loved the experience.
“She said this had been one of the best days of her life,” said Spyridon, noting that her mom had a brat and a beer at the game. “The nurse (at Sterling House) said the next day she just couldn’t wipe the smile off her face.”
To nominate someone for a dream or to learn more about sponsoring a dream, visit www. nextsteps transitions.com/seniordreamcenter.cfm or call Deb Nelson at (937) 654-1963.
Contact this reporter at (937) 225-7325 or jikelley@DaytonDailyNews.com.
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