The Community Action Partnership of the Greater Dayton Area (CAP) recently held its Annual Meeting and Luncheon at Sinclair Community College. Ellis Jacobs, Senior Attorney for Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, Inc. (ABLE) was the guest speaker. He noted that the progress made in reducing poverty during the 1990s had stalled in the past ten years. Approximately 350,000 families in Ohio live below the official poverty rate.
Jacobs also noted that 24 percent of full-time jobs in the state pay below the poverty level. Many people who are finding jobs after being unemployed are earning less.
“The picture is really grim,” Jacobs said. “This is a difficult situation. It’s the story of an economy that’s no longer creating prosperity for many. Something is desperately wrong.”
He said that the region faces several challenges. These include a smaller, poorer population; the difficulties in rejoining society for those who have served prison time; and the continuing digital divide in our communities.
“If you are among the digital have-nots, the penalty has gotten steeper,” Jacobs said. “It’s harder to fully participate in society.”
The agency presented the Dr. Charles W. Peckham Award for Humanitarian Leadership to Rodney Good. The award is for an individual or organization that uses his or her position to advocate for the low-income community.
Good has worked with Community Action Partnership in Preble County and others to establish the community Thanksgiving Day Dinner. The event has grown from serving just a few people the first year to over 700 this past Thanksgiving.
The Marian K. Stockham Award for Dedicated Service was presented to Phyllis Lovelace. This award is presented to an outstanding CAP volunteer.
The Award for Exemplary Service is presented to a CAP employee who has provided outstanding customer service. Julie Lecklider of Darke County received this honor.
John Bennett, Director of Communications and Public Relations for CAP, received the Award for Commitment to Programmatic Excellence. This award is presented for support of the agency’s programs and services.
Highlights of agency programs and activities during 2011 were presented in the Agency’s Annual Report. String students from the Stivers School for the Arts–Nia Dewberry, Gregory Pacleb, Michael Miranda and Baxter Foskuhl–provided entertainment.
Tim Donnellan, President and CEO of the Community Action Partnership of the Greater Dayton Area, recognized Tonya Darby. She won a WROU radio contest and along with her prize, was asked to select an agency to receive a $2,000 grant from the Fifth Third Foundation. Darby chose Community Action Partnership to receive the gift because she and a friend have received help from the agency.
“You help so many people, and you helped me so much, and you help people throughout the community,” Darby told those in attendance. “So I had to give it to you.”
Approximately 150 people attended the event. The theme was “Fighting Poverty . . . Finding Solutions.”