Dayton Valley Days needs a project manager
DAYTON – The all-volunteer Dayton Valley Days committee wants to hire a project manager to organize Dayton’s largest annual September event.
Without a project manager, Dayton Valley Days likely will not return this year.
The committee members, several involved for nearly the entire 12-year history of the event, said they were burned out after last year’s Days. They announced then that other volunteers would have to step forward for Days to return this year.
At an informal meeting Tuesday, committee members Jannette Hoffert, Ruth Small and Laura Tennant revised their idea to bringing in a paid project manager to do much of the organizing work that consumes many months of committee effort.
Leaders of the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce, the Kiwanis Club of Dayton Township and the Dayton Valley Lions Club also pledged to commit their organizations to this year’s Dayton Valley Days.
“We can coordinate with the Lions if we know what’s coming off,” Kiwanis President Ralph Denny said. “We could probably handle the food side of it.”
Charlie Harrall, the chamber’s vice president, added that the chamber’s new office manager starting next week could possibly work for Dayton Valley Days up to 10 hours a week to do preliminary work to get applications out for the crafts booths.
“She’s (at the chamber) for 30 hours and willing to work 40 hours,” Harrall said. “You can use the chamber office to help coordinate the administrative end.”
Dayton Valley Days started in 1989 as a fund-raiser for the artist at residence program at local schools. Four years later, the focus shifted to raising money to restore historic buildings in downtown Dayton.
The $3,500 raised last year nearly paid to reconstruct the walls of the historic firehouse, Small said.
Dayton Valley Days fills the streets of downtown with many dozens of crafts and food booths as well as an art show and entertainment such as gunshooters.
However, the five-member committee has concluded that more than five volunteers are needed to organize the event. Small and Hoffert want to see local businesses volunteer in the organizing. So do Harrall and downtown resident Barbara Peck.
“The businesses in this town need to understand something,” Harrall said. “If they want this project to succeed, they need to get involved.”
Peck added, “There are businesses here. They are gaining from this but they’re not giving anything.”
Harrall said he would start making calls this morning to potential project managers. Anybody interested in becoming the project manager for Dayton Valley Days or volunteering in the months leading up to the event may call Ruth Small at 246-3378 or Jannette Hoffert at 246-6227.
Ultimately, Hoffert and Small, co-chairwomen of the Days committee, would like to see Dayton Valley Days Inc. become a foundation.
“If we form a foundation, we can still preserve the history but we can get involved more in the community,” Hoffert said. “If a historic building comes on the market, we can look to grants to buy it.”
Specific mention was made of the Union Hotel, which is an acknowledged hard sell with all the improvements needed to meet modern standards.
“Who could afford to buy and fix it up?” Tennant said. “It would probably need to be a foundation.”
Hoffert said, “A foundation can be used to generate more money to buy more historic buildings.”
Small, however, reminded committee members that a project manager is needed before a foundation.
“Where we are right now is nowhere,” Small said. “Where do we go now?”