FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Denny Graf, Retired Realtor, Joins Centerville-Washington Foundation Board
Pictured above: Denny Graf
Denny Graf, a partner with Coldwell Banker Heritage Realtors who retired earlier this year, has been elected to the Board of Trustees of the Centerville-Washington Foundation.
Graf has a degree in business administration from the University of Dayton, where he played football. He joined the real estate profession upon graduation and retired with 42 years of full-time experience.
"Well known in the Centerville-Washington Township community, Denny is a welcome addition to the Foundation's board of trustees. His knowledge of our community and his commitment to public service will be put to good use," said Bob Yeck, president of the Foundation board.
Founded in 1998, the Centerville-Washington Foundation has been highly successful in helping people through grants and in helping donors find the best ways of contributing to worthy causes. The Foundation's tag line is, "Helping people help our community."
The Foundation's grant programs have helped children, seniors, and at-risk populations, as well as provided support to local arts and humanities, conservation and environment, education, health and social service organizations. For more information, please contact Bob Daley at 433-0811 or visit the Foundation's web site, www.centervillewashingtonfoundation.org.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Bill's Donuts Family Will Receive 2013 Community Founders Award
Pictured above left to right: Faye Elam, Lisa Elam Tucker, Jim Elam
The Bill's Donuts family--Faye Elam, the mother, Bill's widow; Lisa Elam Tucker, a daughter; and Jim Elam, a son--are this year's recipients of the eighth annual Community Founders Award. They will be honored by the Centerville-Washington Foundation at an October 23 reception at The Golf Club at Yankee Trace.
A landmark in downtown Centerville, Bill's Donuts Shop was named by USA Today this spring as one of the 10 best donut shops in the United States. Its record of community service is even more impressive.
The Foundation's Community Founders award was initiated to recognize outstanding service to Centerville and Washington Township.
"The list of community activities the Elam family has supported is off the charts. If they gave Nobel Donut Prizes to bakeries, Bill's would already be on the list," Bob Yeck, Foundation president, said.
Bill Elam started in the donuts business as a route man delivering house-to-house for White's Bakery, a prominent Dayton bakery that began making the rounds in the old days with horse-drawn carriages. Although he was involved with several bakeries, Bill's main shop was at 2700 East Third Street.
For a while Bill had two donut shops. He opened a bakery in 1967 in downtown Centerville across the alley from Township Hall, in a building where Panera Bread is located now. He sold his East Third Street shop in 1969. At first, Faye said, the bakery closed at 10 p.m. NCR shift employees, on their way home during all hours of the night, asked him to stay open later. Bill began to leave donuts at the back down at night and shoppers with a sweet tooth would help themselves and leave money in a box.
In 1979 Bill built the shop at 268 North Main Street. Faye and Bill, who died in 2010, sold the shop to Lisa and Jim in 1995. They now have 24 employees, including Jim's son, Cody, who works the second shift.
Bill's Donuts runs three shifts 24 hours a day, 51 weeks a year. Because they consider the holidays quality family time, Bill's is closed Christmas Eve through New Year's Day.
The shop sells on average of 1,000 dozen of donuts (60 different varieties) a day. And they ship internationally.
Ask about their community service, and their faces light up.
∑ Faye and Lisa belong to the kitchen ministry at Fairhaven Church. They are members of a group called 100 Plus Women Who Care and give away $20,000 to community groups four times a year.
∑ Lisa has chaired the Kalaman Memorial Golf Outing for the past eight years.
∑ Billís Donuts supported the first Special Wish Foundation project here in 1983. The shop continued its support of the 500th project, the 750th and 1,000th.
∑ Billís Donuts supported four shipments ó with more than 100,000 items of food, school supplies and personal needs ó to Joplin, Missouri, after the 2011 tornado. And the shop organized a truckload of necessities for tornado victims in Henryville, Indiana in 2012.
∑ The shop sponsors a T-Ball team, sends donuts to Centerville High School football players before games, and supports the Science Olympiad, Food2Go and Blue Star Mothers. Red, White and Blue donuts are a specialty for Veterans Day.
Why is Bill's Donuts so involved in the Community? Jim repsonded, "Why not? We've always done it. It's the thing to do."
Former Ohio State President Gordon Gee's visit was a highlight earlier this year. A Montgomery County stop at Bill's Donut Shop was included on his schedule of activities around the state.
Lisa recalled that Ohio State said they expected a crowd of 50 buckeye fans to meet and greet the university president. "More than 300 showed up," Lisa said, "including the cheerleaders and a basketball player."
"They stayed a couple of hours. I had to run people out. I was afraid the fire department would complain," she said.
Lisa has enough Bill's Donuts stories to write a book. If she did, she said, Gordon Gee's last hurrah would be one of the chapters.
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