Dayton Valley Days may not be dead after all

DAYTON - Murmurs that Dayton Valley Days may not return next year brought forward key organizations Tuesday to pledge volunteer support to keep this community's largest annual event alive.

The five-person Dayton Valley Days committee in recent weeks said more people needed to step up for the event to continue.

A call for volunteers Tuesday brought forward initial interest from the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce, the Kiwanis Club of Dayton Township, the Dayton Valley Lyons Club and some individuals.

"I'm very encouraged," said Jannette Hoffert, co-chairman of the Dayton Valley Days committee. "I think everybody will bring somebody else to the next meeting. It think it was a wakeup call to the community."

Since the last Dayton Valley Days a month ago, the full committee was resolved to resign because of burn-out from so few people organizing the large event.

"There is definitely a problem with Dayton Valley Days," Hoffert said to open an informational meeting Tuesday seeking new volunteers. "We are fried. We need help or we can't do it."

The turnout at a Tuesday meeting seeking a new group to organize Dayton Valley Days gave the event a reprieve until at least December. Another community meeting was set for Dec. 14 to determine how the chamber and service organizations can share the duties to put on next year's Dayton Valley Days.

Kiwanis President Ralph Denny invited the Days committee to tell the full Kiwanis membership about all the work entailed in staging the September event. He proposed joining forces with the chamber and Dayton's search and rescue squad.

"I have a very personal interest in this," said Denny, a former Dayton Regional Advisory Council chairman.

Jo Cole, a chamber of commerce director and chamber office volunteer, pledged her own support as well as encouraging chamber involvement for next years Days. She said she volunteered at Dayton Valley Days even before moving here.

"We came here knowing this is a humongous thing," said Cole, owner of Dayton Valley Glass and Screen. "To me it was a very big factor to move here. To know we got to this point (of nearly losing Days) is very devastating."

Dayton Valley Days started in 1989 with a much larger volunteer corps that dwindled over the years. Hoffert and Ruth Small are two committee members who organized the event since nearly the beginning.

Small detailed a number of past Days features that have been discontinued because the committee had too few members in recent years.

"This year we lost enough [events] because we didn't have the time and energy," Small said.

A barbecue, food booth, antiques, quilt shows, Trail Town demonstrations of Old West activities and children's games were all once part of Dayton Valley Days but all gave way because of a lack of volunteer to organize those events.


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