Dayton Region Walk of Fame induction recognizes dynamic achievements

Longtime Dayton Daily News sports journalist Tom Archdeacon, early Ohio pioneer Charity Davis Broady, Emmy and Grammy Award-winning comedian/actor/writer Dave Chappelle, and retired Five Rivers MetroParks CEO Marvin Olinsky were inducted into the 2023 Dayton Region Walk of Fame Wednesday at Sinclair Community College.

Honored for his esteemed career spanning 50 years, Archdeacon was praised as a multifaceted storyteller skillfully adept at covering numerous sports teams as well as notable legends such as Muhammad Ali and historic events such as the aftermath of 9/11. In addition to thanking his family and the Dayton Daily News staff, he paused to reflect on two groups in particular.

“I want to thank the readers, all of you who have read my stories,” Archdeacon said. “Thanks for taking the time and taking the interest. Most importantly, all of you who let me tell your story. You trusted me enough to let me come into your life and sometimes into your heart.”

Broady, who lived from 1802 to 1899, was remembered as an abolitionist, Underground Railroad activist, nurse, suffragette, community-builder and mother of 13. She was also a charter member and trustee of United Daughters of Zion who helped pave the way for First Wesleyan AME Church, Dayton’s first Black church. In a compelling tribute elegantly pinpointing the resilience and relevancy of Broady’s legacy and lineage, Patricia Smith Griffin, Broady’s fourth great-granddaughter, addressed the impact of such a momentous occasion.

Credit: David Jablonski

Credit: David Jablonski

“Her legacy is becoming legendary,” Griffin said. “The telling and sharing of our family’s story has become our family obligation and privilege. On behalf of Mother Charity and her children, we, the descendants of Charity Davis Caesar Broady, want you to know we are grateful for this recognition. It’s a recognition and acknowledgement of a history that has been a part of the fabric of the Miami Valley for 220 years, and a recognition and acknowledgement of a history that ensures that a history ignored does not become a history denied.”

Chappelle, who resides in Yellow Springs, was notably heralded as a champion of Dayton particularly in his spearheading of the meaningful, extraordinary Gem City Shine concert which supported the Oregon District following the tragic 2019 mass shooting. He was unable to attend the induction due to filming a comedy special in Washington, D.C., but he sent his regards via video.

“I am honored to be acknowledged for Dayton’s Walk of Fame,” Chappelle said. “I want to thank all my friends and neighbors for supporting me through all these years. Above and beyond everything, community has become very important to me and I’m very proud and pleased to be acknowledged by our community. Even though I was born in Washington, D.C., I make my home right here in the Dayton area. I look forward to opening a club in the Oregon District where we survived the worst tragedy. We can do anything together and I look forward to doing it with you. Thank you very much.”

Credit: David Jablonski

Credit: David Jablonski

In Chappelle’s absence, his sister Felicia Chappelle accepted the award on his behalf.

“The Dayton Region Walk of Fame is quite a concept, and I know my brother is grateful because he sent me to extend his gratitude to everybody,” she said. “My brother’s work is national and global, but he still likes to shine the spotlight on the community here. In dark times, like the Shine, or other difficult situations we’ve been through as Daytonians and as people of the Miami Valley, from those times to the good times, he’s always glad to return home to this community.”

Olinsky, whose vision and leadership helped Five Rivers become the renowned park system it is today, poignantly recalled how influential the 4-H pledge and motto was in his upbringing in New Jersey. He used those valuable reminders throughout his career.

“I pledge my head to clear-thinking, and the motto was ‘to make the best better,’” Olinsky said. “Throughout my career, I used to always fall back on to make the best better. Never be satisfied with mediocrity. You want to do a great job and then you want to do it better. My family and I thank you very much for this great honor. It has been a privilege to serve you.”

Credit: David Jablonski

Credit: David Jablonski

In addition, the Dayton Daily News was the inaugural recipient of the Star Award, a community partnership award recognizing an individual or organization that made a significant long-term impact on the Dayton Region Walk of Fame. The Dayton Daily News received the award in recognition of its 125th anniversary of community service and support of the Walk of Fame since its inception in 1996.

“The Dayton Daily News is honored to be the recipient of the first, inaugural Star Award,” said DDN Publisher Suzanne Klopfenstein. “It is especially meaningful to receive this recognition during a significant milestone in the history of our organization.”

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