October 2, 2020
YS Dharma Center celebrates its 25th Anniversary in a photo for Tricycle, 2018

and Did You Know?

Meditate in the Dharma Center Garden or on Zoom!

In Her Own Words—Board Member, Katie Egart

Around 1984, a group of Yellow Springs residents began to meet for meditation in private homes, Rockford Chapel, and eventually at the Center's current Livermore St. location. In August of 1993, the group organized as a nonprofit. Ten years later, a successful capital campaign enabled the purchase of the Livermore St. building as a permanent home. The Dharma Center has expanded its community outreach to the wider Miami Valley area, including incarcerated populations. The Center is unusual in that it accommodates three Buddhist traditions: Zen, Vipassana, and Vajrayana.
The Center building is closed for the duration of the COVID health crisis. Under normal circumstances, the Center would offer nondenominational meditation sessions weekday mornings and evenings, with specific traditional practices on the weekend. The Center would also typically offer at least three 2-9 day off-site residential meditation retreats a year, as well as day-long sits, book discussion groups, special teacher talks, and meditation classes. The Center also houses an extensive Buddhist lending library that can still be accessed by contacting the librarians.
Fortuitously, volunteer gardeners have for years maintained placid gardens around the property that now provide ideal conditions for safe outdoor walking and sitting meditation during the pandemic. Members of the Center and the larger community are invited to join for physically distanced outdoor meditation under the trees Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 8:00-8:30 a.m. (second and fourth Fridays are a guided Vajrayana Compassion practice). Bring your own chair and mask, and enjoy the birds and gentle breeze! If you live farther away or just choose to join from home, we offer Zoom Meditation on Tuesday mornings from 8:00-8:30 a.m.  Each of the traditions holds Zoom sittings on the weekends.  
The Center is volunteer-run and relies on the generosity of its members and donors. All classes and programs at the center are offered on a donation basis, and no one is turned away for lack of funds. All are welcome to visit the grounds of our mindful refuge during these challenging times.
Donate to the Dharma Center
For more information: YS Dharma Center


It truly does take a village to help care for children. 
Since the Yellow Springs Community Children's Center (YSCCC) reopened on June 1, Executive Director Malissa Doster has been balancing staffing needs to ensure safe daily operations while educating joyous young children. 
Their recent capital improvements include the installation of a new HVAC system, electrical upgrades, and new air purifiers that reduce airborne pathogens, all of which were necessary. 
Yet, like the caring and nurturing that growing youth requires, the YSCCC has need of support beyond what it can provide itself—the YSCCC, families, staff, and board have created the Give for Today, Plan for Tomorrow Capital Campaign with the Foundation to raise $50,000, with 80% of donations going directly to the campaign, and 20% towards the YSCCC endowment it holds with the Foundation.
You can help ensure the YSCCC is able to continue to serve our families with the same quality of care, while maintaining the safe daily operations and building maintenance needed now and in the future. 
Donate: the YSCCC Give for Today, Plan for Tomorrow Capital Campaign
For more information:  YSCCC
Staff Member Highlight
Melissa Heston



Melissa has more than 40 years' experience as a competitive athlete, fitness professional, and dance/theatre artist. She has worked with several nonprofits, universities, and schools in the US in project management, development and marketing, and teaching and artistic collaborations; she is passionate about helping others create a better quality of life through their access to good food, nutrition, self-care, and a healthy mindset. 

She holds a BFA and MFA in Dance, and enjoys engaging in contemporary and live performance in theatres and on the screen. Melissa delights in connecting to the natural world through any outdoor activity—from gardening to hiking, biking, kayaking, and just sitting by water and watching the waves roll by. Melissa is the wife of Mary Kay Smith, owner of The Winds Café and Winds Wine Cellar, mother of Emma (24), Samuel (22), and Henry (15), and caretaker for her mother Maggie (89). 

Melissa works collaboratively with others, especially as a creative catalyst for change. A “jack of all trades,” she has nimbly shifted from providing food to the food insecure during the pandemic, to ushering the Yellow Springs Schools through the scholarship and grant processes, to overseeing the Foundation's social media presence. Melissa is project-oriented, working part-time for the Foundation, while maintaining her full-time job as owner and fitness professional with 360 Private Training. 

  Our Journey

Through our commitment to becoming a more diverse, racially equitable, and inclusive organization, we continue on our journey by reading and watching videos, and discussing the shifts occurring within us and as a grantmaking organization—not a quick process, but one that is thought provoking and engaging.
Many of us have engaged with the Dayton YWCA 21-Day Racial Equity & Social Justice Challenge, which includes a series of brief videos that address a spectrum of areas in which systemic racism exists in our society. The one below is a quick primer on systemic racism.
What is systemic racism?:

You're welcome to Join Us on our journey.
We would love to hear your thoughts on how we and the community can make these structural changes:

Thank You Again & Again to Our Many Wonderful Volunteers! 

100 + in all, supporting: Child Care - Data Support - Faith Community - Food Security & Bread Runners - Logistics - Mask Makers - NBCs - Research - Senior Care - Committee Members
Interested in joining us in support of our community? Become a volunteer or committee member:


Thank You Generous Donors!
You are vital to our village and township!

COVID-19 Emergency Fund Donors (week of 9/30) Anonymous - Kirsten Bean - The Kirk Family - Miami Township Trustees

Donors to Community Foundation Funds (week of 9/30) Mark Ewalt - Jay & Randi Rothman - Elizabeth Tinker

Donors to Save the Glen Fund (week of 9/30) Richard Posey - Jay & Randi Rothman

Join us! To donate to funds at YSCF:

Events & News

Remember to b r e a t h e – as together we will get through this and whatever comes our way. If you or someone you know needs assistance, please reach out: or call 937-767-2655. 

SUBSCRIBE to our Foundation Friday Newsletter:

WE WEAR A MASK to protect you. Please wear a mask to protect us and your neighbors.

Our Mission 
Entrusted with the responsibility of enhancing community life, we are a catalyst and resource for local charitable giving and grant making.


Lisa Abel, President, Richard Bullock, Vice President, Matthew Denman, Treasurer,  Todd Leventhal, Vice Treasurer, Kayla Rothman-Zecher, Secretary, 
Theresa Graham, Angie Hsu, Artie Isaac, Ellis Jacobs, Joanne Lakomski, Joshua Madra  Roger Reynolds, Kathryn Van der Heiden 

Jeannamarie Cox, Executive Director
Kimberly Kremer, Financial Administrator
Kat Walter, Program Manager
Melissa Heston, Outreach Manager
Harvey Curran, Volunteer Project Manager

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