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Community Organizations Host 'West Dayton Give Back' In Honor Of The Late Bootsie Neal

Daj'za hands package into car.jpg
Kristin Stratman
/
WYSO
I Love West Dayton and Dayton Young Black Professionals passed out hundreds of meals, hygiene care packages, and backpacks filled with school supplies on Saturday at Mount Enon Baptist Church.

The organizations I Love West Dayton and Dayton Young Black Professionals passed out hundreds of meals, hygiene care packages, and backpacks filled with school supplies on Saturday. The giveaway was in honor of the late Bootsie Neal. Neal passed away in January and is remembered as the city’s first Black female commissioner.

People drove through the parking lot at Mount Enon Baptist Church to get the food and supplies.

Daj’za Demmings founded the organization Dayton Young Black Professionals in 2018. She says giving essential goods to the community is a profound way to honor Neal.

"It was really important that we not only show people what she did but also push the legacy forward by doing things that she would’ve done."

After the giveaway, Daj’za and the Dayton Young Black Professionals presented their Black Excellence Award. It was supposed to go to Bootsie Neal last year, but the awards gala was canceled due to COVID-19. On Saturday, Erica Neal, Bootise’s daughter, received the award in her place.

Erica says her mother’s legacy lives on through the young people she influenced, “We gonna keep going and keep inspiring. It’s not about us, it’s about the legacy that she lived. So continue to implement that in the younger kids and hopefully we can keep this going for generations to come.”

Natasha Tolentino is on the board of the Dayton Young Black Professionals. She says this is the third West Dayton Give Back the organization has hosted.

“The Dayton Young Black Professionals has a series of givebacks where we try to pour into our communities in places where you’ll find that they have resource deserts, including food.”

After the drive-thru, the Young Black Professionals packed up the supplies that were left over; they’ll deliver what’s left to local after-school programs and assisted living facilities.