Dayton Strong Stories: They threw a birthday party for a kid who lost nearly everything

Dayton Strong Storytelling Sessions

Credit: Amelia Robinson

Credit: Amelia Robinson

Debbie Downey and  Angie LeBlanc didn't know each other from Adam before 15 tornadoes roared through the Miami Valley.

They were among the army of Miami Valley residents who rallied in the hours after the storms to provide services where they were needed.

LeBlanc and Downey have since started a nonprofit, Genie’s Wish, to fill the voids they found.


They do everything from helping disabled Dayton area residents cut through red tape, to throwing a birthday party for a child who lost nearly everything in the storm.

LeBlanc even provided partygoers: her own grandkids.

Listen to their story in the podcast above.

This audio recording is part of a partnership between Dayton Daily News, WHIO-TV, and WHIO Radio designed to share stories of survival, struggle and strength.

>> Dion Green on pain, grief and fighting through darkness after Dayton mass shooting and tornadoes

>> PODCAST: Struggle, survival and strength: Dayton shares stories from year of terror

Miami Valley residents shared personal stories about their experiences during the Oregon District mass shooting, Memorial Day tornadoes and other 2019 tragedies with Dayton Daily News reporters Cornelius Frolik and Amelia Robinson. 

>> Dayton kids write book about the tornadoes, and you can help get it published 

Credit: Amelia Robinson

Credit: Amelia Robinson

The sessions were recorded at the Dayton Metro Library’s downtown branch. Some will be featured as part of an upcoming WHIO-TV special.

>> Women band together in wake of terrifying tornadoes in grassroots effort to help community

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