Dayton Daily News (Ohio)
Eudon Holland, a 1951 Miamisburg grad pledged $500,000 for a campus sports complex. Miamisburg schools recently received donations of $500,000 and $100,000 toward a privately-funded initiative to build a $5 million athletic complex. This graphic depiction is included on a flyer that has been created for supporters.
MIAMISBURG - Eudon Holland graduated from Miamisburg High School in 1951, but lived in the city for only a handful of years. A young teen away from his single-parent mother in the post-war era, different families gave him housing and "the town sort of took me in."
The kind treatment, the 81-year-old Michigan businessman said, led him to pledge $500,000 for a new athletic complex at the high school.
Holland's decision has given a significant boost to Campus Quest, a privately funded drive to build a $5 million complex to include a 5,400-seat synthetic turf stadium at the school on Belvo Road.
The stadium would replace Harmon Field. The 2,700-seat venue, dedicated in 1923 off Linden Avenue, is not on high school land, and lacks the necessary parking, concessions, rest rooms and other amenities to host Greater Western Ohio Conference events, according to school district officials.
The high school now has four baseball/softball fields, six tennis courts and a soccer/track stadium. Upon completion, the new complex - which will be used for multiple athletic and extra-curricular activities - would provide about 900 parking spaces, as well as concessions and rest rooms, among other facilities, according to the school district.
"Alumni have mixed feelings with it because of the memories about the old venue," said Miamis-burg Superintendent David Vail. "But at the same time they understand the needs."
Holland's donation and a $100,000 pledge from Cincinnati businessman David Brown, a 1986 MHS grad, have helped the campaign reach about $731,000, Miamis-burg Athletic Director Jason Osborne said. The campaign's initial goal of reaching the $5 million mark by the 2015-16 school year may not be feasible at this point, Vail said, "but we're still going to approach it aggressively."
Holland said he decided several years ago to make Miamisburg schools the beneficiary of a charitable remainder trust with the restriction that it go to fund new athletic facilities. The reason, Holland said, was the way many treated him like family after he moved to the city in the late-1940s from Oak Ridge, Tenn.
Holland said he and his brother came north with his mother when it appeared she would land a job at Monsanto.
While his family moved back to Tennessee after the job prospects did not work out, Holland later returned to Miamis-burg by himself. He lived with three families at various times while attending school and playing football for the last undefeated Vikings team. After graduating, Holland went on to Heidelberg College.
"The whole town sort of took me and so many people and teachers helped me," Holland said. "So my heart has been with Miamisburg.
"I worked my way through high school and college," he said, "but I always had the support of Miamisburg."
He moved to Michigan, where he rejoined his mother and graduated from Wayne State University. A certified public accountant and certified financial planner, Holland operates two financial businesses.
After establishing the trust for Miamisburg schools, Holland discovered he could change the document to donate the money while he was alive. When he heard about the school district's Campus Quest campaign, Holland said it was a natural fit.
"I thought instead of it going to Miamisburg after my death, I could give it to them now," he said. "The timing was just perfect. Miamisburg is building that field, and I would be able to see it during my lifetime."
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