Dayton Art Institute Honors Local Nurses with Free Admission Days
Gift in memory of Dayton healthcare worker helps fund free admission days
Thanks to a generous gift to the museum, the Dayton Art Institute (DAI) will be able to recognize and honor local healthcare workers, by offering free admission on the third Sunday of each month for nurses working at the main campuses of Miami Valley Hospital, Kettering Medical Center and Children’s Medical Center.
The free admission days begin this Sunday, September 20 and continue through August of 2021. Upcoming free admission days for the remainder of 2020 are October 18, November 15 and December 20. Nurses working at the main campus locations of each hospital may show their hospital identification badge at DAI’s Guest Services Desk to receive one free regular adult admission on the designated days.
“Our healthcare professionals have been working tirelessly on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic over the past several months,” said Dayton Art Institute Director & CEO Michael R. Roediger. “This generous gift to underwrite free admission for area nurses give us a way of saying ‘thank you’ for the many long hours spent helping those affected by this pandemic.”
The gift was given in memory of Dayton resident and longtime registered nurse Sajona M. Weaver. Weaver lived in Dayton most of her adult life (50 years). She loved the city and spent many of those years living in Dayton View.
As a registered nurse, Weaver enjoyed working as a nursing instructor at a variety of schools in the Dayton area, including Sinclair Community College. Many of her former students are employed at Miami Valley Hospital, Dayton Children’s Hospital and Kettering Medical Center.
Weaver had a great passion for art. She was an amateur painter and enjoyed the technical challenge and subtle beauty of watercolors. She opened an art gallery during the revitalization of the historic Oregon district in the mid-1970s and frequented art museums throughout her life, including the Dayton Art Institute, often bringing her children along for the experience.
In her spare time, Weaver also loved preserving flowers and gardening, and was well known among her friends as a “green thumb.” After she passed in 2019, her son, Chris Orndorff, came up with the idea to tie together her interests in art and gardening by sponsoring, in her honor, the exhibition Archiving Eden: Dornith Doherty Photographs, which is currently on view at the Dayton Art Institute.
In addition, her memory will be celebrated throughout the next year with the free admission days at the DAI for nurses from Miami Valley Hospital, Dayton Children’s Hospital and Kettering Medical Center. Orndorff and his wife, Virginia, donated the funds to provide the free admission.
“We wanted to say ’thank you’ to all the nurses at Miami Valley, Children’s and Kettering, who have done so much for the community,” Orndorff said. “My Mom was always proud of the accomplishments of her students. And she was proud of Dayton and the Art Institute. We are delighted to honor her in this way.”
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