Jim Eberle’s soft spot for Schreiber

Some background first.

Jim went into the Navy after high school. Not many other options, he says now. He left the Navy in 1990 and started working in business. He joined MXL Industries, a Lancaster County-based plastics manufacturer, as president in 2004, and four years later he was part of the management-led buyout of the company from its former parent company, National Patent Development Corp.

In 2010, he pulled back on the day-to-day work at MXL to become president of GSE Systems, a Maryland-based training and engineering solutions company. He left GSE this summer and will be going back to his role at MXL in February.

All of that is a long way of saying: He’s a turnaround guy, a project manager who can look at a process and find a way to make it better.

His first brush with Schreiber came through a business acquaintance. Steve Staman, a bank vice president at what was then Union National Community Bank, invited Jim to the 2007 Schreiber Gala at Riverdale Manor. Union National was a sponsor.

“I didn’t know anything about Schreiber,” Jim says. “But when they introduced the Ambassador children, I was openly weeping. I have four kids, and they’ve never needed anything like what Schreiber offers. But I was so touched by what you all do, it was easy say, ‘How can I help?'”

He and MXL quickly became strong supporters of Schreiber. The next year, he donated one game from his Eagles season tickets to the Gala auction. Then he joined the board, chairing the Fund Development Committee. Then he took over what had been a previous Schreiber fundraiser, the Wilmer S. Lapp Memorial Golf Tournament.

Jim moved it to Bent Creek Country Club and rebranded it as the Schreiber Golf Classic in 2011. He was a ubitquitous presence that day, buzzing around the course in a cart to make sure all the golfers had a good time, or cajoling bidders during the evening dinner auction. This year’s fifth annual Classic attracted a record number of golfers (122) and raised more than $40,000 for Schreiber. He sees the potential for more. And that’s when the tough Philly guy gets emotional again.

“I do this for the kids, I do this for the families, I do this for the therapists,” he says. “Whatever you guys need, if I can make it happen, I will.”