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.”
Schreiberpalooza is the music festival we’ve been doing in September for several years. Once we moved the Rubber Duckie Race date to September, it only made sense to put them together. For the first time, we will offer DuckiePalooza Weekend, Sept. 12-13.
So, to summarize:
Rubber Duckie Race + Schreiberpalooza = a great late-summer weekend of fun for all ages.
Schreiber Night at the Barnstormers
This Friday, July 3, will be Schreiber Night at Clipper Magazine Stadium. Join us for the big party we’re throwing to mark the start of Duckie ticket sales. Before the game starts, Schreiber kiddoes and their parents can join players on the field for what should be a moving version of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Contact Dan Fink in the Fund Development Office if you’re interested. After the game, we’ll have a spectacular helicopter drop of 750 rubber ducks onto the stadium outfield, where three kiddie pools will serve as targets. Buy a ticket in the duck drop, and if you’re duck lands closest to the mark in the center of one of the pools, you could win one of the three awesome prizes we have lined up: a Weber Spirit grill (retails for $500), a 32-inch Samsung flatscreen TV (retails for $250) or a family fun amusement park package. And remember: Use the ‘duck15’ promo code when you buy your tickets, and $4 from each ticket sold comes to Schreiber.
New ducks, part 1: Debut of the specialty ducks
For the first time, we will sell tickets for 5,000 blue specialty ducks — at $20 per ticket — you will have a chance to win one of 10 premium prizes. So while our traditional race will have the usual array of fun prizes, this specialty duck race offers a chance at a Weber Genesis 330 copper grill (retails $850), Sharp a 43-inch flatscreen (retails for $400) and other great items. So while you’re picking out your Quack Packs and your Daffy Dozens, pick up a specialty duck or two, and you could win the TV or the grill.
New ducks, part 2: Out with the old racing ducks, in with the new
After years of bouncing down the Conestoga River, our trusty old racing ducks were showing their age. Thanks to a generous donation from LCBC, we were able to buy 25,000 new ducks — 20,000 of our traditional racing ducks and 5,000 specialty ducks.
Play Where’s the Duckie
Every Monday, we post a photo of one of our Rubber Duckies at a Lancaster County landmark on our Facebook page. So far, he’s been spotted at Park City, Long’s Park, Clipper Stadium and a bunch of other well-known Lancaster County locations. Keep visiting our Facebook page for the latest Duckie photo, make your guess and tag three friends to get them to guess. Each weekly winner receives four tickets to Schreiberpalooza Sept. 12 and will be entered into a drawing for a $50 restaurant gift card. And please consider making a $9.13 Where’s the Duckie donation to Schreiber, and encourage your friends to do the same. Every dollar we raise through the Rubber Duckie Race and all of our special events helps us provide services to nearly 4,000 children, regardless of need or ability to pay.
They have been truly instrumental in his progress over these nine years. We would not be where we are today if Schreiber wasn’t part of our lives. They do change lives. Schreiber provides cccupational therapy, speech therapy and physical therapy to more than 4,000 children annually who have special needs. Chris’ therapists have been amazing at helping him learn to tie his shoes or write with a pencil. All of these tasks are easy for most of us but not for many of the children being served by Schreiber. They are dedicated to helping children.
On a recent Friday at Schreiber, I watched Chris draw a perfect dog on an art wall at the center. They know how to motivate Chris to do difficult tasks. We are truly blessed by Schreiber.
The Martin family was blessed to begin receiving services at the Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities (CADD) for Chris to help him with social skills and how to handle social situations at school and home. This has been an amazing organization for Chris when it comes to learning appropriate things to say and not to say. We have a long road ahead of us, but Chris talks weekly with other kids who struggle with social skills and he LOVES going. This social skills class is facilitated by his amazing child therapist, Colette. She helps direct the group, teaching the boys in the group how to behave, react, even engage in things as simple as a game of Lego’s.
She also works with Chris one on one to help with things that Chris struggles with, like how to show frustration or anger. This program is really amazing because they are a full-service support center for children and adults with autism. We are blessed with CADD because as Chris grows, the services and programs they provide will grow with him. That is very RARE!
Last year, with your help, the Martin Family raised $3,000 for Schreiber. Can you help us again? Would you help us support Schreiber, CADD or both?
We need your help! If you want to contribute, you can mail a check to me payable to Schreiber Pediatrics or CADD. Any amount can help. Put “Chris Martin Fundraiser” in the memo section.
If that is too much and you want a faster way – you can log on to this link – http://www.schreiberpediatric.org/donate/ – and make sure you note “pledges for Chris Martin for Softball” in the Dedication section. It would help if you let me know that you gave so I can make sure it is counted for Chris’ game.
Or you can go to https://www.philhaven.org/ProgramsandServices/CenterforAutismandDevelopmentalDisabilities.aspx
and make your donation to Pilhaven. Please make sure that in the note section that it states this is for Chris Martin’s fundraising project for CADD.
We appreciate any support you can provide. These two organizations have made a huge improvement in Chris’ life and ours, and we are just one family; they both serve thousands of families in the same situation. Check out both organizations to learn more and spread the word about them.
The Martin family thanks you!
Schreiber’s 33rd Annual Softball Weekend starts Friday, June 5, and runs through Sunday at Froelich Park in Mountville. Registration deadline for Marathon Play is Thursday, June 4, and there are a few slots left (register online here). Thanks to our presenting sponsors Fraternal Order of Police Red Rose Lodge #16 and Lancaster Toyota. This year’s other sponsors include Abram Subcontracting, E&E Metal Fab. Inc. and Integrity Pools and Spas, with FM97 our exclusive media sponsor for the weekend. And special thanks to our other supporting businesses: B&T Sportswear, Manheim Sertoma, Crystal Springs, Family Owned Markets, Gayle Kline RV Center Inc., Herr Foods Inc., Kunzler & Company Inc., Pepperidge Farm, Pepsi Beverages, Turkey Hill Dairy, Weis Markets and Y&S Candies.
We have been proud of that relationship, and we like to think it has been mutually beneficial.
But times change. We understand that. We really do. Obviously, we would have preferred the United Way had come to a different conclusion about the value of the collaborations we put forth in our application. Yes, we only listed three partners in our United Way filing. But the fact is we could have listed many more.
Here’s a partial list of the community organizations with whom we partner:
- The Fulton Opera House
- The Choo-Choo Barn
- The Janus School
- The Milton Hershey School
- Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit 13
- Lancaster County Behavioral Health and Developmental Services
- Agora Cyber Charter School
- Commonwealth Connections Academy
- Elizabethtown College
- Lancaster General Health’s Pennsylvania School of Health Sciences
The point here is that the United Way wants to encourage organizations to develop these collaborative partnerships to reduce redundancies and serve more people, all with an eye toward improving its four Bold Goals: to improve kindergarten readiness, to improve post-secondary achievement, to reduce poverty and to improve access to the health care system.
Schreiber’s work is already specifically addressing at least two of those goals. Our preschool and daycare services are providing high-quality early education that is sending dozens of kids a year to kindergarten ready to learn. Our therapy services offer the thousands of special-needs kids we see every year an important part of their medical care — services that help them say their first words, or hold their dad’s hand or take their first steps. And these are services that aren’t available anywhere else in central Pennsylvania.
But the United Way has made its decision. We accept it and move on.
We were already taking steps to make sure Schreiber remains in Lancaster County next month, next year and well into the future. Since 2012, we have nearly doubled the amount of money we raise through grants and private donations. In 2014, we created the Schreiber Endowment Fund, seeding it with a $100,000 grant and then raising another $100,000 from the community.
That work will continue, although now, of course, we will need more help from our many friends across Lancaster County and beyond. For those of you who know Schreiber only through our Rubber Duckie Race, take a minute to visit our website learn more.
If you already have a family member here or know a friend with a child here, and you know about the work we do, but you’ve never donated, take a minute to visit our donation page and explore how a gift might fit in with your values and your budget.
And if you aren’t able to support Schreiber financially right now, we understand. There are ways to give that don’t cost anything. You can like us on Facebook, sign up for our email list or follow us on Twitter. You can raise your hand for one of the many volunteer opportunities we have available.
Schreiber’s work is so critical to so many children that we simply do not accept the possibility that this community would allow such a valuable community resource to be buried under its financial burden.
We have seen difficult times before, and each time we weathered them. With your help, we will weather this one, too.