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.”

Schreiber aims high for this year’s Extraordinary Give

It’s called $80K in a Day, and it’s exactly what it sounds like. We want you to join us in this year’s 24-hour ExtraGive and help us raise $80,000 for Schreiber. It’s an ambitious goal, more than doubling last year’s total, but if you know anything about the Schreiber spirit, you know we aim high.

What we’re asking is simple: Commit to giving at least $80 and join our new Extra Give Century Club. And bring along 10 of your friends who will also commit to an $80 donation. That’s 1,000 people each giving $80: That’s what will get us to $80,000. Don’t forget: It’s all to help the thousands of children we serve from across Lancaster County and central Pennsylvania. The life-changing services you support would not be available here in Lancaster were it not for Schreiber.

Will you give at least $80 for the Extraordinary Give? And can you invite 10 friends who will pledge to do the same?

The Extraordinary Give comes at a good time for Schreiber. After a series of successful fundraising efforts in the first six months of 2015, the weather threw a bunch of cold water on our DuckiePalooza Weekend in the middle of September. That’s on top of the fact that we lost $100,000 in United Way funding this year because of its internal changes. And we have had to endure the budget impasse in Harrisburg, which has forced us to maintain operations without the hundreds of thousands of dollars owed to us by the state for the Medicaid-covered services we provide.

We have carried on in spite of the challenges, but you can make a difference again at this critical juncture. Add your name to our Century Club list. Please bookmark our Extra Give page and come back on November 20 ready to give at least $80 — and make sure you have 10 friends ready to do the same. When you say yes, we will have a thank you get-together the night of the EGive, courtesy of Judy Ross and our friends at Lancaster Dispensing Co.

Let’s see what it feels like to raise $80,000 in a day for the benefit of the many children and families who depend on Schreiber every day.

And speaking of 80: Next year will be Schreiber’s 80th anniversary. What better way to start the celebration of that remarkable milestone than to make this important contribution to services we provide today, services that continue the work Edna Schreiber started back in 1936.

Join the Schreiber Century Club and make the 2015 Extraordinary Give a day to remember. Thank you again for all you do to help carry on the mission of Schreiber!

Check here for updates on Nov. 20: You will be able to watch the progress we make toward our goal as we update the graphic below throughout the day on the day of the Extra Give.

New group offers resources for parents


Hi everyone!

This is just a recap of our get-together held Sept. 17 at the Olde Hickory Grille. About 15 of us met in the party room. There was lots of chatting and making friends.

Some parents gave information on applying for Social Security’s Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Their information came from experience, and we had handouts printed from the SSI website. REMEMBER, none of us are SSI employees, so the info shared is coming from parental experience. You have to do what is right for you and your kiddo. Apply in person, online, phone, whatever works for you. Now you know there are options.

We also shared information on a new exercise class available for teens and young adults with special needs at Spooky Nook. Classes are being run by the I AM ABLE Foundation and will start at Spooky Nook in mid-October.

The next Parents 625 get-together will be 6:30-8:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 23, at Schrieber Pediatric. We may have a physical trainer from I AM ABLE speaking to us that night for a bit, then afterwards… you know, chatting and Halloween fun! Yes, I’ll be in costume.

Club 625 is having its Halloween Party that night, you can email Carla Yando or Jay Graver for more information on that.

See you soon!

Reenie Panzini lives in Lancaster, Pennsylvania (originally from Brooklyn, NY) and is the mother of three. Her 18-year-old daughter has a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and is transitioning into adulthood… whatever that means.

Duckie sales start this week

DuckiePalooza Weekend

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

on Facebook

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.

My Story, Joanne Martin: Why I love Schreiber

On June 6, Chris will be participating in Schreiber’s Softball Weekend to raise money for the services Schreiber Pediatric provides. Since birth, Chris has been a client of Schreiber, first with occupational therapy and physical therapy more recently for weekly Friday appointments to get his fingers and fine motor skills working better.

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 – https://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.

The generosity of the next generation

First, we have Laurie Fellenbaum’s second graders at Schaeffer Elemntary School in Manheim Township. These community-minded kids decided they wanted to raise money for Schreiber. They pitched their plan to Schaeffer’s PTO (watch the video here), then they carried out their plan, holding a fundraising day at Rita’s in Lititz, complete with raffles, face painting and Rita’s donating a portion of one evening’s sales. The result: nearly $1,200 for Schreiber.
Then this week, we had a group of seventh graders from Hinkletown Mennonite School drop off items they had purchased from our website wish list. They held a bunch of fundraisers to collect money, then they went out and bought items for us: boxes of diapers, wipes and a diaper pail; cups, paper plates and plastic utensils; two vaccuum cleaners; toys. The final tally: more than $700 worth of donated items. So amazing.
Finally, Hannah Kline, 12-year-old daughter of Schreiber PT Denisha Kline, has organized Olympics on Wheels to raise money for Schreiber. Hannah is inviting bike riders to turn out from 9 to 11 a.m. this Saturday, May 30, at Koser Park in Bainbridge, and she wants riders to gather pledges from friends and family, money that will go to Schreiber. The funds will be used to pay for the construction of a bike path at Schreiber. We need $33,000 to build the path, and Hannah wants to raise $20,000. Right now at Schreiber we incorporate bike riding into our therapy, but we have to use our hallways and areas of our parking lot — hardly ideal.

As Hannah says: “The path will be in memory of a young girl who loved to ride her bike. (It) will provide a safe and fun place for kids to learn how to ride.”

So thank you to all the great kids who are willing to spend their time and talent supporting Schreiber. It is very much appreciated.

Lancaster County: A community that gives

These events are an important part of our fundraising for a couple reasons. First, they require minimal staff time or resources from us. We help promote. We might provide some marketing materials. But they cost us almost nothing.

Second, the sheer number of them is testament to the high regard Schreiber is held across Lancaster County. They happen throughout the year, from the Lititz Chocolate Walk in October and the Italian Day Dinner in January to the various give-back nights at local restaurants that dot the calendar. When people are thinking about community groups to support, we are clearly top of mind.

Right now, for example, we have a handful of community groups raising money on our behalf. This weekend, the Clark Foundation is hosting its third annual Derby Day, a party to celebrate the Kentucky Derby and raise money for Schreiber and the Conestoga Valley Education Foundation. It should be a fun time that will help two organizations serving children in the community.

On the night of May 12, Isaac’s will donate 25 percent of its food and beverage sales to Schreiber’s Helping Hands Campaign.

We even have youngsters putting their time and talents to work on our behalf. Laurie Fellenbaum’s second-grade class at Schaeffer Elementary School has organized two events. On May 11, they will work with Rita’s in Lititz, hosting face painting and other fun as Rita’s donates a portion of the sales that night to Schreiber. Then on May 29, the students are organizing the Fellenbaum Fun Fair, complete with games, raffle baskets and T-shirt sales, at the school’s Spring Fling. They even made a video of their pitch to the school’s PTO.

Maybe the most important thing about all these fundraisers: They add up. Each year, the combined total amounts to significant dollars, as much as 10 percent of our total revenue. And given the recent decision by the United Way to eliminate funding for Schreiber for the next three years, this kind of support will likely become even more important to us.

So if you are a local group, and you’re looking to do some community fundraising, Schreiber would be more than happy to talk to you.

And for those groups who have generously raised money on our behalf in the past, we say, again, “Thank you. And hope to see you again soon.”
Second graders from Schaeffer Elementary School make their Schreiber pitch to the school’s PTO.

– Video courtesy of Jon Hill, Schreiber board member and father of Charlie, a student in Mrs. Fellenbaum’s class

Generosity that warms our hearts

Just in the past month, I got a call from Gary Fern, chef at the Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre. He had entered the Lititz Fire and Ice Festival Chili Cook-Off, and competitiors were required to raise money for a charity, so he called us.

Then at the end of February, a news alert popped up in my Inbox. A group called the Danville German Society, out of Montour County, had raised money for three local charities with its annual Elk Toss event. Don’t worry: These hearty German-Americans don’t use real elk (they weigh, like, 800 pounds). It’s a tribute to a German tradition from the old country, and they use the occasion for fun and fundraising. This year, Schreiber was one of the beneficiaries.

Then Jessica Shellenberger, a teacher and coach at Donegal High School, rallied Donegal students to raise money for Schreiber. She coaxed a couple dozen high school kids to stay on their feet for 16 hours, dancing, playing games and hanging out.

These three events combined will bring in several thousand dollars to Schreiber. That’s money that will help us provide services to any family that comes through our doors, regardless of their ability to pay. And we didn’t have to do anything for it. Except say thank you.

So thank you, Dutch Apple, Danville German Society and Donegal. In the middle of a cold, snowy winter, you warmed our hearts.

High school students support Schreiber

Just this week, we had a bunch of guys from Hempfield High School’s lacrosse team in to spend time with the child care kiddos. The little ones, of course, love to hang out with their new friends. And the big, tough lax players sit on the floor and play with blocks or stuffed animals.

Mostly, it’s a fun two-hour break.

But there’s some learning that happens, too. Like if the athletes see one of our kiddos struggle to stand up out of his wheelchair — just for a second. From that one small moment, they know a little bit more about what we do, and about how fortunate they are.

We have other student groups come in periodically to work around the building. They might clean, put up holiday decorations, or spend time as Swim Buddies. They might volunteer at our summer camps or one of our special events.

Some go even further, organizing fundraising events to provide financial support for Schreiber. The golf team at Lancaster Catholic High School raised more than $10,000 in the fall. Students from Donegal High School are having a dance marathon this Friday night into Saturday. You can support Donegal students through their online fundraising page at FirstGiving.com.

We treasure all these generous gifts of time and money. Lancaster County is full of young people who want to give to their community. We’re fortunate that so many of them want to give to Schreiber.