RARE Everyday Hero Stories
Owner2010 - Pete Lemmer
Chief Legal Counsel2010 - Michael Myers
Owner2010 - Amy Clickner
Chief Executive Officer2010 - Lisa Magee
5th Grade Teacher2010 - John K. Gore (1930-2010)
Township Supervisor2010 - Anna Prodin
Supervisor2010 - Alice Rieves
Schauman Construction Co., Owner
Written by: Mason Sakshaug, 2010 RARE Scholarship winner
About this Everyday Hero
At the center of a thriving community there must be individuals that continue to encourage its growth and development. The town of Freeland has numerous people that continuously donate in order to become more than it is. In the middle of all these people is Ron Schauman. As the owner and worker of Schauman Construction Co. for a majority of his life, he definitely knows how to contribute to his community as a man who has worked hard his whole life. Even as he grows older he is still working hard for his own company. I have witnessed him with a tool belt on working side by side with his employees. As the entrepreneur and working employee of a business that has been contributing to the community for years, Ron Schauman has displayed the great characteristics that it takes to not only be a hero for the community, but as well as a hero whose influence has spread to much further reaches.
If you go to any of a number of Freeland athletic events, I can assure you will be able to hear Ron Schauman in the stands. With three kids, and now a number of grand children in the Freeland program, Ron finds his way to as many games and events that he can make. From the football field in the fall to the track in the spring he will be there. He supports not only his grandchildren, but also all of the athletes at Freeland. Being the great guy he is, he always has time to make friends with the kids at Freeland. I know that when I see him, I am always going to get a big smile and a friendly welcome. Not only does he show his support for Freeland athletics by participating as a fan, but also he is always working on and donating to the improvements of our facilities. The football field and gymnasium for basketball would not be up to the level that it is now if not for Ron Schauman. Through his support of the kids in the community, Ron really does appreciate what we do, and we see him as a great role model and a good guy.
The Freeland Community Sports Association is a group separate from the school system in Freeland. The group members put in extra hours in order to improve the extra facilities throughout our community. As a member of the Freeland Community Sports Association, Ron Schauman represents the Saginaw Home Builders Association. Ron is highly influential member of the association and his ideas have been put into act throughout the community. The Freeland Sports Zone is a community center that contains a gymnasium, cardio and weight room, walking/running track, turf for sports development, and many more great activities and services open to members of the gym. With a few others, Ron Schauman was the member of the association to make the Sports Zone a reality. He saw it as an opportunity for children and adults to have a place to improve on their own health, but also as a place that the community can call their own as its pride. Exceeding the expectations in the number of memberships by almost double shows the success that Ron Schauman had. By working with the employees of his company, he got many hours of volunteer work from his construction company. Along with the many nights and weekends he worked without any pay, he also donated much for the building. Taking action in the community by taking part in something that the whole community appreciates shows the great virtues in Ron Schauman.
As an entrepreneur, hard worker, grandfather, and a great asset to his community, Ron Schauman has proven that his work and personality is one of a hero. He is a hero to the kids in athletics as well as not in athletics; he has shown support to them and has given them better facilities to use. He is a hero to the people in his community; he has given them a place to become better people. He is also a hero to people who have never met him; he has affected people in a positive way and those people will surely pass along what they have learned from him to others. In all he has done, he has never asked for anything in return. He is always giving and improving the lives of others and sacrifices his own time. In a world where people have become all about themselves, Ron Schauman has shown what it means to be a hero for the people around him.
GreenStone FCS, Chief Legal Counsel
About this Everyday Hero
Pete Lemmer is a successful agriculture attorney, a husband, and father of two children. However, it is his title of “Coach” that has earned him the title Everyday Hero.
Pete Lemmer started coaching basketball at Hancock High School in the mid nineties when a friend recruited him to help. Pete played basketball in college, so this was a perfect fit. No one, not even Pete, thought that his one-time coaching activity would forever change the athletic community in Lansing Michigan.
When Pete moved to Lansing in the late 90's, he was ready to be done with coaching and wanted to focus just on his own kids. He wanted to be a supportive parent in his kids' schools and their activities. But an experience with a try-out basketball team for his son drastically changed this focus.
When his son was in middle school, he was undersized and had not played on the school team. When he went to try out for a summer basketball team there were barely enough kids to make the team. So, his son thought he had a good chance to make the team and was giving it his all. A week after tryouts ended, a letter came directly to his son that listed names of the kids who made the team. Pete's son was not on this list, yet a number of the kids listed had never event came to the tryouts. Pete started calling the families and kids in the community asking why they did not try out. Their answer was that they knew they would never make the team.
So, Pete started his own team in that same league. They lost all the games, but had a lot of fun and the kids wanted to play again the next year. He wanted to help more kids so he created 3 teams the following year. Then, the girls coaches at the school wanted to have a girls team so he helped them start a girls teams in this league. In the third year, they had 65 kids and they made sure all the kids played. As Pete will tell you, this was about building a community. In the fourth year, they started to get attention because all the kids and their families, about 300 people, would go together to all the games and would get noticed. The “Cougar Family” was creating a movement in Lansing!
Now in its ninth year, 90 youth play annually and it is a mix of beginning to high-end players. The goal is to make the kids competitive, responsible, and better skilled so they can be prepared to get involved in school sports. Kids are played equally no matter if they are great or barely have any skills. Pete recruits a lot of great people to coach and has created this community of basketball support.
Oh and by the way, Pete started a middle school track team 5 years ago and that team is also thriving!
Pete's giving does not end with these sports leagues. Father Jerry from St. Vincent's recruited Pete to help with a football camp. One time, Pete joke with the priest that he wished he could just coach the kids and not deal with the parents. Father Jerry said he can make that happen. You see, Father Jerry has a children's home for orphaned youth. So, Pete went and visited St. Vincent's.
In November, Father Jerry called and asked Pete to start his basketball program at St. Vincent's with the help of another coach. That December they started meeting to figure out how to start a team. This team would have orphans and refugees on it, and most of the kids had never played organized sports.
However, the biggest issue is there are more youth who want to be involved than they could ever imagine. When the van stops in the neighborhood to pick up the handful of refugee youth, there about 100 children lined up waiting to go. Pete is now working with the community to bring the team to them and have more kids play.
Pete is overwhelmed by the continuous list of volunteers. He stated “It is amazing what the human spirit will do if you give it a chance.”
Pete is motivated with the fact that when his St. Vincent team will walk into a gym in their uniforms on to compete, it will be very apparent that these kids do not have parents. No one will be in the stands. No parents will be yelling at the coaches, refs, or kids. At that point, the scoreboard will be irrelevant. It will be about the competition and the game. The beautiful change in the kids is what counts to Pete.
His next obstacles to overcome are that many of the players do not have gym shoes and the kids do not have transportation. So, Pete is on a mission to secure basketball shoes and bikes for his players.
Pete is terrified of what will happen to these kids if they do not keep them involved. Through the team they also work on life skills and this is what saves them and lasts a lifetime.
What keeps Pete driving forward is that the gym is filled with the laughter and voices of children. Refugee children who have not yet learned English and the children living at St. Vincent's communicate through a smile and a high five. “Everybody wants to win. The winning is really when you learn to love and respect one another,” said Pete. “I am grateful to the volunteer team. This is only possible because of them sharing their love with the children.”
Myers Construction Services and the Rye Hereford Farm, Owner
About this Everyday Hero
An ordinary citizen with no distinguishable features other than sharing his name with another famous person, our Michael Myers is truly an everyday hero and an inspiration to me. In our community he wears numerous hats, all providing opportunities for service. Our rural Northern Michigan community has become a better community because of the generosity, foresight and prudence of Mr. Michael Myers.
Mr. Myers works tirelessly maintaining two jobs, civic duties, community responsibilities and his most important job as a father. He employs himself through the family agriculture business and works as an independent contractor for the United States Marshall Service in property preservation. From his family's agriculture business, Mr. Myers has donated beef to the Kiwanis Club for their community service projects. With his independent contracts from the US Marshall's service he has been able to employ a number of people for whom gainful employment was impossible. He has been to provide flexible hours and helped these people to gain employment skills and eventually secure full time employment for themselves.
Michael Myers is currently serving as the “past” President for the Roger City Kiwanis Club; a member of the Nautical Festival Committee, Chairman of the Presque Isle Soccer Association, serves on the board for the Friends of Rogers City Wrestling Association and Huron Sports Boosters Club, he is committed to making a difference for the organization and the community as a whole. For example with the Kiwanis Club not only did he serve as President, he moved the club into a community mined service organization, making volunteerism a priority and providing playgrounds and scholarships for the communities' youth. As Kiwanis Advisor for the Key Club, always, youth minded, he has made it possible for our club to progress by providing pizza lunches to hold meetings, support club projects with Kiwanis volunteers, monetary donations and personally has helped me become a better leader. He has increased the amount of scholarships and scholarship moneys to senior high school students and is always ready to teach, lead and encourage Key Club members.
Another area where if not for Mr. Myers would be the Presque Isle Soccer Association. Literally hundreds of children are able to play soccer both spring and fall because of Mr. Myers efforts. He recognized a need and by encouraging others to volunteer to be coaches, referees and utilizing the school facilities to carry out the plan, the children are able to learn good sportsmanship and enjoy soccer with their peers. He not only helped organize the program but he volunteers weekly to referee several games for the older children.
Also, through Mr. Myer's efforts with the Friends of RC Wrestlers- he has been able to donate thousands of dollars worth of equipment to the sports programs at Roger City High School. Our city's annual Nautical Festival was a huge success this year impart to Mr. Myers' foresight, in bring in family activities, i.e. The Welcome Ship demonstrating sailing history, reenacting pioneer days, Indian Pow Wow's and a Coast Guard helicopter for the children and families to explore, truly making this year's festival memorable.
Mr. Myers is an everyday hero, selfless, always ready to serve. His impact on our community is far reaching employment for some, play and sport equipment for youth, educational scholarship opportunities for others and a community to be blessed with magnitude commitment, service and leadership of one individual! I recognize and sincerely appreciate the humanitarian efforts Mr. Myers has made in our community. He truly is an inspiration, someone for whom I am grateful for his leadership, and his involvement in my life.
Lake Superior Community Partnership, Chief Executive Officer
Written by: Kristina Mattsson, 2010 RARE Scholarship winner
About this Everyday Hero
When you ask a young child who their hero is sometimes you will get answers such as firemen or police officers. Then if you ask a teenager who their hero is, a lot of answers are that involving their moms or dads. Mrs. Amy Clickner has raised two confident and outgoing teenage girls. These girls reflect her personality. Parents and kids in the community look up to Mrs. Clickner for her amazing leadership qualities and her dedication and hard work in the community and in the school systems.
Mrs. Clickner first started working in the telecommunications industry for eleven years. She then started her own marketing business out of her home and was hired by the Lake Superior Community Partnership to do their public relations work. From there she became more involved with the LSCP and moved on to become the Interim Director and then onto the Director of Operations. Mrs. Clickner is now the Chief Executive Officer of this organization, she has been with the LSCP since 1998. The Lake Superior Community Partnership is an organization that helps to make Marquette County a great place to live, work, and raise a family by developing the area economically.
In 2009 Mrs. Clickner received the 2009 Evergreen Award for her work on behalf of others, in numerous areas in and around Marquette County. Her commitment to the LSCP and the community is unmeasurable. Mrs. Clickner was a past president of many organizations such as Hematite and Professional Women, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Marquette Area Chamber of Commerce, and Marquette Rotary West. She is also very involved in Negaunee Public Schools by being on the Citizen Advisory Committee and by being a Lakeview Elementary SHINE volunteer. In 2004 she helped start the Negaunee Nets Basketball Club which she is now the coordinator of.
Through the LSCP Mrs. Clickner helps put on another organization, the Lake Superior Leadership Academy. The LSLA is designed to bring together potential leaders all over the community to discuss community needs and encourage the students to seek leadership roles in the community. This class travels all over the county observing the old and new business. They discuss the ways to keep business in our state and therefore economically advance.
I have grown up with Mrs. Clickner's oldest daughter and I was on the first Negaunee Nets team the year it was created. I am also currently in the Lake Superior Leadership Academy. Through traveling with Mrs. Clickner and seeing her interact with the heads of business all over the county, I can see the respect all people have for her. She creates an image and a goal that everyone can see when she speaks about the future of Marquette County and Michigan.
Mrs. Clickner is an everyday hero not by putting out fires or by fighting crime, but by giving her all to make the future of Marquette County a better place. Mrs. Clickner has stated, “Marquette County has so much to offer and we have only scratched the surface of things we need to accomplish for future generations.” She has proved to be an everyday hero through her selfless dedication to the community. Mrs. Clickner has personally influenced me, in my life, to use my leadership skills for the community that I love. It has been an honor for me to grow up having such a strong individual and friend in my life.
Fife Lake Elementary School, 5th grade Teacher
Written by: Kassandra Magee, 2010 RARE Scholarship winner
About this Everyday Hero
My everyday hero doesn't limit herself to perfection; she strives to be better than perfect. She's a parent, teacher, coach, leader, and a very involved member in her church and community. My hero is my mother, Lisa Marie Magee.
My mother's number one priority in life is her family. She has been happily married to my father for eighteen years. She is kind and patient when parenting my brother, sister, and me. She has graciously opened our house to four foster kids, ages one through four. She also works hard to keep both sides of the family in touch. She organizes and host holiday dinner parties, so that our families can remain close.
To guide my siblings and me down the right path in life, she has encouraged us to immerse ourselves in healthy extra curricular activities. She was an assistant coach for my equestrian team; she entered me in many open shows at local fairgrounds, and drove forty-five minutes each week to take me to my lessons. She holds team dinners and volunteers her time working concessions at my volleyball, basketball, and soccer games. In the spring she spent her weekends taking me to AAU volleyball tournaments. When I was younger, she accompanied me in “mommy and me” gymnastic classes. She transported my friends and me to karate classes, A.Y.S.O. games and practices, softball games and practices, and dance lessons. She was also the leader of my Girl Scout troop as Daisies, Brownies, and Juniors. My mother's outstanding involvement in my life has resulted in enriching experiences that make me a happy positive person.
My mother has a definite weak spot in her heart for children; this would explain why she is a fifth grade teacher at Forest Area Community Schools. She brings so much joy, love, and positive encouragement to her classroom, which results in very successful students. After school, she stays to help the children who are struggling with their school work. Not only does she provide tutoring, she volunteers transportation home from the tutor sessions. She's always willing to run the extra mile for anyone in need. She also teaches Driver's Education through Baker College. She enjoys helping the students learn how to better themselves and others by being safe drivers. She feels that teaching the students these valuable skills will make our community a safer place.
Outside of her teaching position, my mother remains very involved in the school district. She's a sport booster, a committee that raises money to better the school district's sport facilities, teams, etc. In the spring expect to find her on the track running with her middle school track team, usually with one of the four foster children on her hip. She loves coaching and being a positive motivator for youth. She is the class advisor for the class of 2010. She was the supervisor of 2009's prom committee, which involved a lot of hard work and fundraising. My mother's heroic lifestyle reflects in everything she commits herself to.
My mother's perfection not only shines in her personality, but it also shines in her work throughout the community. She was the president of the Forest Area Summer Ball Association. She spent her summer organizing games and practices for twelve teams, keeping up the maintenance of four different baseball/softball fields, and hiring umpires for the games. She is also very involved in our church. She guides children church. She makes strawberry jam for can drives. She participates in the Christmas program. My mother is always trying to make the community a better place by volunteering her time.
What truly makes my mother a hero is she always greets me with a hug and smile. She is the most supportive, selfless woman I know. She takes her work and tasks seriously, but when work is over she is silly and outgoing. Any visitor may find her in my living room with her hair done up in many colorful clips and hair tie-thanks to her three year old hairstylist-dancing around to silly songs, laughing, and having a jolly time as is she was three herself. Her ability to leave work at work makes the atmosphere of our house a great place to be. My mother, Lisa Marie Magee, is an everyday hero.
Penn Township Supervisor Emeritus
Written by: Brianna Fitzsimons, 2010 RARE Scholarship winner
About this Everyday Hero
“The true measure of a man is how he treats a person who can do him absolutely no good.” This quote by Samuel Johnson exemplifies my “Everyday Hero” John K. Gore. Growing up, I knew John as my “Birthday Boy.” We share the same birthday, and as he likes to put it “we're just a few years apart.” In reality, John is in his late 70s and I just turned 18. With age and experience, John has acquired wisdom that I can only hope to achieve in my lifetime.
John worked with my mother and grandfather on the Penn Township Board for many years. I always knew that he was an exemplary citizen and government official, but until recently, I did not realize the extent of his community service, leadership, and generosity.
A year ago, John reluctantly retired from his post of Penn Township Supervisor due to health issues. I was honored to assemble a scrapbook for his retirement party. It was at this event that I became enlightened as to just how special John is. From the notes I received for the scrapbook and the speeches given at his party, I discovered how privileged our community is to have such a benevolent leader. John's contributions are not limited to Penn Township. He has served on over fourteen community boards throughout Southwestern Michigan. He was the founding member and/or President of several of these. Some examples are: Cass County Human Services Commission, Twin Counties Community Correction Center, Friends of Cass County Library, and the Southwestern Michigan Foundation.
John was instrumental in organizing an area ambulance service which covers four townships. He led the authority responsible for building a brand new courthouse. John served as a Personal Representative for a boy who was tragically orphaned under controversial circumstances. He protected the boy from the media and community backlash, as well as managed his inheritance. These are just a few examples of John's many accomplishments.
While John's resume is impressive, most significant is the manner in which he serves. John's gifts of compassion, patience, intelligence, generosity, humor and dedication are always evident. A prime example occurred when the Penn Township Board was hearing complaints about a difficult and unreasonable resident. John's simple reply was, “that's all the more reason to be kind to her.” Another example took place when an outspoken opponent of a public sewer project personally and publically attacked John. Later, that same person received a letter of recommendation from John for the position of Sewer Construction Inspector.
John has not only served the public as a whole, but he also impacts the lives of people around him. He once visited a young man recuperating from heart surgery and upon leaving, gave him a one-hundred dollar bill. At the retirement party, that same man shared the story and stated: I still have that hundred dollars and will pay it forward.
Several people think of John as a surrogate father, ranging from a probate judge to a self-employed laborer. I believe so many people connect with John because of his unassuming and humble attitude. He doesn't judge, hold grudges, and is overflowing with support.
Personally, John has always been there to congratulate me on my accomplishments, large and small. He calls to say he's proud to read my name listed in the Principal's Honor Roll. He tells me that I make the best chocolate chip cookies in Michigan. I turn to John for all types of advice, most recently my choice of college. Instead of trying to funnel me to his Alma Mater, he encourages me to find the best fit for my talents and preferences. (Although, MSU might be where I'll end up.) Most importantly, John inspires me to use my gifts and talents to make a difference. Although considered an “Everyday Hero” to many, he is so much more than that.
Supervisor, World Wide Facilities Group, General Motors
Written by: Samantha Zohr, 2010 RARE Scholarship winner
About this Everyday Hero
An Everyday Hero is someone whose giving to others comes so naturally that it becomes who they are. Their giving doesn't seem to take any effort even though they spend hours weekly thinking of ways they can help another person and they dedicate a limitless amount of personal resources to ensure a young person is successful. Anna Prodin meets this definition of an Everyday Hero. She works full-time at General Motors as a Data Systems Supervisor, is a full-time mom of two children under ten, is an active community member, and still finds time to volunteer as a mentor to young adults at Community High School, an alternative high school in Warren.
Since 2008, Anna has mentored a total of eight at-risk teens at Community High School through Winning Futures. As a mentor, Anna spends one to three hours a week working with her mentees on character value development, goal-setting, and strategic planning. She seeks college and career resources to encourage personal interests in her students. Anna gladly gives up her lunch hour (and more) to mentor her team of girls so she can get to know them on a personal level, coaching them on achieving their goals, and teaching life skills to prepare them for the world of work.
The commitment she feels towards her mentees is unmistakable. She keeps students interested, whether by sharing her personal stories, knowledge, and techniques for success or by providing them with job shadows and college tours to motivate the young women to work towards their hopes and dreams.
For example, Anna had a mentee who was interested in learning about culinary arts. Even though she knew little herself about this field, Anna reached out to some local resources and put together a field trip to a culinary arts school for her mentees so they could tour the facility and learn more. Anna changed that student's life not only by giving her options, but by showing her how much she believes in her abilities.
Anna finds time to write her mentees several times during the month with inspirational notes of encouragement and praise. Her mentees' attendance has improved due to her weekly presence, and in turn, their grades are gradually improving. Last year, Anna successfully influenced two students who were at risk of dropping to out to finish school and proudly attended their graduation with smiles and flowers.
Here is an excerpt from one of Anna's mentees I believe my mentor Anna Prodin is amazing! She cares so much about us as individuals. Anna makes sure we all are doing great in school. She checks up weekly on our current grades and makes sure we are not falling behind. She tells us to talk to our teachers about making goals to help us succeed throughout the school year. She sends us cards in the mail, which is very nice of her. Every time I open up one of her letters or cards in the mail, she makes me smile, no matter what kind of mood I am in.
If I'm sick, I come to school because it is worth coming to school to see my wonderful mentor, Anna. Anna encourages us to do whatever we can to graduate, earn scholarships for the future and she helps us out with our weekly goals. I am glad that I have a wonderful and amazing mentor. The year is going by quick, I wish it wasn't, because without my great mentor, I wouldn't be in the place I am right now.
Mid City Nutrition, Director of Soup Kitchen
Written by: Samantha Zohr, 2010 RARE Scholarship winner
About this Everyday Hero
A hero is a person whom is selfless and works hard for everything that they believe in. Recently I have befriended a hero named Alice Rieves. She is the director of Mid City Nutrition, a soup kitchen in Port Huron, Michigan. I first met her when I was doing community service hours for my high school's National Honor Society. I volunteered to work a couple hours at the local soup kitchen. As soon as I met her I noticed her warm personality, and she made me feel welcome in the soup kitchen. She was very upbeat, and seemed to love every minute of her job. Even though she works at a non-profit organization, she still puts in the hours of an average job and works her hardest everyday.
As we worked throughout the day, Alice showed a strong work ethic. She was continuously moving about the kitchen, helping everybody get their jobs done. She also went the extra mile to make each meal more elaborate and delicious. Alice also took the time to communicate with each of the individuals that came through the line to receive the meals. After talking with each individual, it was amazing to see how their faces lit up just because she treated them as equal human beings. I admired Alice's work ethic and her respect for others. She seemed like an amazing person, and I was happy that I got the opportunity to get to know her. After a few months of volunteering at the Mid City Nutrition Soup Kitchen, I became very close with Alice. I felt like I could count on her for anything, and this past summer she was there for me when I needed her the most.
This past summer, three of my friends were involved in a fatal car accident, during which two of the children were killed. The deaths had a large impact on my entire community, and the families of the children were devastated. The families had many hospital and funeral bills that they could not afford, and I felt that it was necessary to put on a fundraiser for each of the families. However, I had no idea where to start planning the fundraiser, so I turned to Alice for some help. She ended up dropping all of her plans to help me with the fundraiser. Alice decided to have a spaghetti dinner with a couple raffles, and all profits would go to the families. She was able to get all of the spaghetti and raffle prizes donated, so we would not have to worry about paying for any of the costs. This way all of the profits would go towards the families.
The spaghetti dinner was a huge success. Many people came out to support the families, and we ended up raising over fifteen-hundred dollars for each of the families. This was way more than I had ever expected to raise, and the families were so grateful for everything that we did for them. Without Alice's help I do not feel that the spaghetti dinner would have been possible.
Alice also volunteers a lot of her time setting up canned-food drives throughout the area, raising food for local food shelters. Last spring, I volunteered to work at one of these canned-food drives alongside of her. I remember it was pouring down rain outside, but she would not leave until she collected and organized every box of canned-food donated. She spent over three hours in the rain, just so she could stack the shelves of the local food pantries.
Alice does not do these fund raisers or work at the soup kitchen for any sort of profit or credibility. She simply participates in these activities because she enjoys helping others. I feel that Alice is a wonderful example of an everyday hero. She works hard everyday, simply for the feeling of joy of providing for others. She enjoys seeing the happiness spread across others' faces as she prepares their breakfasts, lunches and dinners for them. She is a kind and selfless person, who puts other peoples' happiness before her own. She works hard for everything she believes in. Alice is a leader that I admire very much. She is always there for me, and I am always able to count on her for anything. She is an amazing individual and I feel that she should be considered an everyday hero in our community.