WOODSFIELD – Monroe County Commissioner Mick Schumacher is involved with a multitude of projects aimed at helping the community.
He is a Woodsfield resident who has worked at Conalco/Ormet for more than 28 years. He has been in office for three nonconsecutive terms.
“I just want to leave things better than we found them. I think we should all try to live like that, even if it’s a small thing like picking up trash or providing educational experiences for people in the community,” he said, adding his upbringing instilled those values.
“There were five kids on our family and we worked all the time. We were raised Catholic and went to Catholic school, and we didn’t play a lot growing up. We were busy, and we learned that if we wanted anything we had to work for it,” he said.
“I enjoy working with what I call quality of life and preservation projects. I have worked with local non-profit organizations around the county through partnerships and special projects like the Broken Timber Outdoor Educational Program, The Redskin Ready After-school Program, Rally for Life, the Deb Schumacher Alzheimer Foundation, and educational programs presented through the Monroe County Historical Society and the Monroe Arts Council,” he said.
Deb Schumacher is his sister-in-law, diagnosed with early-onset Alzeimers. She passed away in 2020, the day before Valentine’s Day. Schumacher added the foundation in partnership through Ohio State University. Raised closed to $200,000 since starting.
He is president of the Monroe Arts Council and vice president of the Monroe County Historical Society. These organizations are not only active in programming and educational experiences but also building preservation projects such as the Parry Museum and park, The Buchanan Chapel and the Monroe Theatre.
Along with preservation of buildings, he has been involved with other preservation projects such as organizing the digitalization of county newspaper publications and research of the performances and history of the Monroe Theatre.
He said the theatre has been an opportunity to help the community on many levels including cultural enrichment, providing community entertainment with bands and movies and a community space, as well as an opportunity to raise funds for worthwhile causes.
Currently, he is helping plan a benefit for a boy who had a burn incident. The theatre is also albe to raise financial help for people in cancer treatment or therapy.
“Whenever we can do things like that, we can give back and partner with other organizations. In a small area, if you’re not partnering, nobody’s going to make it. We have to work together.”
However, simple entertainment and escape cannot be undervalued.
“Everything in the world’s upside down or so it seems. People have been coming to the theater for an evening or an afternoon, and for two hours out of the day they find a sanctuary of sorts. They listen to some old country music and it’s like they’ve gone back in time. For a short period of time, the rest of the world doesn’t matter, and that gives me a lot of satisfaction.”
Tourism is under the umbrella of the Monroe Arts Council. I have helped to organize county-wide litter cleanups and beautification projects such as the islands in the Woodsfield square which is the intersection of two Historic Byways. I work on advertising opportunities, as funding will allow, promoting Monroe County regionally. I belong to several regional tourism groups where we learn from each other and support our areas regionally.
He is also on the Monroe County Foundation for Appalachian Ohio, working to build a financial portfolio which funds local scholarships and grant opportunities for local non-profit organizations which not only benefits them today but well into the future.
“As a runner, I have been involved in the Woodsfield Run for Kids for over twenty years,” he said. “This run has raised close to a million dollars for local children needing financial assistance at Children’s Hospitals.
“As a commissioner, I have been involved with quality of life issues like providing assistance for water/sewer projects throughout the county, our senior programs, veteran’s programs and services, rebuilding the Historic Knowlton Covered Bridge and post-secondary educational opportunities,” he said.
He noted the commissioners purchased the former SafeAuto building at the industrial park.
“Our goal is to have a multi-generational activity center and community center where kids and seniors and various people can come out and share in the community together rather than separating younger people and older people,” he said. “We all learn from each other, and we think it’s a great opportunity to allow the kids to learn from our seniors.”