Looking for that ‘team effort’

Volunteerism comes in many different forms. In Dave Schramm’s case, he is what one may describe as a volunteer who looks for other volunteers.

Schramm has been consistently involved with the community in various organizations. His primary service is holding the position of president of Marietta Main Street, which works to promote, beautify and improve Marietta.

Volunteering is important to Schramm, but he views it as a team effort rather than individual work. He supervises several volunteers in the organization along with Jean Farmer, who is the executive director of Marietta Main Street.

“Anybody who can say, ‘Hey, I like an idea and I want to become a part of it’ is exactly what we look for,” Schramm said.

Both Schramm and Farmer are always seeking volunteers for the organization and encourage more involvement in the community in general.

A recent fundraising event Schramm helped coordinate along was a golf tournament that brought 20 celebrities to play golf with sponsors. The committee raised about $13,000 with this tournament alone.

“I believe he deserves recognition,” Farmer said about Schramm. “He’s really contributed to our organization.”

Question: How long have you been the president of Marietta Main Street?

Answer: I’m coming up to the end of my second year.

Q: How long have you been involved in the organization itself?

A: Probably about three or four years. Before Marietta Main Street, which came about through people other than myself, there was the Marietta Area Merchants Association (MAMA), which was a downtown association of business people. I had also been president, vice president and secretary of that, or in other words I moved up through the positions in that group. As things changed, we wanted to expand the scope of that type of organization. MAMA dissolved and combined with the Friends of Front Street and Friends of Harmar to form a large group under the auspices of Heritage Ohio called Marietta Main Street. It took about six years to do this, which I helped with in the beginning, eventually took a break and then came back to it.

Q: So essentially how Marietta Main Street became an organization is by all of these different organizations collaborating?

A: Yes, they came together and mainly focused on businesses within their area. Marietta Main Street is an organization that promotes more than just activities and business. It also includes downtown revitalization, historical preservation and just the health and vibrancy of a downtown like ours. What you see downtown right now, with all of the flowers, flags and events is through Marietta Main Street.

Q: Does your organization have fundraising or any sort of method to accumulate funds?

A: Marietta Main Street’s (dollars) have to come from one of three places. One, it has to come from financial support from members, partners or donations. Another way is fundraising from events and other activities. The third is some kind of funding through the city or the county.

Q: During your time as president, what have you done in the committee and with the group in general?

A: Oh, nothing! I, simply as president, am in charge of coordinating with the executive director, Jean, and our board, a great group of individuals who volunteer tons of time and who are in charge of committees. The real work of this organization is at the committee level. As president, all I have to do is talk to Jean and have board meetings every month to make sure that everyone is on the same page. That’s a little oversimplified, but I can’t take credit for it all. The organization wouldn’t work under one person, you just couldn’t do it.

Q: So, in a way, you volunteer to find volunteers?

A: Exactly.