Column: Farmers market volunteer a ROSA winner
As Deborah Schmitz rolls by perched atop the Rotary float in the Centier Bank CarmelFest Parade, she will be celebrating not just one major accomplishment in her life, but two.
The first and most obvious to parade-goers is the honor bestowed upon her last Friday. During a luncheon, she was surprised and overwhelmed to learn City Councilor Ron Carter was speaking about her as he recited a list of remarkable volunteer accomplishments.
The Rotary Outstanding Service Award is given to a non-Rotarian member of our community who exemplifies service above self.
Schmitz is the 2014 ROSA winner and is featured in the annual 2.5 mile star spangled flag waving procession from Merchants Square to the High School on July 4.
She said, “I was shocked and completely taken aback. I didn’t believe I was who he was talking about. I never would have imagined winning something like this.”
Schmitz, a local realtor, has donated much of her volunteer time to the Carmel Farmer’s Market. She is in her seventh year of giving Saturday mornings to the cause of fresh, homegrown food, serving this year as vice president of the market and chairwoman of the vendor relations committee.
She is also a three-year member of the Carmel Clay Library Guild.
One of the projects of that group is the Guilded Leaf Book and Author Luncheon. Schmitz co-chairs the committee tasked with choosing the authors who will be featured and appear.
Finally, once a month she picks up extra food from Trader Joes and takes it to the food pantry at Ebenezer Baptist Church on behalf of the charity Feed Everyone.
The Rotary Outstanding Service Award is given each year to a citizen of Carmel who has contributed his or her time, talent and other resources in an extraordinarily meaningful way for the advancement of the City of Carmel and its residents. Although a rigorous judging process vetted several outstanding nominees this year, Deborah’s contribution made her the clear choice; hands down.
So, as you see her come into view waving to the crowd, I hope you will enthusiastically wave back. Decked out in red, white and blue, her participation in this Fourth of July is sure to be just a touch more significant. For this parade ride celebrates not just a ROSA Award, but a second anniversary as a United States Citizen.
Icing on the cake for a proud American.