Schafer Stories: as told by Randy Hatzenbuhler – TRMF President
- Met the Schafers in 1988
- Became President of the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation in 1997
Interviewed June 19, 2017
“I came to Medora because of Rod Tjaden, who was as good of a boss as you could have.
But I stayed and fell in love with Medora because of Harold Schafer.
I remember my very first recollection of Harold.
I was working late because there were 62 or 64 file folders with information about the Gold Seal Company, which was the predecessor to the Medora Foundation; I knew nothing about it.
So I decided I would do my own audit of this organization. And I told my wife I’m gonna stay late, work each night, read through two folders, and in a month and a half I’ll have gotten through all the folders. Well sometimes they were so interesting you would read through four or five or six and it’d get to be late at night.
And one night, it was in the first three weeks I am working there, I still don’t know anybody really–I’m just working. And this one night, it’s about quarter to midnight and I’m in my office, and I think I’m in the office alone. I’m reading, and around the corner comes Harold Schafer.
He had just a bigger than life personality and he goes,
“Man we’re cranking it out tonight, aren’t we!?”
I scared myself. I jumped of my chair, I was so frightened by him.
But here’s the thing: it’s quarter to midnight and he’s still there. It’s a brand new nonprofit organization and what he is doing there is attaching these little ivory Theodore Roosevelt lapel pins we used to have to thank you cards and writing a hand written personal note to every person that gave a five dollar gift to this new organization.
That made an impression on me. And you know, we still try to live by that example today—we try to call every person that makes a donation to the foundation. He taught us that.”