By Judy Williams
Unadilla Township Fire Chief Mark Schroeder spent his entire life helping others in need, interrupting his own activities, day or night, in times of emergency.
Now, his friends, neighbors and township residents are rallying to his side as Schroeder faces his own health crisis.
On Feb. 2, the community came together at a fundraising event at the Putnam Township fire barn to help Schroeder with his medical expenses.
Every local emergency response agency, as well as residents from Unadilla and surrounding areas, contributed donations, food, advertising, or worked in setup and cleanup.
During the event, the Dexter Area Fire Department covered the Unadilla Township emergency calls to allow Unadilla’s crews to attend the event.
Assistant Fire Chief Wendy Hause smiled as she recently reported the results of the benefit and the GoFundMe site.
“We were able to raise over $15,000 to help Chief Schroeder,” Hause said. “Now Chief Schroeder will be able to concentrate on his recovery. He is so appreciative and humbled by this show of support.”
Schroeder had a pulmonary embolism and was hospitalized on Jan. 22. He later was moved to CRC Kresge rehab center in Chelsea. He is being treated with the usual clot busters and blood thinners and is closely monitored.
Schroeder is a lifelong resident of Unadilla Township and a longtime member of the fire department. He works as a handyman in the community and Unadilla Township firefighters are paid on call. Unfortunately, he is experiencing financial difficulties because of the medical expenses.
Those who missed the fundraiser still have an opportunity to help Chief Schroeder. Donations can be made out to UFFA, and mailed to 17620 Gregory Road, Gregory, MI 48137.