The Greater St. Charles Chamber of Commerce recently awarded the 2015 Lifetime Distinguished Service Award in the Humanitarian category to our very own Merle Schneider!
If you’ve been to any charity events in the St. Louis area, chances are you’ve had Merle as the auctioneer / emcee for the fundraiser. He’s a self-taught auctioneer and forced himself to become familiar with a microphone and the efforts of his hard work is astounding. Merle has raised over $1 Million dollars with his live auction service. He volunteers for trivia nights, dinner auctions and recently events honoring our Veterans.
He is best known for his multitude of costume changes – new hats and crazy vests at every turn and for his special appeals (that he calls begging). As one recent fundraiser attendee stated, “He came down off the stage and started visiting tables on bended knee. I was hoping he wouldn’t gravitate over to my table because I knew I would empty my purse out on the table for him.” It’s that power of persuasion that makes Merle a success in the fundraising world.
For the past 30 years, Merle wears his very own Santa suit and rides on the back of his red Corvette convertible – handing out candy canes, teddy bears and making house calls. Santa Merle appears annually at Toys for Tots events sponsored jointly by The Goodfellas and the US Marines and arriving on Hook & Ladder and St. Louis Crisis Nursery, taking photos with the kids and hearing their wishes.
Other organizations who have benefitted with his emcee skills include St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the Duchesne High School Foresight Dinner Auction, Foodbank of St. Louis, Volunteers in Medicine, and Giant Steps for Autism which raised over $100,000 for the school.
Merle has been a business mentor for many and leads a successful BNI chapter. He is an active member with the St. Charles County Association of REALTORS and was recently recognized as a 50 over 50 honoree, the Chamber’s Business Person of the Year and the REALTORS honored him with a Lifetime Achievement Award.
Please join us in congratulating Merle Schneider for his humanitarian contributions to St. Charles County!
Photos from the event: