Building More Than Buildings (Not-for-Profit)
Mike Tschuor’s involvement with the YOC goes back a long way. Further than the YOC itself, in fact.
“Back in the ‘70s when it was the old children’s home our office was across the street from it,” Mike says. He was a teenager at the time, working for his uncle’s Gale Tschuor Company. “We built the first two cottages that became the new cottages for the YOC.”
The more Mike learned about what the children’s home – and later, the YOC – did to help troubled youth, the more convinced he was that this was an organization worth supporting. It fit with his view of what a healthy community needs.
Mike and his wife, Sue, realize that troubled youth come from all kinds of families regardless of race, ethnicity or economic status. Sue points out that kids don’t even necessarily get in trouble because of any lack of parental love or attention.
“[Society] tends to think that people that are low income or not as involved with their kids are the ones that are having difficulty. Nothing could be further from the truth,” Sue says.
Five years ago, when they were starting a new construction company, Mike and Sue worked together on a name for the business. An experienced media salesperson, Sue applied her marketing know-how to the task.
“Mike talked about not just wanting to build buildings, but to do something that would make an impact in this community,” Sue says.
With that goal in mind, Pridemark Construction was born. Mike and Sue have used the company’s resources to support the YOC in a number of ways.
“When I have men available we go over and do gift-in-kind projects,” Mike says, “one-day (maintenance) projects to help them out.”
Pridemark also sponsored a “hospitality room” during the last Ball State basketball season so YOC kids could have a night out. Residents chaperoned by YOC staff were treated to a generous buffet from Texas Roadhouse before tip-off, and were acknowledged during the game.
Mike and Sue use also their other spheres of influence to advance the cause of helping troubled kids. Mike is on the board of the Blood-N- Fire community center, which serves meals to kids who often wouldn’t have anything to eat otherwise. As General Sales Manager for Woof Boom Radio, Sue coordinates Pridemark’s sponsorship of Child Abuse Prevention Month.
The Tschuors recognize that other community resources are sometimes not enough, and that’s when families turn to the YOC.
“It’s a last ditch effort. Usually when the kids get to that point they’re in serious need of help. If they don’t get help from the YOC they’re going to fall through the cracks,” Mike says. “There’s a lot of not-for-profits and charitable organizations that come asking for money and I try to support as many as I can, but first and foremost I make certain that I can donate to the YOC.”
For Sue, one reason to support the YOC stands above the rest.
“The people who work there … you can tell how much they really care.”