Schmidt Trust Awards $33,000 To Library
The Friends of the Fulton County Library Endowment Trust was awarded $33,406 from the Arthur and Ruth Schmidt Community Trust Monday morning at a presentation held at the Fulton County Library in McConnellsburg.
Born in Long Island, N.Y., Arthur Schmidt heard about Fulton County during World War II from an Army buddy, Clarence Bender, who not only introduced him to McConnellsburg, but also to his future wife, Ruth Lodge Kirk. The Schmidts planned to retire to McConnellburg, but Ruth Schmidt passed away in 1975 before her husband’s move here in 1977.
The nonprofit Schmidt trust, which is managed by F&M Trust, was established in 1997 after Arthur Schmidt’s death and is valued at $571,340 today. A trust committee comprised of Clyde Bookheimer, Dr. Harry D. Johnston, attorney Jim Schall and Denver Kuhn, a friend of Schmidt’s, reviews applications each year from the community and either awards the trust or earmarks allocations for a special project or need in Fulton County that will be a benefit to the mass community.
Since 1999, the Schmidt Community Trust has awarded more than $170,000 to community organizations.
The library’s endowment fund was established by the nonprofit Friends organization to generate income for the support of the library. Although the fund’s total value today is about $1.8 million, according to the Friends, no more than $78,000 a year can be drawn to fund the library’s dayto day operations.
Monday’s gift comes at a time of need for the library, which is struggling to stay afloat, like many other institutions, in a significantly weakened economy. The state has cut its funding and likewise the county, which comes in next to last in financial support of libraries across the commonwealth’s 67 counties, according to Friend of the Library Paul B. MacDonald. Cuts in public funding have forced the library to make cuts of its own, most notably in its hours, at a time when patronage and programming need is on the rise.