Congratulations to Alice Schafer on being named
2017 Ithaca Person of the Year!
Alice Margaret Kenney in North Star township.
Alice married Alan Schafer in 1962.
Together they had three sons and a daughter who passed away in 1997 from
Leukemia. They have three
44 years of Service to the Ithaca
the 1970’s and 80’s, while helping raise their family with husband Al, who had
taken a teaching job in Ithaca in 1972, Alice became a dedicated volunteer with
community youth, first by answering an AD for a Girl Scout leader in the paper
(even though she didn’t have a daughter yet). Alice was an avid scouting
volunteer for 14 years as a Girl Scout leader, Brownie leader, Boy Scout Den
mother, writing a “girl scout news” weekly update for the Gratiot County Herald
and chairing the neighborhood cookie drive.
volunteered as a nature study instructor for the Community Education Summer Day
Camp for several years and she was a non-stop volunteer at the school, helping
with the nutrition program and as a reading helper.
very active in the Jaycee’s Auxiliary, helping conduct window painting contests
in downtown Ithaca, dying Easter eggs for the annual hunt, and collecting toys
for needy children; and in the United Methodist Church, where she taught Sunday
school, was the Sunday School Superintendent, co-chair of the building
committee, Leader of the Esther Circle, Served on the Ad Board, the Education
Committee and the Council on ministries. Alice also served as the President of the
Friends of the Library working on programs and fundraising projects.
on the City’s Parks and Recreation Board responsible for constructing the racetrack
at the Ithaca fairgrounds.
Alice became the first woman on the Ithaca City Council and has served 36
years almost continuously since, with only a two year lapse. One of her first endeavors on the council and
one she is very proud of, is having the pledge of allegiance and a prayer said
at each meeting’s beginning, feeling that it set’s the right tone. In her council capacity, over the years Alice
has served on many community projects including liaison to the Thompson Home
Library Board, where she has given countless input and advice through two
separate and demanding but successful construction projects.
an activist for the disabled community helping with the establishment of a
group home in Ithaca, after opposition threatened to derail the project.
Alice went back to school to get her degree in Elementary education, graduating
in 1988 and at 46 years of age, going to work as the founding teacher at the
alternative education program in Ithaca, where she taught until 1992, then
transitioning to 5th – 7th grades for the remainder of
her teaching career, retiring in 2012.
Alice was a co-chairperson for the Ithaca Public Schools Relay for life
team for six years.
retirement, Alice continues to serve on the City Council and as Library Board
Liaison to the Council. She is the
current Chairperson on the Gratiot Commission on Aging Board of Directors and
is a volunteer driver for Seniors through the commission. She also has visited with Nursing Home
nominator said, “Alice is the kindest and most caring person, always finding a
softer and more compassionate view of a situation and always willing to help
We are very
fortunate to have Alice Schafer as a member of our community and we are proud
to present her with this year’s Person of the Year award for Ithaca.