GCEF presents Paul Daum Award to Peter Schofield
Each year, the Gay Community Endowment Fund recognizes an individual, business or organization that has actively supported the LGBTQ+ community with its Paul Daum Award.
The award, which is named for a founding donor of the fund and a professor of theater at the University of Akron, honors those who have demonstrated a significant commitment to LGBTQ+ causes and whose involvement has contributed to the benefit of the Greater Akron community at large.
In 2017, the Gay Community Endowment Fund presented the award to Peter Schofield, a cornerstone member and longtime volunteer of the fund. Peter accepted the award at GCEF's annual meeting on May 7. When notified of the award, Peter was nearly speechless. "I am surprised and quite honored to be named the recipient of the award with Paul Daum's name on it," he said.
Peter grew up in Weld, Maine, and served in the Navy in active and reserve duty from 1954 to 1961. His military service took him across the world before landing at Kent State University, where he majored in industrial labor relations. He soon secured a junior executive training position, which led him to employment at Firestone Tire and Rubber Company. In his new career, he traveled throughout the country, eventually landing at the company's corporate headquarters in Akron. Peter completed his 35-year career with Firestone as the director of corporate industrial labor relations and chief negotiator.
In 2001, Peter and a small group of friends came together to establish the Gay Community Endowment Fund. He served on the board as both an active and emeritus member until retiring in 2016, most recently serving as chair of the Guidelines and Policies Committee while keeping a historical record of the fund.
Formally initiated in 2016, the first recipient of the Paul Daum Award was Eric Jones of Jones Group Interiors. Eric was also a cornerstone member of GCEF and is the force behind securing homes for the fund's annual Sugar Plum Tour. The award pays tribute to Paul Daum's generous estate gift, which left a legacy that will forever serve the needs of our community.