Adrian Schoone (left), shown with Fr. Yamid Blanco, recently made a donation of more than $200,000 to St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church in Racine. (Submitted photo)
Thanks to the recent generosity of Adrian Schoone, a founding member of St. Paul the Apostle Parish in Racine and the president of Schoone, Leuck, Kelley, Pitts and Pitts law firm located in Mount Pleasant, the parish will continue to meet the needs of its parishioners.
Schoone donated $237,488.88 to the parish, earmarked for capital improvements, and it is the second donation in as many years, said Fr. Yamid Blanco, pastor of St. Paul and St. Louis parishes.
“Two years ago, I commissioned a study of the work that would lie ahead to keep the church operating. It was 20 years old and over the next 20 years, substantial funds would be required,” Fr. Blanco said. “Mr. Schoone approached me and asked what he could do to help.”
Schoone told Fr. Blanco that his 60-year law career blessed him financially and he wanted to give back to his parish. Last spring, he donated $210,068.50 to the parish.
At the time, Fr. Blanco said, “I know Mr. Adrian Schoone as a very generous man who enjoys supporting Catholic parishes and Catholic schools.”
It was the largest single donation received in Fr. Blanco’s tenure at St. Paul. Other large donations usually surrounded bequeathals following the death of a loved one.
As it was the first time, this donation was a surprise. The two met again and Schoone inquired as to how he could help. Fr. Blanco explained that his other parish, St. Louis in Caledonia, was also in need. Schoone presented a larger donation for Fr. Blanco to use for both parishes: capital improvements at St. Paul and salary assistance at St. Louis.
“Mr. Schoone is a true philanthropist,” said Fr. Blanco. “Over the years, many have benefited from Mr. Schoone’s generosity as he has donated over $1 million to Marquette University, his alma mater, as well as St. Catherine’s High School and St. Patrick’s Church, both in Racine.”
Stewardship is important to Schoone, and he explained that several years ago, his broker suggested that, when he was met with the required yearly minimum withdrawal from his retirement fund, he gives the amount to charity to avoid paying taxes on any of the funds.
“It is the right thing to do,” he said. “St. Paul is my parish and I have given two years in a row —whether I give a third depends on their needs and what I decide to do in the future. I might choose a different charity if it is more needy and appropriate. However, I know the pastor is very grateful.”
Schoone explained that while he doesn’t consider himself an authority on Catholicism, he knows how important it is to give back.
“I have been blessed in life, really blessed, and that is one reason I have to be charitable. I want to do other things in the future, too. For example, I enjoy volunteering as a lector but want to do more,” Schoone said. “I once was lost and now I am found. I don’t like to wear it on my sleeve so I can avoid being like a Pharisee.”