Schoonover Receives OIA Community Service Award for Working to Fight Drug Abuse

Oct. 15, 2013

Paul H. Schoonover, CIC, of Gardiner Allen

Paul Schoonover (pictured right) received the Community Service award and a standing ovation from OIA President Jeff Neverman and conference attendees.
DeRoberts Insurance in Columbus, received the Community Service Award at OIA’s Agency Management Conference, held Oct. 9-10, for his work to prevent substance abuse among Central Ohio youths.

In accepting the award, Schoonover revealed that he and his wife tragically lost their younger son, 21-year-old Matthew, to a drug overdose in May 2012. “I hope none of you ever have to walk this road,” he said.

The Schoonovers decided to turn their grief into action. They volunteer with Tyler’s Light (where Schoonover is vice president), an organization that helps Central Ohio youth choose a drug-free lifestyle and supports those dealing with drug abuse. The Schoonovers reach out to students, parents and communities on the organization's behalf. “The only way we can stamp out addiction is through community involvement. If we can stand united as family and friends, we can make a difference,” he said. In the last year and a half, Tyler’s Light addressed about 40,000 people.

Schoonover also volunteers at The Woods at Parkside treatment center and hospital in Gahanna, OH. Additionally, Schoonover is an active member of his church and coached golf at Worthington Christian High School.

“We are losing five people a day in Ohio to prescription and illegal drug overdoses. Our goal is to save just one,” he said. Schoonover’s story brought an audience of more than 300 to tears and he received a standing ovation for his dedication and courage. He thanked his wife for her love and support, saying he couldn’t have chosen a better person to deal with such tragedy together.

Schoonover has been a member of OIA for nine years and exemplifies the commitment of independent insurance agents to community. Along with the award, OIA gave him a donation for Tyler’s Light. To help Tyler’s Light through volunteer work or a donation, visit


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