Healthy Community Initiative
The Stanzel Family Foundation envisions a community where each member is engaged in a voluntary and self-motivated pursuit of a healthy life style through education, accessibility, and programs.
The Foundation’s interest in supporting the area of health began with Victor and Joe recognizing the need to access good quality medical care and treatment in a rural area. In seeking treatment when Joe was diagnosed with brain cancer, the gaps and needs in the local health care system became apparent.
Rural areas continue to face unique challenges when it comes to health and health care including workforce shortages, distance and transportation issues, lower health insurance rates, and poor health literacy. Addressing these challenges and others continue to be a focus of the Foundation.
In 1999, the Stanzel Family Foundation partnered with Texas A&M School of Rural Public Health to complete a comprehensive needs assessment of the Weimar and Schulenburg communities. From this study, community needs were identified and the Healthy Community Initiative (HCI) was formed with work groups of community members to address each need. The mission of the Healthy Community Initiative is to promote healthy lifestyles and habits while improving the quality of community life.
Under the Healthy Community Initiative, the Foundation aims to provide grants that fund health-related programs and projects and health professional scholarships. This includes participation in powerful partnerships in the health and health care community.
The Stanzel Family Foundation envisions a community of life long learners where each member is engaged in a voluntary and self-motivated pursuit of knowledge.
From the very beginning, the Foundation has placed importance on investing in education in Schulenburg and Weimar. This focus is based on Victor and Joe’s constant pursuit of knowledge through both formal and informal education. While Victor possessed only the equivalent of an eighth grade education, he found his passion early in life and engaged himself in learning to achieve it.
In their early years, the brothers remained active on the family farm. Hard work taught them discipline and a strong work ethic that remained a guiding force throughout their lives. Yet, as Victor worked in the fields on the family farm, he watched the birds gliding and banking turns as they changed direction in flight. While cadet training missions flew over Schulenburg from San Antonio Air Base, Victor was mesmerized by World War I airplanes in flight.
When Victor was in his teens in the mid-1920s, prospects were limited for a creative mind with no funds to attend school or attend a university; so he developed an interest in flight from observing birds and planes.
In 1926 at the age of 15, Victor Stanzel successfully completed correspondence courses in drafting, mechanical drawing, Algebra II, physics and practical mathematics through the American School in Chicago, Illinois. In 1927, at age 16 he continued courses in tool making, machine shop work, strength of materials and machine shop management.
Victor ensured that his brother Joe finished high school; then joined Victor in the business as co-partner. Victor also instilled in his other brother Reinhart the importance of finishing his college education. It is very apparent, through their actions that education in any form was important to them.
The Foundation continues to value and invest in educational programs and initiatives. Scholarships were the first effort to give back to the community and allow others the opportunity to find their passion as well as the opportunity to achieve it. The investment in education has expanded beyond scholarship; the programs and grants that the Foundation supports and participates in continue to transform the brothers’ vision.