Just keeping score. Renae Schumacher started assisting with youth basketball games by managing the clock six years ago, eventually lending a hand as scorekeeper.

Board seats and basketball sheets

Conoco owner offers her time to her community
“Being a young business owner in the area at the time, I felt that was a good way to get to know other business owners and see how the community works. One thing kind of led to another,” said Schumacher.

Renae Schumacher has kept busy since she moved to Big Sky in 1993. For starters, she’s running the business she first purchased with her brother before buying him out – the Big Sky Conoco. In what leisure time she has left she is hiking, running, biking, golfing or skiing – although she’s been too busy to ski yet this year.

On top of it all, she has been raising three boys: two now in college and the third a sophomore at Lone Peak High School – Nolan – who plays on the Lone Peak High varsity basketball team.

A former basketball player herself, Schumacher was already helping the program by coaching some of the junior high kids. So, when six years ago the high school had a shortage of clock keepers, she jumped in and got the training to help. She covered the clock for a few years before transitioning to keeping the books – which she already knew how to do. 

“It keeps me involved. I enjoy watching the kids play. I figure if I’m going to be there, I might as well be helping out,” she said. “You’ll probably see me for a couple more years helping out – until the next parent wants to take over.” 

In addition to assisting the basketball program she also has spent time on boards almost since she stepped foot in Big Sky: Big Sky Arts Association (now the Arts Council board); the Chamber of Commerce board; the Resort Tax District board for eight years and currently serves on the Big Sky Fire Department board and the Big Sky Medical Center board.  

There are challenges with regard to being a business owner and the time commitment of volunteering. When meetings would last hours, it can be difficult to balance busy work schedules as well as kids’ activities. 

“Being a young business owner in the area at the time, I felt that was a good way to get to know other business owners and see how the community works. One thing kind of led to another,” said Schumacher.  

That was only one part of her motivation. The other is that her family carries a legacy of volunteering. Her parents were heavily involved in volunteering when she was growing up. Now, Schumacher’s sons help with Meals on Wheels when they visit grandparents, donate blood and the oldest helps with a community garden and food bank assistance program in Denver.

 “It’s just nice to be able to give back to the community. Volunteers are always needed in a lot of different things,” she explained. “In the end you just hope you are doing the best for the community and keeping it successful and a happy place for all of us to live.” 

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