GO KIDS Articles
For the Children - BACA president passionate about his role to help others
By Richard Carter
Wichita Falls Times Record News
September 5, 2005
Dave Schmid lives to ride, and by riding, help abused kids.
Schmid started dreaming about motorcycles when he was a child. Now "Smokey," as he is known to his friends, serves as president of the area chapter of BACA, Bikers Against Child Abuse.
"I've been on motorcycles since I was a kid," he said. "I started with a tricycle, went to a bicycle, a mini-bike and then a motorcycle and have ridden ever since."
He just got a Yamaha Roadstar 1600 last July. Within a month, he put more than 1,500 miles on it. Over the last three years, he's put 25,000 miles on motorcycles for BACA-related events.
Those trips include speaking engagements, poker runs, organized lunch runs to destinations like the Wichita Mountains, and "adoption" ceremonies for abused kids all over the state.
Schmid joined BACA when his friend David Bias started the local chapter a little over four years ago.
"I was pretty busy at the time with United Way and other organizations," Schmid said, "so I told him I would be a member but not an officer. The more things I did, the more it appealed to me.
"It's what I do, now."
Named president of the organization for 2005, Schmid helps plan and run the group's events, raise funds and do public relations. There are around 50 area people involved in BACA, including members and supporters.
"I became a public speaker without ever wanting to become a public speaker. I started out helping a friend, and BACA has become a passion. It's become who I am and what I do in this point of my life," he said.
The group also monthly sponsors days-out for groups like the kids in the Children's Aid Society home to do things like hang out at the water park for the day.
The bottom line is helping kids who need responsible adults in their lives.
While Schmid spent most of his childhood growing up around the world, he was born here at Sheppard Air Force Base. Because his father, and later his stepfather, were both Air Force, he ended up living in places like Guam, Japan and New York.
It was his stepfather who first got him interested in motorcycles. "He was always racing cars, motorcycles, remote control planes, and I kind of picked it up from him."
"As a kid, I used to have a dream of flying," he said. "But unless you buckle down and go the military route, it's pretty expensive and out of the reach of most folks. But in a way, I can get on my motorcycle and kind of fly down the highway on two wheels. It's almost that same sense of freedom that a pilot experiences."
Growing up, Schmid attended six or seven elementary schools, three junior highs and three high schools including Hirschi High. He moved to California in 1978, and then to Oklahoma one year later where he met his wife. In 1980, Schmid returned to Wichita Falls and has lived here since.
He worked in the oil field for a little over five years and from there went to work for Cryovac for 12 years. Schmid then ran his own business, Cigars, Tobacco, etc., for five years.
"It was a great experience for me, and I met a lot of really nice folks. That's how I got started doing volunteer work," he said. Schmid took advantage of his flexible schedule to start working with United Way, and to go through the Leadership Wichita Falls program.
"Class of 2001," Schmid proudly said. An avid golfer, he also helped put together the United Way golf tournament for two years. And, a member of Elks, he volunteered his services and helped arrange their state golf tournament.
Schmid and his wife of 25 years have two kids, the eldest a daughter who will graduate college this December. His son also attends college.
Now working at the area prison, Schmid has little free time. "My schedule is four days on, four days off. So on my four days on, all I do is work. On my four days off, between BACA and my personal life, I stay pretty busy."
He does love to ride. "It's hard to explain about that," he said. "I guess, in a way, the wind flows in one ear, swirls everything around and it flows out the other ear, and when you're done (especially after a long ride), it's like I'm all clean and refreshed."
He admits to a slight golf addiction that can sometimes get him in trouble.
A Wichitan through and through, Schmid said that the community has given a lot to him, especially when he ran his business. As a result, he's always felt a civic responsibility to give something back and make things a little better.
That responsibility has led him to devote himself in a variety of capacities to such service nonprofits as United Way and BACA.
"Everybody complains that they wish something was better," he said.
"Well, do something, make a difference," he said. "Come on up front and do something. There's an empty chair," he said.
"I'll be there."