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Posted on Sun, May 23, 2010 : 5:30 a.m.

Charlie Reischl's energy, enthusiasm make him a natural leader

By Ann Dwyer


Much of Charlie Reischl's volunteer work has centered on The Neutral Zone.

Angele Cesere |

Reading Charlie Reischl’s list of accomplishments is by itself exhausting. One might wonder how anyone could ever get so much done in so little time. That is until they meet the ball of energy that is Charlie.

“I can’t handle not having anything to do,” Charlie says. “Busy is good for me.”

Charlie Reischl

  • Age: 17
  • Parents: Tom and Cathy Reischl
  • School: Community and Huron high schools
  • School activities: Huron High School orchestra, National Honor Society, served as the Huron High School mascot
  • Nominated by: Lori Roddy and Kathy Moran
  • College plans: Will attend the Eastman School of Music at Rochester University (New York) in the fall, studying double bass and history
  • Favorite superhero: Spider-man
  • “Charlie is an exceptional young person. His enthusiasm, drive and commitment is contagious,” John Weiss, executive director of the Neutral Zone, wrote in an e-mail.

    This energy and enthusiasm make him a natural leader. Charlie also puts a unique stamp on all that he does.

    Sure, starting a program that brings guys together to do volunteer work shows character. But Charlie’s group took on volunteer projects and used the work as an opportunity to study gender roles in society.

    “We decided we were going to do things that are traditionally feminine … to combat stereotypes and also do some community service,” Charlie said.

    Charlie's group, Homeboyz, has sewn diaper bags as incentives for Nicaraguan women to get prenatal care. Group members have cooked a Thanksgiving dinner serving roughly 80 people at the Neutral Zone and baked pies for Safe House. The group also gets together to discuss issues such as male chauvinism.

    Charlie has harnessed his love of music into his volunteer work. He organizes concert fundraisers at the Neutral Zone’s B-Side venue for such charities as Darfur Genocide Relief. He also helped build homes for Habitat for Humanity and participated in Relay for Life. Add to that list a brief stint as the Huron High River Rat mascot.

    The Neutral Zone, Ann Arbor's teen center, has been at the forefront of Charlie’s activity. He serves on the board of directors, organizes concerts and is a member of the record label, Youth Owned Records.

    The Neutral Zone recently gave Charlie an all-around-involved-in-everything recognition award, because he does so much at the teen center, Weiss wrote.

    Charlie also tries to use his energy to help others.

    When Mary Beakey’s son, Nick, was diagnosed with leukemia in 2008, Charlie turned a Neutral Zone concert he was organizing into a fundraiser to help defray medical costs. That concert brought a record number to the Neutral Zone event.

    “Nick and I feel lucky and blessed to know Charlie Reischl. Our Ann Arbor community is fortunate to have such a great, young citizen in our midst,” Beakey wrote in an email. After high school, Charlie plans to continue his focus on music. He plays double bass and was accepted into the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester in New York, where he will continue his music studies and study history. He hopes to find a way to bring those two majors together as a career.


    Alisa Lee

    Sun, May 30, 2010 : 11:13 p.m.

    I've known Charlie for 6 years and he's truly a great guy. Very funny, sweet, and like the article says, full of energy and very enthusiastic! The nomination is 100% deserved and I want to congratulate him on this accomplishment! This is incredible!