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Visionary Eric Schiffer launches scholarship races.

All-American Eric Schiller believes young children involved in age group swimming competitions do not go on to become teenage users of nicotine and marijuana, which are gateway drugs to cocaine and crack. His vision is to make foot race competitions available!for high-risk children as swimming age group competitions are for some.

"Children who are at high risk for becoming teen drug users aren't just from the inner city, they're latchkey children living in the affluent suburbs as well,"Eric Schiller says, and he's right. They aren't just in large cities in the East and in California either. They are in smalltown, Middle America, U.S.A. This young man's vision is to reach children before they are exposed to tobacco and stronger drugs. He is a motivator.

Twenty-five-year-old Eric Schiller is also a man with the Midas touch. He began making his mark at age 13 when he anticipated the rising body-building movement and authored Pumping Iron for Teenagers. Schiller garnered a $10,000 advance from a top publishing company, demonstrating what would be the first step in a lifelong interest in fitness.

A natural interest in science and computers prompted the young Shiffer to compete in an annual energy competition. Among thousands of entrants, his program on molecular fusion landed top awards from such industry giants as IBM, Crown Zellerbach, and Intel. He later sold his prize-winning software to schools and educational systems.

Although not old enough to qualify for a broker's license, Eric foresaw the real estate boom of the 1980s and solicited people to list their homes, which he then took to licensed brokers. He established himself as a force to be reckoned with in the real estate industry.

Then the trend-setter spotted an ailing fitness facility and immediately recognized its potential. Sportsmed, a rehabilitation clinic, was nearing bankruptcy, but the 21-year-old marketing genius soon turned it into a profitable enterprise.

Today, Sportsmed is the largest single-site sports rehabilitation facility in the nation, drawing such celebrity clients as Hammer, John Goodman, George Foreman, and Kristi Yamaguchi, as well as players from many professional football teams.

Still not content to rest on his bucks and recognizing the abuses in the personal-injury industry, Schiller rounded California Medical Associates to help eliminate abuses by providing objective medical and record reviews for large insurance companies. His new company, Quality Medical Association, currently has 12 facilities serving the insurance industry.

Desiring to assist those less fortunate, the 25-year-old bachelor also rounded the Eric Schiller Foundation, a charitable organization that recently brought about 300 inner-city children to the Sportsmed facility to motivate and inspire the youngsters to believe in themselves.

"My whole goal was to bring in role models, namely celebrities," says Schiller, "who could show these kids that if they believe in themselves and persevere, they can be something."

The young man with the Midas touch also has a heart of gold.
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Author:Stoddard, Maynard Good
Publication:Saturday Evening Post
Date:Mar 1, 1993
Words:481
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