Healing Hands Award
The Healing Hands Award is a recognition of unique actions by individuals to promote the concept of healing, grace, comfort and inspiration to those whom have been struck by disaster, both natural and man-made, by responding to the needs of a neighbor, friend, or stranger, and thus motivating others to greater achievement.
Through their hands, hard work, and dedication, the recipient of the Healing Hands Award has been an influence to the world around them, making it better and setting an example for others to emulate. Such actions easily come to mind in recipients of the award.
In 2002, President George W. Bush and New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani were the first to receive the award. These leaders comforted the country's largest city and an entire nation during the still shocking attacks on New York City and Washington, DC on the morning of September 11, 2001.
2022 Healing Hands Award Recipient:
The Honorable Mike Schmitz
Healing Hands Award
Mr. Mike Schmitz is a businessman, community leader, and philanthropist in the Wiregrass area. Throughout his life,
his philosophy has been to make things happen and get better every day. In his words, “let’s GO, GO, GO!”
Mr. Schmitz has been in the automotive business for over 40 years. The Mike Schmitz Automotive Group consists of several local businesses, including Mercedes-Benz of Dothan, Hyundai of Dothan, Dothan OffRoad and Marine, and TriState Collision Center. Mr. Schmitz owns Omni Marking in Dothan and is also bringing FarmStores, an innovative drive-thru grocery store concept, to cities across Alabama starting in 2022.
Mr. Schmitz has served the people of Dothan as their Mayor from 2009 - 2017. After two terms as Dothan’s Mayor, Mr. Schmitz ran for Dothan City Schools (DCS) Chairman and served one term in that capacity. Mr. Schmitz is currently serving as Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army where he champions the voices of the armed forces in the area, particularly Fort Rucker, and represents their interests throughout the state and in Washington, DC.
Mr. Schmitz is an an avid adventurer. He has summited Mt. Kilimanjaro, hiked to the first base camp of Mt. Everest, swam from Alcatraz to the Golden Gate Bridge, and bicycled across the United States to raise money for neglected and abused children. Inspired by those he met along the way, Mr. Schmitz created the Alabama Sports and Adventure (ASA) Hall of Fame to honor everyday Alabamians that have made a positive impact in their communities by encouraging people to get active. As Founder and Chairman of ASA Hall of Fame, he hopes to foster a continued love for the outdoors, physical activity, and adventure in the Wiregrass. The ASA inducted thirty outstanding individuals into the Hall of Fame at its inaugural ceremony in Dothan in January, 2022.
Mr. Schmitz has numerous philanthropic interests. Giving back to Dothan, the city he loves, and surrounding areas is at the heart of everything Mr. Schmitz does, and he hopes to encourage others to get involved in making a positive impact in their communities as well.
Other notable Recipients of the esteemed award have been:
2002 - President George W. Bush
2002 - New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani
2005 - Mobile Mayor Michael C. Dow
2007 - World War II Hero Major Bert Bank
2008 - Florida State Head Football Coach Bobby Bowden
2010 - Alabama Speaker of the House Seth Hammett
2010 - Alabama Education Association Director Dr. Paul R. Hubbert
2010 - Alabama State Senator Hinton Mitchem
2011 - Navy Seal Team Six Founder Richard Marcinko
2013 - Troy University Director of Bands Emeritus Dr. John M. Long, Sr.
2018 - World Renown Neurosurgeon Dr. Swaid N. Swaid, MD