ST. GEORGE – Dixie State College student Austin Cope was presented with the “Youth Good Samaritan” award presented by the St. George chapter of the American Red Cross at the organization’s inaugural 2011 Heroes Luncheon held this past Tuesday at the DSC Gardner Center Ballroom. Cope was one of 15 honorees from Washington, Iron and Kane Counties who were recognized for their spirit of selflessness, caring and courage in saving lives and making area communities safer and stronger.
Cope, a senior biology/pre-med major from St. George, was honored for his work, along with his fellow members of DSC’s Rural Health Scholars Club, in assisting the Washington County School District (WCSD) to outfit the near 900 classrooms in the district with emergency preparedness packs. Cope and members of the service club raised over $6,000 over a seven-month period for this effort, which initially began as a response to the impending outbreak of the H1N1 virus in 2009-10.
Each individual emergency preparedness pack features a first-aid kit and bandages, radio, flashlight, hand sanitizers and soap, and a clipboard with emergency phone number and procedural information, among other items. These kits can either be stored in backpacks or plastic buckets for easy accessibility and portability.
Cope noted that the bulk of the monies raised came from tickets sales and other donations stemming from the club’s sponsored benefit concert featuring renowned classical pianist and composer Jon Schmidt at the DSC Avenna Center Cox Auditorium in November of 2009. Cope added many area businesses, community members and health care professionals, generously contributed to the cause.
“We put the concert together and it was a great success – more of a success than we could have imagined” Cope said. “We were able to raise the funds to put 1,000 packs in these classrooms to help the Washington County School District. [WCSD] was very grateful for our help and we were grateful to help.”
Cope will graduate Magna Cum Laude in Biology this Friday during DSC’s Centennial Commencement Exercises. He has already been accepted to the University of Texas-San Antonio School of Medicine, where he will continue his education this fall.
The DSC Rural Health Scholars Club is made up of students who plan to go into careers in medicine. For more information on the club or any of the DSC student clubs and organizations, contact DSC Director of Student Activities Donna Stafford at 435-652-7513.