Here’s how one DSU student was helped by the Fire & Ice Scholarship; tickets to 2019 gala now available

Composite image. Background shows 2018 Fire & Ice Gala at Dixie State University. Inset image shows Averie Turpin, a previous recipient of a Fire & Ice Scholarship, St. George, Utah, photo dates not specified | Photos courtesy of the Dixie Foundation, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Ever since childhood, Averie Turpin had lived with a hearing defect. Doctors told her there was a chance she would be partially deaf for the rest of her life. During her freshman year of high school, she had an She had an ear operation d that would either fix her hearing or leave her partially deaf.

Fortunately, her hearing made a full recovery after surgery, but the experience fostered her curiosity for the deaf community. In high school, she took classes in American Sign Language and developed a love for the nonverbal language. As a result, she decided that was the career path she would choose.

However, Turpin’s plan to attend college came crashing down when she found out she was pregnant after high school graduation, and she became a mom at the age of 19. She had no funds to cover tuition and the expense of raising a child. She was able to attend Dixie State University for a short time while her mother worked there, but once her mother left, she was faced with costs she couldn’t cover.

“I had no choice but to drop out, really,” Turpin said. “I couldn’t afford to pay for school and support my kids with the number of hours I would have to work.”

Turpin heard about the Fire & Ice Scholarship, a need-based award given to DSU students, just before she was going to withdraw from school.

This March 2018 file photo shows St. George Mayor Jon Pike and his wife, Kristy Pike, at the Fire & Ice Gala, St. George, Utah | Photo courtesy of the Dixie Foundation, St. George News

Once a year, The Dixie Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit foundation that exists to support DSU and education, holds a formal gala to raise funds for students who would not otherwise be able to complete their schooling because of financial constraints.

Turpin did some research and found she met all the qualifications, and then, with nothing to lose, she applied.

“The Fire & Ice Scholarship made it possible to keep going,” she said.

Turpin is currently pursuing a degree in communication with an American Sign Language minor because of the scholarship she received, and she plans on working in a school district to help children who are in need of an interpreter after graduation in May.

She and her three daughters do homework together every night, and she said the Fire & Ice Scholarship made her academic dreams possible. At this year’s scholarship luncheon, she was able to meet with some of the Fire & Ice donors and event organizers who pushed her closer to her life goals.

“It’s great to be a part of this community and foundation that gives back,” Fire & Ice chair Ronda Neilson said. “It helps so many people every year.”

The Fire & Ice Gala is a black-tie affair that will take place March 22. Guests will be entertained and served fine dining all while a silent and live auction take place. Smaller items, like gift certificates, getaways and furniture or household items, are placed in the silent auction, while larger items, like vacation packages, a grand piano and golf packages, go in the live auction.

This March 2018 file photo shows Alex Boye performing at the Fire & Ice Gala, St. George, Utah | Photo courtesy of the Dixie Foundation, St. George News

The 15th annual Fire & Ice Gala will be held in the M. Anthony Burns Arena on the DSU campus. Supporters can either attend the gala for $200 a person or sponsor an entire table. The Dixie Foundation and Fire & Ice participants have helped thousands of students by giving 100 percent of proceeds to need-based scholarships at Dixie State University. Donations are tax deductible.

“This gala helps hundreds of students every year,” Neilson said. “I feel honored to work with so many great service oriented people on our all volunteer committee and the professionals at DSU. Fire and Ice is a spectacular community event that helps need-base students achieve their education.”

For more information about the Dixie Foundation or to purchase tickets, donate or volunteer to help with the Fire & Ice Gala, go to the Dixie Foundation website, call 435-817-9847 or email [email protected].    


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Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.


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