There was a moment in those first days when we were asked as a family if we wanted to do some sort of memorial in Don's name. That question came in the midst of one hundred other questions that needed to be answered...at a time when you can barely think beyond getting through the next few minutes. We knew we wanted to do something that would honor the man he was...and the life he lived.. but just weren't sure what we wanted to do and so the obituary mentioned a non specific memorial fund.
On the evening of the visitation, Susan Callanan, the director of the PTA (physical therapy assistant) program at North Iowa Area Community College, approached me to pay her condolences. She shared with me how much she and her students appreciated Don's participation in their program. He not only mentored students, but he had also filled in as instructor for her in the past. It would take a couple of days before her words came back to mind and the decision made to create a scholarship fund in Don's name to benefit the students of the program.
Don always said that he knew in high school that he wanted to be a PT. He worked hard to achieve that goal and loved helping people. One of the things I admired most about him was the pride in his face when he would tell someone he was a physical therapist and the passion he felt about his profession. (I finally understood that pride when I was able to tell people that I am a quilter....)
The memorial scholarship will be awarded annually to a second year PTA student. We are working towards a goal of this being an endowed (self sustaining) fund and I'm thrilled to say we are more than half way there.
Anyone who'd like to contribute to the fund may do so by contacting the NIACC Foundation at 641-422-4386 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.