Iowa Students Raise Money for Paramedic Training Scholarships
Dec. 26—WATERLOO—Organizers at a University of Northern Iowa club hit a home run with a softball tournament that collected money for paramedic training.
The Pi Sigma Epsilon Sales and Marketing Club raised $4,225 with its Blaze of Glory slow-pitch tourney at the Hoing-Rice Softball Center in October.
The funds will be put toward the Greg Freshwater Education Fund to pay for paramedic training for Waterloo firefighters. Club members presented the donation to Fire Chief Pat Treloar in November.
"I think it's fantastic. The foundation fund continues to grow, and it will be put to a good cause," Treloar said.
The PSE Sales and Marketing Club hosts an annual fundraiser, and this year the group wanted to collect money for the fire service, said Jacob Eslick, a senior from Des Moines majoring in business management. His father is a training chief for the West Des Moines Fire Department, and his brother-in-law and his father are also firefighters in the Des Moines area.
"When we were coming up with something we wanted to do for a nonprofit, we wanted to give back to the fire departments because I know as much funding as they can get, they always need more," Eslick said.
At first, the group was looking to fund an equipment purchase, but members decided to help the scholarship fund after it was established earlier this year through the Waterloo Community Foundation.
Tony Ament, a junior from Gilbertville, said club members arranged sponsorships and collected registration fees from the teams. He said firefighters and police officers formed teams, as did students and others from the community. Organizers plan to hold the Blaze of Glory tournament again next year.
In the past, the club has raised money for autism, Toys For Tots and other causes.
"We do a lot of different projects for different charities," Eslick said.
The Greg Freshwater Education Fund is named for a Waterloo Fire Rescue firefighter who was struck by a vehicle and killed while jogging in August. At the time of his death, Freshwater was training to obtain his paramedic certification.
The memorial fund was established with donations to pay tuition and other costs for firefighters seeking paramedic training. The fund will begin accepting applications in spring to attend medic classes that begin in August, Treloar said.
Tax-deductible donations are being accepted by the Waterloo Community Foundation, with the notation of "Greg Freshwater Fund." For more information, contact Michelle Temeyer at Michelle.Temeyer@wloocommunityfoundation.org or 883-6022 or visit www.wloocommunityfoundation.org.