Tim and I are in the beginning stages of forming a foundation to honor Austin's memory. We want to remember Austin's spirit and start a memorial scholarship fund that annually awards a youth, who is also active as a volunteer.
Anyone who knew my son at all, knows how much he loved to volunteer. His list of accomplishments were longer than his age! Austin was recognized a Top Youth Fundraiser for the American Cancer Society for several years, raising several thousand on his own for cancer research. He was an active Jr. Firefighter with the Beaver Dam volunteer fire department and working toward his certification. Austin lobbied for smoke free laws and dreamed of the day Kentuckians could breathe clean air. He was also extremely active through his local high school as a volunteer, helping a the local shelter, the library, and was selected to work in the ER at our area hospital. If there was a need, his hands were ready to help.
And while Austin was a Gifted student and very intelligent, he was all boy and a bit disorganized. As a result, his grades sometimes suffered. Not consistently being on the honor roll may have hindered Austin from applying for several scholarships, as so many are heavy on grade requirements. Grades will certainly be a consideration but the deciding factor for our scholarship will be volunteerism.
There is lots to be done and somedays it is a bit overwhelming but I know it will come together. I just feel called to do this and know Austin is smiling down on us and will, as he always did, be lending a hand.