ST. GEORGE — The Dixie Foundation will hold its 13th annual “Fire and Ice Gala” Friday funding need based scholarships. The funds raised by the Fire and Ice Gala allow students with financial restraints an opportunity to attend Dixie State University. This year’s Gala has a Mardi Gras theme and will be held at SunRiver St. George.
The Fire and Ice Gala is sponsored by the Dixie Foundation and supported by generous individuals and businesses. The proceeds from Fire and Ice have provided many need-based scholarships to those who would not otherwise be able to attend college.
“This night will result in scholarship funds for those in need of assistance to be able to pursue their goals, which otherwise might not be possible.”Jeff Morby, Dixie Foundation president said
One of the recipients of a Fire and Ice scholarship told Morby, “I would not be able to attend school if it were not for the funds made possible from this fundraising event.”
One such scholarship recipient is David (Matt) Blanchard. Blanchard was involved in a terrible automobile accident in 2006 and suffered a T-12 spinal cord injury. He lost feeling and mobility in his legs and gluts which left him in a wheelchair. He was determined to walk again, however he realized that he could no longer work in construction and would have to go back to school and start his life over in a different direction. Through this experience he developed a concern and empathy for others dealing with serious spinal cord injuries along with a driving desire to help them. Consequently he decided to pursue a medical education.
When Matt was in pre-med at DSU he ran out of government aid.
“Without the Fire & Ice scholarship I would have had no way to make ends meet and finish my education. The scholarship has made it possible for me to move forward with my career, my life, and my goal to help others who face life-altering spinal cord injuries,” Blanchard said.
Matt gives back by speaking to high schools, troubled youth groups, universities, private corporations and health care groups about overcoming the challenges that we all face in our lives and how to overcome them with the best attitude possible.
Blanchard and his wife Natalie were high school sweethearts and have been married 23 years. They have three children, the two oldest are 20 and 18 and both attend Dixie State University and the youngest is 16 and attends Dixie High School.
The public is invited to be part of this event. The Fire and Ice Gala is open to everyone. You can help change lives when you become involved with the Foundation by securing seats at the Gala or providing a cash donation. Dixie Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.