January 16, 2019

Hope Through Fire & Ice

The Dixie Foundation Provides Need-Based Scholarships for DSU Students

By Hanna Pollock


When she was a freshman in high school, doctors told Averie Turpin there was a chance she would be partially deaf for the rest of her life. She had struggled with a hearing defect throughout most of her childhood and at that moment, found herself facing an ear operation that was not guaranteed to succeed. Fortunately, Turpin was able to make a full recovery, but the experience fostered in her a desire to assist the deaf community. In high school, she took classes in American Sign Language (ASL) and developed a love for the nonverbal language that inspired a future career choice using ASL.

Turpin’s plan to attend college came to a halt after high school graduation when she found out she was pregnant. With no money to cover both the expense of raising a child and the cost of college tuition, she was able to attend Dixie State University (DSU) for only a short time. “I had no choice but to drop out,” 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 scholarship awarded by The Dixie Foundation—just before she was going to withdraw from school. Turpin did some research, found she met all of the criteria, and with nothing to lose, submitted an application. “The Fire & Ice Scholarship made it possible for me to keep going,” she said.

Because of the scholarship she received, Turpin is currently pursuing a degree in communication with an ASL minor, and after graduation, she plans on working with children who are in need of an interpreter. She recognizes that the Fire & Ice Scholarship made her academic dreams possible. At this year’s scholarship luncheon, she was able to meet and thank some of the Fire & Ice donors and event organizers who pushed her closer to her life goals.

Established in 1971, The Dixie Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose primary purpose is to support education, has assisted hundreds of students like Turpin by offering scholarships to Dixie State University. Funding for these scholarships comes through the annual Fire & Ice Gala, a black-tie event that includes fine dining, entertainment, and both a silent and a live auction. Fire & Ice chairperson, Ronda Neilson, and her committee work for months to make the Fire & Ice gala the event of the year. “It’s great to be part of a community and a foundation that gives back,” she said.

The 15th Annual Fire & Ice Gala will be held on March 22, 2019, in the M. Anthony Burns Arena on the DSU campus. Supporters can attend the gala for $200 per person or sponsor an entire table. 100% of the money raised goes to helping students in need, and donations are tax deductible.  

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

For more information about The Dixie Foundation or to purchase tickets, donate, or volunteer, visit www.dixiefoundation.org, call 435-817-9847, or email ronda@dixiefoundation.org.    


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