Pictured (from left) are Russell Pennell, Skylar White, Oliver Gatton, Alan Moctezuma-Ibarra, Sophie Sarvak, Mooresville Rescue Squad Board Chairman Frank Owens, Ella Williams, Whitney Fitzpatrick and Ella Tenke.

Special to Iredell Free News

The Mooresville Rescue Squad Foundation recently announced winners of its annual scholarships, each named after a public servant in the southern Iredell County community.

The following southern Iredell high school seniors were awarded this year’s scholarships:

♦ Whitney Fitzpatrick (Mooresville High, $5,000 to attend N.C. State or UNC);
♦ Oliver Gatton (Homeschool, $2,000 for one semester at Mitchell Community College);
♦ Alan Moctezuma-Ibarra ($4,000 to attend UNC);
♦ Russell Pennell (Mooresville High, $4,000 to attend Blue Line Aviation);
♦ Sophie Sarvak (Pine Lake Preparatory, $6,000 for Western Carolina University);
♦ Ella Tenke (Mooresville High, $5,000 to attend Western Carolina University);
♦ Ella Williams (Lake Norman High, $6,000 for N.C. State); and
♦ Skylar White (Mooresville High, $3,000 for UNC Charlotte).

White’s scholarship bears the name of her grandfather, Jimmy Deaton, who served more than three decades as a member of the Mooresville Rescue Squad and the Mooresville Fire Department.

Each year the Mooresville Rescue Squad Foundation awards one-year scholarships totaling $1,000 to $7,000 to high school seniors who live in southern Iredell and attend a southern Iredell County school, including homeschools. The Foundation received 30 applications this year and awarded eight scholarships.

After years of serving the Mooresville community, the Mooresville Rescue Squad stopped operating a decade ago when the county halted funding for it. A small group of citizens started the Mooresville Rescue Squad Foundation from the sale of the Rescue Squad’s two buildings at the time, said Foundation Chairman Frank Owens.

Since then, the Foundation has continued the Mooresville Rescue Squad’s commitment to serving the community.

“We have given away almost $200,000 in scholarships,” Owens said, adding that the Foundation places precedence on high school seniors who plan to become first responders or enter into a different public service field.

The Mooresville Rescue Squad Foundation has also given CPR manikins and automated external defibrillators (AEDs) to southern Iredell schools.

“One of ours saved a student’s life at Lake Norman High School a few years ago,” Owens said.

It has also outfitted the Mooresville Police Department with 17 AEDs and gives $5,000 a year to the Crosby Scholars program.

“Anything we think of that we can help the community with, that’s what we want to do. There’s 12 of us, and we meet every three months,” Owens said. “We’ve got some guidelines, but if it’s something we feel we need to give to, we do.”