ABERDEEN, SD -
A donor has given more than $100,000 to the Aberdeen School district. Some of the money will go toward scholarships and some will equip district buildings with life saving devices.
Elementary schools in Aberdeen sit without defibrillators in their buildings now. That’s about to change.
"She was always interested in the young people and the nursing program's future," William Hurrell said.
So Hurrell decided to donate more than $100,000 to help students in Aberdeen in honor of his late wife Jeanette. She was a school nurse for more than 30 years.
A bulk of the money will go into an endowment fund that will provide thousands of dollars in scholarships each year for nursing students.
The high school and middle schools in town have defibrillators on site. He's now covering the cost to make sure the elementary schools do too.
Since defibrillators have been in the high school and middle schools of Aberdeen, they’ve hardly been used. One of them was taken out once but didn't end up being needed.
"It's certainly not something we use often. But if the need arises, it's a life-saving piece of equipment," district health coordinator Becky Hunter said.
Hurrell says he's pleased to make the contribution on behalf of his late wife, whether the devices ever come into use or not.
"I wish she were here and able to benefit from some of the very nice complements that have been made about her career here at the school," Hurrell said.
Still, when talking with administrators and others, Hurrell made mention of his late wife looking down from above. This contribution in her honor may prevent others from joining her any sooner than they need to.
"It can make the difference between life and death so it'll just be wonderful to have these in our schools," Hunter said.
The total cost of the five defibrillators being purchased is about $10,000. The total paid out from the donation for scholarships each year will depend on the amount of interest earned by the new fund.
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