Prescott, AZ (Feb. 6, 2019) – Following six years of annual fundraising efforts to honor the memories of the 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots who tragically lost their lives battling the Yarnell Hill Fire in 2013, Captain CrossFit owners Michelle Blevins and Dave Franz announced two scholarships for students pursuing a degree or certificate in Fire Science at Yavapai College.
Prescott Chief of Police, Debora Black, approached Yavapai College on behalf of the group that organizes the Captain CrossFit Granite Mountain Hotshot annual fundraiser held each August.
“The committee had a strong desire to use some of the funds raised to directly support firefighter education,” said Chief Black. “Everyone agreed that the Yavapai College program was the best way to support students in our local community.”
The scholarships are named for two of the fallen Hotshots: The Granite Mountain Hotshot Clayton Whitted Memorial Scholarship and The Granite Mountain Hotshot Travis Turbyfill Memorial Scholarship. Each scholarship, both funded at $2,500—a full ride—will benefit one student per academic year, with preference given to students who graduate from a Prescott-area high school.
“Fully-funded scholarships are incredible for students, especially those potential or current students that may not have been able to pursue a career in firefighting because of financial restraints,” said Yavapai College Fire Science Program Director, Ken Krebbs.
“Resources and training are always needed to continue producing highly trained emergency personnel who understand the importance of safety. Our cadets must be well well-rounded through our training since they can apply for and work anywhere in the U.S—or possibly other countries—with their IFSAC certification and accreditation through Yavapai College.”
The money raised through the Captain CrossFit Granite Mountain Hotshot annual fundraisers in years past—now totaling more than $60,000—have benefitted organizations such as the Arizona Wildfire and Incident Management Academy and the Launch Pad Teen Center/CCF Youth Scholarship Foundation.
“With these two new scholarships, we thought it would be really nice to extend reach into the local community,” said Captain CrossFit co-owner Michelle Blevins. “To have the resources and training to develop highly trained emergency personnel is critical to me—as a mother, as a business owner, as a community member. It’s the least that I can do.”
The Yavapai College Foundation, which raises charitable contributions to provide scholarship funds to students, offers more than 200 scholarship funds to those who qualify. Ashley Hust, Yavapai College Foundation Fund Development Officer, worked with Chief Black, Kristi Barton (widow of Clayton Whitted), and Stephanie Turbyfill (widow of Travis Turbyfill) to develop the two expendable scholarships.
“The Foundation is privileged to help students receive an education,” said Hust. “Often, a student’s path to success can be delayed or disconnected due to a financial shortfall. It’s the generosity of our donors that helps our students achieve their goals.”
The financial support of donors, through the stewardship and management of the Foundation, have helped enhance the community at large by producing skilled graduates in all walks of life.
“When I arrived in 2016, I quickly gained an understanding and appreciation of the threats and challenges of firefighting in woodland areas,” Chief Black said. “Training is essential to public safety, and the cost of training should not be an obstacle to a young man or woman achieving their dreams of becoming a firefighter.”
To learn more about how to participate in or donate to the Captain CrossFit Granite Mountain Hotshot annual fundraiser, go online to www.captaincrossfit.com. Accepted Yavapai College students can apply for these and other scholarships; more information at www.yc.edu/financialaid. To learn more about the Yavapai College Foundation or to make a gift, visit www.yc.edu/ycf.