The on-field heart attack of a high school football official in September 2012 helped inspire a Hilliard student's Eagle Scout project.
Jack Rogers, a freshman at Bradley High School, organized "Hilliard Heart Health Day" during a May 15 lacrosse game between Heritage Middle School and his alma mater, Memorial Middle School.
Rogers' Eagle Scout project included the presentation of an automatic external defibrillator to be kept accessible at all athletics events at Memorial Middle School.
Rogers said he chose his project in part because of the 2012 incident in which Julius Palazzo suffered a heart attack while officiating at a Hartley-Watterson football game.
Palazzo, after undergoing double heart-bypass surgery, recovered from the incident, according to The Columbus Dispatch.
"When I heard (about Palazzo) I thought it was a problem that needed solved," Rogers said, because no AED was immediately available to help Palazzo.
Rogers said he learned that while AEDs are available at every school, the instruments are not always readily accessible after school hours, including at evening athletics events.
In seeking approval for his Eagle Scout project, Rogers discovered he had to do more than collect contributions for the purchase of an AED.
Rogers solicited Hometown Urgent Care, 5677 Scioto Darby Road, for contributions and the medical office, literally across the street from the school building, donated the AED to be kept at Memorial's fieldhouse for use by players, coaches, faculty or patrons at athletics events.
"When Jack asked us to donate funds to help purchase an AED for his middle school (alma mater), we were very impressed both by his sincerity and by the originality of his proposal," said Dee Holleran, director of media relations for Hometown Urgent Care. "He saw a real need in his community and saw it as a duty to help correct that need."
Rogers also arranged for the collection of donated athletics equipment and a fundraiser to help purchase equipment for equipment for underprivileged athletes.
"You'd be surprised at the number of kids who come to games without the proper equipment," said Annie Rogers, Jack's mother.
Raffle tickets were sold at the event for prizes such as admission to Kings Island and games of the Ohio Machine, a professional lacrosse team, and free blood pressure checks were also provided at the event.
Rogers presented the AED May 15 to Eric Ryan, the athletics coordinator for Memorial Middle School and Bradley High School, and Nic Gaston, the athletics director for Bradley High School.
"It will save a life," Annie Rogers said.
Jack Rogers is expected to receive his Eagle Scout rank, the highest rank an active Boy Scout can earn, at a Court of Honor later this year, and will follow in the steps of his older brother, Grant, a graduating senior at Bradley High School who also is an Eagle Scout.
Jack and Grant are the sons of Annie and Julius Rogers of Hilliard.