Starting Hearts Board Member Jim Spell presenting the first of many scholarship checks to CMC’s Regional Development Officer Diana Scherr at the 5th Annual “All You Need Is Heart” event.

Edwards, CO, 22 February 2017 - Starting Hearts, in cooperation with Colorado Mountain College, has initiated the Starting Hearts First Responder Scholarship. The newly-created scholarship is designed to supplement the education, training and services needed by first responders in the performance of their duties throughout the region.  

According to Lynn Blake, founder of Starting Hearts and sudden cardiac survivor, “We are so pleased to initiate this scholarship to our local first responders in furtherance of our mission to save the lives of sudden cardiac arrest victims.  Of special note, we wish to recognize our colleague and long-term board member, Jim Spell, for spearheading this wonderful new initiative for Starting Hearts.”  

The first scholarship funding was presented to Colorado Mountain College during luncheon ceremonies at the 5th Annual All You Need Is Heart event which took place at the Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek, CO, on 8 February 2017.

The scholarship is designed so that those affiliated with law enforcement, fire departments, ambulance districts, hospitals or urgent care facilities will be able to support one of their own.  Additionally, businesses, as well as private citizens, will have a focused, measurable and accountable way to directly contribute to help those who help others in their community.

“Colorado Mountain College is pleased to begin administering the Starting Hearts First Responder Scholarship,” said Diana Scherr, regional development officer for the CMC Foundation. “Because our Vail Valley campus in Edwards has long provided training for first responders, including those working in fire science and emergency medical technology, and as certified nurse aides and medical assistants, we are pleased to be able to provide the First Responder scholarship to our students locally.  We’re honored that Starting Hearts recognizes the need and has been so proactive in starting this scholarship.”

The application process is currently underway and the scholarship recipients will be announced in late April.  Additional donations are currently being accepted through the CMC Foundation in one of two ways.  To donate via check, please make it payable to the CMC Foundation and send to CMC Foundation, Attn: Carol Efting, 802 Grand Avenue, Glenwood Springs, CO 81601.  Please reference “Starting Hearts First Responder Scholarship” on the memo line.  Contributions via credit card can also be made by visiting the CMC Foundation’s secure donation portal at: Again, make sure to reference “Starting Hearts First Responder Scholarship” on the memo line.

Alan Himelfarb, executive director of Starting Hearts, sums up the new First Responder Scholarship by saying, “We are thrilled with this new addition to the Starting Hearts mission and look forward to working with CMC to advance the skills of those professionals who will one day save precious lives of our friends, family, and colleagues.”