Gus Stangl saw a need and decided he was going to do something about it.
The Des Moines East High School senior who is certified in CPR training was volunteering at Big Creek State Park picking up litter when he noticed the park did not have a defibrillator.
Stangl set up a collection bin near the beach for people to donate their cans toward the purchase of the defibrillator. It would take between 32,000 and 36,000 $.05 cans ($1,600 and $1,800) to purchase one.
His project appeared in a blog on The Des Moines Register’s website on July 28 and again on Aug. 1 that caught the attention of two companies who contacted Stangl to see how they could help.
The company aed.com
, from Brentwood, Tenn., fully donated a Powerheart Plus G3 AED, and AEDprofessionals.com
, from Palatine, Ill., sold a Heartsine Samaritan AED at a deep discount.
Stangl presented the defibrillators to Chad Kelchen, park manager at Big Creek, and Kevin Szcodronski, bureau chief of State Parks, at a ceremony Aug. 17. One of the defibrillators will be mounted at the concession building at the beach and the other – a portable defibrillator – will be in the park vehicle.
“I cannot express how grateful I am to both of these companies for their generosity,” Stangl said. “I’m amazed by the results of this. The project began when I picked up a few cans and some trash while my parents were fishing became something much bigger.”
Stangl said the Polk City Chamber of Commerce and Big Creek Marina made donations to complete the project and the Woodward workers who helped him with the recycling.
“I would especially like to thank my parents who endured with me during this whole project,” he said.