Rusk family continues scholarship in honor of son who died while volunteering abroad

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In 20, Collin Carroll was volunteering with Mercy Ships in Africa, a local organization that offers humanitarian aid.

“His parents told him when he graduated, we’ll send you anywhere you want to go for graduation, and he didn’t want to go to the Bahamas or Mexico, he chose to do Mercy Ships,” said Jake Ocker, Carroll’s best friend.

A decision that would forever change the lives of all who loved him. He died in an accidental drowning.

“It was the worst day of my life, I was hoping it was not true, but it was,” said Ocker. “I didn’t really know what to do.”

His best friend remembers him as someone who gave as much as he could everyday of his 22 years. For example, a week before Carroll left for Africa, the two friends were building a fence, when Carroll passed out.

“Well, he gets up, I’m like let’s go home, I’ll take you home, nope,” said Ocker. “Dusted himself off, got right back up, kept building the fence.”

Ocker says…That’s just the kind of guy he was.

According to Carroll’s dad, besides being fiercely loving and selfless…

“He would scare his sisters, he would hide under a bed for hours, waiting for one to go to bed, just to climb out in the middle of the night to scare them,” said Jeff Carroll. “It was worth it to him.”

He says the life his son lived was an inspiring and faithful one.

“It made a mark all over the world, Collin’s life did, and consequently his death. But through his death, other people can have joy and know the joy that Collin had, which can only be found in Jesus Christ.

For four years, the Carroll family has been holding a golf tournament to raise money for the Collin Carroll Memorial Scholarship.

“We all know that going to college is tough, financially on a family, so we’re trying to ease that burden just a little bit,” said Carroll.

They have given out 12 so far. Each one worth a thousand dollars.

A cause their son would have been proud of.

“I have two options.  I can start a meaningless job that I would soon have to leave to continue my education, or I can do something that will have a profound and meaningful effect on my life while glorifying God and helping those in need.  I choose the latter.”

-Collin Carroll

They say without the many sponsors and a constant outpouring of support, they couldn’t do the tournament each year. They do raffles and sell hats during the tournament.

They are grateful to be able to help a student in Rusk get an education, something Collin Carroll was passionate about.

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