Palmetto Health-USC Orthopedic Center has created a college scholarship in memory of beloved athletic trainer Mary McAllister.
McAllister, a Midlands high school athletic trainer, was credited for always putting others before herself. She will be remembered for years to come, thanks to the college scholarship established in her name. The Mary McAllister Annual Memorial scholarship will be awarded each year by Palmetto Health-USC Orthopedic Center and the Hawkins Foundation.
McAllister was an athletic trainer for South Carolina high schools for more than two decades. She most recently worked with athletes at Spring Valley High School in Columbia before she passed away in the fall of 2018.
Each year, one graduating South Carolina high school senior who is interested in athletic training or a health care profession will receive a one-time $1,000 college scholarship in McAllister’s memory. Applications for the scholarship will be open in the spring and shared through high school athletic training departments.
“She was always involved in whatever was going on with the kids. She took a lot of extra time and spent a lot of her own resources,” said T.J. Marsh, a fellow athletic trainer with Palmetto Health-USC Orthopedic Center. “She gave way more than most would.”
Jason Wimberly, athletic training manager at Palmetto Health-USC Orthopedic Center, added, “The scholarship is designed to go to a high school senior who embodies Mary’s spirit, her compassion for others and her dedication to the community.”
The first scholarship was given this year to Turner Prewitt, a 2019 Spring Valley High School graduate who had worked closely with McAllister as an athletic training student aide. She plans to study nutrition at Clemson University.
“Mary always made me feel welcome when I was in the athletic training room,” 18-year-old Prewitt said. “Whether it be small talk on the sideline of football games or making jokes during basketball, she truly brightened up the lives of everyone around her.
“Through my two years of working alongside Mary, she taught me so many things, and I can truly say she made me realize the massive impact that just one person can make in such a short amount of time. In receiving this scholarship, I hope to make even a fraction of the impact that she had on me and show others what it means to live a life of compassion and hard work.”
Turner received the scholarship during the Palmetto Health-USC Orthopedic Center Annual Sports Medicine Golf Invitational. For the past 20 years, the tournament has raised money to give back to the local schools and colleges that partner with the Orthopedic Center for athletic training.
This year’s tournament raised more than $20,000. The funds will help purchase a variety of sports medicine supplies at area schools.
More than 30 athletic trainers from Palmetto Health-USC Orthopedic Center are contracted to work throughout the year with more than two dozen local high schools, middle schools and colleges.
For more information about Palmetto Health-USC Orthopedic Center, visit PHUSCOrthoCenter.org