Pewaukee — School officials from the Pewaukee School District received a generous donation from a local mason lodge.
The district received a $2,400 check from the Oconomowoc-Hartland Lodge 42 of the Free and Accepted Masons of Wisconsin for the purchase of automatic external defibrillators (AED's) to replace AED's that are not working anymore. A nurse from the district, Bridget Koch, wrote a grant to obtain the donation, assisted by Project ADAM administrator Allison Thompson. The Masons delivered the check at a breakfast it hosts at the Pewaukee Kiwanis Beach Party, which raises funds to give back to the community.
The technology became more available in compact, affordable units in 1999. An area high school athlete, Adam Lemel, had collapsed and died while playing in a basketball game. Lemel's best friend, David Ellis, decided to team up with Children's Hospital of Wisconsin to create a program called Project ADAM (Automatic Defibrillators in Adam's Memory) to use the new technology. It would allow schools to purchase AED's and develop public access defibrillation (PAD) programs.
The late Karen Smith, who was a district nurse, decided to then develop a plan to bring the AED's and AED training to Pewaukee's schools. Pewaukee School District purchased its first one in 2000. In 2001, the district added CPR and AED training to the Pewaukee High School physical education curriculum, becoming the first school in the state to offer that kind of training to students.