Austin Strong Foundation collecting donations for namesake’s birthday memorial

by Mitch Fick


$11,000 for a boy that would have been 11 later this month.

That’s the Austin Strong Foundation’s goal by October 28 as they celebrate the life and legacy of a Monticello boy who died after his battle with pediatric brain cancer.

Austin Smith was just six years old when his fight with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma ended in May 2016. His birthday is October 28 – and friends and family are hoping to raise $11,000 for the foundation created in his name by then. A Facebook fundraising page is now set up – and donations can also be dropped off at Sally’s on Broadway in Springville.

Organizers say they’ve already raised more than $5,100 between online and in-person donations.

The Smith family was featured in Iowa’s News Now’s Pay It Forward series in November 2019 for their continued work to raise money and awareness in Austin’s memory.

Their work led to the state of Iowa recognizing DIPH Awareness Day for the first time in 2017.