Lynx Donate To Pay It Forward Fund

Mark Remme
Lynx Editor/Writer

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Michelle Morey and her husband, Scott Bissen, weren’t intending to start up a non-profit organization to support breast and women’s cancer patients. Morey, who was finishing up her own treatment seven years ago, simply wanted to donate money to others going through a difficult time in their lives.

But when Morey and Bissen made their first personal donation to North Memorial Foundation, they found out their first patient had her water turned off at her house due to lack of payment.

That’s when Morey and her husband took action.

“That was kind of that ‘Ah, ha’ moment,” she said. “That was like, ‘OK, our monthly donation isn’t going to be enough.’”

In 2005, Morey founded the Pay It Forward Fund, a non-profit with no paid employees that donates 100 percent of its money raised toward helping breast and women’s cancer patients pay their bills. On Thursday, the Minnesota Lynx Foundation donated $5,000 to Pay It Forward during a special in-game presentation as the Lynx took on the Los Angeles Sparks. Lynx Chief Operating Officer Conrad Smith and mascot Prowl presented the donation.

[Click Here for more information on the Pay It Forward Fund]

Since its inception, the foundation has helped patients pay utility bills, rent, mortgages and fill their gas tanks during their treatment. Each patient receives $1,500 that go to their living expenses so they can focus on getting healthy.

Morey said Pay It Forward pays about $20,000 per month toward patient bills through its partner, the North Memorial Foundation. She said she was grateful to get a donation from the Lynx organization.

“It’s awesome to get this support from the Lynx,” she said. “Not only is it generous but it gives you credibility because of [the Lynx] organization and the success of it.”

The organization raises its money through personal donations—which can be made online, by mail or by fax—and through events. Their next fundraiser is the Pay It Forward 5 Mile Walk/Run and Concert Celebration held Sunday, July 15 at the Orono Immediate School. Pre-registration is $25 with a commitment to raise at least $225 by Friday, July 6.

Race day registration begins at 8:30 a.m. with a finish line celebration from 9:30-11:45 a.m.

Concert tickets to see reggae performers 9Tomorrows are $55, or $20 for walkers/runners. The concert includes Caribbean-style food and beverages.

Pay It Forward also hosts a Casino Night as a fundraiser. This year’s event was held in February.

For Morey, the cause is near to hear heart. She said the hope is this organization can help ease the burden patients go through during cancer treatment.

“I’m a breast cancer survivor,” she said. “We understand there’s a lot of financial components that go along with a diagnosis that people don’t always expect.”

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