I have chosen to “pay it forward” to a special young woman. She is a vibrant, talented 28 year old. Like many folks we know, she has 2 jobs. Since neither position is full time, she has limited health care benefits and limited medical leave available to her.
In 2018, she was diagnosed with breast cancer, requiring surgery and extensive treatment. She has continued on with her life and work bravely – her amazing smile makes it seem okay. She has steadfastly told us she’s going to be fine and we needn’t worry.
Recently she received news that her cancer has recurred and her treatment plan will be complex. Though her life has become more difficult lately, her spirit is unwavering.
I’m grateful to be able to help her a little on her journey. Thank you for the opportunity.
The foundation that I chose to give my donation to was Working Dogs for Conservation. This amazing nonprofit organization does so many wonderful things for communities around our country, as well as overseas. They provide second chances to dogs that most people would deem hopeless or out of control. The dogs are then trained as detection dogs, in which they protect endangered species, prevent poaching and preserve at-risk environments. If the dog is unable to perform then W.D.F.C will find them a new loving home, which is how I found my best friend Titan!
It is important what this foundation does on so many levels. Not only does it save the lives of so many dogs, but they help protect the lives of many other creatures as well as preserving our beautiful lands. I am so thankful for the Dennis & Phyllis Washington Foundation for providing me the chance to donate to such an incredible cause.
If anyone is curious about this organization, interested in adopting, or knows of a dog that could help I encourage you to check out their website.
I donate my card to the Ramsey Keller Memorial. This foundation pays for infant funerals up to a year old.
Giving it to a 33 year old mother of 2 who is battling with cancer.
Jase Leister was born in January 2018 and was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder called Apert Syndrome. It occurs once in every 80,000-100,000 births, ten in a million! Apert Syndrome causes a multitude of different issues but the main ones are premature fusion of the skull, fusion of the hands and feet, and underdeveloped midfacial bones (causing breathing and eating difficulties). In Jase it has also caused several heart abnormalities. He faces many, many complicated and risky surgeries in his future and has already had 5 in his short life, including 2 open heart surgeries, two nasal surgeries, and one cranial reconstruction. Despite all his obstacles and hardships Jase is a happy, bright baby boy who enjoys life and strives to overcome anything in his way.
Jase’s family travels far and often to major children’s hospitals to get him the care he needs as local care doesn’t have the capabilities to perform the lifesaving surgeries he requires. The Leister’s love for their sweet boy and his sisters (Ellie 4yrs old, Scarlett 2 yrs old) is endless but money unfortunately is not. They appreciate any and all help. Your love, prayers, and support get them through some of their hardest times and they are forever grateful! Follow Jase’s journey and all of the ups and downs on Facebook.
I donated my card to the Heritage Museum in Libby, MT to be used to help raise funds for a matching grant from the Montana Office of Tourism and Business Development, for the restoration of the J. Neils Lumber Company logging locomotive #4 that the museum is restoring to operational condition. The ‘Four Spot’ is a significant piece of history for north-west Montana, hauling logs from the forest to the mill in the Libby area from 1909 to 1946; timber that was milled and used to build and develop the north-west United States during two World Wars. In addition to being a historical and engineering artifact, it is also important for new generations of Montanans to experience the mechanical wonder that is a “Shay” locomotive, and inspire these youth to help volunteer during the restoration and operation of the locomotive, and put them on a path to a career in metal working, welding, or machining.
I donated $150 to an organization here in Spokane called Love 11. After losing their son in an accident Memorial Day weekend 2016, Micah Love’s parents started the Love 11 organization because of their son’s love for year-round sports. They award grants and scholarship commitments to youth sports organizations, schools and local programs in our community. They offer a chance for low-income and underprivileged kids, schools and neighborhoods to play sports regardless of social, cultural, or economic background.I donated $350 to American Childhood Cancer Organization Inland Northwest, which is near and dear to my heart. My niece, Marleigh, was diagnosed with AML leukemia in 2012 and after 14 months, after just turning 5 years old, passed away. ACCOIN provided support from diagnosis and still do today. For families who are given the childhood cancer diagnosis, their lives are instantly changed and are sent into a whirlwind of hospital stays, tests, procedures, medications, etc. The families often go from a 2 income household to 1 (or 1 to 0) and finances take a hit. ACCOIN helps the families by giving them a new patient stay bag at diagnosis, including basic toiletries, toys and activities for the kids, gas and grocery cards. They offer emergency financial assistance for household bills, support with finances during holidays, they also host family support nights, day camp, support lunches, etc. They also provide emotional support for survivors, siblings, and bereaved parents. I could never repay ACCOIN for how they have helped my family and I am happy to donate to them!
I gave my card to JR Vezain, a Montana rodeo bareback rider was paralyzed in September 2018. JR is expecting a new baby, due May 2019.
Congenital heart defects are the most common birth defects in the United States. This has made our family more aware of how many little ones Mended Little Hearts supports in our community, many whom we know personally.
Thank you Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation for this program and your generosity!
Dave Silk, recipient story
Since 2007, WQW has provided over 705 Fishing Experiences to combat veterans and spouses/caregivers from across the nation.
Jewell was taken to Missoula’s St. Patrick Hospital for immediate care, and then life flighted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle for ongoing medical treatment.
Jewell sustained multiple injuries in the accident – a brain injury with swelling and bleeding, a fractured vertebrae, skull fracture, broken eye socket, nose and jaw, fractures to her clavicle, pelvis and foot. Despite all of these conditions, she has proven to be too tough to give up, making progress every day.
Beyond medical expenses, there will be months of therapy and doctors’ visits in her road to final recovery.
This donation will be used to help cover some of the medical and travel expenses Doug and his family have incurred fighting this disease.
Thank you so much Dennis and Phyllis for your generous donation. This is a class act foundation and an even more amazing company to work for.
Again, Thank you for all you do.
Good Luck on your season girls!!
They had many ideas but were ruling them out as multiples tests were being performed on her. The longer they went, the more stumped they were becoming. Her symptoms were fitting a few ideas but they were not fitting 100% so the doctors didn’t want to give an definitive diagnosis unless all the symptoms fit. Lindsay was not able to open her eyes or be able to feed herself. They had to insert a catheter and a feeding tube to keep her stabilized.
After about 2 weeks she started to get better, slowly but surely. She was able to start to try and feed herself. She spent a little over 2 weeks in the hospital. During the time Lindsay was in the hospital her mother, Ashley, was staying with her constantly while her husband Gerry took care of their toddler daughter, Laney, as well as them both running a cattle ranch. To say they had a lot on their plate was an understatement.
Modern Machinery Rochester Branch, after finding out what was going on, began to take donations to give to the family such as clothes, coloring books and pencils and anything that would help the little girl feel better as well as the family. Multiple people also donated PTO since Ashley was close to running out and we knew she was not going to be at work for a little longer. She works in parts. We also brought together cash donations. We came together as a family to help Ashley and her family because here in Rochester, we are all a family and we come together to help each other in time of need.
Lindsey is a budding artist and absolutely loves coloring and drawing. Her artwork can be seen all over the branch in select offices. She is Modern’s Picasso. She is often at the branch drawing and coloring beautiful pictures and has been doing so since she was very young so to say she has grown up here is a very accurate statement. Many people in the branch have known her since birth and have watched her blossom into a beautiful and thoughtful little girl. To say her falling ill effected us is a vast understatement. I feel as if she is my own and I’m sure many would agree.
Lindsay got well enough to where she was able to go home. She has been home for about 2 weeks and is getting stronger and better every day. She is already back at school. Doctors still couldn’t pin point exactly what was causing her illness other than diagnosing her with lesions of the skin and mucosal membranes. All I know is she is the bravest and strongest little girl I know and it was my honor to donate my giving card to her and her family.
Many thanks to Dennis & Phyllis Washington Foundation for giving me the ability to help my friend in need!
I had not yet met Kasey but recently started following his “Friends of Kasey Morley” site on Facebook. Kasey’s mom describes his journey on this site and when I was chosen to get a giving card I immediately wanted to pick this family. I contacted Kasey’s mom and went to the family’s resident. I got to meet an amazing young boy. He was so talkative, friendly and full of hugs. You cant help but to fall in love with him! I also met his mom, dad and his brother Kaleb who were all very thankful.
Thank you Dennis & Phyllis Washington Foundation for giving me the joy of “Paying It Forward”. It was a very “feel good” moment!
Thank You for this opportunity to pay it forward.
This brought back memories of the role models in my life that I looked up to. Not having children of our own, I hope to be one of those role models to my nieces and nephews, and I hope this gift can help someone else become a strong role model.
From their Facebook page: “The concept is simple. We want to promote the importance of fatherhood, and young growing minds to have strong adult male mentors to look up to. We want to encourage father’s, uncle’s, stepfather’s, teacher’s and big brother’s, to step up and be positive strong role models. They are always looking up.
To encourage the importance of respect, and making good decisions. To protect and make them feel safe. A person they can come to in times of need. To give a young woman confidence and strength in herself, and a young man a lesson in how to honor and respect their mother, and their sister and their future wives and girlfriends.”
“The mission of the Casting Shadows Foundation will be to provide guided, free of charge, fly fishing trips to young people (boys or girls) along with their father, stepfather, big brother, or some other male mentor. Just a day on one of Montana’s beautiful rivers fly fishing, or learning to fly fish, spending time, talking, building and strengthening relationships.
Some of our trips will be just a reward to an absolutely outstanding father, or mentor, and chance to strengthen that relationship. Some will be for young people desperately seeking a mentor, or father figure in in their lives.”
And finally a note from Gary on their foundation page:
I received a message a few weeks ago from a Facebook friend Gregg Cooney. He so graciously wanted to donate a $500 “pay it forward” gift card he received from his work at Rail Link. He noted how Casting Shadows brought up all of the fond hours he spent fishing with his dad, grandad, and uncle growing up. I’ve never met Gregg in person but appreciate his kind cyber friend heart.
So with this, I got ahold of my friend Taylor that owns the Missoulian Angler. He is such a kind and generous young guy himself. Already a strong supporter of what we are doing here. I know from having fished and floated with him what an awesome role model he has in his father. And now a new baby to pass those traits on to.
Anyway for the $500 Taylor was able to get us into 6 quality rod and reel combos worth nearly twice that. They carry a lifetime warranty. Just really good quality rods and reels.
We are planning six float trips this summer and thanks to the generosity of Gregg, and Taylor, and the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation (and Rail Link). Every single child that takes a trip with us this summer will take with them this beautiful brand new rod and reel set up. Ready to go.
Hopefully at least a few will use this opportunity as a steppingstone to take on the wonderful pastime of fly fishing and who knows maybe someday pass that down to their children fondly recalling where it all began.
That is really what we want to be about.
Every year, Summit Aviation in Bozeman, Montana, hosts four young cancer survivors for a week-long Cancer Survivor Flight Camp. The campers, who are all young adult survivors of childhood cancer participating in Eagle Mount Bozeman’s Big Sky Kids program, will get to live their dream of taking flight! Throughout the course of the week, these individuals aren’t just passengers along for the ride as each participant learns the basics of aviation, how to manipulate aircraft controls, goes on a cross-country flight over Yellowstone National Park, and even has the opportunity to perform his or her own take offs and landings! The daily itinerary includes breakfast briefings and themed lunches, one-on-one instruction with some of Summit’s premier Certified Flight Instructors, ground school courses, behind-the-scenes airport tours, local and scenic tours, and over 10 hours of flight time in Summit’s state-of-the-art Diamond aircraft. The camp is completely donation funded and every cent received goes straight towards helping to cover the costs of food, fuel, and other Camp necessities. For these individuals, who have braved the challenges of diagnosis and treatment, the Flight Camp is a chance to escape limitations and experience the freedom of flight!
In January of 2019 the Bitterroot Winter Special Olympics hosted 141 athletes representing 16 schools and other organizations, with over 200 coaches and support people and 200 plus volunteers. Cross country skiing, downhill skiing and snowshoes races were the events provided at Lost Trail Powder Mountain over a two day period. A banquet and dance is also hosted by the Olympic organizers at the Bitterroot River Inn.
Bitterroot Winter Special Olympics raises the majority of its funding by hosting the annual Hacker Golf Tournament at the Hamilton Golf Club in September each year. Donations from local businesses and individuals help provide the funds needed to keep this popular event going every January.
The Bitterroot Winter Special Olympics is truly a grassroots organization promoting competition, friendship and joy between athletes, coaches and volunteers alike.
My mother in-law, Marla Hennequin, has been a volunteer on the steering committee for 33 years.
In June of 2018, it was discovered that Thomas had a massive brain tumor. He was flown from Billings, MT to Denver CO where he underwent a 12 hour surgery. The tumor was so large that the doctors were only able to remove half of it. They planned for Thomas to recover for a couple of weeks and then remove the remaining tumor. Unfortunately, Thomas became very ill with pneumonia and the surgery was postponed. Since then, Thomas has battled many infections, including an infection in his brain and his blood. He is also resistant or allergic to many of the anti-biotics, which has made recovery painful and difficult. Most recently he is recovering from a massive bed sore, which was infected to the bone.
Thomas’ mom, Michelle, was able to spend the first 3 months with him in Denver while his dad, Danny stayed back in Joliet with William. In September Michelle’s leave from work was up and she had to return to Montana. Danny recently had back surgery but as soon as he was cleared by his doctors he went to be with Thomas in Denver.
At this time, the family is waiting for Thomas to recover enough to make the trip to a rehabilitation center closer to their home in Montana, where they hope he will become well enough to remove the rest of the tumor.
In May of 2015, William suffered from the same tumor, at the time the doctors did not believe it to be genetic so they chose not to test Thomas. William spent about 3 months in Denver recovering from his surgery to remove the tumor. William’s tumor was about half the size that Thomas’ was. William has a few lingering problems but for the most part, he has recovered well.
I split $500 between 3 families who have had major medical bills. Each family is frugal with their money and is always ready to give a hand to others. It was great to see the look of surprise and thankfulness for the gift cards each family received!!
Thank you Dennis & Phyllis for all the ways you give to your community!
Thank you to the Dennis & Phyllis Washington Foundation for allowing us to be able to Pay It Forward within our communities.
When I was notified that I’ve won this award I knew I was going to donated to St. Jude, but after finding out the situation that my Aunt was living, without a thought I gave the card to her.
Thank you again for helping me help others.