Guilderland, N.Y. — Tim Morrison had it all. He was living the American dream with his wife, Carmelina, two young children and plenty of friends. Tim, the treasurer of the New York B.A.S.S. Chapter Federation, an attorney with a prestigious law firm, and an excellent bass angler, learned the pain of losing a loved one when his three-month-old son died, Jan. 20, 2006.Soon after Tommy was born, his health began to deteriorate. After conducting scores of tests, doctors determined the infant was suffering from a rare metabolic disorder. He died within weeks.Unwilling to let tragedy destroy them, Tim and Carmelina decided to do something to help others undergoing similar difficulties and, in the process, preserve Tommy's memory long after they're gone. They formed the Thomas Patrick Morrison Foundation.
Funded by Tim's prize money from bass fishing as well as other contributions, the foundation is dedicated to providing financial assistance to those families suffering similar tragedies. The foundation helps pay for meals, travel and living expenses while away from home.Tim points out that numerous organizations offer financial assistance to families suffering from better known and more frequently occurring illnesses, but few help with rare, almost unheard of, diseases.We were fortunate in so many respects," Tim concedes. "My wife and I live in the same town as our parents and many family members and friends, and they were all very supportive. We were also secure financially, including having wonderful insurance coverage. That allowed us to put our lives on hold and spend every minute of the last 16 days of our son's life with him."Unfortunately, most people just do not have that kind of support, either because their family lives far from where they are, or because of limited or no insurance. We cannot give them more time with their child, but we can alleviate the financial and emotional strain that keeps them from being by their child's side."
To date the foundation is funded at more than $100,000. Approximately $1,000 of that is from Tim's tournament winnings. The balance has been raised through private donations and the Thomas Patrick Morrison Foundation Annual Golf Classic with generous support from Whiteman Osterman & Hanna LLP (Attorneys at Law) and the Lia Auto Group.
Tim recently earned a spot on the New York state team and, like all bass anglers, is dreaming about earning a spot in the Classic."I'd love to give that $500,000 to Tommy's foundation," he says with a chuckle. "What a thrill that would be."
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