A GoFundMe raising money to honor a Wood River High School graduate who went missing in Montana this month had raised more than $21,000 as of Thursday afternoon, five days after it was set up.
The Tatum “Tate” Morell Annual Scholarship Fund was set up by friends and family on Saturday, July 10—the same day authorities announced that 23-year-old was presumed dead after going missing in the wilderness outside Red Lodge, Mont.
The Hailey native graduated from Wood River as co-salutatorian in 2015. She was pursuing a graduate degree in engineering at Montana State University when she set off for a multi-day, solo expedition through the Beartooth Mountains on July 1.
On Saturday, Red Lodge Fire Rescue Chief Tom Kuntz said it’s unlikely Morell is still alive given the area’s treacherous terrain, its harsh weather and length of time that had elapsed since her last contact.
The organizers of the GoFundMe, Tyler Connel and Tate’s brother, Josh Morell, quickly blew by their initial goal; it has since been raised to $30,000.
“It’s been a rough past week but seeing the generosity and warmth on here has been incredible,” Connel and Josh Morell wrote. “It’s still very early, but please know that the scholarship will be dedicated towards women in the Wood River Valley and Red Lodge areas of Montana just like Tate— strong, determined, and kind, with a never-ending passionate love for the outdoors.”
To learn more, or to make a donation, go to https://gofund.me/1e8ee0d4.