Financial gift from Mary Elizabeth Neel-Lorrig

Mary Neel-Lorrig and her late husband loved attending Payson Unified School District events. In her estate, Neel-Lorrig left more than $100,000 to the district.

Longtime Payson resident Mary Neel-Lorrig so enjoyed attending school plays, concerts and events, she left $142,000 to the Payson Unified School District from her estate.

“We are so grateful for this donation and for the generosity of Mrs. Neel-Lorrig,” said Greg Wyman, PUSD superintendent.

The district has decided to use the donation toward fixing up the Payson High School Auditorium.

“Since many of the events she attended were in the auditorium, we felt this would be a tribute to Mrs. Neel-Lorrig,” said Wyman.

The district learned of the donation from Neel-Lorrig’s son, Phillip Neel, at the start of the school year in the fall.

Neel told the district his mother was always interested in the Payson schools. She made sure to attend and shared how much they enjoyed the various school events.

Wyman said Neel-Lorrig’s donation illustrates how the Payson community supports students.

“The partnership between the district and so many different people and organizations in our community helps to create a true community of schools,” he said.

The auditorium serves as a symbol of that partnership.

“The auditorium is a community facility and we felt that the community should benefit from her generosity,” said Wyman.

The district plans to complete all upgrades to the auditorium over the summer so it’s ready for the start of the new school year.

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