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  • Written Jan 9, 2008 1:05pm

    A message from Northwest Sierra Club Staff and Volunteers:

    Dear Sierra Club Family,

    On Sunday we held a Celebration of Life service for Shannon with over 250 people attending. This was a wonderful gathering of friends and family to reflect, remember, and celebrate the work and life of this wonderful person. In the recent service, many friends shared their bittersweet memories of Shannon. A tried and true friend. An empathetic listener. The wittiest person you will ever meet. An optimist. As King County Executive Ron Sims said, "A singular wave, a welcome breeze, a shooting star."

    The event this past Sunday was really a very heartfelt and moving celebration of Shannon’s all too short life.

    The program was incredibly moving and featured music (including John Prine’s "Angel From Montgomery"). Speakers from the Northwest and Ohio touched on the diverse aspects of Shannon’s life; her commitment to the environment and passion for the earth, her love of her friends and family, her book club, her tremendous drive and passion, and her athletic endeavors.

    We are really not able to convey the power of what everybody said or the love and compassion that was in the room. We want to share with you a PDF of the program from the event and also to encourage you to watch the PowerPoint slideshow that was part of the service. The program also lists opportunities for those that may be interested in making a contribution to some things that Shannon held most dear and worked to promote. The slideshow is linked through the Cascade Chapter’s webpage.

    http://cascade.sierraclub.org/node/1709

    Our deepest appreciation and thanks go out to all of you for the love and support you have shown through this time of tremendous sadness and grief for those of us in the Northwest Region and elsewhere who worked with and were friends and family of Shannon. We know that the Sierra Club is not just a job or a place of employment, but it is more like a family or a tribe and we mourn with all of you the loss of one of our special, committed, and vibrant compatriots.

    We have been able to do a lot of sharing of Shannon stories over the past few days with her friends in the Northwest and her family from back east.

    We have been reminded of what a wonderful woman we had the pleasure of working with. We’ve learned that her love of nature and deep appreciation of the planet came from early childhood experiences and that she has always wanted to help others gain that appreciation. We are honored that she chose to carry out that passion through the Sierra Club.

    We were lucky to organize alongside and with Shannon to watch her share her commitment and passion with volunteers young and old. She relished in listening and learning their stories. Shannon developed true friendships not just an expedited relationship for the sake of a campaign.

    Shannon didn’t just talk about her beliefs she lived them and all of us have been touched by this. She set very high standards with regards to walking our talk. Every time we bring the canvas bag to the store, every time we buy organic, every time we walk, run, bike, or use transit instead of drive we will be paying tribute to the way Shannon lived her commitment to the earth.

    We share with all of you a tremendous sense of loss and grief and encourage you all to carry on Shannon’s ideals and joy in the work that we do.

    The Northwest Sierra Club Staff and Volunteers

  • Written Jan 7, 2008 11:40am

    Dear Shannon's Friends and Family,

    A Flicker website has been created with photos of Shannon at http://www.flickr.com/photos/22407189@N02/.

    Donations in Memory of Shannon:

    *To honor Shannon’s love of working with and engaging youth in protecting our environment: The Shannon Harps Memorial Fund at The Sierra Student Coalition. This fund will be used to support young environmental leaders by providing trainings, internships, and helping them get involved in protecting the environment in the Northwest. Checks should be made payable to: Sierra Club Foundation, stating in the memo of the check or on a note attached to the check, Shannon Harps Fund- Sierra Student Coalition Northwest. Mail to the Sierra Club Foundation, 85 Second Street, Suite 750, San Francisco, CA 94105 , Attn: Kristi Davis . To make a contribution by credit card, call Liz Roddy at 415-995-1780.

    * Shannon was an inveterate listener and supporter of both KEXP and KUOW – our local public radio stations. You can contribute money or time in her honor here (KEXP) and here (KUOW).

    * Shannon supported the work of Childhaven, a local nonprofit that cares for abused and neglected children. You can contribute here.

    Memorial:

    There is a public memorial on Capitol Hill that you are welcome to visit – it is at 15th and Howell.

    Photos:

    If you have photos that you would like to share please visit the Flicker website at http://www.flickr.com/photos/22407189@N02/ or contact James Irwin at james.irwin@sierraclub.org or call him at 206.930.7704.

    May we find peace.

  • Written Jan 2, 2008 2:12pm

    From Bruce Hamilton, Deputy Executive Director of the Sierra Club.

    "Dear friends,

    We are saddened to bring you tragic news. Our dear friend and colleague Shannon Harps, who worked in the Sierra Club's Seattle office, was killed this week near her Capitol Hill apartment. Details of the incident are not well known right now, police are investigating. This tragedy makes no sense, and it's absolutely heartbreaking to think of this terrible loss of a friend and colleague. We will miss her dearly and our hearts go out to her close friends and family.

    Shannon was a friend to many of us - her love of the outdoors inspired her work at the Club, and her many adventures in nature demonstrated it - backpacking in Alaska, kayaking the Everglades, she was planning a trip to Patagonia. In her quiet way, she climbed mountains, and, as an activist, she moved mountains. She enjoyed getting people involved in environmental issues

    - sprawl, forest protection, climate change - and particularly liked her work with high school students.

    Shannon joined the NW office in 2003, moving from her Ohio home and her work for the Sierra Club there. She was a committed, hardworking -- an ardent believer in a future where the air is clean and our communities are healthy.

    What she found most rewarding was the relationships with volunteers, community members, politicians and others. She really spent time getting to know people. She valued their stories, their ideas and was open to becoming their friends. She touched many people's lives, many will be sadened to hear of her untimely death.

    We will set up a webpage with more information, and a place for people to leave their stories, memories, and thoughts for Shannon's family. We'll send out information as soon as we can. In the meantime, please send information to Kathleen Ridihalgh, kathleen.ridihalgh@sierraclub.org, or call her at

    378-0114 x 305.

    So many people know Shannon, her solid-gold heart, her unwavering commitment and her integrity. She leaves a huge whole in our hearts, and a huge legacy for our world.

    Our condolences,

    The Northwest Regional Office Staff"

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