Shey Harris Memorial Fund

Fund Purpose:
The purpose of this fund is to support the most pressing needs and opportunities of Grant County, Indiana.

Fund Story:
In honor of Ray, Ramie, and Shey… your lives so beautifully lived… your hearts so deeply loved.” –Inscription on the Harris family memorial wristbands.

Shey Harris’ life may have only lasted 20 years, but in those 20 years, she had a great impact on those around her. Harris passed away along with her father and sister on Saturday, November 26, 2011.

Shey had a passion for dance. She was attending Anderson University and majoring in dance with a minor in business. Her dream was to own her own dance studio. She began dancing when she was just two years old. She danced from the time school let out until 10 p.m.

“She did whatever she had to do to dance,” her mother Sherry Harris said.

Shey began teaching dance at Dancer’s Edge at 14 years old as the youngest teacher ever.

“She was a really good teacher,” Sherry Harris said. “She got along with little kids and was patient with those who were learning how to dance.”

If Sherry Harris wants to feel close to her daughter, she simply watches her dance videos. Shey choreographed and performed routines for her dance ministry.

“There was no question about her faith,” Harris said. “She inspired people to dance for God.”

Occasionally she would dance for the family’s church, God’s House.

“When Shey tragically died, her passion for dance lived on,” said Mark Fauser, Executive Director of Community School of the Arts (CSA). “Everyone at CSA will always remember her commitment for excellence in dance.”

Shey was very determined. She always had two to three jobs; some of which included teaching Zumba and working at Chick-fil-A. Shey worked hard so that she could enjoy life. She enjoyed shopping, was a natural genius with phones and computers, and even made her own dance videos.

Shey and her mother were like twins.

“Same laugh, same hair, same body,” Sherry Harris said. “She was fun and hyper.”

Shey was not afraid of anything.

“She was crazy and playful,” Harris said. “She was going to interact with you whether or not you wanted it.”

Harris impacted everyone around her because of her outgoing personality.

“She was always making people laugh,” her mother said.

Sherry Harris created the Shey Harris Memorial Fund in memory of Shey. Sherry received many donations in honor of her daughter and knew that Shey would have wanted the money to go towards something for dance. This fund provides a scholarship for a Grant County student majoring in dance so that others can live out their dreams through dance like Shey did.

Emma Toevs is no ordinary 12 year-old. She is a small business owner and a philanthropist with a huge heart.

After the passing of close family friend Shey Harris, Emma decided that she wanted to do something to remember and honor her sister’s beloved dance teacher.

Emma sells handmade hair bows, magnets and scarves as well as original paintings. Emma donates half of the money that she earns to the CSA Shey Harris Memorial Scholarship which provides dance classes for the recipients. Emma sells her designs at school and the CSA building, and during the summer, she sells at an open air market.

The ideas behind Emma’s products were inspired by different people around her. One Christmas, she was given a hair bow made by her cousin. Emma’s mom then figured out how to make the bow and now Emma sells different variations of it: double layers, single layer, large, small, or even in magnet form. She learned to make the scarves from one of her teachers and now makes large and small scarves. Emma, inspired by her uncle and cousin who are both artists, has always liked art and loves to paint. Many of her paintings feature horses.

Emma began selling her creations during recess and after school in 2012 when she was in 5th grade. She wanted to be self-supporting, so she donates half of her proceeds to the scholarship and uses the other half to pay for the supplies she needs for her creations.

“I want to keep doing it for a long time,” said Emma Toevs.

“I want other people to be touched through what I am doing,” said Toevs.

Emma wants others to know about the scholarship and wants them to do something about it.

“It is not about me,” said Toevs.

Emma’s family knows one of the students who recently received the scholarship.

“It is cool that I get to see the results,” said Emma. “It is a really cool feeling.”

The Pricing for Emma’s creations are listed below:

  • Large painting 11×14 $12
  • Small painting 8×10 $10
  • Large scarf $15
  • Small scarf $12
  • Magnets $4
  • Hair bows and clips $4

This fund is a part of the Give To Grant Collaborative. These funds serve the Community Foundation mission which is to connect people, resources, and causes to promote a sustainable impact for the betterment of Grant County. The Collaborative, allows our Board to combine generous donations with others’ and pool our resources to do something strong and impactful for our community. This is philanthropy in its broadest sense!

Click here to learn more about these funds and how they are impacting Grant County through the Give To Grant Collaboration.

Because of the support of generous donors, this fund is making a difference for worthwhile causes and people, at the local, Grant County level. Thank you!

Fund Page Details:
Donating to this fund will increase the charitable impact of its fund purpose and grantmaking abilities. Clicking “Give Online” above will allow you to make a charitable gift to this fund held at the Community Foundation of Grant County. Want to give using cash or check? Download this Printable Giving Form and mail it with your gift (please hand deliver cash donations to the office during normal business hours). Don’t forget…gifts of stocks, bonds, mutual funds, real estate, insurance, estate plans, etc. are also encouraged. You’re gift, combined with many other generous donations, significantly increases local grantmaking!

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Contact Us

Shelly Jones

Development Director