This coming September will be twenty years since David Nathan “Gypsy” Chain lost his life while trying to prevent illegal logging in an Earth First! Action near Grizzly Creek in the Van Duzen River watershed. To mark this anniversary and remember an idealistic young man, we have established the David Nathan “Gypsy” Chain Memorial Scholarship. Administered by the Humboldt Area Foundation, this fund will provide an annual scholarship of $1,000 for a local high school student or first year student at Humboldt State University or College of the Redwoods who has demonstrated commitment to issues of forest ecology through volunteer or academic projects.
In addition to assisting students, establishing this scholarship will provide a focus for reflection on changes in our community over the past twenty years. What have we learned since the painful controversies over and in the forest in the 1990s? How have we grown as individuals and as a community? For those of us who knew Gypsy or knew of him, how did his death influence the course of our lives?
We envision memorial events on the HSU campus on Sunday, September 16 and Monday, September 17, including performances, lectures, and art displays. Members of Gypsy’s family will travel here to attend. Gypsy’s mother, Cindy Allsbrooks, will serve on the annual scholarship selection committee; we hope the task will bring her comfort. If you would like to serve on our creative team and help produce the memorial events in September, please contact either of us directly. We will appreciate assistance with all aspects of the project including designing and facilitating the events, gathering materials for a memorial website, and publicizing the memorial fund and events.
Also, we invite you to participate by making a donation to the Fund. Donations large and small will be appreciated. We have set an ambitious goal of $25,000, the minimum required for a Fund to continue into perpetuity. In addition to helping individual students, the annual announcements of the scholarship availability and recipients will continue to educate the public about an important era in Humboldt County history and the ongoing story of the preservation and restoration of the magnificent but fragile redwood ecosystem.
To make a donation online or by mail please see: http://www.hafoundation.org/GypsyChain
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