Saturday, August 29, 2009

Harnisch matches gifts to Terry Harper Memorial Fund

INDIANAPOLIS -- Nashville newswoman-turned-philanthropist Ruth Ann Leach Harnisch is matching the $13,000 raised for the Terry Harper Memorial Fund, created in honor of SPJ's executive director who died of brain cancer earlier this year.

Some $8,000 was raised Thursday night at silent and live auctions held during the opening night reception at the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, and Terry's family also contributed $5,000.

Harnisch, a friend to many members of Middle Tennessee Pro Chapter, is matching that pool of money, SPJ officials announced tonight. Given that it started with $9,000, that brings the total amount of the fund to about $35,000.

Harper was also honored Saturday night by being posthumously given the Wells Memorial Key, the Society's highest honor. (Previous Wells Key winners include two journalists with Nashville ties, Frank Gibson and Reginald Stuart.) The award was presented to Terry's widow tonight at the presidential installation banquet on the last night of SPJ's national convention.

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