Many of those who loved Shaina Herman worked together to plan the celebration of her life that will take place Saturday.
And that’s precisely the way she would have wanted it, said her brother, Jarred Herman, and her friend, Emily Norlund.
“So many of her friends have been involved,” Jarred said. “It’s been an incredibly collaborative endeavor.”
“People are pulling in their unique abilities … and putting in what they can,” Norlund added. “That’s what Shaina was all about — community and pooling efforts.”
Herman, 25, was killed in a single-vehicle accident Oct. 19 on Highway 20. Her memorial gathering will be from noon to 6 p.m. at the Stonehouse in Nevada City.
“People can come and go as they please, it will be a casual gathering open to everybody,” Jarred said.
Norlund stressed that the get-together is not a funeral. Instead, Saturday afternoon will be a time for sharing memories and being together to support each other, she said.
“I’ve been so impressed and in awe of how many people — I didn’t even know were her friends — everyone seems to have had this deep personal connection with (Shaina),” Jarred said, “It’s been very heartwarming to see that … It’s kind of blown my hair back a little bit.”
Norlund called Shaina a “powerful presence” whose constant good mood would affect everyone the minute she walked into a room.
“Shaina was there to give anything to anybody,” Norlund said.
“She was open arms to anybody who needed something, whether it was a ride or a blanket or a cup of coffee. Often they didn’t need to ask — she just saw and would do something about it.”
Shaina “definitely was not a judgmental person,” she continued.
“She loved everybody for who they were and she would be there for them no matter what.”
Shaina Herman’s deep love for her community helped her family conceive of the idea for a memorial fund that would benefit those in need here, her brother said. While the Shaina Marcelle Herman Memorial Fund still is in the very early stages of planning, Jarred said four initial issues have come to the forefront — awareness of drug and alcohol abuse, homelessness, underprivileged youth and animals.
“We’ve had such an amazing outpouring of support, with so many people wanting to help (that) I wanted a place for people to donate,” Jarred said, “We wanted this to have a Nevada County focus, and we’re looking for ways in which we can make an impact.”
The family plans to create a nonprofit organization and possibly host semiannual fundraisers to create awareness in the community, they said. Shaina “was involved in so many aspects (of the community), it’s been difficult to narrow down,” Norlund said.
“As her older bother, I always was trying to broaden Shaina’s horizons, maybe get her to move” to L.A., Jarred said. “But she always had such a deep connection to Nevada County — and now I totally understand why she wanted to stay.”
To contact City Editor Liz Kellar, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-477-4229.