In Times of Need: West Scranton Class of '86 seeks donations to honor late friend

Jul. 20—Who: The late Steven Wesley Harris was known as an incredibly gifted artist, actor, dancer, singer and friend. A 1986 graduate of West Scranton High School, Harris was a "Renaissance man who befriended all and always rooted for the underdog," said friend and classmate Wendy Wilson. "He never judged anyone and embraced and even nurtured everyone's uniqueness."

Teachers and administrators would often remark that the class blended without any siloed cliques, which Wilson attributes to Harris. He brought the classmates together in numerous ways, such as introducing them to "The Rocky Horror Picture Show," or turning his garage into a haunted house for the community.

Harris also led the high school's Spirit Club when its football team made it to the state championship. ("And maybe leading the charge to tear down the rival team's goal post," Wilson said.)

"He was the epitome of a motivated social director for an entire high school, neighborhood (and) city," she added. "His sense of humor and joy for life is what we always remember about Steven."

What: Last week, Steven died unexpectedly in Los Angeles, where he had been living since graduation. Classmates and friends of Harris have organized a GoFundMe fundraiser to help with funeral and memorial costs.

Why: Harris's mother would like to bury him under his favorite oak tree on his family's rural Alabama property, which Harris loved. He often spent time there, clearing it and tending to the property in the hopes of someday creating/building an artists' colony or retreat, Wilson said.

How: Harris's classmates hope to raise $2,500 to cover the costs. People can donate to "Steven Wesley Harris Memorial" GoFundMe page,

In her own words: "With an eternal twinkle in his eye, he danced to the beat of a different drum and we joyfully reveled in his rhythms," Wilson said. "Because he gave so much to us, we want to give back to him. The world is dimmer without Steven, but in all that he came across in his too-short lifetime, his love and light will shine on."

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