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small actions = BIG CHANGES

Michelle’s

Earth

  • Foundation

In memory of Michelle Gardner Quinn (1985-

Michelleʼs Earth Foundation: Small Actions = Big Changes

Check out new Michelleʼs Earth video youtube.com/results?search query=Michellesearth web.me.com/mesunola/Site/Michelles Earth Sunflowers in New Orleans.html

For Immediate release October 16,2008

Contact Ian Willson 703 861.3872 willsonir@gmail.com Gail Fendley 703.868.1833 gailfendley@gmail.com

On Friday, October 17, in Burlington, VT District Court Judge Michael Kupersmith sentenced Brian Rooney to a mandatory life term in prison with no chance for parole. A jury found Rooney guilty on May 22, 2008 of sexually assaulting, beating and strangling Michelle Gardner-Quinn to death after they met by chance in downtown Burlington, VT while she was a senior majoring in Environmental Studies. Her body was found near Huntington Gorge in Richmond, VT on Friday, October 13, 2006.

The only punishment under state law for aggravated murder is life in prison without chance of parole. Judge Michael Kupersmith wrote in recent court papers he intends to impose that sentence October 17 during a morning hearing in Vermont District Court in Burlington. A gag order prevents family members and those involved in the case from commenting.

Following Michelle's death, several of her close friends from her childhood home of Arlington,VA and her sister Yasmine Rassam formed the environmental organization Michelle's Earth Foundation in her memory. MEF mission is to facilitate the role of youth, especially girls and minorities who are vastly underrepresented in the sciences, in community-level efforts towards creating a healthy sustainable habitat for humans and nature.

During the past two years, committed environmentalists, friends and family have taken up Michelle's charge: "Small Actions = Big Changes." "Michelle's Earth Foundation was created as a tribute to Michelle's caring attributes—self-integrity, kindness, beauty (inner and outer) and compassion for all living things—qualities that we all in aspire to," says Board Member Gail Fendley. "MEF is the living embodiment of everything Michelle stood for. MEF both immortalizes her in our hearts and minds and pledges to accomplish her life's dream to be an environmentalist. Future generations and your

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