A native of Arizona, Shannon was born and raised in Tucson. She moved to the Valley of the Sun on 1987 to attend Arizona State University and fell in love with the Valley. She has have been blessed with a wonderful husband and three beautiful children ages 24, 22, and 14.
Working as a Realtor and networking with other Realtors has given Shannon the opportunity to get water safety information into the hands of many homeowners with backyard pools – a responsibility that she takes very seriously. In June of 2013, she was awarded the Spirit of the Community Award from the Southeast Valley Board of Realtors for her efforts in water safety.
Shannon’s path to the Drowning Prevention Coalition of Arizona does not come without heartache. On October 4, 2008, her 21-year-old nephew, Ryan Alan Thomas, tragically drowned during a visit to Saguaro Lake. Although Ryan was an above average swimmer, his life was lost only fifteen feet away from shore in relatively shallow waters. He was not wearing a life vest. In an effort to prevent other families from enduring the pain of losing someone in such a preventable accident, her family established the Ryan Thomas Foundation.
The Ryan Thomas Foundation is a 501c3 registered non-profit organization dedicated to supporting valley entities that promote drowning awareness and education. Since its inception, the foundation has been able to give back approximately $100,000 and 200 life vests to local non-profit organizations in their efforts to prevent drowning; largely in part to the annual golf tournament.
Shannon says it has been an honor to work with the Coalition in their efforts. She says she has been amazed at the dedication of its members, their knowledge, and their passion. Before Ryan passed away, he wrote a mission statement for one of his college classes. In the statement he wrote, “I just want to be a good person, good people are remembered”. Ryan’s foundation not only gives us the opportunity to educate other families, but it also allows us an opportunity to continue Ryan’s legacy and remember a truly beautiful life. Shannon’s family asks the public to remember Ryan by always wearing a life vest while boating, learning CPR, and providing the proper barriers at the home and around any other bodies of water. Three simple clicks of a life vest can save your life!