Chelsea King and Chelsea’s Light Foundation Continue to Inspire
Chelsea King is close to the hearts of North County residents. Since her tragic death in 2010, Chelsea’s parents, Brent and Kelly King, have worked not just to honor her loss, but to celebrate her life. They fought to pass Chelsea’s Law, which has created harsher penalties and tighter restrictions on criminals who prey on children, and they continue to spread love in her name through the Chelsea’s Light Foundation.
The Foundation supports the Kings’ efforts to expand Chelsea’s Law to other states and awards academic and “joie de vivre” scholarships to students who embody the attributes Chelsea demonstrated so proudly.
A senior at Poway High, Chelsea had a reputation for stewardship. “She was a devout vegetarian and cared deeply about the impact we had on our planet,” explained Robin Liszewski, Executive Director of Chelsea’s Light Foundation. Chelsea’s Run is about celebrating that legacy.
The annual 5K, dubbed Finish Chelsea’s Run, is a tradition started by community members touched by the tragedy. On March 20th, 2010, 3,500 people gathered together to finish the run Chelsea started on February 25th at the Rancho Bernardo Community Park.
“The original grass-roots ‘Finish Chelsea’s Run’ was such a moving and healing experience for the community that Kelly and Brent King decided to make it an official, annual tradition in San Diego,” said Liszewski. The FCR, scheduled this year for Saturday, March 2nd, is now the main source of funds for the Foundation.
Last year, the run had 5,000 participants and raised $120,000, funding 11 Sunflower Scholarships. “Thanks to tremendous community support for the past two years,” stated Liszewski proudly, “we have surprised our recipients by doubling the amount of their expected award in addition to other surprises like new lap top computers.”
Organizers honor Chelsea by working to make the run a green event, asking participants to bring their own refillable water bottle and providing refilling stations along the course. FCR also includes many “Chelsea-esque elements,” as Liszewski described, including sunflowers and favorite quotes along the race course as well as a children’s book drive.
“In the spirit of friendly competition, awards will be presented (and bragging rights bestowed) to the largest corporate, school, community, law enforcement and military teams,” noted Liszewski.
To register for the run, look into sponsorship opportunities, or apply for a scholarship, visit www.chelseaslight.org.