On March 1, more than 8,000 San Diegans are expected to gather at Balboa Park for a morning of health, hope, and inspiration. The 4th annual Finish Chelsea’s Run 5K will enable the community to come together with one “voice” and share their commitment to creating positive change for children.

Finish Chelsea’s Run is thrilled to announce that this annual event will now be held in partnership with Girl Scouts San Diego, which has a long history of creating youth leaders. The two organizations share a common vision of recognizing and supporting young people who will make the world a better place. By combining forces, they anticipate growing the run/walk, leading to an even greater ability to protect children and provide scholarships for youth.

“Girl Scouts was one of the first places Chelsea learned that her voice mattered,” according to Kelly King, Chelsea’s mom and former Girl Scout leader. “This wonderful partnership embodies our shared focus: building kids of courage, confidence, and character who want to make a positive difference in their communities.”

In 2007, Girl Scouts San Diego inaugurated an annual New Day 5K as part of its Live Healthy, Lead Healthy initiative. “Transitioning from holding our own 5K to joining Finish Chelsea’s Run will allow our Girl Scout families to become familiar with the excellent work of Chelsea’s Light Foundation,” said Jo Dee C. Jacob, chief executive officer of Girl Scouts San Diego. “Our shared values make this a perfect partnership.”

This run/walk is the primary fundraiser for the Chelsea’s Light Foundation’s Sunflower Scholarship Fund, which provides scholarships to San Diego County college-bound teens who embrace characteristics that reflect Chelsea King’s thirst for knowledge, service-over-self-ethic, and indomitable spirit. In 2013, more than 6,000 participants ran and walked to help raise funds, which fueled over $70,000 in Sunflower Scholarships and the Foundation’s efforts to continue the expansion of Chelsea’s Law.

Centered around a scenic 5K race and fun run/walk, this environmentally friendly, “Chelsea-esque” event features a family festival, interactive displays and demonstrations, hands-on activities for all ages, fun team competition, entertainment, refreshments and more. Every participant receives a “tech” shirt. On-line registration is $35 for adults, $20 for youth (ages 6-18) and $10 for children five and under. Additional information and on-line registration are available at www.chelseaslight.org.

“More than anything, this event is about hope. Hope that as an engaged community we will make a difference. Hope that amazing teens will have the opportunity to pursue their college dreams. Hope that children throughout the nation will have the same protections we have in California as a result of Chelsea’s Law,” according to Brent King, Chelsea King’s father and co-founder of Chelsea’s Light Foundation.

In 2010, in the weeks following the passing of stand-out high school scholar and athlete Chelsea King, a handful of members of the San Diego running community were so affected by her loss that they asked some of their friends to meet one Saturday to finish the run Chelsea started on Feb. 25 in Rancho Bernardo Community Park. Chelsea’s life was cut short by a heinous act in the midst of her training run on that day in that park. Word quickly spread and on the morning of March 20, 2010 more than 3,500 community members joined together to run and walk in solidarity with – and in honor of – Chelsea, who they adopted as one of their own.

The original grass-roots “Finish Chelsea’s Run” was a moving and healing experience for the community. Kelly and Brent King have made it an official, annual tradition in San Diego hosted by the Chelsea’s Light Foundation, which they founded to help protect our children and make a positive difference.

Based in San Diego, Chelsea’s Light Foundation (www.chelseaslight.org) was created in 2010 by Kelly and Brent in honor of their daughter Chelsea King. The mission of the volunteer-driven organization is to unite and lead people who are passionate about protecting children and inspiring positive change in their communities. Chelsea’s Light Foundation is committed to taking Chelsea’s Law nationwide, awarding college scholarships to service-minded high school students, and “seeding” with leadership and financial support new and existing Peer Corps programs in San Diego high schools.

Founded in 1912, Girl Scouting provides the nation’s best leadership experience for girls. Through Girl Scouts, girls discover themselves, connect with others, and take action to make the world a better place. Girl Scouts San Diego (www.sdgirlscouts.org) provides activities for 43,000 local girl and adult members, trains volunteers, and maintains three camps and four program and service facilities.