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12 years ago, today Chelsea King went for a run after school. She loved to run for the sheer love of running. She never returned from her run. The community came out to search for her. For five days over 4000 people, along with every branch of law enforcement, covered every square inch of the trails she ran. On the fifth day, her body was discovered in a shallow grave. She was brutally attacked and murdered at the hands of a known violent sexual predator.
At her public memorial, a plea was made to not allow this to happen to another child. The community was challenged to give their time, their energy, and their love to protect the joy and innocence that every child deserves. You responded. Collectively we have passed legislation that protects 17 million children across the Country from known Violent Sexual Predators. You responded by coming out to our annual “Finish Chelsea’s Run” 5k where all proceeds went to fund College scholarships. Over $1 million dollars were provided for amazing students through the “Sunflower Scholarship Fund”. You responded by volunteering your time and hearts. The team that made Finish Chelsea’s Run into the spectacular event that it was can never be thanked enough. The team that spent countless hours reading scholarship submissions to identify students that reflected the values Chelsea carried throughout her life are the best of the best. The team that crafted our legislation and strategy efforts brought incredible focus and drive to what most people thought was an un-winnable effort. The team that gave vision, direction and compassion serving on our Board will never be matched.
It is truly amazing what the power of an engaged community can accomplish. Today is the right day to announce that Chelsea’s Light Foundation has completed its mission and are in the process of winding up our operations. Thank you all for keeping Chelsea so close.