Chelsea King's Family Establishes Foundation

In a heartbreaking display of courage, the Kings took the stage, bonded in tragedy

By Michelle Wayland
|  Tuesday, Mar 16, 2010  |  Updated 6:07 AM PDT
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Masses Celebrate the Life of Chelsea King

In a heartbreaking display of courage, the Kings took the stage, bonded in tragedy.

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The grieving Poway family of Chelsea King announced Monday that they have established a non-profit organization aimed to help make communities safer.

"While the intent of the Chelsea’s Light Foundation is clear, based on recent comments made by the King family, the specific plan of action will be defined over the coming weeks and months," stated a news release issued Monday. "The Kings intend to work in concert with California Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher to develop a path forward beginning with California and subsequently the nation."

Chelsea King was found dead last month. Convicted sex offender John Gardner has been accused in the killing and is also under investigation in the death of Amber Dubois of Escondio, whose remains were located not long after Chelsea's body was found.

Included in the release was a statement from the Kings.

"We know that the path to healing will be long and unsteady because Chelsea’s absence leaves such a gaping hole in our hearts, our family and our community," said Kelly and Brent King. "We will reach past our grief and focus our rage to bring about changes that will make our communities safer. Establishing the Chelsea’s Light Foundation is our first positive step in that direction.  We invite global participation. As Chelsea loved to say, 'Go big or go home.' "

A memorial for the slain teenager was held Saturday at Poway High School. The event, which was estimated to be attended by more than 6,000 people, included eulogies by Chelsea's parents, her brother and other speakers.

"I could choose despair -- probably the easiest choice -- I could chose rage, of which I have enough of that in me to walk through the deepest parts of hell a thousand times, or I could choose hope," Brent King told the crowd. "Because of you, I chose hope.”

Brent promised those attending the memorial that he would channel his rage and commit to spending his life making society safe from what he called "the incurable evil."

"Known sexual predators are not curable," Brent said. "The way in which, as a community and a society, we have chosen to allow them to still live within our neighborhoods is incomprehensible. This issue is clear. It's not defined by race, gender, age, religion, political affiliation or income. It's about protecting our children from evil, pure evil."

Monday's announcement was also posted on the Chelsea's Light Facebook page, which currently is subscribed to by nearly 38,000 people. Updates about the foundation will be posted on that page, according to Sara Muller Fraunces, a volunteer family media liaison.

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