After announcing the end of Finish Chelsea's Run last October, the parents of Chelsea King announced Sunday they have a new mission.
After Chelsea King, 17, was murdered while jogging in 2010, the Kings have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarship through the Chelsea's Light Foundation and events such as Finish Chelsea's Run.
Her parents, Brent and Kelly King, announced they would like to concentrate their efforts on promoting legislation designed to protect children.
There will no longer be a Finish Chelsea's Run but a mission called Protect the Joy.
"As beautiful as each of these events and accomplishments are, they come with a toll," the Kings wrote in a letter posted to the Chelsea's Light page on Facebook. "There is always a balance now in our lives that has pain on one side, and joy on the other. It never goes away. It’s the paradigm of loss. With this said, we are choosing to change the way Chelsea’s Light Foundation accomplishes its mission."
The King said they wanted to be a "voice for our nation's children" in state legislatures and in Congress.
It was the same statement they released in October when they announced the end of Finish Chelsea's Run.
Chelsea’s Light Foundation will continue its Sunflower Scholarship program which has awarded more than $650,000 to students who embody the "service over self" — traits that Chelsea lived by, her family has said.
The non-profit’s goal is to support youth and spread positive change in the community.
NBC 7 was the television media partner for the Finished Chelsea’s Run event. Our NBC 7 team participated in the run and was there in support of participants and Chelsea’s loved ones.
Chelsea was running in Rancho Bernardo Community Park when she was attacked and killed. The Poway High School senior’s body was found five days later in the Lake Hodges area.
On May 15, 2010, her killer was given a life sentence without the possibility of parole for Chelsea’s murder, as well as that of Escondido teenager Amber Dubois, 14, who vanished in a similar, disturbing case in February 2009.
The following year, the King family worked to pass Chelsea’s Law in California, which enhances criminal sentences for violent sexual offenders who commit crimes against children. Brent King continues to work with other states to enact similar laws.
The Kings want people who participated in Finish Chelsea's Run and Home Run for Chelsea to channel their support to the new organization.
"We humbly ask for your patience as we assemble the foundational blocks and embark on this new and necessary journey to 'Protect the Joy' of all children," they said in the statement.
For more information or to register your support, visit protectthejoy.org.