When news broke of Chelsea King’s disappearance, Bill Reh of Poway and his youth baseball teams joined the search. Later, when her body was discovered, his son Hunter approached him and told him he wanted to do more for the King family.
“We sat down and came up with the idea of running a baseball tournament,” Reh said. “It just really hit home because Hunter felt like he related to her because they’re from the same area.”
So began Home Run for Chelsea.
Baseball fields across the county, including Encinitas, will soon be filled with more than 1,300 children ready to make a home run in the memory of the slain teen.
Home Run for Chelsea—a fundraiser organized by AAU Baseball, San Diego Show Baseball, Southern California Little Leagues and Pony Baseball that will benefit the Chelsea’s Light Foundation, a foundation with the mission of protecting children—will feature 5- to 14-year-old children playing ball on 38 fields in San Diego County on Sunday.
“The most important thing we can teach our kids is what it means to be a steward of the community,” said founder and organizer of the tournament Reh, general manager of San Diego Show Baseball.
“We are able to touch and teach these kids who are inspired by the mission of Chelsea’s Light.”
and has grown by nearly 25 percent this year, encompassing more than 300 volunteers with the hope of raising nearly $40,000.
For Chelsea’s Light Executive Director Robin Liszewski, the tournament is an exciting example of how the community can support one another.
“This is monumental and shows kids it doesn’t take much to make a difference,” she said. “Their passion will have a trickle effect. This community is fired up and engaged and will make a difference.”
The event will also attract the attendance of Chelsea’s parents Brent and Kelly King. Brent said the sport has played an important role in their family.
“The game of baseball is near and dear to our family, for many reasons,” he said in a statement. “We hope these players will keep score in a different way and measure their success by the pure joy that comes from being part of the team and also a part of something even bigger than themselves.”
The Home Run for Chelsea event in Encinitas will take place Sunday at Park Dale Lane Elementary School, and it will be hosted by Encinitas National Little League. To learn more about the tournament or Chelsea’s Light, visit ChelseasLight.org.