SAN DIEGO —
An annual walk at Liberty Station on Sunday brought hundreds of people together for a good cause, but a very important person was missing. Lori Kaye who was killed in the Chabad of Poway shooting in April was one of the Friendship Walk’s founders. This year’s event was dedicated to Lori and walkers paid tribute to their friend.
The yearly walk serves as a fundraiser for Friendship Circle - an organization dedicated to supporting children with special needs.
"He would come home and not have any friends, never have a playdate, nobody would call him up and lots of other kids with disabilities are in the same position,” said one parent. “So, we got together with a group of parents and said, ‘We need to do something.’ And we started the Friendship Circle.”
One of the organization’s founders was Lori, who was killed protecting others when a gunman opened fire at Chabad of Poway on April 27 of this year.
"She was right here in this place last year - at registration greeting everyone,” said Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein. “She’s still doing that and we're embodying the concept of doing random acts of kindness.”
Rabbi Goldstein was wounded in the shooting that killed Lori, but hosted the walk in her honor still wearing his cast.
“I lost a finger. God willing this finger will be okay, but I'm alive,” said Goldstein. “So now that I'm alive, what am I going to do with the time? I’m not going to be consumed by tragedy but rather grow from it.”
Organizers remembered Lori's legacy on the walk and her work with Friendship Circle.
"It’s a big loss for all of us not to have her here,” said friend Elisheva Green. “Lori was such a positive and enthusiastic person. Always would greet everyone with a smile. That's why she was in the lobby [the day of the shooting] to say hello to everybody.”
Friends maintained Lori will live on, not only on this day, but every day through random acts of kindness and togetherness.
“Today we're going to have that,” said Goldstein. “We’re going to have millions of footsteps accumulated together and Lori in heaven looks down with a huge smile.”