The goal is the inspiration behind the inaugural Kali Shay Quinton Memorial 5K run, which will be at 9 a.m. Saturday, beginning and ending at Hiser Orthodontics in Cumming, where Quinton worked before the December crash that took her life.
Dobson’s mother, Linda Jordan, said the proceeds from the event will go into a fund to give scholarships to and help those less fortunate in the Jasper area, where Quinton’s family lives and she graduated from Pickens County High School.
“I think this is one of the best ways we can honor Kali, because she was always there to help everybody,” the mother said.
Quinton died Dec. 29 as she and her new husband Ryan Quinton were driving away from their wedding at the Wheeler House, an events facility on Gilmer Ferry Road in Ball Ground. The couple’s Pontiac Firebird overturned on Highway 5, rolling down an embankment.
Since the crash, Jordan said things have been hard for the family, but they’ve found comfort from the many people who have reached out in support.
“She just had a large following of friends, and I think she’s touched so many lives since her death, and we just continue to receive blessings each day,” she said. “It’s just been amazing how greatly we’ve been blessed with wonderful friends, just like Hiser.”
Bri Daniels, an executive assistant at the orthodontist’s office, said they wanted to find a way to preserve the memory Quinton left with her co-workers and family members.
“We miss her every day,” Daniels said. “But we’ve just come together and we’ve moved forward and think about all the happy times. Our patients loved her dearly and looked forward to coming in and seeing her. We talk about her and we reminisce about her with our patients all the time.”
Daniels agreed with Jordan’s sentiment that a 5K for charity purposes is perfect to keep Quinton’s memory alive.
“We want to give back to the community in a positive way,” she said. “That’s how Kali lived her life every day. We want to keep that memory. She always wanted to give back and help out.”
The fund has been named the Kali Shay Quinton Scholarship fund, but despite the name, Jordan said the family wants the money to benefit people in many ways, not just scholarships.
“Anything that we feel like is a need to help anybody, that’s what we want this money to go toward,” Jordan said. “It’s also a fund set up for people of the community, whether it’s a child that needs a pair of shoes or a coat.”
The fund was used to pay for a scholarship to a Pickens High School student last week, Jordan said.
If Quinton’s name can be used to help others, her mother said, it could possibly give her death some positive result and ease the pain it left.
“Just knowing some good has come from it, that’s the main thing, and that God is still blessing everybody,” she said. “It’d be so easy to give up and not go on, but that’s not what Kali would have wanted.”
Those wanting to participate in the run can register at www.active.com by searching Quinton’s name. The price before Saturday is $25 for adults and $20 for children. On the day of the event, the fees increase $5 for kids and adults.
On race day, registration is at 8 a.m. and the race begins at 9 a.m. Hiser Orthodontics is at 285 Elm St. in Cumming.
The family is also taking donations for the fund online at www.gofundme.com and at Renasant Bank locations.