Granting Wishes is What Elisa Loved Most!
In 1980, ten year old Elisa Nelson was riding her bike to Palm Harbor Middle School when she was kidnapped and murdered. Elisa was adventurous, brave, and athletic but more than that, she was kind and generous. She would teach neighborhood kids to read. She would save up her money and donate it to the MDA Telethon. She loved animals. She loved being a Girl Scout, dancing, gymnastics, cheerleading and playing baseball. She loved to make her friends smile. One of her last essays from school was titled “if I had three wishes” wherein she describes, in detail, the horse she would wish for and closes it with “these would be my greatest wishes.” Her death deeply affected the entire community and when her killer was finally brought to justice in 2013, it enabled many of her friends and family to talk out loud about this terrible event. Recently, a memorial based upon Elisa’s personality and writings was dedicated in the Palm Harbor Middle School Library and many of Elisa’s former classmates expressed a desire to help raise money for Elisa’s Memorial Fund but wanted to do so on a larger scale. That is why, with the help of the Pinellas Education Foundation, we have established an “Elisa’s Greatest Wishes” charitable fund to carry on Elisa’s legacy and honor her life. Proceeds will go to buy books for school libraries, fund scholarships, Girl Scouts, youth athletics, help sick children, animal charities or anything else that was in Elisa’s nature to help.
We are excited to announce that on April 21st, 2018, Sabal Trust Company, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Department and Florida Hospitals North Pinellas will be hosting the 4th annual Palm Harbor Spring Fling 5k fundraiser at Wall Springs Park in Palm Harbor to honor the memory and wishes of 10 year old Elisa Nelson. In just over 3 years, we have raised nearly $400,000 for charities in Elisa’s name with over $70,000 coming from last year’s race alone and thanks to the Pinellas Education Foundation, 100% of the money received went to Elisa’s adopted charities. Last year we had over 500 participants and another 100 plus volunteers and spectators and word is spreading about Elisa’s race so we expect an even bigger turnout next year.
Register for the 2018 Race!
Cashmere-Saughnassie, age 7