- Associated Press - Friday, June 26, 2015

LAPORTE, Ind. (AP) - One of the most devastating events is losing a child, and even more devastating is losing a child to an accident that could have been prevented.

Dorothy Kesling is determined to help others so they will never share her nightmare.

Kesling, of LaPorte, will “never forget” the day she found out her 22-year-old daughter, Lindsey O’Brien Kesling, died of carbon monoxide poisoning in Scottsdale, Arizona, in 2010.

“She had her whole life ahead of her,” Kesling said.

“She was a beautiful person that loved and helped everybody. She was a kind, loving and passionate person that made others around her celebrate life.”

Dorothy Kesling now dedicates much of her time to the Lindsey O’Brien Kesling, or, LOK, Wishing Tree Foundation to bring awareness to the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning as well as encourage young artists to live their dreams.

On June 5, the foundation hosted its second annual Young Artist Expo, showcasing young artists with an art exhibit and special performances including one by South Shore Dance Alliance, of Griffith.

“I want to make sure Lindsey did not die in vain,” Kesling said. “If she was here, she’d be helping others and trying to make a difference. That’s what keeps me going and focused, because I feel like she’s with me.”

O’Brien Kesling was fond of the arts and also spent her days at the Boys & Girls Club in Bloomington encouraging area youth to pursue their dreams. The LOK Wishing Tree partnership collaborates with the Boys and Girls Club, South Shore Dance Alliance and Lubeznik Center for the Arts in Michigan City.

The concept came from O’Brien Kesling who experienced a Wishing Tree on a trip to England where people share wishes, prayers and offerings. The foundation chose the Wishing Tree and its concept to empower and fund the desires and wishes of young artists in the region through scholarships and grants.

“Art is a great escape,” said Allyson Wilcox, 18, a LaPorte artist.

“It’s a chance for me to clear my head and gather my feelings and thoughts and put them on paper. Sometimes I have an idea of what I want to create and other times, I just let it create itself naturally.”

South Shore Dance Alliance Executive Director Larry Brewer addressed the standing-room-only crowd before his dancers began their performance.

“All of these kids are my kids,” Brewer said.

“When they succeed, we all succeed. They are a gift to all of us, and the best thing we can do is to encourage them to experience greatness in their life.”


Source: The (Munster) Times, https://bit.ly/1J0QX7X


Information from: The Times, https://www.thetimesonline.com



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