News Column

Benefit set Saturday in memory of Chelsea Schofield

July 23, 2014

By Allison Petty, Herald & Review, Decatur, Ill.

July 23--MONTICELLO -- A few days after 18-year-old Chelsea Schofield was killed in a vehicle accident May 6, her family began to look through her computer and phone.

Schofield was a burgeoning musician who sang and played guitar, upright bass and some mandolin. Among her possessions they found even more proof of her talent: songs she had written that spoke not only to her musical ability but to her unshakeable Christian faith.

"This will not be our last goodbye," she wrote.

It is with the same positive, hopeful spirit that family and friends seek to celebrate the life of a young woman they describe as outgoing and open-hearted. The event Saturday will include live music from New Legacy bluegrass band, of which Schofield was a part-time member, Rusty Nail Crossing and DJ Autostep, as well as a dessert bar and silent auction.

"It's celebrating Chelsea, but we also want to create an atmosphere that's fun, because Chelsea was best at having fun," said her close friend Michala Freeman, 18. "Basically, if Chelsea came, she would have a good time."

There is a suggested donation of $5. Money raised will benefit a scholarship fund to send children to local church camps, something about which Schofield was passionate.

The Monticello High School graduate worked a counselor at Camp CILCA near Springfield, where her parents Lee and Julie Schofield met years before. A freshman studying forestry at Parkland College, Schofield also worked as a waitress at Carmona's Cafe in Monticello.

"Chelsea did not know a stranger. Everyone who met her for the first time, it was like they'd known her forever," Lee Schofield said of his daughter.

Months before her death, Schofield saw the ocean for the first time when she traveled with Freeman for a two-week trip to the Oregon coast. The young women hiked in the mountains, explored downtown Portland and created an adventure every day.

Freeman said that's just how things were with her friend: "Everything was kind of an experience with Chelsea," she said. "She had this generosity about her that made everything a little bit more fun, and easier."|(217) 421-6986


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Source: Herald & Review (Decatur, IL)

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