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‘Walk to the Water’ memorial in Sayville

Kristen Leigh Kessler died of Leukemia in 1992

Kristen Leigh Kessler died of Leukemia in 1992 at the age of 18. Since 2003 her sister, Karin, has organized a walk in her honor that goes from the Common Ground to the shoreline in Sayville to commemorate Kristen's love for the water. Credit: Photo by Handout

The ninth annual “Kristen’s Walk to the Water” will make its way through downtown Sayville Saturday.

The 3-mile walk has been held every May since 2003 in honor of Kristen Leigh Kessler, a Sayville teen who died in 1992 at the age of 18 after a battle with leukemia.

“We wanted to do something that would honor her and her memory,” said Karin Tellier, Kessler’s younger sister and the walk’s organizer.

Tellier said her sister loved the water, so the walk goes from the Common Ground at Rotary Park, between Gillette and Candee avenues, down to the shoreline and back.

Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. on the Common Ground. Donations are suggested, and all proceeds from the walk will go toward helping children with cancer. Tellier and her husband, Dave, started Candle in the Darkness Foundation Inc. to help families suffering the financial burdens of coping with cancer.

“We’ve helped kids get laptops for college, made payments toward Disney vacations, swing sets, college tuition,” she said. “Our goal is just to put a smile on their faces.”

Saturday’s walk kicks off at 9:30 a.m. For more information, call 631-589-4425.

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