Kelli Richmond’s dream is coming true.
Richmond, who died in May of 2012 at age 30 from ovarian cancer, wanted a place where women undergoing treatment for cancer could get free clothes.
“It’s happening this Saturday,” says Kelli’s father, Ron Richmond. “We’re opening Kelli’s Kloset.”
Richmond says the Haart Foundation donated the space at 4560 North Blvd. for the shop, which will be open three days a week — from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesdays and Fridays and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays.
Richmond and wife Patsy originally thought the shop would not open until later this year.
But, he said, the outpouring from the community has been overwhelming.
“So many people I talk to have someone in their family that they have lost. They understand what we’re trying to do,” says Richmond. “We got the space donated, and Keans the Cleaners is cleaning all the clothes that are being donated, and people are volunteering to work in the shop. Someone donated doing the graphics and another person is donating the printing. Kelli just leads me to people who are making her dream come true.”
Richmond said Kelli, his only child, wished for the shop after meeting another woman during their cancer treatments. Her fellow patient’s dressed was pinned to take up the slack.
“Kelli told her mother how lucky she was to be able to afford new clothes during her weight fluctuation,” Richmond says.
“She told her mother that when she got better she would start a place for all women cancer patients to go where they could get or trade clothes at no cost. She wanted to call it Kelli’s Kloset.”
Now her dream is becoming a reality, Richmond says.
“This is what keeps me going,” he adds.
He also says that the Kelli Leigh Richmond Ovarian Cancer Foundation is continuing to make its monthly birthday gifts to women with ovarian cancer.
Each month since October 2013 the foundation has given a $1,000 check to an ovarian cancer patient.