Christine Wilson’s Story

In the early morning hours of Palm Sunday April 13, 2003, an arsonist set fire to a house in the University District of Columbus, OH, taking the life of 19-year-old Ohio University student Christine Wilson and four others. Christine was a kind and compassionate young woman who cared deeply for children and hoped to work with them in her career path, teaching and improving their lives. Although Christine has passed, her dreams and legacy continue to make an impact in the community through Christine’s Christmas, a holiday concert established by a neighbor and close family friend Dr. Mark King. For over 13 years, Christine’s Christmas raised money to support local children’s charities. In 2010 after supporting Nationwide Children’s Hospital for two years, the Board of Christine’s Christmas committed to raising $500,000 in seven years for the naming rights of the hospital’s burn center. The Christine Wilson Burn Center is now reality and the money was raised in only five years. In 2016, Christine’s dream of impacting the lives of children and Dr. King’s vision to do so through music, entered into a new phase where the concert will benefit Make-A-Wish Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana and support local wish granting in Central Ohio.

Christine’s Legacy
Within a short period of time, plans were set in motion for a memorial 5K Run/ Walk to honor Christine. Not long after, a few of Christine’s neighbors and the Wilson family decided to form a charitable, non profit 501 C 3 foundation in Christine’s memory. They wanted to turn the tragedy into something positive for the community – and they wanted to do it in Christine’s name.

With that, The Christine Wilson Foundation was born. The founding four Trustees included two neighbors and friends of Christine (Dr. Mark King and Dean Knisley), along with Christine’s sister (Elizabeth Wilson) and her father (Tim Wilson). Christine always wanted to make a difference in the lives of others, and through this foundation, she is able to do just that.

The Christine Wilson Foundation has supported several local causes over the years, including The Burn Unit at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, the Childhood League of Columbus, Miracle League, Willow Ridge Therapeutic Riding Stable, The Manger Store thru the Journey Church in Dublin, The Burn Unit at OSU Hospital, Christie’s Place, Bishop Watterson, St. Brendan School and Wexner’s Children’s Concert. In 2017, the Christine Wilson Teacher’s Work Room was dedicated at the new Childhood League Center in Columbus, Ohio.

The Burn Unit at Nationwide Children’s Hospital
One of the most longstanding beneficiaries of The Christine Wilson Foundation is The Burn Unit at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Nationwide Children’s Hospital’s Burn Program provides the highest level of care for thermally injured children and adolescents in Central Ohio. The Christine Wilson Foundation has donated more than $500,000 to the program over the last 13 years, impacting the lives of countless local children. In 2013, the Christine Wilson Burn Center was dedicated at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.