RICHMOND -- Landrin Kelly's son was on the cusp of taking another leap in what promised to be a lifetime of achievements.

Instead, 18-year-old Terrance Kelly was shot and killed on a street in the Iron Triangle on the night of Aug. 12, 2004, days before he was set leave for college on a full-ride scholarship to the University of Oregon.

"Every day I think about that night," Landrin Kelly, 45, said. "I had just talked to him on the phone a few minutes before and reminded him to get home and pack."

The tragic death of the former De La Salle High School football star outraged the city, breathed new life into Richmond's anti-violence movement and spawned the Terrance Kelly Youth Foundation, which Landrin and Mary Kelly, Landrin's wife, established to provide after-school tutoring, mentoring, life skills and leadership training to local girls and boys.

Terrance Kelly.(DAN ROSENSTRAUCH/ CONTRA COSTA TIMES)
Terrance Kelly.(DAN ROSENSTRAUCH/ CONTRA COSTA TIMES)

To mark 10 years since Terrance's death, the foundation will host "TK Day" from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, July 26 at Nicholl Park, located at Macdonald Avenue and 33rd Street in Richmond. The event coincides with the runup to the Aug. 22 release for "When the Game Stands Tall," the film adaptation of former Contra Costa Times columnist Neil Hayes' 2003 book about coach Bob Ladouceur and De La Salle's record-breaking football program.

The movie addresses how players on the team were heartbroken when Terrance was gunned down in Richmond. Three weeks after his death, De La Salle lost a game for the first time since 1991.

"Some of Terrance's friends were destroyed by what happened, gave up and went to the street," Landrin Kelly said. "Some are dead, and some are in jail."


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But out of tragedy came hope. The foundation bearing his name has helped hundreds of kids over the years and hosts annual golf tournaments, community gatherings and other events to raise funds for its youth-oriented programs.

Richmond has changed as well. The 106,000-resident city, which had some of the highest violent crime rates in the nation at the time of Terrance's murder, has become considerably safer, thanks in part to community programs such as Kelly's foundation.

"People in Richmond are doing more today to stop the killing than in the past," Kelly said.

At the July 26 event, Kelly, who still coaches youth sports, hopes to raise funds for youth programs with a slate of activities, including live music, face painting, athletic drills for kids and spoken word performances. Kelly said his own drive to carry on comes from his fallen son, who he said is "looking down on me every day."

Kelly works to groom his 9-year-old grandson much the way he once taught Terrance to play sports in the hopes of getting into a good college.

"He wears Terrance's old number, looks just like him," Kelly said, his voice cracking.

The overriding message of the July 26 event is peace, which Kelly said is what his only son would have wanted.

De La Salle’s Terrance Kelly runs by Castro Valley’s Parker Bugosh in the second quarter.     (Sean Connelley/Staff File)
De La Salle's Terrance Kelly runs by Castro Valley's Parker Bugosh in the second quarter. (Sean Connelley/Staff File)

"I can still hear how he used to say 'never give up; play hard from whistle to whistle,'" Kelly said. "I always think of that whenever I've had doubts about whether I can go on."

Contact Robert Rogers at 510-262-2726. Follow him at Twitter.com/sfbaynewsrogers.

if you go
What: "TK Day: 10 Years Terrance Kelly Lives On"
When: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, July 26
Where: Nicholl Park, 33rd Street and Macdonald Avenue, Richmond
Why: To raise funds for the Terrrance Kelly Youth Foundation, named for the former local football star killed in 2004
How much: $5 for anyone older than 12
More information: Go to http://tkyf28.org or call 510-593-7408