PUBLISHED: 11/27/13 02:20 PM EST

UPDATED: 05/19/16 09:25 PM EDT


When Mark King puts his fingers to the keys, he does it with a purpose
For weeks, he’s been working on the music for an event that has his heart. The young woman who inspired it  lived next door, the family’s long time babysitter.

“Christine was like a daughter to us,” said King. Christine was Pam and Tim Wilson’s child. When she left this world, she was just 19.

It was 2003.  A house fire near the Ohio State University campus took five young lives, including hers. “Even to talk about it today, ten-and-a-half years later, it's had a profound impact on us,” said King.In the months after her passing, Mark felt he had to do something for his friends. He wanted to capture the sadness of what happened, but also, the joy that was Christine’s life.

King is an accomplished pianist and made a CD, with music from her favorite time of year, Christmas. People responded. “So, I started thinking maybe I should do this as a concert,” said King. The first “Christine’s Christmas” was in 2004. Now, every year, Mark takes songs you know and works on their arrangements. It’s all to bring out the right emotion. Then, other musicians and vocalists join him for a special evening.

“It's really reflective of the beauty of life -- the sanctity of life and the bond that all of us on some level share,” said King. “It's a tremendous gift to us, our friends and relatives and the community,” said Tim Wilson. “It brings such joy to us...because it is wonderful to know we're helping in her memory and in her name,” added Pam Wilson.

Christine wanted to be a teacher and loved children. It’s why money raised from Christine’s Christmas goes to help kids – specifically children at the Christine Wilson Burn Center at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. 

Mark says Christine still inspires him every day in a big way and every year on the second Saturday of December.

Christine’s Christmas is December 14th at the Capitol Theater at the Vern Riffe Center.  Tickets are $25 for students, 75 for adults.

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