Cheslie Kryst's family released a new statement Wednesday on the eve of what would have been the former Miss USA's 31st birthday.
"On April 28, Cheslie would have turned 31 years old," Kryst's parents, April and David Simpkins, said. "As that date approaches, we are already experiencing a remarkable outpouring of love and support for our Cheslie, for which we are tremendously grateful."
"Many have asked how best to honor Cheslie's memory on her birthday," they continued. "This is an individual decision, and we would not presume to decide how any fan, friend, or former colleague should remember Cheslie or memorialize her on her upcoming birthday."
That said, the Simpkins reminded fans of two points. The first being that there are only four "approved organizations" set up to receive charitable donations in Kryst's honor. These include:
- Dress For Success – The Cheslie Kryst Women's Advancement Fund.
- Wake Forest University School of Law – The Cheslie C. Kryst Social Justice Scholarship
- University of South Carolina – The Cheslie C. Kryst Scholarship Fund
- The Dean's List – The Cheslie C. Kryst Woman In Media Award
The other point was a reminder that "no one should seek to profit from the use of Cheslie's name, likeness, image, or memory without prior authorization from her estate."
"Seeking to profit improperly from our daughter's memory is not only not authorized and thus unlawful, but it could also undermine her estate's current and future charitable goals, initiatives, and activities," the Simpkins explained.
All that aside, Kryst's parents announced a public vigil and balloon release to mark her 31st birthday, asking for fans to "come and celebrate with us." The event is being held Thursday from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. ET at Fort Mill High School's football stadium in Fort Mill, South Carolina.
Kryst, who was a licensed attorney as well as an "Extra" correspondent in addition to her beauty pageant career, died by suicide on Jan. 30. In the days following her tragic death, Kryst's parents opened up about their daughter's battle with depression.
If you are in crisis or know someone in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741. You can reach Trans Lifeline at 877-565-8860 (U.S.) or 877-330-6366 (Canada) and The Trevor Project at 866-488-7386.