Family and friends honor woman's legacy with Lake Harriet walk, scholarships

May 29 will be the third anniversary of Molly Malone Chottepanda's death.

Her friends and family are honoring her memory by helping young people follow in her footsteps.

"The month of May is always tough and probably always will be, but it's part of what we need to conjure up the memories of Molly," friend Kari Nelson said.

Chottepanda died suddenly from an irregular heartbeat just days after giving birth to her daughter Mara in 2014.

Every year since, dozens of her friends and family members get together to walk around one of her favorite lakes, Lake Harriet to remember her.

"It's another time to reflect on Molly's passing. It's tough, but we get through it with help from our friends and family," Chottepanda's husband Kushal said.

Molly's loved ones also created a foundation to keep her memory alive.

This is the second year it has donated $5,000 scholarships to girls graduating from the physician's assistant's alma mater, Southwest High School, who plan to study subjects close to her heart like science, technology, engineering and math.

"We feel honored to be doing this in Molly's name. We are channeling her through the entire process. We've gotten some great applicants. The ones who receive the scholarships, they are a lot like Molly was," Nelson said.

And in doing so, Molly's loved ones are helping us all take a step towards a brighter future.

"It's just so bittersweet because Molly isn't here with us. But we are so fortunate to have the community Molly loved and that loved her back to support molly and her family," friend Kelly Henry said.

So far, the foundation has raised about $50,000 and given out a total of seven scholarships in Molly's name.