The Coast News Group
The second annual Live Like Kayla Charity Golf Tournament on Aug. 6 honors Kayla Castro, who died in 2016 at age 18 after a fall, and supports the nonprofit’s mission to fund scholarships. Courtesy photo
CommunityCommunityEscondidoRancho Santa Fe

Golf event held ‘to move Kayla’s loving spirit forward’

The second annual Live Like Kayla Charity Golf Tournament slated for Aug. 6 is expected to draw more than 75 players at the Santaluz Club in Rancho Santa Fe. While the day aims to raise funds for scholarships, it’s also a time to remember Makayla (Kayla) Castro, who succumbed to her severe injuries after a tragic fall at Echo Canyon on Camelback Mountain in 2016.

Kayla Castro was only 18.

According to Allison Castro, Kayla’s mother, the first golf tournament last year raised $40,000.

To date, Allison Castro said, the Live Like Kayla Foundation, headquartered in North County, has provided 24 scholarships and sponsorships to deserving young adults in San Diego.

Since the foundation was established two years ago, it has doled out $25,000. The scholarship money stays in San Diego County.

“The goal with the foundation is to move Kayla’s loving spirit forward,” Allison Castro said. “While the last two years have been extremely painful, we have chosen to turn our pain into purpose by helping others, the way Kayla did her entire life. There is no greater gift for us than to have the recipients of the Live Like Kayla scholarships move that giving spirit forward.”

The scholarships and sponsorships aim to benefit young adults and those who are underprivileged.

Allison Castro wants people to know that the Live Like Kayla Golf Tournament is more about Kayla than golf. It’s about reaching out and giving back.

“We want everyone at all skill levels to come out and focus on the fun of the day and embrace the idea that we can all come together to honor Kayla,” she said. “And in doing so, we can help so many deserving young adults in our communities and create a positive social change.”

Also coming together are roughly 30 of Kayla’s friends to take part in the day. One of those friends is Simone Aldern, who had known Castro since kindergarten. Both also graduated from San Pasqual High School in Escondido. Aldern went to UCSD and Kayla Castro attended the Grand Canyon University in Phoenix with a full academic scholarship. 

“I know this sounds kind of cliché, but Kayla really was the nicest, sweetest girl with the biggest heart,” Aldern said. “She never had anything bad to say about anyone. She would always lift up your spirit.”

Aldern said the foundation provides scholarships to kids who mirror similar characteristics that Kayla Castro embraced in her own life. She also said the Live Like Kayla Foundation is one of the best ways to honor her friend who passed away in 2016.

In addition to the golf tournament, guests can expect golfing contests, opportunity drawings, must-have silent auction items and catered dinner.

Aldern said the day is jam-packed with fun activities. 

Some event sponsors for the second annual Live Like Kayla Charity Golf Tournament include Adidas, TaylorMade, Cyndi Stetson and Tammra Crawford of Willis Allen in Rancho Santa Fe, Rudy Project/XX2i Sport Sunglasses & Sport Readers, MVP, The Pinery, One Home Loans, ANDBio, McKenzie Farms, Stealth Grid and Infiniti of Mission Viejo. 

Aldern said the Foundation has inadvertently helped her in the grieving process.

“Kayla’s death was so unexpected and very tragic, so it was a hard thing to process,” she said. “But this (foundation) helps me feel connected to Kayla.”

To learn more about the second annual Live Like Kayla Charity Golf Tournament, visit