Duncan Keith enjoys “mud” tea time with Aleigha Chaffey (pouring) and Ciara Jones during a visit to the OSNS Child and Youth Development Centre in June. Through his charity Keith has entered into a three-year partnership to help the centre and its families.                                Mark Brett/Western News

Duncan Keith enjoys “mud” tea time with Aleigha Chaffey (pouring) and Ciara Jones during a visit to the OSNS Child and Youth Development Centre in June. Through his charity Keith has entered into a three-year partnership to help the centre and its families. Mark Brett/Western News

Keith charity to help OSNS families

NHLer Duncan Keith’s charity to help child and youth development centre

Although the NHL season is still nearly two months away, local hometown hockey hero Duncan Keith has scored big time with the OSNS Child and Youth Development Centre and the families it supports.

It was announced Thursday that the Chicago Black Hawks all star defenceman, through his Keith Relief charity and Chicago Black Hawks Charities, has entered into a three-year funding agreement with the centre.

Keith will be at OSNS next Thursday at the groundbreaking for the purpose-built, resilient-surface Play Court, the first of several planned projects he has committed to.

The donation will come in two facets, each year will see dedicated funds going to families in financial crisis in the care of their children and annually there will be the start of an outdoor project to enhance the facility to maximize support for kids.

The spring of 2018 will see the beginning of the Duncan Keith Adventure Playground on the upper portion of the centre grounds.

Developed with OSNS physiotherapists, the playground will provide exciting new elements to help build the strength, co-ordination and muscle tone of its youthful benefactors.

“From my perspective as board chair, obviously we’re thrilled that Duncan has taken a serious interest in what we do and the fact we are dealing with families in need,” said OSNS board chairman Shannon Simpson. “We’re thrilled he’s taken such an interest in what we’re doing and the amount of children that we see every year. Obviously this is his way of giving back in his home town.

“Part of the donation is to help those families in crisis who for whatever reason or for whatever life circumstances need that help and for that, the Keith Relief fund is absolutely critical.”

Keith first became interested in the centre’s work at the Wildstone Group of Companies Colours4Kids Run in support of the centre last June.

Read More: Record attendance

Keith was asked by his good friend Mark Melissen, president of Wildstone, if he would participate in the event and he showed up to sign autographs and donated raffle items.

He then made a couple of visits to the centre to see first hand the work being done there.

“I’m not too familiar with developmental problems like autism, so just to see what they go through on a day-to-day basis, their struggles and the help they get there was very important,” said Keith after his first trip to the centre. “It’s all about the kids, getting the help and support they need to develop and succeed.”

Manisha Willms, OSNS executive director, recalled his strong interest during those initial visits.

“He was very at home with the kids, he just sat right down and had a mud tea party and enjoyed being around the kids and hanging out,” said Willms Thursday. “Duncan was a very engaged visitor and wanted to know more and about the value of paediatric care and quality programming. It was very special to have that energy in our centre.

“For me as a therapist having the right play space and the right therapy is so very important. It’s not just a playground, at OSNS part of our responsibility is support kids in things that are hard for them without them knowing it, this donation will help us do just that.”

The groundbreaking is planned for 11 a.m.

Just Posted

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Fruit farmers in the Okanagan and Creston valleys are in desperate need of cherry harvesters amid COVID-19 work shortages. (Photo: Unsplash/Abigail Miller)
‘Desperate’ need for workers at Okanagan cherry farms

Fruit farmers are worried they’ll have to abandon crops due to COVID-19 work shortages

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Over 5K jabbed at Interior Health mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics

The clinics have made stops in more than 40 communities since launching last week

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interior Health COVID-19 cases falling slower than the rest of B.C.

More than a third of provincial cases announced Thursday came from the Interior

The Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce will host the Valley Wide Business Expo May 4 at Predator Ridge Resort. (photo submitted)
Golf raffle helps Okanagan families score homes

Habitat for Humanity Okanagan swinging into action this summer with a new raffle

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed Eli Beauregard facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

Starting in 2022, the Columbia Shuswap Regional District is extending dog control to the entire Electoral Area D. (Stock photo)
Dog control bylaw passes in Shuswap area despite ‘threatening’ emails

CSRD board extending full dog control in Electoral Area D starting next year

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Most Read