Utica Comet's Mascot "Audie" Making a Visit to the Smile Experience!
The KEYS Program is excited to announce the Utica Comet's awesome and amazing mascot "Audie" will be making an appearance at the KEYS Program's Smile Experience family respite day August 28th!
Hailing from exoplanet HD 189733b, a deep blue gas planet 63 light years away from our planet Earth, Audie unexplainably appeared in Utica, New York, which he now calls his home. Audie can be found skipping, hopping and skating through The AUD at lightening speeds, patrolling the ice for unwanted extraterrestrials and building spaceships out of broken hockey sticks. Audie’s home planet reaches daily temperatures of 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, so he welcomes the cold winters of Utica, NY, and likes skating across the ice as often as possible.
In his spare time, Audie enjoys searching for his brothers and sisters at the Utica Zoo, messing with The AUD light system to create shooting stars, watching E.T., Buzz Lightyear and reruns of Elf, time traveling, stealing chicken riggies from Aqua Vino and surprising local Comets kids and fans at their birthday parties or events.
We are thrilled to have Audie join us to help deliver BIG smiles to our KEYS kids!
Come to the Car Show & Smile Experience!
The KEYS Program's 2016 Summer Smile Experience Family Respite Day will take place on August 28th from 12pm-3pm at the Oswego County Quarter Midget Track in Volney, NY!
The Quarter Midget Club has added a Car Show to this year's event so fans and friends in the community can enjoy a day of cool cars and great food while cheering on our KEYS kids as they take lap after lap of smiles! Our KEYS kids will be the judges for the car show selecting the cars they feel are the "Best in Show"!
Admission is FREE with cool cars, music and raffles for cool prizes on hand to benefit the KEYS Program.
The KEYS Program's Smile Experience is a special family respite day at the track for kids battling cancer, their siblings and parents.
The day is full of family-fun and smiles, with each child suiting up and taking laps in one of our special USAC Quarter Midgets on the track while their family and fellow KEYS families cheer them on in the stands! Live music, great food and lots of family fun round out the day! Best of all, our Smile Experience is a cancer-free zone where there is no mention of illness allowed so each family can have a day away from treatment, hospitals and worries to be the fun, silly and loving family they are!
We hope to see you at the track!
Summer Music Camp a HUGE Hit!
The KEYS Program hosted a special Summer Music Camp for both KEYS kids and the community! Held July 11th through 22nd at the First Presbyterian Church in Oneida, NY, kids ages infant to 11 years old enjoyed 2 fun-filled weeks of drumming, singing, dancing, ukulele and recording!
You can listen to recordings of the songs the kids created on the KEYS Program’s on-line Music Hub! Just lick on the Music Hub Icon to listen anytime!
Thank you to our awesome teachers, volunteers and donors who made all of these beautiful smiles possible! ♥
September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month!
September is national Childhood Cancer Awareness month and a time when we wear gold to support the superheroes who are fighting, celebrate with the survivors and to remember the superheroes who are now angels.
The KEYS Program helps to raise awareness by sharing stories of some of our amazing KEYS superheroes and working with you to host special events that will provide BIG smiles to KEYS kids in your area!
Here are some ways you can get involved in raising awareness and funds to support children battling cancer this Fall...
- Donate a Smile! ~ Every $20 donation we receive enables us to deliver a smile to a child battling cancer. Donate one smile or as many as you'd like! For every 100 smile donations receive, we remove another "smile block" from our Smile-o-Meter to reveal our 2017 KEYS Kids Ambassador!
- Host a "Miles of Smiles Track Walk" at your school or race track this Fall! ~ Pick a date this Fall and walk a mile on your local race track or school track to create a "mile of smiles"! Charge a fee per person or simply collect donations from friends and family who support your efforts to deliver smiles to kids battling cancer. Be sure to invite and honor some of the families in your area who have been impacted by pediatric cancer.
- Share a Smile! ~ Spread the word about the KEYS Program and all it does to deliver BIG smiles to kids battling cancer.
For information on how you can get involved, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 315-363-6446!
The awesome Women of Upstate NY Magazine is hosting their annual Wine Tour on Sunday, Sept. 18th and this year’s event will benefit the KEYS Program! Space is limited so be sure to order your tickets TODAY! Tickets are available by calling 315-632-1549.
CNY Kids Expo Raises $1208 for both KEYS & Make a Wish!
A BIG thank you to Sarah Arnold (left), Courtney Henson (right) and everyone at CNY Show Promoters for all they did to make this year’s CNY Kids Expo a great success!
Sarah and Courtney visited the KEYS office to present KEYS Executive Director/Founder Colleen Bennett with a check for $1,208.51 to the KEYS Program from proceeds from this year’s event. They presented a check for the same amount to one of our favorite charities, Make a Wish of CNY too!
Thank you to all who attended the CNY Kids Expo to help create BIG smiles!
Utica Comet's Player #11 John Negrin Creates BIG Smiles!
It was the Wednesday before playoffs, and although most players were heading to lunch and preparing for the upcoming games, John Negrin was heading to Boonville, NY to sing to his newest friend, KEYS Kids Ambassador Owen.
The KEYS Program and the Tony Stewart Foundation "Accelerating Change" Together!
The KEYS Program is able to create smiles like these all year long thanks to a grant from the Tony Stewart Foundation! Their continued support enables us to provide bedside music, care packages and family respite days to thousands of kids each year who are battling cancer and serious illnesses...all at no cost to the families we serve.
In the past 12 years, the Tony Stewart Foundation has generously awarded $6.5 million in grants to outstanding children, animal and driver charities, truly “accelerating change” in the lives of so many. Thanks to the support of the Tony Stewart Foundation, we are able to bring joy, healing and BIG smiles to our KEYS kids all year long! ♥
For more information about the good works of the Tony Stewart Foundation, visit their website at www.tonystewartfoundation.org or swing by their Facebook page and let them know how awesome they are! We are so proud to work together to accelerate change!
The KEYS Program is excited to announce it has been selected one of six charities to receive a grant from the Save of the Day Foundation! The grant will enable the KEYS Program to assist children facing life-threatening illnesses with music therapy to brighten their spirits.
A check was presented to all of the grant recipients at the Utica Comets game on Friday, April 1 at the Utica Memorial Auditorium.
The Comets “Save of the Day” Foundation is committed to promoting the needs of youth throughout the Mohawk Valley and offer contributions to other 501C3 organizations that have been authorized by the board of directors to support. The Foundation is committed to raising funds annually through special events, and direct fundraising activities to benefit the Mohawk Valley. Throughout the past decade the Rob Esche “Save of the Day” Foundation has donated over a million dollars for children facing life-threatening illnesses and their families as well as 501c3 organizations supporting education, health and wellness, and fitness in the Mohawk Valley. The save of the Day Foundation is proud to partner with the Utica Comets to further raise money for those in need through various efforts that have become common within professional hockey.
"Paulie's Super Siblings" Program
Our beautiful cousin and superhero, Paulie Morley, went to heaven on July 17, 2014 just a few months before his 3rd birthday. We are so very humbled and grateful for all of the love, prayers, support and SMILES sent to Paulie, his Mom, Dad and sister Haiden, and our entire family throughout Paulie's journey. Thank you for sharing your hearts to ensure Paulie left this world surrounded by the LOVE and SMILES he so freely and generously gave to others! ~Colleen & David Bennett-KEYS Founders ♥
In honor of Paulie, the KEYS Program has partnered with Paulie's parents to create Paulie's Super Siblings program at KEYS! This special program provides support to the behind-the-scenes superheroes, siblings of kids battling cancer. Paulie's mother Angela is the Program Director and Founder of this new program at KEYS.
Because Paulie loved tractors, each fall we host "Paulie's Tractor Show at Granger's Farm" in memory of Paulie. This special event is family fun day of tractor rides, pumpkins, petting zoo and more! In 2016, we will host a tractor contest with tractors on display for judging too!
For more information, click on the Paulie's Super Siblings tab on our website or contact Program Director, Angela Schuyler @ email@example.com or 315-363-6446.