5th Annual Hearts of Hope Benefit Concert "Imagine the Possibilities" Delivers BIG Smiles!

Verona, NY The Vernon-Verona-Sherrill High School Entertainment Industry Class created BIG smiles at the 5th annual Hearts of Hope Benefit Concert!

The show opened with a new Fashion Show, highlighting designs of repurposed t-shirts that were raffled off in a silent auction later in the evening.  Next came the music and magic, as the students took the audience on a magical adventure with Ironside the Dragon Infinion!  Wonderful performances of original songs the student wrote to bring hope to our KEYS kids, along with the amazing and beautiful, staging and lighting...all created by the students... made the show truly magical!

The annual Norman J. Reed Legacy Award was presenting to Mr. James Burton, beloved Math teacher and coach at VVS.  A beautiful video highlighted his impact in the VVS community, the lives he changed and the many, many children he inspired as Director of the Madison County Children's Camp. Congratulations to Mr. Burton from all of us at the KEYS Program!

Our wonderful partners, SubCat Studios, provided the sound for the event, and Peter Rashford, from Midair Studios, provided the KEYS Program's live-stream video that was broadcast to KEYS kids across the country!

Here is some of the feedback from the concert...

Little Chad's Mom... Sorry we missed being at the show this year! Little Chad came down with strep last night. But we watched it (on the live-stream) from home!! What an amazing show!

Ethan's Mom...The concert was great. Thanks for inviting us to be apart of the fun!

Evan's Mom...This week, the VVS entertainment in Industry class hosted their “Hearts of Hope” concert in conjunction with the KEYS program. Although this concert was a fundraiser for children with childhood illnesses, to us, it was so much more. Ever-accepting of Ev, this program has allowed him, for 2 years, to be a part of this…something we never would have imagined could be possible. To the VVS EI class and the KEYS Program…THANK YOU….you have given our Ev more than you can ever imagine…..you are a phenomenal example of the beauty and goodness in this world, and what the power of believing in someone can do.

Thank you to the Entertainment Industry students for sharing your creativity and hearts to bring hope and smiles to our KEYS kids! Thank you to the VVS Entertainment Industry teachers, Mrs. Eileen Hubbard and Mrs. Donna Schonewetter, along with all of VVS staff who had a hand in making this production possible! THANK YOU to the VVS FFA for providing the delicious dinner before the show! And thank you to all of the sponsors, donors and people who came to the concert for your support and help in delivering SMILES to our KEYS kids!

5th Annual Hearts of Hope Benefit Concert May 15th!

The VVS Entertainment Industries Class, along with the KEYS Program invite you to join us for the 5th annual Hearts of Hope Benefit Concert at VVS High School in Verona, NY on Friday, May15th, 2015 at 7pm! This year’s concert will feature performers from VVS and once again present the Norman J Reed Legacy Award recognizing an individual who makes meaningful contributions in the VVS community. Proceeds from the concert help with the costs of the production of the CD.  Last year, the VVS EI Class donated 100 CDs to the KEYS Program to bring hope and smiles to teens in children's hospitals locally and across the country. 

Tickets are available in advance or at the door. Contact the VVS Entertainment Industries Class at (315) 761-7966 for ticket info!

The concert will be live-streamed right here (see the video screen on the right hand side of this page) to our KEYS kids near and far! Tune in on Friday, May 15, 2015 at 7pm to enjoy this amazing night of smiles and HOPE!

#imaginethepossibilities #itsallaboutthesmiles

Smile Campaign Underway!

The KEYS Program is happy to announce it has officially launched its annual "Smile Campaign" with a goal of creating 7,000 smiles this year! Each donation of $20 enables us to provide assistance to one child battling cancer...so each $20 creates one Smile! For each 100 Smiles ($2,000) that is raised, KEYS will remove another box on the Smile-o-Meter to reveal the identity of the 2016 KEYS Kids Ambassador.

New for ALL Smile Donors this year...each and every person, group or business who makes a Smile Donation of $20 or more is invited to attend our Smile Experience and cheer on our KEYS kids as they make laps around the track! Each person gets to enjoy our amazing hospitality area with complimentary refreshments and great music too! It is a great opportunity to meet our KEYS families, see some BIG smiles in action and to show our KEYS families you support them too!

Extra Benefits for Donors of $500 or More...in addition to the special invitation to our Smile Experience, every donation of $500 or more gets your name/logo displayed on our Smile Experience race car, our website and in our care packages too!

How do I get involved in creating smiles you ask? It's simple! Just click on the DONATE button on this page to make an on-line donation or contact us for more info at 315-363-6446 or keysprogram@msn.com! #ItsAllAboutTheSmiles

 "Smile Experience" with Umphrey's McGee!

Members of the band Umphrey's McGee with Arthur and the KEYS family!

On February 20th, 2015, the KEYS Program partnered with the band Umphrey’s McGee and the Landmark Theatre in Syracuse to provide a special "Smile Experience" for one of our KEYS families who recently lost a child to cancer. The Smile Experience included a private Meet ’n Greet with the band during their sound check, followed by dinner and the concert. The band even provide VIP passes for Arthur to go backstage after the concert too!

“We are so thankful to Joel Cummins and the great guys in the band Umphrey’s McGee for working with us to provide this special respite experience for Arthur and his family,” said KEYS Founder Colleen Bennett. “Arthur plays guitar and loves music, so this was very special for him. The guys in the band made him feel so welcome and truly a part of the band. We can't thank them enough!"

The KEYS Program’s Smile Experience is a special respite program for families who have been impacted by cancer. The goal of the program is to provide families a break from the difficult challenges they face everyday so they can spend time doing something fun together as a family. Our philosophy is that cancer does not define a child so all thoughts and mention of illness stays outside the doors of all of our events. Every family who participates is just a wonderful, fun, loving family having an amazing smile experience together!

THANK YOU to Joel Cummins and the entire Umphrey's McGee band and crew for making Arthur feel so welcome! Special thanks to the Landmark Theatre in Syracuse for your hospitality, Charley Bielby for helping to coordinate this and to our awesome KEYS Smile Crew, Alex Finn, Mike and Leah Bennett, for helping to make it so special for Arthur and his family! #It's all about the smiles!

Paulie's Fight Fund

We are so thrilled to announce the creation of "Paulie's Fight Fund" at the KEYS Program in memory of one of the most amazing fighter's we know, Paulie Morley!

The fund will enable Paulie's family to begin to fulfill their dream of serving families impacted by pediatric cancer in Paulie's memory. The fund will provide financial assistance and sibling support programs.

Donations to Paulie's Fight Fund can be made on-line via our website donate button or mailed to the KEYS Program, 308 Sherrill Road, Suite 100, Sherrill, NY 13461.  Just note “Paulie’s Fight Fund” on your check or on the on-line form.

Because Paulie loved riding tractors with his Dad, we are putting together Paulie’s Tractor Show this Fall to benefit the fund. Stay tuned for the date & location coming soon!

"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better, it's not."  ~ Paulie's favorite quote from Dr. Seuss' The Lorax

 KEYS Selected a Crew Chief Charity by the Tony Stewart Foundation!

 The KEYS Program is happy to announce it has been selected as a Crew Chief Charity by the Tony Stewart Foundation! The 2014 Grant Accelerator award of $10,000 will help us to continue to expand our music outreach so we may bring smiles to 7,000 kids this year!

The KEYS Program has a dream of delivering its  music care packages to every child who is diagnosed with cancer by the year 2018 so that music can accompany each child from the time they are diagnosed and throughout every stage of their battle. 

Thanks to the support of the Tony Stewart Foundation, the KEYS Program is one smile closer to that dream!

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 reached our goal!

The KEYS Program delivered just over 6,000 SMILES to kids battling cancer and serious illnesses in 2014 thanks to YOU!  So...as we promised...when we reached our goal of 6,000 Smiles we would reveal our 2015 KEYS Kids Ambassador who was hiding behind our Smile-o-Meter!!

Drum roll please.... brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr....!! The KEYS Program's 2015 KEYS kids Ambassador is Owen Lee!

The KEYS Program's "Smile Experience" Delivers BIG Smiles to Kids Battling Cancer & Their Families!

The KEYS Program kicked-off its "Smile Experience" program with two event this summer --- one at the Syracuse Quarter Midget Club track at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse, NY on August 16th and the other at the Oswego County Quarter Midget Club track in Fulton, NY on September 20th! The weather was perfect for both events and the SMILES were abundant as kids who are battling cancer, their siblings and family enjoyed a special day at the track filled with music, fun, laughter, and lots of laps on the track in a real USAC Quarter Midget race car!  

The Smile Experience at the Syracuse track August 16th!

THANK YOU to everyone who has donated to our Smile Campaign and our generous sponsors...The Hartford, Walmart, Utica National Insurance, The Tony Stewart Foundation, PR Plus Small Engines, Green Flag Vinyl Graphics, Community Car Wash, The Jim & Juli Boeheim Foundation, Target, Stewart's Holiday Match, Office Depot & The Triad Foundation, ... who enable us to provide this event, and all of our outreach programs, for FREE to all of our KEYS families! 

The Smile Experience at the Fulton track August 16th!

A very special thanks to all of our KEYS Smile Crew volunteers, the race teams who provided autographs and displayed their cars, and everyone at the Syracuse Quarter Midget Club and Oswego County Quarter Midget Club who volunteered and provided such wonderful hospitality in conjunction with your Promotion Day, helping to make this special experience possible for our KEYS kids!

More Smile Experience events are already in the works for next summer so stay tuned to see if we will be coming to a track near you to deliver SMILES to our KEYS superheroes and their families! 

On October 16, 2014 our KEYS Kids Ambassador and dear friend, 15 year old Hope Inslee, earned her angel wings after a courageous battle with cancer. Hope served as the representative and voice for KEYS kids across the country since May of 2013. Despite a difficult battle with cancer, Hope always had a smile to share with everyone she met. Hope's strength, positive attitude and amazing smile were an inspiration to all of us and all who knew her!

Thank you to everyone who sent messages and SMILES to the "Smiles for Hope" page on facebook. Your love and support meant so much to her and her family. Thank you for all you do to help to ensure that Hope's smile will shine on in the hearts of our KEYS kids for years to come!

A special message from KEYS Founders Colleen & David Bennett ~

"Our beautiful cousin and superhero, Paulie Morley, went to heaven on July 17, 2014. 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!"