Balloons are released following the official ribbon cutting for the Duncan Keith Adventure Playground at the OSNS Child and Youth Development Centre Wednesday. (Mark Brett - Western News)

Home is where the heart is for NHL player from the South Okanagan

Duncan Keith of the Chicago Black Hawks opens the second phase of his OSNS playground project

For a special group of children, falling down in the OSNS Child and Youth Development Centre playground doesn’t have to hurt as much any more.

That’s thanks to a generous $150,000 donation from Penticton’s NHL hockey great Duncan Keith of the Chicago Black Hawks.

Keith joined parents, kids and OSNS staff for the ribbon cutting at the grand opening for phase two of the Duncan Keith Adventure Playground outside Kinderplace Preschool.

Keith, through his charity Keith Relief and the Chicago Black Hawk Charities, which do a lot of work helping others in the Windy City, announced in the summer of 2017 they were partnering with OSNS over the next three years.

Keith has also committed funds to helping families in financial crisis throughout the year at the centre.

“We have helped a lot of families there (Chicago) but Penticton is my home town and obviously everybody here is near and dear to my heart,” said Keith at the opening. “I just feel grateful and fortunate and privileged to be in a position to help give back.

READ MORE: NHL’ers donation makes playspace possible at OSNS

“When I found out that they (OSNS) needed some help I thought it was just a great opportunity, so that’s been the biggest sense of joy for myself is just to see and know that it’s helping families and most importantly the children.”

The new playground, constructed mainly by the Wildstone Group of Companies, a long time supporter of the centre, and sponsor of the annual Colours4Kids run that generates thousands of dollars for OSNS, is a special design.

The artificial turf area is a surrounded by a soft rubber track and also features a swing set, climbing equipment and wooden accessories like a boat and table.

“Imagine you’re a three-year-old and you’re just learning to walk and it’s harder for you than it is for other kids, so you fall a lot,” said OSNS executive director Manisha Willms. “If you were a three-year-old and fell on a surface that was hard. How motivated would you be to stand up again and try it again with your physiotherapist? On a surface like this there is a big layer of foam under here; that comes at a price that we’re only able to [afford] because of donations.”

Added the centre’s Meg Dimma: “The even surface also makes it a better learning area for practicing activities that require balance and co-ordination. The children love to use the track around the playground to practice riding on their bikes. At OSNS disguising hard work with play is what our programs are all about.”

Wildstone president Mark Melissen and project manager Marcel Olsthoorn were at the official opening.

READ MORE: NHL’er Keith hoping to raise awareness

The centre also has an extra special place in Keith’s heart, his son Colton, who is now six, also attended OSNS, so over the past two years he has made many visits to the facility.

“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,” Willms said previously. “Duncan was a very engaged visitor and wanted to know more and about the value of pediatric care and quality programming. It was very special to have that energy in our centre.”

The first phase of the program was a playground on the centre’s lower level and the final next year will be the installation of costly and unique nature-inspired equipment.


 

@PentictonNews
newstips@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.


 MarkBrett
Send Mark Brett an email.
Like the Western News on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Duncan Keith of the Chicago Black Hawks signs autographs at the official opening of the Duncan Keith Adventure Playground Wednesday. (Mark Brett - Western News)

Chicago Black Hawks Duncan Keith of Penticton poses for a photo with his fans Oliver Barker (right) and Kayne Fontaine at the OSNS playground. (Mark Brett - Western News)

NHL’er Duncan Keith gives five-year-old Garrett Laverdure a push on the swing at the new Duncan Keith Adventure Playground at the OSNS Child and Youth Development Centre. (Mark Brett - Western News)

Just Posted

QUIZ: Are you ready for a summer road trip?

How much do you really know about roads, motor vehicles and car culture? Take this quiz to find out.

Summer arrives at Big White Ski Resort

Hiking, bike trails, restaurants and more are open as of July 10

COVID-19 cases identified in Kelowna, after public gatherings

Those who were downtown or at the waterfront from June 25 to July 6 maybe have been exposed to COVID-19.

Pianos return to Kelowna parks

The Pianos in Parks program was postponed amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Certain crimes increased in Peachland during pandemic

Theft from vehicles, vehicle incidents, and break and enters have increased during the pandemic

COVID-19: Homeless to be relocated from temporary Okanagan shelter

Homeless shelters in Vernon have been combined into one site at the curling rink since April

Dozens of fish die at popular lake near Chase

A few natural phenomena are possible causes for their deaths.

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

Bringing support to Indigenous students and communities, while fulfilling a dream

Mitacs is a nonprofit organization that operates research and training programs

RCMP ‘disappointed’ by talk that race a factor in quiet Rideau Hall arrest

Corey Hurren, who is from Manitoba, is facing 22 charges

NHL’s Canadian hubs offer little economic benefit, but morale boost is valuable: experts

Games are slated to start Aug. 1 with six Canadian teams qualifying for the 24-team resumption of play

Most Read