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.

 

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

Kelowna hockey seasons return in 6 weeks

The Kelowna Chiefs are the latest to release their upcoming schedule

WWII hero draws huge crowd in Kelowna

Around 1,000 people came out to hear the story of Marthe Cohn, the heroic Jewish French spy

$1.4 million Rowcliffe Park development in Kelowna complete

The first phase of the park was completed in 2017

Two Kelowna robbers have been court charged

Paul Davis Houle and Tyler Brice Rathbone face break and enter charges

Fire destroys storage unit business in Kelowna

The fire was reported at Hawkeye Holdings just after 2 p.m. Thursday

Feds lowered poverty line, reducing the number of seniors in need: documents

Liberals introduced a poverty line that was below the prior low-income cutoff

B.C. woman wins record $2.1 million on casino slot machine

‘That night was so surreal … I wasn’t able to sleep or eat for the first two days,’ she said

Arrest made in vandalism of the former home of man charged with South Okanagan murders

RCMP confirmed one person has been arrested in relation to the alleged vandalism

Respected wildlife artist in the Okanagan dies

According to a post by his family, Terry Isaac died on July 16

After B.C. dad’s death, Technical Safety BC wants changes to trampoline park rules

Jay Greenwood, 46, did ‘a series of acrobatic manoeuvres prior to a fall that caused serious injury and cardiac arrest’

Auto theft numbers decline in Princeton; thefts from vehicles on the increase

Policing statistics show changing trends in rural community

$900M settlement reached in class action on sexual misconduct in Canadian military

After facing criticism, the government moved to begin settlement proceedings in early 2018

Tax take stays ahead of increased B.C. government spending

Tax revenue $2.1 billion higher than budget in 2018-19

Two toddler siblings found drowned on First Nation in Alberta

The siblings were found drowned on their family’s property, according to RCMP

Most Read