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Summer Newsletter 2015

#ItsAllAboutTheSmiles


"Miles of Smiles" Campaign Underway!

Exactly how many smiles are in a mile? We're on our way to finding out ... and we hope you'll join us in this endeavor! $20 donation = 1 Smile!  Each donation of $20 enables us to provide assistance to one child battling cancer...so each $20 creates one smile!  $50 donation = Smiles for a Whole Family!  Because cancer impacts the whole family, for just $50 you can provide smiles to a whole family who has a child battling cancer!

Research has shown that corporations who give to causes like the KEYS Program have greater brand loyalty! Consumers support businesses who give back to the families in their communities, and what better way than to give the gift of a smile! Contact our staff at 315-363-6446 for information how your business can help create smiles in your community!

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


Registration is Officially Open for the KEYS Program's Annual Golf Outing! 

Registration is open for the KEYS Programs's annual Michael Sowich Memorial Golf Outing! This year's event takes place Sunday, September 20th from Noon until 6pm at the Old Erie Golf Club, 3387 Foster Corners Road, Durhamville. Complimentary lunch and registration are from 12pm until 1pm followed by 18 holes of golf, shenanigans and Doc Bennett’s famous lemonade. A delicious steak dinner and awards will immediately follow golf around 5pm.

  • Registration is $320 per team if registered by Aug. 1st and $360 a team after Aug. 1st.
  • Event Sponsorship packages are available again this year for $500, which includes; your name prominently displayed on the Event Sponsor board, a full page advertisement in the golfer’s packet, a full hole sponsorship (tee & green), PLUS complimentary team registration for 4 players!
  • Associate Sponsorship packages are $250 and include a half page ad in our golfer’s packet, a Tee or Green Hole sponsorship, PLUS complimentary registration for 2 players.
  • Hole Sponsorships are available for $100 per tee/green or $200 for a full hole.

We have attached a sponsorship & team registration form here for you. This event is usually sold out early, so please be sure to get your registration with payment in as soon as possible to secure your spot.

Proceeds from the event benefit the KEYS Program’s music outreach program that provides music outreach and family respite programs for kids battling cancer, all at no cost to the families we serve, along with our annual Michael Sowich Memorial Scholarship.

We hope you can join us again this year! If you have any questions, please contact us at 315-363-6446 or email us at keysprogram@msn.com.  Thank you for all you do to help us honor Michael's memory while helping to deliver SMILES to kids battling cancer!


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

The Vernon-Verona-Sherrill High School Entertainment Industry Class created BIG smiles at the 5th annual Hearts of Hope Benefit Concert on May 15th!  Click on our Hearts of Hope page for highlights from this special event!


 "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!"