The KEYS Program (NEW YORK) is a 501c3 children’s charity that delivers music, hope and smiles to kids battling cancer through music outreach, education and advocacy. Founded in 1993 by retired NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Official David Bennett and his wife Colleen, the KEYS Program provides bedside music, live concerts, music care packages and family respite programs for kids in children’s hospitals, camps and hospice care…all at no cost to the families they serve.
Where words fail music speaks.” Hans Christian Anderson. The KEYS Program experiences the power of music every day. Whether singing a silly echo song with a child undergoing chemotherapy treatments, dancing in the halls of the hospital with IV in one hand and tambourine in the other or playing a lullaby while a child is being rocked to sleep in their parent’s arms…KEYS is there delivering music, comfort, hope and smiles when words are just not enough.
During the summer of 2014, KEYS launched the Smile Experience, a new family respite program at KEYS that provides families a special day of family-fun activities and great music too! One of these Smile Experiencesinvolved granting the final wishes of a 15 year old girl who was at home in hospice care who wanted to see her favorite band one last time. She couldn’t leave home to see them in concert, so KEYS brought the band to her arranging for the band to perform a surprise live concert in her backyard. It was a joyous and memorable moment for her and her family and for just a few hours, she wasn’t a cancer patient, she was just an amazing, smiling, beautiful teenager dancing and enjoying her favorite music with her friends and family.
The KEYS Program records, produces and delivers music care packages to over 7,000 kids treated in children’s hospitals across the US each year. There are over 10,400 children between the ages of 0 and 15 who are diagnosed with cancer each 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!
How the Money Will Be Used
In 2016, the TSF Grant Accelerator Award was for $10,000.
In 2015, the TSF Grant Accelerator Award of $10,000 will be used to help expand our reach from 7,400 to 8,000 children diagnosed with cancer through the healing power of music at the bedside, in hospice or at a family respite day. KEYS it’s all about creating smiles and magic to children & families when they need it most!
In 2014, the TSF Grant Accelerator Award of $10,000 was used towards the Music Outreach Program (bringing smiles, hope and joy to children).