Penticton’s hometown hockey hero will be packing some colourful heat at this Sunday’s annual Wildstone Colours4Kids Run.
Chicago Black Hawks defenseman Duncan Keith will be at LocoLanding armed with iridescent dust at the start line in the fundraiser for the OSNS Child and Youth Development Centre.
Keith will also be signing autographs and has donated items for a silent auction.
“Having Duncan with us is just fantastic,” said owner Diana Stirling of LocoLanding. “He does have a young son and this really shows his commitment to the community.”
While the Hawks did not go far in the playoffs, this season Keith who got his 500th career point, played in his 900th NHL game and was the fans’ choice as the Hawks best D-man.
This is the fourth Colours4Kids event which was started by Sinclaire Lovett in 2013, the year after her older sister Bronwyn died at age 18 from a mitochondrial disease.
Sinclaire is currently attending university in Victoria and helping out with organizing the run are the Wildstone Group of Companies, LocoLanding and others.
For Wildstone president Mark Melissen who participated in the last two events with his family, the run is important in it raiseing money for OSNS and honours of Bronwyn’s memory.
It was Melissen who approached his friend Keith about taking part.
“He was definitely on board, he’s a great sport,” said Melissen. “Dunc’s always willing to help out and he’s a generous supporter of local charities and events and he’s a great role model for youth and his work ethic is a large part of why he’s achieved so much in his career.
“OSNS is such a great organization and it is critical to so many families in the South Okanagan and Similkameen who depend on them.”
Also helping out again this year is the Princess Margaret Secondary School leadership program.
“This is a true community event, full of spirit and fun,” said Stirling. “I’m just looking forward to it being even bigger and raising even more funds for OSNS.
“I love seeing all those kids and families and the teams coming out and getting sprayed with colour.
“It’s just a fun, energetic event.”
Last year over 500 people attended the two-stage run (2.5K and 5K ) raising just over $10,500.
OSNS executive director Manisha Willms described the event as a circle of caring started by Sinclaire that is coming back to help other children facing challenges in their young lives, much like Bronwyn.
“It’s a such a wonderful event in that it’s so well aligned with the centre. It’s about families, it’s about children coming out having fun and it’s colourful time which is nice,” said Willms.
The $20 tickets include an event t-shirt, sunglasses and one colour pack.
The run begins at 10 a.m. and activities conclude at noon.