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Keanan’s Family Walk raises funds for new AED unit in Beeton

April 6, 2023   ·   0 Comments

By Brian Lockhart

Around 170 enthusiastic participants turned out for Keanan’s Family Walk on Apr. 1 to help raise funds for good causes.

The walk was based at the Tottenham Community Centre, where everyone gathered before following a route through town.

Keanan’s Family Walk commemorates the life of Keanan Allin Boston – a Loretto boy who was 21 months old when he passed away in 2013. He would have turned 12 on Apr. 1. Keanan’s heart, liver, and kidneys were donated and saved three lives.

“Ever day we think of our boy. This walk helps us continue his legacy of helping his legacy of helping others,” explained Keanan’s father, Kevin.

The annual walk was started in 2013 but had to take a break and go virtual during the pandemic. This is the first year Kevin and his wife, Cheryl, have been able to host the walk as a full event since the end of the pandemic.

The walk helped fundraise to install a new accessible AED unit at the Beeton community park.

“This is the first time back with everybody,” Kevin explained. “It was nice to see so many people. We really didn’t know what to expect, but the gymnasium was full when we started. We started in 2013, the year Keanan passed away. It started as a small family gathering up at Earle Rowe Park. We thought we should make if more of an official thing, and 2014 was the first official walk.”

Organizers support a different cause each year and have a dedicated mission.

“Each year we pick a different cause but we also remain with our three pillars,” Kevin explained. “Those are SickKids, the Alliston EarlyON Centre that supports families and young children, and we raise organ donor awareness. In 2019, the Alliston EarlyON Centre received the first outdoor defibrillator unit in New Tecumseth with funds raised from the event. This year we worked with Simcoe County Paramedics and said, lets pick another location in New Tec where there’s a priority for it. So that was our cause for this year.”

The AED unit placement at the park is a fitting location considering the park has a baseball diamond and pickleball courts, hosts the Beeton Fall Fair, and has a playground.

“This area is a real hub of activity,” Kevin said. “There’s a lot of potential risk. It’s a special unit that is heated, monitored with cameras, and if there is vandalism on there is an alarm that goes off. When the Paramedics were speaking about the outdoor units – vandalism rarely to never happens because people recognize this is a very important thing to have.”

Each AED costs around $2,000, including the unit and installation costs.

Kevin said the plan to install the new AED in Beeton should come to fruition in May.

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