The First Annual Keane Foundation St. Patrick’s Day Bash in ATL is a Hit!

With over 100 people in attendance for this party/silent action/raffle/blow out, the Smith Household was rocking way past midnight last Saturday. Thanks to the many sponsors and volunteers who helped make this a great event. The numbers haven’t been totaled up yet, but we will bring in somewhere close to $10,000, which we will begin looking for good causes to support. Thanks again to our local businesses who are listed below (links to their websites are also given).  For pictures of the event, visit our Facebook site.

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Allegra (Formerly Printing Impressions)
Ambridge House
Art’s Bagels
Atlanta Falcons
Brookstone Country Club
Budweiser
Chili’s
Coke
CrossFit Allatoona
Day’s Chevrolet
Keegan’s Meeting House
Maggiano’s
Owen Security
Penn Reels
Pointe Photography
Signiture salon
TriMade Marketing
Tumblebus
US Army
White Rabit Cottage
YMCA of Greater Atlanta
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The Billy Keane Foundation is now….The Keane Foundation!

After the passing of Billy’s sister Karen in 2013 after a long battle with Breast Cancer, the foundation has been rebranded “The Keane Foundation” to honor both Billy and Karen, as well as their parents Tom and Joan, who were killed in an auto accident in 2003. The

Foundations mission has also increased to include helping families in the greater Atlanta/Greenville South Carolina areas too!

One of the unique things about The Keane Foundation is its commitment to keep the friends of Karen and Billy (that means you!) connected to one another and to support one another, through at least one annual fund raising event. In 2014, we will have our first “Southern” event in Atlanta (watch the website for updates).

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August 24th – What a nice day to celebrate Billy and Karen with Friends!

August 24th Gathering at Strathmere

August 24th Gathering at Strathmere

Thanks to all that made the trek to Strathmere on Saturday for a beach gathering of Keane Family friends. A nice turnout of roughly 100 people enjoyed the beautiful weather, catching up and re-telling the legend of Billy Keane, and also sharing stories of the strength of Karen Smith. It was great to reconnect with old friends and their families at a location both Karen and Billy loved.

Although the primary purpose of the event was to reconnect with friends, the event was also a reminder that the Billy Keane Foundation is open for business. After a short hiatus in light of Karen’s battle with cancer, we want everyone to know that the foundation is still committed to helping people in their time of need, and keeping the ties between Karen and Billy’s friends and family strong.

During the next few months, you will see updates as the foundation rebrands itself as “The Keane Foundation”, honoring both Billy and Karen. Before the end of the year, a 2014 fund raising event will be announced, along with updates on where the foundation has helped over the past 12 months.

Thanks to all who came on Saturday, and for the many of you who have supported the cause over the past 4 years. We’ve only just begun!

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Save the Date! Saturday June 16, 2012

3rd Annual Billy Keane Foundation Event

5k/1 mile family fun run/walk – Ridley Creek State Park, Area 17, Newtown Square, PA

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A message from Billy Keane’s sister:

On behalf of all of our Board, I wish you all many blessings in the coming year!  We all thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your support this year, and for giving us the opportunity to help so many people.

I was given the task of summarizing our many stories of giving to post on our website.  For the Billy Keane Foundation, we believe it is important that you see the good that is being done with your donations.  I find it interesting that we really don’t have to look very far to reach out to our community.  Every one of the families and individuals that we have helped are either “friends of friends” or family members of someone amongst all of you, our BKF donors.   This organization is really like one big family that is here to show love and support to each other when we need it.  I am honored to be a part of something so special!

When members of the Board are informed by our Gifting Committee that we have helped someone, we all feel this warm sense of fulfillment.  It is a truly amazing feeling!  There truly is more joy in giving, than in receiving!  I hope you all have this same feeling when you read this, Continue reading

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Lisa Forlini – The BKF supports your fight!

Two and a half years ago, Lisa Forlini drew strength from her family and friends during her battle with breast cancer.  Her husband, Jamie, and their three children, Meghan (a sophomore in college), Connor and Ian (both in high school), were beside her while she bravely fought and beat the terrible disease.  Lisa and Jamie returned to their lives of teaching and coaching swimming and diving for Maplewood Swim Club and Centennial Aquatic Club.  The young children that they coach learn from Lisa and Jamie about personal best and sportsmanship at every practice.  They have given so much to the community.

This summer, Lisa was having back pain and was struggling to walk.  After some testing in July, Lisa found that her breast cancer has returned and has metastasized to her bones.  X-rays showed that Lisa has a compressed fracture in her back along with six cracked vertebrae of the spine.   The cancer has made her bones very weak and easily broken.  Lisa will be enduring chemotherapy to treat this cancer.  She is a fighter and she has no intention of letting cancer win this battle!

Due to her injuries, Lisa is confined to the first floor of her home.  The Billy Keane Foundation has provided the Forlini Family with the funds necessary to remodel a powder room on their first floor into a fully functional bathroom for Lisa.  Not only will she will be able to use her handicap-accessible full bathroom with ease and comfort, but more importantly, without the risk of fracturing her very brittle bones.

Thank you for donating to the Billy Keane Foundation!  You have helped to make life a little easier and a great deal safer for Lisa!

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2011 Fundraiser – Night with Joe Conklin – HUGE SUCCESS!!!

Billy Keane Foundation

THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

On behalf of the Billy Keane Foundation, we would like to thank you for making our fund raising event, featuring Joe Conklin, a HUGE success!  We had an amazing turnout . . . standing room only — over 200 people!

Joe Conklin Event Billy Keane foundation

Those that attended, those that donated, those that purchased auction items, and those that simply remembered Billy helped his legacy endure. It was truly a great night for an even greater cause!

Billy Keane Foundation

The highlight of the evening was seeing, hugging, and catching up with so many of you, friends and family, all connected somehow through Billy Keane.  We loved being able to share stories about Billy once again, talk about how much we miss him, and in the end, do something amazing for the Philadelphia community.

Through your generosity, we were able to raise close to $50,000! Wow. We are so blown away.  We feel so blessed to have been given these proceeds and to directly help those that need it.

joe conkilinNow we need your help further.  Please help us reach out and make a difference!  As you hear of individuals or families in crisis, please think of the Billy Keane Foundation.  Please fill out a nomination form, or, pass our website along to someone who can complete the nomination form for a person or family who needs our help.

We look forward to posting more stories soon, about how the Billy Keane Foundation has made a difference, because of your generosity!

Joe Conklin Continue reading

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The Billy Keane Foundation – More good work in early 2011!

The Billy Keane Foundation has several exciting announcements this month.  Before hitting the great work the foundation is doing, we want to announce that our annual fundraiser has been finalized!  Joe Conklin will be performing a night of comedy on June 11th  (please go to the “2011 Fundraising Event” link to find out more).  Also, we have officially received our 501c3 designation, so keep those corporate matching donations coming!

Now on to the works the Foundation has been doing over the past few months.  With the support of our donors (both individual and corporate), we have been able to help another family.  We know you will be touched by their story below.

Dan Webb

Dan is married to Missy and has two young daughters,  Jessica (10),  and Katie( 7).  Dan and his brother work in construction and are avid hunters and outdoorsmen.  He lives in Southampton (Bucks County), PA.    On October 4, 2010, Dan was deer hunting, and his deer stand collapsed.  He fell about 15 feet, and broke his 9th and 10th thoracic vertebrae.  They were able to surgically repair his vertebrae, but there was also a contusion to the spinal cord, which at this point in time, leaves Dan with no feeling in his legs, and in a wheelchair, which we pray will be short term.

Dan’s long term prognosis is still unclear, but he continues to make progress and work hard every day at Magee Rehab Center, to gain strength and use of his legs.  He is working so hard and is so loved by his family and friends that are supporting him.  We know you can do this Dan! 

The BKF has stepped in to make life a little bit easier for Dan and his family, by installing a much needed chair glide to the second floor of his home.  Dan will now be able to sleep in his own bedroom, a room he has not seen in 5 months! Dan Webb and Family

This is exactly the kind of help that makes the BKF seem so worthwhile.  If you are one of our donors, congratulations on being able to help Dan and his family in this way.  Your donations have helped make Dan’s life just a little bit easier!  Thank you! 

Keep working hard Dan!  You can keep up with Dan’s story on his caring bridge page at  http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/danwebb.

Patti Lariccia

Patti has been blind for most of her adult life.  Yet, she continues to give of her life, to others.  When you hear her story, you will feel so good that as a BKF donor, you were able to help Patti out . . .

(excerpt from letter from Patti to BKF)

“I am totally blind and own my house in Clifton Heights. I have a full time job as a Vision Rehab Therapist and I’ve been in this job for 22 years.  As a Vision Therapist, I work with newly visually impaired adults in teaching them daily living and communication skills so they can regain their independence.  I travel every day on public transportation with my faithful dog guide, Finigan.  I put my safety in the paws of this little golden lab every day.  He’s great and is my 5th guide dog over a 25 year period.

I had a fall down some steps in my house last August and I broke both wrists.  I had surgery and am slowly recovering.  Unfortunately, right now, Finigan is staying at the school he came from since I can’t work with him yet.  I’m receiving OT and hope to be back with him by February. “

Because of her broken wrists, Patti  cannot use Finigan to get “to and fro” right now, and she has incurred excessive transportation costs to get to work every day.  Patti is in need of help, in paying some very important bills.  We are so glad that we are able to help you, Patti, so that you can continue to help others, and continue to be this amazing person that you are!  We hope your life is back to normal quickly!

God Bless all of our donors, who felt it in their heart to give to our organization.  Thank you to these recipients, who allowed us to share their stories, so that we can all  see the good things that have come from being a part of the Billy Keane Foundation. 

Billy would not only be proud, but would be blown away, by all that we’ve done in the past year in his name!  We can’t wait to see what lies ahead in 2011 and beyond . . .

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Making our Mission a Reality

The board met at the end of July and we have decided to support three individual families with your contributions.   With their permission, we wanted you to hear their stories.  If you made a donation to the Billy Keane Foundation, you are a part of making a difference for these families:

The family of Bernadette LeVasseur Russella
Bernadette LeVasseur was an O’Hara classmate to several of our board members, including Billy Keane himself.  She graduated from O’Hara in 1984. Bernadette passed away this past Spring at age 43, after a 3 year battle with breast cancer.   She was married to Joe Russella and has two beautiful girls, Elizabeth and Christine, who attend St. Francis School.

The Russellas had always talked about taking a trip to see Niagara Falls, so the BKF made this happen for them!  Over Labor Day weekend, Joe took Elizabeth and Christine to Niagara Falls for a vacation to remember their Mom’s adventurous spirit.

The BKF covered the expenses for this trip.  In addition, donations were made to the girls’ education funds.

But, this is not the end of the “gift giving” in this story . . . when Joe talked to the girls about The BKF and told them that we wanted to do something special for them, they responded with a special request.  The girls asked for a large portion of their gift to be given to another family that it might truly help.  In the name of the Russella girls, an extra donation was made to the Paoletti family (read below), to help cover the cost of outstanding bills.  God bless you girls!

The family of Tom Paoletti
Tom Paoletti was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer 4 years ago.  Tom fought courageously but lost his battle this past August.  He is the husband of Kathy Morris Paoletti and father of Domenic and Dante, who both attend St. Dorothy’s School.   A gift basket and letter was recently delivered to the Paolettis informing them that their tuition had been paid for the upcoming school year, as well as a few gift cards for uniforms and school supplies to get them ready for the upcoming school year.   Additional funds were given to them to help offset outstanding bills (much thanks to the Russella Family – read story above!)   It is extremely gratifying to know that we have been able to take one less worry off this family’s plate, as they begin their healing journey.

The Milligan Family
Michael and Tara (D’Orazio) are graduates of Bonner and O’Hara respectively, and were married in 1997.  They have three beautiful children.   On November 4, 2009, just days after the c-section delivery of their third child, Tara developed an infection and tragically passed away at age 38.  Michael is left with the overwhelming task of sole provider, caretaker and single parent to his three young children.

The Billy Keane Foundation wants to help in bringing joy to this family’s life once again.  The Milligan family will be visiting The Great Wolf Lodge in the Poconos, a family indoor water park resort, to enjoy a weekend of family time and fun together.   In addition, Mike will be receiving a Sunday Phillies Game season package for next season, to make sure he takes much needed time for himself.

The Billy Keane Foundation has also made a donation to the children’s education fund, to ease the financial burden of their future education.

The Billy Keane Foundation is honored to be a part of supporting these strong and courageous families.  Many thanks to the Paoletti, Russella and Milligan families for sharing your stories with us, and for allowing us the opportunity to support you.  Please know that in the coming year, you will be in the hearts and prayers of our board, as well as all of our donors and supporters.

God Bless You All!

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Backhands for Billy – A Huge Success!

The first fundraising event for the Billy Keane Foundation occurred on June 12, 2010 at the Aronomink Country Club. It was such a success, in so many ways! Billy’s spirit was definitely with us, as he would have loved this event. He would have been late, of course, but he would have played a little tennis and laughed at himself in doing so, socialized and given lots of hugs, stayed all night, and he would have bid lots of money on the silent auction items! You all made him proud!

The pictures of the event pretty much tell the story of the evening and speak for themselves.  We hope you take the time to view them and smile . . . (these pictures, and many others of Billy Keane and Billy Keane Foundation events are at the Billy Keane Foundation Facebook).

The event raised over $20,000, far exceeding any of our expectations! Thank you so much to all of you who came to our event and joined in the fun, and thank you to those of you were unable to come, but still donated. Speaking on behalf of the Board, I cannot begin to express the feeling of success and accomplishment we all have, in making some good things come from the loss of our friend, brother and fiancé.

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