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KEEN On the Move!

News, Inspiring Stories and Information from KEEN Greater DC 


In This Issue
New KEENFest Celebrates Heroes
Big Gains from Golf
Fund An Athlete Campaign Targets Waiting List


What Makes

KEEN Unique

  • We are free of charge to families 
  • Non-competitive
  • Open to all children, regardless of nature or severity of disability
  • Run by volunteers
  • Funded solely by the community 

Quick Links

Ways to Help
KEEN Greater DC

A Profile of Pride


Bilal Sarsour

Athlete Bilal Sarsour

For the Sarsour family, KEEN GDC's Sports and Music programs are just the gift of change that Reema and her 11-year-old son Bilal needed.  Challenged by cerebral palsy and cortical visual impairment, Bilal used to spend his weekends at home, and didn't have many friends outside the classroom.


"It's somewhat difficult to find activities that can include my child. The great part about KEEN is that each child is given a volunteer to help them play and have fun," Reema says. "We've seen him become more active."

How KEEN helps athlete and his mom 



KEEN is Always
On the Move!  

Sports Festival logo

Special Events

  • Family Sports Days
    • St. Coletta School, July 16 noon to 2 pm
    • Key Center School, July 17     11 am to 1 pm

KEEN Greater DC Calendar



2011 Sports Festival

Sports Festival Medals

More than 600 people attended the 10th annual Sports Festival in June, including 400 athletes and their families, plus over 200 volunteers and others who just came out to see us!  Another great day of games, exercise and fun among  KEEN friends.

Click here for photo slideshow


Thank you volunteers and staff for your generosity, kindness, and talents. Thanks also to our supporters who continue to lead the community with their efforts: United for D.C. coaches, Master Moon & Taekuk (T.K.) Martial Arts, Atlantic Parking Services, Potomac Pizza, DrinkMore Water, Whole Foods, and Carnival Day.

Local Support Makes KEEN Possible

Board member and volunteer Amar Sarwal organized his own Happy Hour to raise funds for KEEN.  He invited colleagues and friends to Washington restaurant and landmark Sign of the Whale on June 14. 


With a small cover charge and prize raffle, there was plenty of conversation for a good cause.  Sarwal and his friends raised $1,000 in just a few hours.  Have your own idea?Contact Executive Director Beata Okulska.

Save the Date!

KEENFest on October 15, 2011 

KEENfest October 15, 2011 

New KEENFest Celebrates Heroes

Is it a bird?  Is it a plane?  No!  It's a super new KEENFest - KEEN Greater DC's most important fundraiser of the year.   Its mission?  To give people a great night out and a chance to support KEEN while paying tribute to the courage and dedication of all those involved.


Big Changes 

This year KEENFest will be held at one of DC's finest hotels, the Marriot Wardman Park, centrally located near the National Zoo.  It will feature a cocktail reception, appetizers, sit-down dinner and auction.  The evening will center on the theme "Powered by Everyday Heroes."

"We're really excited about that theme because not only does it reflect the fact that the organization is powered by our volunteers who we view as heroes, but it also pays tribute to the donors, staff, and most importantly the athletes," says KEENFest Co-Chair Amy Bowser.  "To us, a hero is anybody who works to overcome."

KEEN Greater DC In the News

Big Gains from Golf

Two major golf outings raise profile, funds

2011 KEEN Golf ClassicGolf Classic 2011

More than 175 golfers enjoyed near perfect weather and

great company at Woodmont Country Club for the 18th annual KEEN Golf Classic. The competition followed a scramble format with contests throughout the day. Thanks to our organizing committee co-chaired by Rich Blumenreich and Liam Brown, our sponsors and generous golfers.  Your support will keep the children and young adults served by KEEN playing throughout the year!

What does Comcast SportsNet's Russ Thaler say about KEEN GDC? Read here.


Junior Golf at US Open

Seven KEEN athletes from our Teen Club, plus their volunteers, had a taste of the majors when they attended the U.S. Golf Association's Junior Golf Day, which preceded the U.S. Open.  On the links at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, our kids joined KEEN GDC honorary board member Dominique Dawes to watch demos by pro golfers and a trick shot artist.  Then they tried their own hand at pitching and putting -- and they loved it!   

"Several members of the large crowd commented how thrilled they were to see special needs kids at the event, and how great it was that we provide opportunities like this for them," says KEEN Greater DC board president Burt Braverman.

New golf program in the works

Fund An Athlete
Online fundraiser targets waiting list
Athlete and Volunteer

If you're reading this e-newsletter then you have a computer.  And that means you too can be an ordinary person who does extraordinary things!  KEEN Greater DC has just launched its second annual online Fund An Athlete campaign to get more than 30 children off the waiting list and into the gym or pool for exercise, fun and friendship.

Using the FirstGiving online platform, any of us can create our own fundraising page dedicated to KEEN Greater DC.  You can customize your page to feature an athlete or volunteer you know, a special activity you're doing to raise money, or you can donate to someone else's page.  "People involved with KEEN frequently tell us they want to give back.  They often have family and friends who have seen the impact of KEEN on their children," says Gena Mitchell, a KEEN Greater DC parent and board member "Every small, individual contribution adds up to something big."

Be extraordinary! Find out how.


Why ALL Kids Should Move More
KEEN volunteer/teacher issues challenge

Congratulations!  We are well on our way to being the most sedentary and unfit population EVER. More children are overweight or obese today than ever before and the numbers continue to grow. Younger people don't know what times were like before video games, technological overdependence and supersizing.


From the lure of the screen, to fast food, to shrinking school budgets, it's a challenge to keep ouAthlete throws footballr young people moving.  That's why exercise and recreation programs like those offered by KEEN Greater DC have never been more important, especially for children and young adults with significant disabilities. 

Research: Special needs kids already less fit, school/family budgets drop. Read more.

We Want to Hear From You 

You can make KEEN On the Move! as informative as possible. Please let us know what YOU want to read about.  Know an athlete, volunteer, business or donor who is creating acceptance and opportunities through KEEN?  Send your ideas to volunteer editor Tracey Wright at


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