KEENFest Raises Funds and Awareness For KEEN | KEEN Greater DC

KEENFest Raises Funds and Awareness For KEEN

Thursday, October 22, 2009

For Immediate Release                                                            Media Contact: Denise Brownlee
October 22, 2009                                                                   Phone: 301-775-7572
      Email: [email protected] 
KEENFest Raises Funds and Awareness For
 KEEN (Kids Enjoy Exercise Now)
Stuart Scott, Anchor of ESPN SportsCenter, and Michael Wilbon, Washington Post Columnist and Co-Host of ESPN’s Pardon the Interruption, will join hundreds of business and community leaders at the 9th annual KEENFest on Thursday, October 29, 2009, at the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center to raise funds and awareness for KEEN (Kids Enjoy Exercise Now), a nonprofit organization that provides free-of-charge recreation and exercise opportunities for children, teens and young adults with significant disabilities such as autism, cerebral palsy and Down syndrome.
Vinny Cerrato, Executive VP Football Operations, Washington Redskins, will receive KEEN’s Corporate Recognition Award on behalf of the Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation at the event.  Hillary Lerner, an Associate at Booz Allen Hamilton, will be recognized with the Volunteer of the Year Award.
 “Thanks to the incredible generosity of our supporters and volunteers, all programs are provided to KEEN’s athletes at no cost to their families and caregivers, enabling every child--no matter the extent of their disability or the level of income--to exercise, socialize, have fun, and be part of their community through KEEN,” said Burt Braverman, KEEN Greater DC Board President.
Modeled on an innovative program he began in Oxford, England, founder Elliott Portnoy established KEEN in the Washington, DC area in 1992. With help from a handful of parents and volunteers, KEEN started as a single program with five athletes with significant disabilities.  Today KEEN serves hundreds of children and young adults with disabilities through a wide variety of exercise programs and recreational activities.   “I set out to provide a program that serves the hardest to serve young people with disabilities. Our success here helped us to launch a national expansion with KEEN affiliates now in eight cities across the country,” said Elliott Portnoy, Founder.
Chaired by Karen Hutchison, Lesley McNamara, Amanda Polk, and Estee Portnoy, KEENFest tickets are $125 each for general admission and $250 for VIP sponsor level on a limited first-come, first-served basis through KEEN’s website, The silent and live auctions feature a wide array of items ranging from sports memorabilia signed by Tom Brady, Tiger Woods, Mario Lemieux, and Derek Jeter, to trips to Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Disney, a weekend package to 2010 NBA All-Star Game in Dallas, plus jewelry in all styles and price ranges and the raffle prize is a trip to Bermuda for two including airfare.
KEEN Greater DC offers 14 programs, with more than 30 sessions each month, of noncompetitive recreation and exercise activities including gym-based sports, swimming, tennis, music and bowling designed for children and young adults with significant disabilities such as autism, cerebral palsy and Down syndrome. KEEN matches a trained volunteer coach with each KEEN athlete with disabilities, enabling every child—especially those with significant disabilities—to exercise, play, socialize and participate in the community through KEEN. Parents and caregivers experience respite while their child is at a KEEN session and all sessions are offered completely free-of-charge. For more information about KEEN or volunteering, please visit our website,, or call 301-770-3200.