DeFreitas & Associates’ North American Affiliated office has proudly been listed as one of the corporate sponsors of an event put on by Party People Production, a Toronto-based event planning company to finance the purchase of tickets for at-risk youths, 10-17 years of age, to attend a National Basketball Association (NBA) Toronto Raptors basketball game on behalf of the Keegan Allen Trust.
The goal of the event was to make attending the Toronto Raptors game sometime in March of 2011 a reality for approximately 150-180 at-risk youths accompanied by 10 -15 chaperons. For most of these youths it will be their first time attending a basketball game and visiting the Air Canada Centre (ACC).
A Black History Month Essay Writing Contest, sponsored in part by Party People Production, is the selection process that was used to determine the kids who won the opportunity to attend the game. The contest was made available to several after school programs across the GTA as well to all members of the Tropicana Youth Service Group of Scarborough and coordinated by Miss Carol Allen (Keegan Allen Trust).
Information about SYRC
The Scarborough Youth Resource Centre (SYRC) is a division of Tropicana Community Services located in the Scarborough Town Centre Mall. Recently celebrating its 15th year anniversary, the SYRC operates successfully as a drop-in service and is dedicated to providing a safe space and building a sense of community for youth aged 12 to 24, as well as offering a range of activities, programs and resources that promote opportunities for personal development, employment and empowerment.
Last year, the SYRC served 8,500 youth who accessed the drop-in services (phone, fax, and computers) and the core programs that focus on self-expression through peer support, personal development and dance. Tropicana Community Services is a United Way Member Agency.
Keegan’s Involvement with SYRC and Tropicana
Keegan Allen was senselessly shot at an all-ages dance event at the Hungarian House Cultural Centre on Monday October 8, 2007. At just 18 years old, he passed away the following day from his injuries.
Keegan, who adopted the nickname “Speckz” because he wore eyeglasses, was a popular young man in Grade 12 who loved dancing, video games and computers.
Since early childhood, Keegan attended Tropicana’s day camps, after school programs, tutoring classes and in 2006, completed the 40 hour community services requirement that is necessary for Ontario students to graduate. He did it by helping out at the SYRC after school. He had planned to study video game design or computer technology upon graduation.
SYRC’s Youth Participation
Since Keegan Allen’s untimely passing in October 2007, several events spearheaded by SYRC youth have been held to commemorate and celebrate his life while providing inspiring non-violence messages. On the one year anniversary of his death, the month of October was dedicated to Keegan with various activities such as poetry and video game days, ending with an event called The Speckz Effect in which several talented youth, most of whom were his peers, expressed their talents through song, dance and drama. About 150 youth, community members and the media were in attendance.
In March 2011, the SYRC youth had the opportunity to attend a Toronto Raptors Game.
Our firm is has been associated with this annual initiative for two years and hopes that the youth truly enjoyed the basketball game at the ACC.