The untimely death of a teenager five years ago has turned into a lasting legacy for Youth Haven in Barrie.
More than 70 family and friends took part in the recent Jump for Justin at Skydive Toronto in Cookstown raising $15,740.95 for the shelter – Simcoe County’s only residential emergency shelter for youth who are homeless. It has outreach programs in Alliston, Midland, Orillia, Innisfil and Bradford.
Justin’s wish list for his 19th birthday was to skydive. Five years ago, three days before the celebration, Keogh and two teenaged friends were killed in a car crash near Alliston.
For each person who jumped for Justin, Skydive Toronto donated $50.00. An online auction was also held.
“Justin was an air cadet, so flying and skydiving was always at the top of the list,” said Justin’s mom, Janette Boyter. “We selected Youth Haven in Barrie as Justin’s charity of choice after researching about the shelter. It was a perfect fit since Justin wanted to counsel struggling youth.”
One in three people who use emergency residential shelters in Simcoe County is between the ages of 16-24.
The 20 beds at Youth Haven are always full.
L to R: Wendy McBurnie, Mary-Ellen O’Neill-Madeley (Director of Fund Development,
Youth Haven), Janette Boyter