The Keith B. Hayes Foundation | A component fund of the Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan

The Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
All gifts are tax deductible under current tax laws.
The Community Foundation can be reached by calling 845-769-9393

​​​Seems Like Yesterday But 10 Years Passed Seems like yesterday, but 10 years passed That fateful day, the dye was cast. You left this World with a smile on your face Lying so still with such awesome grace. But do not fear my dearest youngest boy It is like yesterday you filled my life with joy. I hold onto these memories for dear life In order, to deal with this strife. You accomplished so much in your twenty years Living with constant pain and hidden fears. Giving to others in need was your claim And our Foundation now is your voice, your name. You were sweet, sensitive, and so very kind With secret poetry of love left to a girl behind. Some might have found you quiet and shy Not knowing your humor, your wink of your eye. So many thoughts and photos shoot through my mind Of our years spent together, a happy remind. Your fighting spirit of a young man, my son Your life too short, never truly begun. For that I can weep, feeling so pained Heart breaking, but then I hold onto what I have gained. You gave me strength as I watched your health fail Never a complaint with your pain, a constant aile. I will love you forever my dear Keith Though no longer physically here but lying in earth beneath. Seems like yesterday, but 10 years passed That fateful day, the dye was cast. 


September 12, 2017

​Dearest Family and Friends,

At this annual briefing, hearts feel heavier than usual by the fact that Keith's passing marks its 10th anniversary this week on the 14th of September, only living to 20 years old. It is with your continued belief and support towards The Keith B. Hayes Foundation, can we feel strong for all the good he did in his short life not being meaningless and not in vain. Our family continues to believe that Keith's voice and spirit of giving to others continues by your ongoing generosity. As a 'grass roots' Foundation, we are proud to maintain 6 figures in our account with The Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan County. Please understand, this is only due to you! Words cannot express our gratitude and sincere thankfulness! -

To update you: *It should be noted, that we are endowed by CFOS and traditionally are to give 5%-6% of our earnings in our account in order to perpetuate our Foundation. However, as a family, we have chosen to give up to 12% annually towards research and organizations that we feel related to Keith and the disease he suffered from.This past year in 2017 we were able to once again increase our Grants to the majority to whom we endow.

1- For the past 5 years we have been granting funds towards research at Columbia Presbyterian in NYC related to Polyglucosen disease, which Keith was post par tum diagnosed with. Dr. H. Orhan Aikman, Assistant Professor of Neurology at annual giving has been utilizing these funds towards continued researching this degenerative myopathic disease, so that one day it can arrest its progression. We are proud that The Keith B. Hayes Foundation was able to once again increase our endowment to $14,000. (for further information on Dr. Aikman's research, please visit our website

2- Bridges, formerly known as Rockland Independent Living Center, New City, NY is a non-profit organization which helps individuals with any form of a disability to learn skills and strive to become independent. Keith was in training to become a mentor before he passed away. Annually, now Bridges, honors Keith's memory by awarding an individual who works with this population "The Spirit of Mentoring" held annually on Disability Awareness Day. We awarded once again $1,000.00.

3- NOVA, formerly known as The Ralph Braun Foundation, which provides revamped vehicles for the handicapped to be able to remain independent we increased our giving to $500.00. Keith, shortly before his death, was supposed to have his car remodeled for his increasing disabilities.

4- We continue to award $500.00 towards The Wheel Chair Foundation to provide wheelchairs to individuals who cannot afford them without aide from this organization. Keith was wheelchair bound for the last 1 1/2 years of his life.

5-We continue to award $500.00 towards The Children's Cardiomyopathy Foundation. Keith's disease involved his heart, which eventually could no longer function.

*For the 2017 year The Keith B. Hayes Foundation was able to award$16,500.00 with an increase to both Columbia Presbyterian's research and to NOVA.

Again, sincerest thanks for your continued support so that we can continue to be the spirit of giving and be Keith's voice towards people in need.

(To make a Donation online, go to:…/field-of-int…/keith-b-hayes-foundation/)

God bless you,
Sheila and Sadler Hayes, mother and father of Keith B. Hayes
Adam and Galit Hayes, brother and sister-in-law Of Keith B. Hayes
Brian Hayes, brother of Keith B. Hayes


1/28/16 in remembrance on your upcoming 29th birthday

Keith, gone 8 years 4 months when stated, seems so long
And yet to me, it was just like yesterday, a sad day’s song.
You remain frozen in youth with your sweet smile upon me
Radiating courage and inner strength with quiet fury.
And now February 2nd you would’ve been 29 if you were still alive
And I try to stand for what you were unable to continue to strive.

If not afflicted with your genetic defect
Who would’ve you become and to what affect?
Was your body’s physical failure to you, be who you became
With your heart weakened and your body lame?
You taught so many your age strength, courage and hope
Lessons that remaining, helping them to cope.

You were a blessing in my life that I am so very thankful for
Yet saddened by your life cut short and pain you had to endure.
Rest assured you daily walk with me, my dear boy
But not with sadness, but with remembrance, which gives me joy.
So, if you could hear me, my dear son, it would be
That I hope you are able to be painless and run free.

with love,


How Can It Be 6 Years Already?

Can time hold still or be like a dream with no meaning of time?
Six years approaching since your eyes briefly opened and locked with mine.
Then Keith my dear boy, you left us on that fateful September 14th day
With eyes closed and heavy heart I remember as if it was yesterday.

So much time has passed since I last felt your touch
My heart can still ache and miss you so painfully much.
But then, I reflect upon the life that you led
How proud dad and I were, and I hold up my head.
The invisible strength that was within your heart and inner core
That your limbs and body could not hold for you anymore.
What you stood for, your giving nature, humor, shy smile
Dealing with daily pain, failing body, with no complaints was your style.
Always hopeful for cures for a disease with no name
That eventually out of the blue, it unexplainably came.

Can time hold still or be like a dream with no meaning of time?
Six years approaching since your eyes briefly opened and locked with mine.
Then Keith my dear boy, you left us on that fateful September 14th day
With eyes open and light heart I have witnessed the on goings of life every day.

So much time has passed since I last felt your touch
And yes, I will always miss you so very much.
But, I have learned to live with mostly lightness in my heart
With joy of life’s givings and allowing to feel, when it smarts.
We have lived on my dear son and that is the key
As I watch your brothers with love and an expanded family.
It allows for smiles, laughter, remembrance and love
As I feel your presence or energy from above.
You will always be in my spirit, heart and mind
And that presents smiles and warmth that cannot be defined


How Can it Be 5 years?

By Sheila Hayes 

How can it really be
Is it 5 years already?
It’s as if you are just a call away
Or a touch where my hand may lay.
I know you’re not physically here anymore
But, I await in a dream to open that door.
Just to be with you during a night’s sleep
In which there is laughter till dawn does creep.
So many lessons, to many, you have taught
Your time on Earth, dear Keith, was not for naught.
I’ve learned to dull the dagger of heart ache
By giving to others, in your name, for your sake.
Yet when an anniversary of your passing does come
The wound opens and I am no longer numb.
That is when I ‘specially miss your sweet smile
But too, remembering how you couldn’t walk a mile.
That is when I miss your asking me a health ‘questcheon’
But too, remembering how it only gave me indigestion.
That is when I miss seeing you by the computer in your room.
But too, remembering how that last day was only doom and gloom.
I know you couldn’t any longer live this life with your pain
I know you wished there were answers that never came.
But now there is a doctor researching a cure with a name of your disease
With your tissue cells you’ve kind of lived on to help another, this gives
me ease.
But, how can it really be
Five years already?


Four years today (September 14, 2011) 

By Sheila Hayes

Four years pass and go
Through rain, summer and snow.
With each season time flies past
With each year it races too fast.
Time is tricky with its pace
As if it is sometime a race.
You change your hair as styles go
Eye your children as they grow.
You cry, laugh and smile through the years
And 4 years pass to grieve with tears
In memory of Keith, my dear son
Whose battle with health could not be won.
So today on anniversary number four
I have finally opened an inner door
To the missing of his eyes reflecting on me
The touch of his hand gently on my knee.
Never again to hear the sound of his voice
Tangled with memories of such joys.
No longer a question of his health to be asked
While I’d respond with a face that was masked.
No longer a hug, a touch, nor a look
Just revisits of prized pictures in a photo book.
But no one can take from me what’s in my heart
Although at times more broken, we’re never apart.
You walk daily with me through eyes and soul
To journey the places time ran out, that is my goal.
We serve you through the Foundation in your name
Giving back to one’s in need, as you’d done the same
To one’s suffering with illness or physical disabilities
Striving forward to concentrate only on their abilities.
What you stood for shall not be for naught nor in vain
This I promise, for as long on this Earth I do remain.
Values to be remembered and taught to generations to come
Through years and generations I hope this will become.
So, in another four years that’ll pass and go
Through rains, summers and snow.
With each season time flying past
With each year racing too fast.
Time tricky with its pace
As if it is sometime a race.
There will be another door, I suppose
That I’ll see if is open, ajar or merely closed.


Rising up to life's challenges 

In Memory of Keith From His Mom

Keith left this earth way too soon. He was just beginning to finally live his dream to be able to attend a school where he could live on his own and enjoy the campus life, like any 20 year old should. He started that dream, but was unable to finish it. That will always be an injustice that he could not be the psychologist he wanted to be; one that worked with kids who had physical challenges or deal with chronic illness. Keith understood all of this. He had lived it for a long time in his own short life. Yet, Keith wore his armor of invisible steel that kept him upbeat, strong and fighting. He was my hero. He knew that. He was my inspiration. He knew that. He dealt with all his physical issues and didn’t complain. He was brave, heroic, loveable, endearing and a gift in my life. I am thankful for that. He will always be in my heart, but his teachings to me will be my guide to get through this. I would like to leave you with a this.  I saw Keith as;

A prince riding a steel horse with wheels
Off to battle wearing his invisible steel armor.
Fighting foes of illnesses, aches and pains
Winning his battles with a quiet strength.
Achieving his goals as best he could.
Until one day, the prince could fight no more.