Ottawa – Baseball fans who came to RCGT Park last evening to watch the Ottawa Champions host the Rockland Boulders first joined Mayor Jim Watson, president of the Ottawa Champions David Gourlay and Mr. Keeping’s family to remember popular local community builder Max Keeping.
The game was preceded by a short ceremony on the pitcher’s mound, renaming the Coventry Pedestrian and Cycling Bridge over Highway 417 the Max Keeping Bridge in honour of the late broadcaster, longtime booster of baseball in our city, and tireless advocate and fundraiser for vulnerable and sick children and youth in Ottawa.
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“Max personified the spirit of giving and caring, and his legacy continues to inspire us to be generous and kind, and to help others,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “Naming this bridge in his honour is a fitting tribute because he was a great fan and advocate for baseball in Ottawa, and because he brought people together and helped build a strong and caring community.”
Mr. Keeping helped raise more than $100 million for organizations such as the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO), Roger’s House, the United Way, the Boys and Girls Club, Operation Come Home and the Cancer Foundation. His own battle with cancer ended his broadcasting career in 2003, but he continued to be an ambassador for his television station and an enthusiastic volunteer for local charities in the decade that followed. He passed away on October 1, 2015 at age 73.
In recognition of his generosity, the Ottawa Champions will donate $1 to CHEO from each ticket to the game purchased in advance.
Mr. Gourlay said: “Max will always be remembered as a local hero who changed countless lives for the better. We are all better people for having known him.”
The Max Keeping Bridge connects the Overbrook community, Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton Park (baseball stadium), the Via Rail station and the future Tremblay Station of the O-Train Confederation Line.