Big Heart. Big Smile. Big Legacy.  

Keaton Guthrie-Goss once gave his shoes to a homeless person in New York City because “he needs them more than I do.”

Keaton Guthrie-Goss had a smile that lit up the room and he lived for connection, friendship, and love. He was voted “Most Loved by All” at Masters High School in Dobbs Ferry. The Garrison native lost his life in 2018 at age 25 while on a surfing adventure in California.

Thanks to Keaton’s Kids, his legacy endures.  The charity was started by his mother Cat Guthrie and her fiancé Kevin Spath. The group was formed to “honor his life by providing underserved kids with the experiences that meant so much to Keaton.”   

Guthrie says that means just about any activity done on a board — including skateboarding, surfing and snowboarding, but also things like biking and hiking. Guthrie says when Keaton was on one of those boards “that was all there was in the world to him.” Keaton believed passionately in social justice and equality and understood the importance of everyone, says his mom, who adds he didn’t just talk the talk, he walked the walk.  

Keaton once gave his shoes to a homeless person in New York City because “he needs them more than I do.” That’s just who Keaton was. Big heart. Big smile. Big lover of adventure. Cat and Keaton were “adventure buddies, he was fully present, alive and totally in the moment.” 

Cat knows about being alive and in the moment from her background as a singer and actress. She’s been performing at Depot Theater in Garrison for the past 20 years, playing everything from Frau Blucher in Young Frankenstein to Mrs. Lovett in Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd  

Guthrie also has appeared in national TV commercials. At one point, 11 of her network spots ran simultaneously. She has been bringing that passion into the River Towns for years by directing the Dream Choir, a community chorus that performs twice a year, and invites audiences to sing along.  

Cat Guthrie with a 12-year-old she taught to ride a bike

After the loss of her only child, Cat spent 18 months wondering “how could I honor him and bring that joy and spirit, that love for social justice, and that passion that was Keaton back to the world.” One day it hit her — she could honor Keaton by taking kids on “transformative experiences and give them the opportunities that Keaton was fortunate enough to enjoy.” The plan was to take underserved kids on outdoor adventures like hiking, snowboarding and biking. Thus was Keaton’s Kids born. 

The organization works with local groups to keep kids active in fresh air, including New Era Creative Space (NECS) in Peekskill. Keaton’s Kids is part of the NECS outdoor camp, where they teach kids water safety and swimming improvement. They also took the NECS’s Girl’s Empowerment Group to Boundless Adventure, a high ropes adventure course in Purchase last year – and plan to do the same this summer.   

Keaton’s Kids helps city kids through Cat Rock Ventures in the Bronx. They helped launch a biking academy that put kids on bikes during the pandemic. This summer, they’re taking multi-day trips outside the city. 

For Cat and Kevin, Keaton’s Kids is a passion project, and a labor of love. Cat says “it’s a way to give back and it fills my heart. Kevin says the work they do is “full of joy, that’s the driver for the whole adventure. Their joy of new discovery kindles mine and my sense of joy at being alive.” 

Since it started in 2022, Keaton’s Kids has helped 550 kids. It raised $70,000 in year one alone, all from private donations. Cat Guthrie’s confident they will exceed that amount this year.  



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recommended For You

About the Author: Larry Epstein