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'It's my way of being closer to heaven'

Mother fulfilling son's dream of skydiving, while also raising money for Youth Haven
2018-07-10 Jump for Justin
Submitted photo

Justin Keogh was preparing for his 19th birthday and on his wish list was skydiving.

Five years ago, just three days before the celebration, Keogh and two teenaged friends were killed in a car crash on a foggy, rainy night, just outside Alliston.

This Saturday, his mother, Janette Boyter, will join 74 others who will do tandem jumps at Skydive Toronto in Cookstown.

"Justin was an air cadet, so flight and skydiving was always at the top of his list," she said. "We are doing the event both to honour him and fulfill his dream.

"We have chosen Youth Haven in Barrie as our charity of choice," Boyter added. "I asked Justin's friends if they had a charity in mind and this was one of the recommendations. 

"As I did research, I realized this was the perfect fit since Justin wanted to counsel struggling youth."

Youth Haven is Simcoe County's only emergency residential shelter for youth between 16 and 24 who are experiencing homelessness.

Each jumper has a pledge form and have been asked to collect $350 with $50 donated. 

Skydive Toronto will also donate $50 for each person jumping.

This isn't the first skydive for Boyter, who will be the first one out of the plane on Saturday.

"I did it five years ago and here I go again. This was not on my bucket list. It was Justin's dream, not mine, but during the jump I felt

so tranquil. It's like flying with the most breath-taking scenery. 

"For me personally, it's my way of being closer to heaven."

Jump for Justin will take place July 14 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The day will include raffles and on-site games.

An online auction begins Wednesday at

"Justin would be thrilled we are doing this," Boyter said. "He would be super excited to give back to a greater cause."

For more information, email