KNOX, Pa. (EYT) – When a loved one dies, people look to remember them in some way. Keith Miller is being remembered in a way that suits the life he lived.
[Photo of Chad Miller (right), with his late father, Keith (left), on their last guided fishing trip in Lake Erie. Also pictured (middle) is the Miller’s fishing guide.]
Keith Miller, a well-known Knox businessman, passed away unexpectedly on April 19, 2019.
Keith worked at Joy Manufacturing for 45 years during the daytime hours. At night, he was refereeing, coaching, helping in the family sporting goods store, working with his sons, or helping others.
At no surprise by those who knew him, Keith was inducted into the American Legion Baseball Coaching Hall of Fame.
He absolutely loved to serve and help others become better people. Every day he would strive to help at least one person advance their position in life.
“Both of my parents really sacrificed a lot for my brother and me to have the best possible opportunities in life to succeed. They always put us first and made sure that not only my brother and I, but kids in the community, had the resources and chances to carve the necessary pathways,” Knox native Chad Miller remembered. “Sports were a vehicle for my dad to engage people to find their true passions in life.”
While it has been nearly two years, Chad finally came up with what he believes is the best way to remember his father.
Chad – along with help from the City of DuBois, DuBois Little League, Al Snow, and Jim Miller – is planning The Keith Miller Memorial Invitational.
The event is a celebration of sports in the Northwestern PA area. Keith Miller was very passionate about helping kids and the community through sports and sports entertainment, so Chad knew this would be the perfect fit for him.
When asked how he came up with this event, Chad responded that his father’s love for baseball and service to the community drove him to this point.
“I came up with the idea when Penn State DuBois Baseball was having a fundraiser. My dad absolutely loved Coach Tom Calliari and Coach Mike Nesbit [the coaches at PSU DuBois],” Chad Miller added. “He [my father] said anytime that you could help out those guys you need to.”
Chad played for both coaches during the summer months while he was in college; when he wasn’t playing, he was in DuBois coaching or refereeing with Keith.
“The City of DuBois has done an incredible job of growing the sport of baseball and supporting kids,” Chad said. “So, I really wanted to do something to give back to them as a sign of appreciation.”
The Keith Miller Memorial Invitational will run from Friday, June 18, 2021, through Sunday, June 19, 2021. It is an event for the entire family.
On June 18, a Youth Baseball Tournament will be held for Little League-aged children. Following the tournament in the evening, the First Annual Keith Miller Memorial High School All-Star Game will be held. This game will feature the top high school seniors in District 9 and District 10.
On June 19, the Youth Baseball Tournament will continue. In the evening, WWE Legend Al Snow will take part in the Professional Wrestling Show. There will be a full card of former WWE and world-wide wrestlers.
On June 20, the final games of the Youth Baseball Tournament will take place and will conclude the event.
The events will be held at DuBois Baseball Park. The Youth Tournament will be held at the DuBois Little League Fields, while the High School All-Star Game and Wrestling show will be held at Showers Field.
Tickets for the High School All-Star Game and Wrestling Show will go on sale the last week of April. It is anticipated that tickets for the Wrestling Show will go fast.
“I am very excited because I get to bring a lot of my friends from the wrestling world to see where I grew up,” Chad added. “I also get to show my friends and family a glimpse of what I get to experience every day.”
All net profits from The Keith Miller Memorial Invitational will be given to the United Way and The DuBois Little League.
Chad wants this event to bring communities together and allow everyone to have fun. The year 2020 was a draining one and impacted each community differently.
Chad Miller, who now lives in Louisville, Kentucky, is the founder and partner of Personal Fitness and Rehabilitation, as well as the co-founder of Gladiator Sports Network, which is the parent company for Ohio Valley Wrestling, Top Knotch Boxing, and The Al Snow Wrestling Academy.
“For the past six years of my career, I have been able to help the people in Kentucky have an opportunity to have access to some of the top athletes in the world. I started really thinking one day after a conversation with my best friend from back home [Clarion County], Kirk Tharan.
“Kirk said how the kids back in Knox and Western Pennsylvania were starting to lose hope and were really limited on their exposure to sports and sporting events. I thought to myself, if I don’t help here and do something, I am not honoring my dad’s mission in life.”
While the planning and the scheduling of events are complete, the public can help out in two easy ways.
First, families can buy tickets to The Keith Miller Memorial Invitational.
Second, everyone can have fun.
Sponsorships are available for each event. If a family or business is interested, they can contact Chad Miller via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“I can’t thank everyone enough for the tremendous support already. If this event goes well, I would love to do this each and every year. This is truly an honor for me to be able to help out and bring a lot of fun and joy to the area!”