KDH agrees it’s always important to give back, so I was thrilled to be asked to join a notorious group of do-gooders many years ago called the Kelly Gang. Spearheaded by the New York Post “Media Ink” columnist, Keith Kelly, the gang was originally comprised of powerful male moguls in media & publishing who all shared the last name Kelly. I was honored when Keith asked me to become one of the first female members to join the gang [making an exception with my first name being Kelli!] and am very proud of the charitable achievements the group has made over the years.
Each year we honor a new “Kelly” and their cause, and we are all excited to share that Notre Dame Coach Brian Kelly was our guest of honor at the Kelly Gang St. Patrick’s Day Benefit, on March 13th, at Michaels restaurant in NYC. The event was packed with people excited about the opportunity to meet Coach Kelly and learn more about his cause, the Kelly Cares Foundation, established by Brian and his wife, Paqui [below].
Coach Brian Kelly shares, “Our story is about family. It starts with Paqui, a two-time cancer survivor. When we were finally in a position where we could give back, it was clear that we should establish a foundation. One of the most exciting aspects of Kelly Cares is that it’s an extension of our backgrounds, and we are honored to be providing practical, real-life assistance to others who face challenges on a daily basis.”
CHECK OUT COACH’S BUSY SCHEDULE ON PARTY DAY:
Coach made three tv appearances, starting with MSNBC’s Morning Joe, where he appeared with Kelly Gang co-founder and New York Post Media Ink columnist Keith Kelly, Good Day New York, where he appeared with Kelly Gang president and Amex Publishing CEO Ed Kelly and were interviewed by co-anchor Greg Kelly, and New York 1, where Brian, wife Paqui and Keith Kelly were interviewed by Errol Lewis.
Brian and Paqui were being honored by the Kelly Gang for the work they do with their own charity, the Kelly Cares Foundation, which helps back a variety of community, health and education causes.
“We made three TV appearances with Coach Kelly and hosted a great night for the Kelly Cares Foundation in which we raised over $50,000,” said Keith Kelly, “but I think he was most moved by the tour we took over Breezy Point, the so-called Irish Riviera which was hit so hard by superstorm Sandy. He seemed genuinely moved by the plight of the people,” says Keith. “And there were no shortage of Notre Dame fans.
“There’s probably more Notre Dame fans in Breezy Point than there are in South Bend,” said John Kelly, a 20 year Breezy resident who retired from the City sanitation department and now is a football and rugby coach at Xavier High School in Manhattan.
Keith adds, “Xavier had emerged as one of the feel good stories of Sandy. After 11 members of its varsity football team from Breezy and Rockaways were left homeless, the team voted to carry on its season and went on an amazing run to capture the Catholic High School football league crown AA division, which includes schools on Long Island, Brooklyn, queens, Bronx, Staten Island and Westchester. They defeated Long Island power St. John the Baptist.
That night, the Xavier varsity coach Chris Stevens won a Notre Dame football helmet autographed by Coach Kelly. Every now and then, not too often because he doesn’t want to get us spoiled, but every now and then you feel that God looks down on the Irish and smiles.”
The Kelly Cares Foundation supports organizations, initiatives, and programs that closely align with the goals and values of the Kelly family in three main pillars: Health, Education, and Community. [If you would like to learn more about the foundation, you can visit: http://kellycaresfoundation.org/
Founders of the gang include: New York City Police Commissioner the Honorable Ray Kelly, American Express Publishing CEO Ed Kelly, The Weather Channel CEO Mike Kelly, The New York Post’s “Media Ink” columnist Keith J. Kelly, “Empire Rising” author Tom Kelly, and Time Inc. former managing editor Jim Kelly.
Keith Kelly tells KDH, “The 2013 event will put us over the half million dollars raised for charities, since we started back in 2004. I think the thing that separates us from so many is the vast majority of funds that we raise goes directly to the charities. And remember, you don’t have to be a Kelly or even Irish to support these worthy causes. The Kelly’s are merely the conduits to raise the money for the charities.”
More on the back story of The Kelly Gang, Inc.:
The Kelly Gang, Inc. is a charitable organization incorporated and registered in New York State, and the St. Patrick’s Day Benefit is a tradition of which they are very proud. To date, Kelly Gang, Inc. has raised nearly $500k for worthy causes, including: the family of late editor and columnist Michael Kelly, Tuesday’s Children, Catholic Relief Services in Haiti, The Doe Fund, The Hunter’s Hope Foundation, The Wounded Warrior Project, New Orleans Catholic Charities Crescent House, Operation Helping Hands, the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, and the Annie Moore Memorial Project.
Ed Kelly [above far left], President/CEO, American Express Publishing & Kelly Gang Co-Founder and President tells KDHamptons, “The Kelly Gang is always happy to support the causes of fellow Kellys whenever possible and appropriate. We approached Brian Kelly’s charity, KellyCares, last year but couldn’t coordinate calendars. The timing is even better this year on the coattails of Notre Dame’s ride to the college football national championship game.”