Fighting Irish Coach Honored by Kelly Gang

Brian Kelly, Football Coach for Notre Dame visits Breezy Point. In this photo, he brings joy to Jim McGuire, an 80-year-old resident. Photo: Peter Foley.
Brian Kelly, Football Coach for Notre Dame visits Breezy Point. In this photo, he brings joy to Jim McGuire, an 80-year-old resident. Photo: Peter Foley.

By Patricia Harty, Editor-in-Chief
April / May 2013

Brian Kelly, Notre Dame’s famed football coach, was honored by the Kelly Gang at Michael’s Restaurant in New York City on March 13. Earlier that day he visited Breezy Point, where he witnessed the destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy and met some of the people who were badly affected by the storm.

In honoring Coach Kelly, the Kelly Gang raised over $60,000 for the Kelly Cares Foundation, which was established by  Brian and his wife, Paqui Kelly, to support initiatives in health, education and community. After visiting Breezy Point, Kelly promised to rebuild the Catholic Club, which had served as the heart of the community, using funds from the Kelly Cares Found-ation, and the funds raised by the Kelly Gang.

The Kelly Gang, whose members include NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly; Ed Kelly, President/CEO, American Express Publishing; Keith J. Kelly, “Media Ink” columnist, New York Post; author Mary Pat Kelly, and a host of other clan members, sprang up in the late 1990s as an impromptu group of media types with the surname Kelly.

When tragedy struck in 2003, and  Michael Kelly, one of the original members, became the first American journalist killed in the Iraq War, the Kelly Gang responded by holding a St. Patrick’s Day benefit, on what would have been Michael’s 47th birthday, to raise money for the education of his two sons, Tom and Jack.

The St. Patrick’s Day event went on to become a tradition. Since then the Kelly Gang has raised over $500,000 for worthy causes, including The Wounded Warrior Project, and Tuesday’s Children.

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