The Kelly Cares Foundation, established by Notre Dame football coach Brian Kelly and his wife Paqui, honored Buffalo Bills great and Pro Football Hall of Famer Jim Kelly among others at its Seventh annual Irish Eyes Gala on Monday at The Pierre Hotel in New York City. Four-hundred guests attended the gala that raised more than $1 million to support local, national, and global causes.
The Irish Eyes Gala, the Kelly Cares Foundation’s signature event, celebrates "game changers" – those that have demonstrated a dedication to improving the lives of others, and, in turn, inspire hope to all they encounter along the way.
Jim Kelly received the "Leadership in Health Award" for his courageous battles with cancer and his work with his two foundations, Hunter’s Hope, which aims to raise awareness of Krabbe Leukodystrophy and search for a cure, and Kelly for Kids, which serves disadvantaged and disabled youth in Buffalo.
Bill Polian, Pro Football Hall of Famer and former General Manager of the Bills, made the presentation to Jim Kelly.
"No matter where you come from or how you grow up, every person has the ability to make a difference today for someone who is fighting for their tomorrow," said Jim Kelly. "Tonight acknowledges our collective efforts to help those who are less fortunate, and I am very honored to be recognized for the work of my foundations, Hunter’s Hope and Kelly for Kids."
Legendary band Chicago entertained, and Jack Nolan, Voice of the Fighting Irish, hosted the gala.
What an awesome event last night. Received the leadership in health award at the Kelly Cares banquet in New York City. Coach Brian Kelly from Notre Dame's foundation. Hard to imagine a Miami hurricane receiving an award from the Irish. LMAO. Also one of my favorite bands Chicago performed. Also pictured my cousin from Ireland Colm , College roommate Greg Zappala and one of the reasons I'm still alive , my doctor from Lenox Hill hospital Dr. Peter Constantino. 5 star night from start to finish.👍🙏🎸