Jim Kelly: 30 years of Celebrity Golf Fundraising

By Jeff Nixon
Jun. 10, 2016

This past Monday, June 6, 2016 marked the 30th year that Jim Kelly has held the Celebrity Golf Classic to raise funds for the Kelly for Kids Foundation and Hunter's HopeOver 50 celebrities come together from the sports and entertainment industry for a memorable weekend. The VIP Gala takes place on the Sunday of the tournament, and typically over 1,000 people are in attendance. It includes a Chinese, silent, and live auction with some of the most unique sports memorabilia. Food stations, live entertainment, and an exciting program keep attendees busy when not bidding on items. Each foursome is paired with a celebrity golfer, and at the Gala they offer a celebrity draft which gives all foursomes the opportunity to bid on a specific celebrity to golf with on Monday.

It has been a tremendous honor for me to attend Jim's Tournament and help him with these two great charitable organizations. They have raised over 5 million for local charities. My connection  with the Kelly family goes back to my days of playing football at the University of Richmond, where I played on the same Spider football team as his older brother, Ray Kelly. 

Jim's oldest brother, Pat Kelly also played football at Richmond and was instrumental in recruiting me to attend the U of R. I just wish I could have returned the favor by convincing his brother Jim to sign with the Bills in 1984. 

Most fans don't know this, but Jim Kelly was recruited to play linebacker at Penn State. Maybe they thought he would follow in the footsteps of his brothers Pat and Ray.  Ray was one hell of a linebacker and Pat is in the Richmond Hall of Fame. He was a three-time All-Southern Conference selection. He was named National Lineman of the Week by the Associated Press following a West Virginia game on October 20, 1973. In that game, Kelly had eleven unassisted tackles, twelve assisted tackles, four pass breakups and two interceptions as the Spiders defeated West Virginia 38-17 at City Stadium in Richmond. He played in the Blue-Gray game in 1973 and played in the national Football League for the Baltimore Colts in 1974.  

The Kelly brothers are the best...... and they know how to bring out the best in others. That's what life is all about. Helping your family, your friends and those less fortunate than yourself, because "There, but for the grace of God, go I."  What can be better than having some fun and raising money for a good cause at the same time?  

Here are some pictures from this years VIP Party and Golf Tournament: