BUFFALO, NY (WIVB) – Fifty-seven celebrities came out for the 28th Annual Jim Kelly Celebrity Classic golf tournament on Monday, but the tournament’s namesake was not among them.
“Unfortunately with Jim’s health he is not able to be here today,” explained his brother Dan Kelly. “Talking to him yesterday he really wanted to figure out a way he could be here but for his best interest it was important he did not come today as much as he wanted to.”
Jim Kelly recently finished radiation and chemotherapy treatments aimed to help him battle a recurrence of jaw cancer. His absence is felt by those who attend the event each year.
“This is the biggest outing I think he has had over the history of his celebrity golf tournament,” explained former Bills running back Thurman Thomas. “We knew there was a chance he wouldn’t be there but with all the players showing up his presence is here and his presence is missed.”
The event raises money for the Kelly for Kids foundation, a charitable organization that raised money for disabled or disadvantaged children in Western New York. According to Dan Kelly, it is believed that the even will raise between $250,000 and $300,000.