On Monday night, the Kelly Cares Foundation held its 5th Annual Irish Eyes Gala in New York City, hoping to raise funds for the Kelly Cares Foundation.
Thanks to generous donations from attendees at the Irish Eyes Gala, the event raised more than $750,000 in one evening.
The Kelly Cares Foundation will use the funds raised to help improve the lives of others, notably through organizations that focus on Health, Education and Community.
The Irish Eyes Gala, Kelly Cares Foundation’s signature event, celebrates those that have demonstrated a dedication to improving the lives of others, in turn inspiring hope to all those they encounter along the way.
This year, Kelly Cares Foundation honored Myra Biblowit, President of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF), and the Steven McDonald Family of the New York Police Department.
“Both Myra and the McDonald family are respected pillars in our society, and we are so proud to have honored them at our Irish Eyes Gala,” said Brian Kelly. “Myra’s dedication to breast cancer patients and to finding a cure is remarkable. The McDonald family’s strength, faith and dedication to making the world a better, safer place are incredibly inspiring.”
“We are so thrilled to honor Myra and the McDonald family,” said Paqui Kelly. “Whether you’re fighting for a cure for breast cancer, or speaking out against gun violence and the importance of forgiveness, we’re left with only one word, hope, and for that, we are so grateful to them.”
Myra Biblowit was honored with the “Leadership in Health Award” for her passion and dedication to improving treatment for breast cancer patients, and BCRF’s funding of more than 220 global researchers to find a cure.
Under Biblowit’s leadership, BCRF has raised more than $535 million in funds to fuel breast cancer research across the spectrum of the disease including tumor biology, heredity and ethnicity, lifestyle and prevention, treatment, survivorship and metastasis.
By investing 91 cents of every dollar spent back into its mission, BCRF is one of the nation’s most fiscally-responsible non-profits, and the only breast cancer organization with an A+ rating from Charity Watch.
Ms. Biblowit received her award at the Irish Eyes Gala from Kelley Tuthill and Linda Holliday. Ms. Tuthill is the lead court reporter for the WCVB television station in Boston and a 1992 University of Notre Dame alumna.
She is a breast cancer survivor who has served on committees for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and has spoken at Notre Dame College of Science’s Pink Zone luncheon for breast cancer.
The Steven McDonald Family, of the New York Police Department, received the “Spirit of Giving Award.”
On July 12, 1986, in Central Park, Detective McDonald approached three suspected bike thieves and was shot three times.
He was left a quadriplegic and still breathes on a ventilator, yet he forgave the 15-year-old who shot him.
His wife Patti Ann McDonald, who is the Mayor of the Long Island town of Malverne, encouraged him to speak about gun violence and the importance of forgiveness, which he has done ever since, both nationally and internationally.
In 2010, their son Conor McDonald became a fourth-generation police officer with the New York Police Department.
The McDonalds received their award at the Irish Eyes Gala from Ray Kelly, former Commissioner of the New York Police Department.
The co-chairs of this year’s Irish Eyes Gala, whom also spoke at the event, were John Mosley, a former Notre Dame football player and current football consultant to the New York Yankees, and Brian Caufield of Moore Capital Management.
Jack Nolan, the Voice of the Fighting Irish, served as the evening’s emcee. Bruce Beck, sports anchor for WNBC-TV, and Mr. Nolan led the gala’s live auction.
Since its founding, the Kelly Cares Foundation has donated more than $2.5 million to support causes locally, nationally and globally.
Organizations that have received contributions from the Kelly Cares Foundation include the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center, Memorial Hospital, Breezy Point Disaster Relief Fund and the Notre Dame Hesburgh Library.