Gold Jacket was honored at the highest level in sports when he was enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame back in August for his playing career in football. On Monday, he was celebrated for his work off the field.
The former Pittsburgh Steelers running back was honored by the Kelly Cares Foundation, established by Notre Dame head football coach Brian Kelly and his wife Paqui, during the 6th Annual Irish Eyes Gala at The Pierre Hotel in New York City. He was presented with the “Leadership in Community Award” for his critical work in establishing The Bus Stops Here Foundation, which works to improve the overall quality of life for troubled and less fortunate youth by offering programs to help them succeed in life. The professional football Hall of Famer works to support children with programs that range from computer engineering programs for middle school students, to sports classes, to SAT/ACT preparation. For more information on The Bus Stops Here Foundation, please visit www.Thebus36.com.
The Irish Eyes Gala, the 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. 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.
Bettis won the Walter Peyton Man of the Year Award in 2002 for his community involvement and foundation work. Because of this work and his dedication to the mission of the University of Notre Dame, the Kelly Cares Foundation is proud of how he represents the University and its football team across the country.
“In one way or another, we are all on a team. Whether it’s a sports team, a group of students in a computer science class, or an SAT study group, we look out for each other and lend a hand whenever we can,” said Bettis. “Tonight everyone here is on Team Kelly Cares, and I’m so humbled to be a member. Thank you, Brian and Paqui, for having me and for this incredible honor.”
The Kelly Cares Foundation also honored John W. “Jay” Jordan, II, Notre Dame Trustee and Co-founder of the investment firm The Jordan Company, and the KeiraSTRONG Foundation, started by the family of Keira Enright, which supports families going through pediatric cancer treatment and other life threatening diseases. The gala raised more than $1 million which will support causes locally, nationally, and globally.
Another Gold Jacket will be honored in April. This time it will be former running back , who will participate in the Gold Jacket Great Day event on April 22 at the Hall of Fame. The event features a dynamic chalk talk with Allen led by the Hall’s historian, Joe Horrigan. Allen will reflect on his journey from the Heisman Trophy to his induction into the Hall of Fame. Fans will also have a chance to ask him questions. The chalk talk will be followed up with a photo op and autograph session. Tickets are selling fast so don't miss out.
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