Dec. 15, 2013
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Sunday was a memorable day for 100 youths from the South Bend area as well as 100 football players from the University of Notre Dame.
Kelly Cares Foundation, a charity founded by Irish head football coach Brian Kelly and his wife Paqui, donated $10,000 to create 100 gift cards worth $100 to Meijer. Following the shopping spree, the children and Notre Dame football had dinner together at Papa Vino's, a local Italian restaurant that generously donated the meals.
"We can't say enough about the Michiana community and its incredible support to the Kelly Cares Foundation over the last four years," said Paqui Kelly. "The Foundation truly loves the opportunity to give back and support the area's young people, and there's no better time than during the holiday season."
"I talk to our student-athletes all the time about the importance of being other-centered," said Brian Kelly said. "Our Irish Around The Bend program has been remarkable in helping those in our community and it's been an equally positive experience for our players. Today was just another example."
The underprivileged kids from St. Joseph County ranged from fourth to eighth grade and were paired with a member of Notre Dame's football team for the shopping spree.
The children met the football student-athletes at the Guglielmino Athletics Complex on Notre Dame's campus before traveling together to Meijer on buses donated by Royal Excursion. The kids were allowed to purchase anything they wanted with the gift card.
University of Notre Dame police captain (Special Events/Protective Operations) George Heeter played an instrumental role in the logistical planning of the event.
The Kelly Cares Foundation was established by the Brian and Paqui Kelly family to support organizations, initiatives and programs that closely align with the goals and values of the Kelly family in three main pillars: Health, Education, and Community. To learn more about Kelly Cares Foundation, visit kellycaresfoundation.org.