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Celebrities descended upon Batavia this morning for the 28th annual Jim Kelly Classic Golf Tournament.

Unlike every other year of the event to benefit the Kelly for Kids Foundation, the Hall of Fame quarterback was not able to come as he’s recovering from chemotherapy and radiation treatments in his battle against cancer.

Andre Reed – who’s set to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this August – says Jim’s absence is tough because everyone participating feels close to him and supports his cause.

“I think his presence brings a certain amount of togetherness,” he said. “I say ‘family,’ and I say what that means every time I talk about my playing days and what it meant for me here and that’s what Jim means. He’s a guy who’ll give you the shirt off his back and we all know that; that’s why we’re all here.”

Former Bill and CBS Sports broadcaster Steve Tasker echoed those remarks.

“We miss Jim being here,” he said, “but at the same token, it’s because of Jim’s presence and the quality of this event and what this event means – this is more than just a bunch of guys getting together for another event; this is like a reunion, not just a team reunion, but a family reunion for a lot of guys who’ve known each other for a couple of decades. The tournament’s been going on for 28 years and these guys are life-long friends. The fact that Jim can’t be here today won’t change that.”

Former Bill Phil Hansen, Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino and general manager Bill Polian extolled Kelly’s strength and charitable efforts.

The Kelly for Kids Foundation benefits “disadvantaged and disabled youth in Western New York through distribution of grant money raised throughout the year.”

 

(photos: Terry Hills clubhouse, Reed and Polian signing photos, golf carts ready to go, Bills center Eric Wood signing, what players are signing to support Kelly, ESPN, broadcaster Chris Berman, Bill Polian speaking to media) 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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