By Michael Muldoon
---- — The Mara family, owners of the New York Giants, have donated two prime seats for Super Bowl XLVIII on Feb. 2, 2014 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.
That is the grand prize in a raffle being run to help defray soaring medical costs for ALS patient Dick Kelley. The 48-year-old Andover native, who has been a sports information director at Boston College the last 22 years, was diagnosed with the dreaded disease in September 2011.
Cost of a raffle ticket is $200 or five for $900. The grand prize includes the two Super Bowl tickets, hotel stay at the Meadowlands Plaza Hotel and $500.
The Mara family has been longtime Boston College benefactors and Kelley has been friendly with the family for years.
Other prizes include tickets to the Nov. 3 Steelers at Patriots game (two winners will each receive two tickets), four tickets to a Bruins home game (any regular-season game), two 2013-14 season tickets to Boston College basketball, a basketball signed by the 2012-2013 Boston Celtics, a hockey stick signed by the 2012-13 Stanley Cup finalist Boston Bruins, a basketball signed by the ACC basketball coaches and a basketball signed by the Big Ten basketball coaches.
The grand prize winner will be announced on one of the ESPN stations during a BC football game telecast in October, and again during a “College Football Live” broadcast.
Kelley’s battle with ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease) has been the subject of lengthy, moving stories in SI.com and CBSsports.com, among other major media outlets. Both stories highlighted the extraordinary impact he had made on the BC community — from All-Americans like Matt Ryan and Jared Dudley to walk-ons to team managers — and the overwhelming show of support the school has in turn given him.
One of the most emotional moments in modern BC athletic history came March 3 during the men’s basketball game vs. Virginia at the Conte Forum. Prior to the game, Kelley was presented the prestigious U.S. Basketball Writers Courage Award by Sports Illustrated’s Pete Thamel.
Many believe the rousing standing ovation he received was the longest in the 25-year history of the Conte Forum. Then, in storybook fashion, BC stormed back to upset the Cavaliers, with the winning shot coming from about 15 feet away from where Kelley was sitting. When the game concluded, the players and coaches made a bee-line to Kelley to embrace him.
“That’s like the movies,” former BC great Danya Abrams marvelled.
Coach Steve Donahue declared at the start of his post-game press conference, “This game was for Dick Kelley.”
“DK,” as he is affectionately called by the BC athletes, is a 1982 graduate of Andover High School and earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from BC. His parents, longtime schoolteachers Ed and Ann Kelley, still live in Andover.
HOW TO HELP
Raffle tickets to support Dick Kelley can be purchased for $200 or five for $900 at dkfightsals.com. Contributions to his care can also be made at youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/help-bc-s-dick-kelley-/52245.