Hall of Famer Jim Kelly coming to York as keynote speaker for YMCA black tie gala


NFL Hall of Famer Jim Kelly will be visiting York County in October.

FILE - In this Sunday, Jan. 23, 1994, file photo, Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly reacts to the Bills' last touchdown in the fourth quarter during the AFC Championship game at Rich Stadium in Orchard Park, N.Y. It's been 23 years since the Bills made and lost its fourth consecutive Super Bowl appearance. Kelly will be in York County on Friday, Oct. 13 as the keynote speaker at a YMCA black tie gala fundraiser.

The former Buffalo Bills and University of Miami quarterback will be the keynote speaker for the YMCA of York and York County’s annual Livestrong at the YMCA Black Tie Gala on Friday, Oct. 13. 

A native of Pittsburgh, Kelly played 11 seasons in the NFL, all with the Bills. He helped the team reach four consecutive Super Bowls and won six consecutive divisional championships from 1988-1995.

He was a five-time Pro Bowl selection and was a first-team All-Pro selection in 1991, when he led the NFL in passing touchdowns. He was the 14th overall pick in the 1983 NFL Draft and had his No. 12 was retired by the Bills, making him one of two players in franchise history to have his number retired. 

Kelly was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2002, his first year up for induction.

In 2013, Kelly was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma  in his upper jaw. He underwent surgery to remove part of the jaw and was declared cancer-free later that year. In March 2014, a follow-up test showed that the cancer had returned. The cancer was more complicated the second time, and Kelly was forced to undergo radiation and chemotherapy treatments before again being declared cancer-free.

Kelly’s nephew, Chad, attended Red Lion High School as a freshman and sophomore and went on to play for Ole Miss. He was drafted as “Mr. Irrelevant” in the 2017 NFL Draft this spring by the Denver Broncos.

The gala runs from 6:15 p.m. to 11 p.m. at the Wyndham Garden in York. All proceeds from the event go toward Livestrong at the YMCA, a 12-week health and wellness program that supports cancer survivors as they regain their physical, emotional and spiritual strength. 

If you purchase tickets by the end of August, you'll receive an early-bird discount that will bring the price down to $100. After that, tickets will be available for $125. Tickets can be purchased online at www.eventbrite.com.

In addition to the keynote address by Kelly, tickets include cocktail hour and a three-course dinner. There will be a silent and live auction and a musical performance by Unforgettable Big Band.

Since its inception in 2012, the Livestrong program has served 236 participants. It embraces cancer survivors at all stages of their recovery as well as families and caregivers by providing a free family membership throughout the course of the program.

For more information regarding the event, contact Melissa Gross at 717-812-0119, ext. 300.