Paqui Kelly and Shelley Myers have different rooting interests on Friday, but had the same good deeds in mind on Thursday.

Kellys and Meyers Come Together Before Game to Help Needy

Dec. 31, 2015

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By Leigh Torbin

PHOENIX, Ariz. –

Thursday morning at the J.W. Marriott Camelback Inn, Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly and Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer joined together for a brief press conference. It was of no real significance.

Thursday morning at the St. Mary’s Food Bank, Paqui Kelly and Shelley Meyer joined hands helping package over 82,000 pounds of food for the homeless and others in dire need. It was of the utmost significance in the lives of thousands.

No stranger to helping the afflicted as the President of the Kelly Cares Foundation which has re-distributed over $2.5 million to non-profits, Paqui, on behalf of the wives of the Irish coaching and support staff, gladly accepted an invitation to join Shelley and the Buckeye staff wives for this service event.

“Anyone can do it and everyone should do it,” Kelly said of the Irish lending a hand for the Fiesta Bowl’s local community. “Helping others that are in need is the main thing here. There are people in need everywhere. This is a very easy thing to do. We are here all week. We were glad to be invited to help out. There are a lot of giving people in the Notre Dame family.”

Whether the community in question is South Bend or Arizona, hunger is hunger and a fellow human in need is still a fellow human in need. Kelly and her friends were thrilled to do whatever they could.

“We all have a community that we come from and are joining this community this week here in Arizona,” Kelly said. “But, more importantly, there are people in need everywhere. We have our own foundation we work with and do things in the community but we try to do outreach everywhere.”

Although many naturally associate the Kelly Cares Foundation with breast cancer in recognition of Paqui, a two-time survivor, helping the hungry is also a part of the charity. The Food Bank of Northern Indiana is among scores of non-profit organizations supported by donations to the Kelly Cares Foundation.

“Brian and I have our family foundation and we have a broad pillar of health, community and education,” Paqui said. “We raise funds to help other non-profits that fall under any of those three. We’ve been blessed that in the last five years we’ve given over $2.5 million dollars to people in need.”

About 35 Irish coaching and support wives, along with several of their children, lent a hand on Thursday morning. Battle lines may divide the scarlet and gray from the blue and gold on Friday, but in a massive Phoenix warehouse, they were united for the common good on Thursday. In an hour and a half’s time, 5,160 boxes of food containing non-perishables like rice, pasta and beans, were compiled to be shipped around the Grand Canyon State.

“There’s a great showing both from ND and Ohio State coming full force,” Kelly said. “The more hands, the easier the workload. There are people in need and there’s plenty of hands here to help.”

The great ladies behind Our Lady’s team helping out at St. Mary’s arm-in-arm with potential rivals? There may not be a more fitting way for all involved to spend the final day of 2015.

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Editor’s note: That was funny


Leigh Torbin, athletics communications assistant director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since 2013 and serves as the football publicity team’s top lieutenant while coordinating all media efforts for Irish women’s lacrosse. A native of Framingham, Massachusetts, Torbin graduated from the University of Massachusetts in 1998 with a bachelor’s degree in sports management. He has previously worked full-time on the athletic communications staffs at Vanderbilt, Florida, Connecticut and UCF.