How a New York City Irish gang raised over $1 million for charity

Members of The Kelly Gang, pictured in 2002, including founding member and Stuyvesant Town resident Keith Kelly, standing behind former Police Commissioner Ray Kelly (Photo courtesy of the NY Post)

By Sabina Mollot

What began with an annual get together by a group of media professionals with the last name Kelly has morphed over a period of 18 years into a charity that this week will have raised over $1 million for various notable causes.

Stuyvesant Town resident and New York Post columnist Keith Kelly, who’s one of the founding members of this group, spoke with Town & Village this week about The Kelly Gang and how its supporters have included former top cop Ray Kelly and even Donald Trump.

Ahead of its annual corned beef and cabbage dinner, which was held on Tuesday night at midtown restaurant Michael’s, Keith Kelly said the gang began with an informal Christmas meal in 2000. At first it was Keith, Ed Kelly, who was then CEO of American Express Publishing, Mike Kelly, then the publisher of Entertainment Weekly, Jim Kelly, editor in chief of Time magazine, and author Tom Kelly. At the time, it was for a news story on various media Kellys who’d gotten promotions and they met up at The Four Seasons.

“Ed Koch saw us and sent over a round of drinks,” Keith recalled. One day, when spotting the group at the pub Langan’s, Post columnist Steve Dunleavy dubbed them The Kelly Gang.

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P.S. 40 holds Maker Faire

Finalists in the Junior Chef Competition for the best vegetarian salad with Chef Jenny Ecclestone (Photo by Ashley Naomi)

By Sabina Mollot

On Saturday, hundreds of families headed to P.S. 40 for the school’s first Maker Faire, organized by the PTA. The event, done in coordination with Salk School and MS 104, included a Junior Chef competition and activities for children like robot building, Battle Bots racing and stuffed animal making.

The event was open to the community and free, with organizer and PTA board member Benjy Kile remarking it was nice to be holding an event that wasn’t a fundraiser for a change. That said, some items, including food, were for sale, with vendors kicking back a portion to the school, but, said Kile, “It’s meant to be more of a community event.”

The Junior Chef event proved to be a big hit among event goers, who crowded the school’s auditorium for judging.

A chef who works with the school on a wellness committee, “Chef Jenny” Ecclestone, said the contestants, who’d already made it to a finalist round, had presented vegetarian salads. The winning entry, a kale salad, was prepared by Leyli Colley.

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New renovation plan for Bellevue South Park gets support from Community Board 6

Bellevue South Park (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

The Parks committee for Community Board 6 voted to support a new plan to renovate Bellevue South Park in a meeting last Tuesday.

Representatives for the Parks Department returned to the community board multiple times with revisions to the plans for the park, which the Borough Commissioner’s Chief of Staff Steve Simon said in a previous meeting was an unprecedented move since the agency usually only presents to community boards once for such projects before moving forward.

Residents and park advocates had requested that the Parks Department return for revisions to the plan due to what they perceived as safety issues that the original design did not adequately address.

While many attendees mostly approved of the plan presented by the agency, some dog owners at the meeting still had objections to the department’s unwillingness to use the temporary dog run space as part of the permanent dog run.

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Letters to the editor, Mar. 14

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Forget the tax, just cut spending

Re: “Council pushes pied-à-terre tax,” T&V, Feb. 28

After reading the piece on pied-à-terre taxes, I couldn’t help but wonder when I might read a story about State Senators, City Council members, or the mayor suggesting we actually cut back on certain types of expenses to help pay the bills that come due.

Rather we live in an era where spending more, increasing benefits paid for and entitlements is the annual plan and the solution is always another, or an increased, tax.

Slowly read the story about this proposed tax. It is a tax on people who “are not subject to city or state income taxes” because they are not permanent residents. They pay real estate taxes, maintenance of their homes, employ people and pay our generous sales taxes when they spend money here. But we want to tax them so we can have enough capital to offer early retirement at 50 percent of the final year’s wages to city employees.

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