Golfers gather for charity as Kelly recovers


BATAVIA, N.Y. -- The show must go on.

That was the message that former Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly sent to his brother, Dan, amid rumors that Jim Kelly's annual charity golf tournament wouldn't take place Monday.

"From day one, when Jim was diagnosed, one of the first things he said is, 'Make sure we have the golf tournament. Make sure we have the football camp, no matter what happens," Dan Kelly said. "We're committed to that for Jim and with Jim."

Jim Kelly remains in Erie County Medical Center recovering from chemotherapy and radiation treatments for sinus cancer, which he completed last week.

"Unfortunately with Jim's health, he's not able to be here today," Dan Kelly said. "Talking to him yesterday, he really wanted to figure out if there was a way that he could be here, but for his best interest it was important that he didn't come today, as much as he wanted to."

Kelly is expected to remain in the hospital for about another week.

"It will take about six to eight weeks of cooling down to make sure he's healing properly before they can go in and do MRIs," Dan Kelly said. "We're hoping and praying the cancer is gone."

Dan Kelly said his brother is no longer experiencing nerve pain from the cancer.

"That's really encouraging and we're excited about that," he said.

Jim Kelly first announced he had oral cancer at his charity golf tournament last summer, and much of the talk around Monday's gathering at Terry Hills Golf Club remained about the Hall of Fame quarterback's health.

"He's going to get better," said Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino, who has attended 26 of Kelly's 28 annual tournaments. "The way Jim is, he wants to be here more than anything. It's a shame he can't be here but at the same time he's got to take care of [his health]."

Jim Kelly shaved his head Saturday as he continued to lose his hair from chemotherapy. To support his brother, Dan Kelly shaved his head at Monday's tournament and encouraged other golfers to join him.

Kelly's two-day event, which included a gala Sunday night in downtown Buffalo, raises close to $300,000 for local children's charities.

Among those in attendance Monday were former Bills general manager Bill Polian, former Bills wide receiver Andre Reed, Bills owner Mary Wilson and ESPN NFL host Chris Berman.