Deterring hatred and fear with beef and beer

The 2nd Annual Ryan Kelly Memorial event will take place on Friday, Oct. 6

Ryan Kelly

Roughly two years after Ryan Kelly was murdered in front of his home at the intersection of Almond Street and Venango Street on Thanksgiving morning 2015, his family and friends have banded together again to host the 2nd Annual Ryan Kelly Memorial Beef & Beer on Friday, Oct. 6 from 7 to 11 p.m. in the Southampton Room, located at 2980 Southampton Road.

According to his older sister, Amy Kelly-Campbell, the family decided to put together this community fundraising event to keep his memory alive in a positive way after his passing. Furthermore, because Kelly was such a proud supporter and alumnus of the Saint George School, they saw it fitting that the proceeds from his beef and beer would be donated to the Friends of Saint George to work to better the school community.

“Ryan was all about Saint George, and always played on its sports teams. So, we wanted to find a way to give back in some way, and put together the beef and beer,” Kelly-Campbell said. “What better way to give back to the community and school he loved?”

Last year, the event hosted 400 to 500 people, and offered a photobooth, DJ, 94 raffle baskets, donated by local community members and businesses and played some of Kelly’s favorite music. Last year’s Ryan Kelly Memorial Beef and Beer raised $11,000, and the Kelly family hopes to top that by raising upward of $15,000 this year.

Left, Bill Kelly, Amy Kelly-Campbell and Ryan Kelly

“Last year was a huge success,” Kelly-Campbell said. “We had it at the Polish-American, but it was too small, so this year we decided to move it to the Southampton Room.”

Although last year the proceeds from the fundraiser were allocated back to the students through six monetary awards given to students from grades five through seven who were selected for the best essay on what Saint George’s means to them, this year the Kelly family wants to find new ways to use the funds. Kelly-Campbell explained her family plans to ask the school what it needs most, whether it be new computers or books, and use the money to fill these needs.

“We’re going to work with the Friends of Saint George to see what the school really needs,” Kelly-Campbell, who resides in Center City, said. “If they don’t need anything, we’ll do the monetary awards again, but if they need anything we want to make sure the kids get those things.”

Kelly-Campbell added that Kelly would have loved to see so much money go to the kids of Saint George. She recalls how caring he was and how much pride he had in the neighborhood and school.

Tickets are $30. To purchase tickets, please contact Kelly-Campbell at (267) 207–4665 or William Kelly at (215) 900–5228.