Tom Brady made a surprise appearance at the Kelley for Ellie breast cancer benefit last night, thrilling the ladies and raising a ton of dough when he offered to autograph footballs and toss them to everyone who ponied up at least $1,000 for the cause.
“We are so grateful that Tom Brady made the 10th Kelley for Ellie the best one yet,” said event founder WCVB’s Kelley Tuthill. “Several women in the crowd are going through challenging breast cancer treatments right now. What a lift it was for them to see New England’s biggest superstar show he also has the biggest heart.”
The event features a fashion show starring the ladies of Channel 5 and last night marked the Kelley for Ellie debut of new alpha anchor Maria Stephanos as well as Tuthill’s final appearance as a WCVB reporter. Kelley, an 18-year veteran of the station, will do her final day on the air tomorrow. She is leaving ’CVB to take a gig as the new vice president of communications and public relations at Regis College.
The annual benefit, which began shortly after Tuthill was diagnosed with breast cancer, has raised more than $800,000 for the Ellie Fund and has helped aid five times the number of patients compared with 10 years ago. Last night’s show featured fashions by Reiss styled by Christina Pierce. The Charles David Salon & Spa was honored for its support of the Ellie Fund and many other area charities.
As for Tom, his appearance came on Day 500 of his Deflategate drama and a day after the deadline to file “friend of the court” briefs for 12’s judicial Hail Mary — an attempt to get a review of a decision that upheld NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s four-game Deflategate suspension.
It was also the first of three high-profile charitable appearances Brady will make this week. Tomorrow he hosts the Tom Brady Football Challenge at Harvard Stadium for his pet cause, Best Buddies, an organization that supports developmentally disabled people. Brady and some of his teammates will take the field for a flag football game with a halftime cooking demonstration by Food Network gadabout Guy Fieri.
On Saturday, Tom will pedal alongside 2,500 of his nearest and dearest — including U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy 3rd, professional cyclists George Hincapie and Christian Vande Velde, E! network star Maria Menounos, “Gotham” cop Michael Chiklis, “Sex and the City” hottie Jason Lewis, chef Cat Cora and more — from Boston to Hyannisport for the Best Buddies Challenge. The bikeathon is followed by a Cape clambake and Beach Boys concert.