ST. PATRICK'S DAY
At one time, Kelly’s was closed during this highly celebrated event for fear of overcrowding. It’s hard to believe today, since Kelly’s and St. Patrick's Day are inextricably connected in the minds of local Irish descendents and Irish O’Wannabes. People of all ages, nationalities and backgrounds pack into the bar with one goal: A shamrockin’ good time (which for most includes perhaps a few too many pints). A wee bit of fashion advice: Wear green and don’t wear anything that can’t handle a little spill – although every lost drop of stout ’tis an awful shame!
SHILLELAGH GOLF TOURNAMENT
In 1978, Larry 'Chugger' Worth, Kelly's daytime manager, suggested to Kyle that Kelly's start a golf tournament. Sounds cool, thought Kyle. The first year the Kelly's Shillelagh Golf Tournament netted about $65, which was donated to the charity Sherwood Center. After over 30 years and 4,600 entrants, the Shillelagh has raised over $325,000 for charities, primarily Welcome House, a half-way house for recovering male alcoholics. If you think about it, the Welcome House is a really good fit. The Shillelagh has many faithful players, some who have played in over 25 tourneys. Thanks, guys (& gals) for all your support!
For more information on welcome house, visit http://www.welcomehousekc.org/
IOWA STATE HEADQUARTERS
In the early 1980s, a group of devoted Iowa State fans were in Kelly’s on the Wednesday night before the Big-8 basketball tournament. After having a wonderful, Cyclone-bonding and boosting time, they decided the next year to send out flyers to fellow fans announcing Kelly’s as the place to kick off the tournament. The tradition has carried on and grown with every passing year. Iowa State fans can now comfortably call Kelly’s their home away from home. Of course, we still get plenty of fans from our favorite local and nearby schools, including KU, MU, UMKC, Rockhurst University and more. But none of them have to travel near as far to find a welcoming, fan-friendly atmosphere.
Once a year the lucky employees of Kelly's gather for two reasons: To exchange gifts and drink for free. There is an abundance of food, a party theme, cheesy Christmas music and bartenders from the Westport area brought in to give the employees the night off! There is one rule though: No shots. For this, they simply walk across the street to Harry's.
Michael Leahy worked at Kelly's from 1968-1977. He was a dear friend of the Kelly's and also the executive director of Welcome House, a halfway house for recovering alcoholics.
When Leahy passed away in 2002, Welcome House had his golf shoes bronzed as a tribute to Kelly's for their support of the House. When asked later in life what helped him Leahy replied, "First, my friends, especially the Kelly family, were always there for me, believed in me and never gave up on me. Second, I knew that when I died, I wanted others to remember me as a good person- someone who made a difference."
Leahy's legacy lives on in the countless number of people he helped.