Jim Kelly Football Camp kicks off 25th Anniversary

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Buffalo Bills Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly's impressive career, his love and passion for helping kids, and his drive and determination have arguably produced the greatest football camp for kids in the country, and it will be held again in Buffalo's backyard for their 25th Anniversary year.

Kelly's on-the-field accomplishments are many, and he has parlayed them into an unforgettable football camp for kids ages 8-18.

Kelly has received amazing recognition during his professional career, and some of it is noted below:

  • Buffalo Bills first-round draft pick – 1983.
  • United States Football League record 9,842 yards passing, 83 TD passes, 63% completion percentage in two seasons (5,219 yards with 44 TD's in 1984, USFL MVP)
  • Bills five-time Pro Bowler, and won a record four straight AFC Championships with four consecutive trips to the Super Bowl. Won 101 games vs. only 59 losses in 160 regular season games played.
  • Buffalo Bills team career record 35,467 yards passing and 237 TD passes.
  • Pro Football Hall of Fame – Class of 2002.
  • Kelly's #12 jersey is the only retired number of the Buffalo Bills.
  • Buffalo Bills 50th Season All-Time Team member – 2008.
  • 25th Anniversary of the JIM KELLY FOOTBALL CAMP – 2012.

Of all these remarkable accolades, the 25th Anniversary of the Jim Kelly Football Camp is one of the proudest achievements of Kelly's historical career.

Kelly is excited to celebrate his camp's 25th Anniversary in 2012.

"It truly is unbelievable that we are celebrating our 25th Anniversary of my camp this year," said Kelly. "When I first started, I thought that if we could run this camp for ten years that would be great. With the support of our community, dedicated staff and the Buffalo Bills partnership we were able to keep my camp going and hopefully for many years to come."

The Jim Kelly Football Camp has many special plans for their 25th Anniversary, and they created a new logo to celebrate their 25 years in the community.

"I am truly excited about our new camp logo," said Kelly. "The new camp logo will be on all of my camp merchandise this year. For all of the campers and staff attending my camp this year, we have some great new items that you will be receiving."

Kelly is very hands-on with camp and he provides personal instruction to many of the campers. The camp even allows for parents to watch their kids play on the same field as the NFL players do, and many parents take advantage of the opportunity...some kids and families travel from out-of-state to attend the camp. Kelly feels that if his name is on the camp, he wants it to be a first-class operation and a great memory for all the families involved.

Kelly himself has lots of great camp memories, and they revolve around the kids.

"It's hard to narrow down my favorite camp memories because there are so many," said Kelly.  "However, every time I jump into a flag football game and throw a touchdown to one of the campers, it is always great to see how excited they get - or when I throw an interception...ha ha."

More than football skills, technique and flag football games, Kelly makes sure that he and his staff teach respect, teamwork and manners. He even has a chalk-talk session for kids usually hosted by former and current Bills players or other prominent people.

"A few years back, a young boy with cerebral palsy attended my camp and I threw a touchdown to him," said Kelly."To watch all of his teammates come and congratulate him was a great sight, and made me very proud of how they displayed maturity and teamwork. The focus of my football camp is to teach the fundamentals of football, however it is also about teaching the children to be great people off the field too."

Every year, Kelly autographs one item for every kid that attends his camp and he tracks how each kid responds to the encounter. If the child doesn't say, "thank you," then Kelly will stop signing and ask the kid to try again...respond properly.

"We've been teaching this for years and if someone, whether it's a parent, teacher, anyone...if they give you something or do something for you, it's automatic that you should say 'thank you' afterwards...so when I give an autograph to the kids they should say, 'thank you' too."

Since the camp's first year in 1988, Kelly has made a tremendously positive impact on the over 10,000 kids that have gone through his fun and memorable camp.

The 25th Jim Kelly Football Camp is a non-contact camp that will run from June 24 -28, 2012, at the Buffalo Bills home field in Orchard Park, NY on the Ralph Wilson Stadium and Bills Healthy Zone Fieldhouse fields. 

CLICK HERE to visit Jim Kelly Football Camp Photo Gallery.

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