(Photo Credits: Cam Neely Foundation/Vanguard PR)
By: Liz Rizzo | Follow me on Twitter @pastagrl88
For the past 25 years, the city of Boston has held one of the biggest and longest-running comedy fundraisers in the United States- Comics Come Home. The event was co-founded by local comedian Denis Leary and Hall-of Famer former Bruin Cam Neely. The money raised by the annual event directly benefits the Cam Neely Foundation for Cancer Care. After losing his mother in 1987 to cancer and subsequently his father in 1993, Neely created the foundation in 1995. That same year, he asked Leary to help create a comedy benefit show.
Honoring The Neely’s
When Marlene and Michael Neely, were diagnosed with cancer within six months of each in 1986, the devastating news impacted the entire family. It’s not uncommon for professional athletes to get involved with charities, however for Neely, (after losing both parents to colon and brain cancer), his focus shifted to cancer-related charities.
The Cam Neely Foundation was created in 1995 to help both patients and their families cope with this devastating diagnosis by providing emotional support, comfort, and hope. The foundation also offers a place for families and patients to stay together as they undergo treatment. Located in Boston, the foundation is comprised of two parts: The Cancer Fund (that funds treatment and research) and The Neely House (which provides a comfortable living place for families).
Bringing Comfort To Families
Having a close relationship with Tufts Medical Center, there you will find The Neely House, a home-away-from-home for those receiving treatment. Its bed-and-breakfast style seeks to provide a comforting atmosphere and has housed over 6,500 families. Not only is it a place to stay, but it also offers patients and their families the opportunity to speak with others that are going through similar situations.
The city of Boston is home to many of the best medical institutions in the country and the Tufts Medical Center (along with its Floating Hospital for Children) shares the same mission with the Cam Neely Foundation: ” to provide leading-edge medical care with the highest level of compassionate patient care.” Located within the walls of the Medical Center, The Neely House initially started out with eight apartments that expanded to 16 apartments. In 2017, the House went under renovations to modernize accommodations and now includes two common kitchens and living rooms.
Are You Up For The Challenge
Since 1995, the Foundation has raised over $31 million dollars all from generous donations, and is fully endowed. Monies have also gone to fund pediatric and adult research clinics. As of 2018, Comics Come Home has raised over $11 million dollars that have directly gone to the Foundation. The star-studded event has hosted everyone from Denis Leary, Bill Burr, Jimmy Fallon, Jim Gaffigan, and Jon Stewart. Last year, the benefit marked its 25th anniversary with a guest appearance by Michael J.Fox.
As the world continues to fight through the recent global pandemic, the 26th Comics Come Home has been postponed. However, with a few adjustments, many well-known familiar faces have issued a #raising8for8challenge for the Neely Foundation. For the next eight weeks, the challenge is to donate just eight dollars in support. Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand was challenged by past performer Jimmy Fallon (whose father stayed at the Neely House) to donate.
Grateful to have @Bmarch63 of the @NHLBruins on our team for the #raising8for8challenge. A new video is posted every Monday from our supporters to encourage those who can to donate at least $8 and tag a friend to do the same. To donate visit: https://t.co/H9muNi7cce pic.twitter.com/HIdp86KiSi— Cam Neely Foundation (@CamNeelyFdn) December 7, 2020