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The John Kelley Memorial Fund is raising money to erect a statue of the late great Olympic athlete on an approved site in Mystic, CT. Read more

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The John Kelley Memorial Fund is raising money to erect a statue of the late great Olympic athlete on an approved site in Mystic, CT.

Jim Roy
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Jim Roy

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About this project

We, The John Kelley Memorial Fund, are hoping to honor the life, hard work, mentality and accomplishments of John Kelley through the creation of a life-size bronze statue in Mystic, CT (Kelley's hometown). Kelley was a championed American Olympic distance runner during the 1950's and 1960's based out of Boston, MA and Connecticut. Off the course he preached hard work, community, humility and running as a return to a simple, conscious life-style. The statue will depict Kelley mid-stride running alongside his usual running partner: his golden retriever, Brutus.

Kelley's list of professional accomplishments include winning the Boston Marathon (as the only member of the Boston Athletic Association to do so), the Yonkers Marathon (presently the New York City Marathon), and the Pan American Games. He also held the National Marathon Championship crown for seven straight years, set the Mt. Washington Road Race course record and represented the USA in two Olympics. Even with all this success he received little acclaim and less rewards. Not once did he earn money for winning a race, sign an endorsement, or receive a shoe deal. Instead he settled down to teach at a local high-school and coach the cross country team (winning multiple state titles too). His ability to run at a world-class level simply for the love of competing and his easy-going will to inspire this same approach in others is the sentiment the Committee hopes to pass on through this project.

The future site of the John Kelley statue
The future site of the John Kelley statue

Risks and challenges

We are made up of one dozen individuals with a wide array of professional backgrounds to help ensure the completion of this project. We have independently raised $37,000, but have decided to reach out to public funding in an effort to not only complete the project, but also to share and promote the values of John Kelley.

We have worked hard to prove our commitment to this project over the last year by independently raising funds, hosting a road-race dedicated to the project and organizing multiple other event fundraisers. We have also received the local government's approval for a site in historic downtown Mystic (pictured above). This prominent parklet is across the street from the famed Mystic Pizza restaurant featured in the 1988 Julia Robert's movie of the same name.

We have deliberately chosen a longer time frame for our funding because we hope to coincide the completion of the project with the 2014 Boston Marathon: Monday, April 21. This will hopefully allow us to install the statue at the beginning of the Summer in 2014; the busiest time of year in Mystic.

We are currently in the process of choosing an artist to fabricate the statue. The funds raised will be used to pay for the artist's work, the bronze casting, and the installation of the statue. Any funds raised that exceed our goal will be used for future maintenance of the statue and site.

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Rewards

  • You selected
    $1 reward

    8 backers

    Besides an eternal happiness that only comes from philanthropy, and better running karma, your name will be placed on the donor's page on the John Kelley Memorial Fund's website so that when you come to Mystic, CT and visit the statue you can say, "Hey, I helped build that statue!" and you can prove it.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    $25 reward

    10 backers

    An 8" x 10" photographic print of John Kelley winning the 1957 Boston Marathon.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    $75 reward

    1 backer

    A signed and personalized copy of Amby Burfoot's (the winner of the 1968 Boston Marathon and current editor of Runner's World Magazine book "The Runner's Guide to the Meaning of Life", plus rewards #1 and #2.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    $250 reward

    2 backers

    A signed and personalized copy of "Marathon Man" by Bill Rodgers (former winner of the Boston and New York City Marathons), plus rewards #1, #2 and #3.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    $500 reward

    2 backers Limited (23 left of 25)

    A signed copy of Bill Rodger's "Relentless" poster and rewards #1, #2, #3 and #4.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world

Funding period

- (55 days)