Wine tasting gala benefits young cancer patients


JACKSONVILLE,Fla. – It was night of good company, fine wines and cuisine from some the area’s top restaurants and all of it was helping some of the youngest patients who are in the fight of their lives.

It was 12 years ago that former Jaguars coach Tom Coughlin and his Jay Fund Foundation started the annual Wine Tasting Gala.

The foundation's goal is tackling childhood cancer. And even though the foundation has two branches, including one in the New York and in New Jersey area started when Tom Coughlin coached the New York Giants. All funds raised tonight support Jacksonville area families.

About 900 guests were expected to fill the foyer of the Wells Fargo Center downtown. And attendees enjoyed more than 250 world-class wines.

Thirty- seven area restaurants provided food and there was also a silent auction.

Participants also mingled with local celebrities, like Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley, running back Denard Robinson and of course, former Jaguars Head Coach Tom Coughlin.

His daughter, Keli Coughlin told News4Jax, they hope to raise $250,000 for area kids fighting cancer through support groups and special events for the young patients as well as monetary help.

“Almost always when a child is diagnosed with cancer one parent stops working. So that family experiences a loss of income in most cases. Along with the additional medical expenses. So 60 percent of our support goes to help pay their rent, their mortgage, you know, their utility bills, their car payments, whatever they need so they can focus on their child,” Keli Coughlin.

The Tom Coughlin Jay Fund Foundation was created in honor of Jay McGillis, a young man who lost his eight- month battle with leukemia while a member of Coughlin's football team at Boston College.

Coughlin joined the Jaguars in 1995 and started the Jay Fund Foundation a year later.

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