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Kelce Craze: Team 62 at The Ocean Drive event raises $865,000 and counting for Autism Research and Care

Jason Kelce takes photo with fans at The Ocean Drive
Jason Kelce takes photo with fans at The Ocean Drive

A sea of Midnight and Kelly Green lined the blocks of Sea Isle City, NJ, as enthused Eagles fans waited for their chance to see Jason Kelce and other players guest bartend at the fourth annual Team 62 fundraiser at The Ocean Drive benefiting the Eagles Autism Foundation.

"This is by far the most unique and fun event that I've ever been a part of from a charity standpoint," Kelce said.

For the first time in the event's four-year history, a family-friendly component was introduced to allow every Eagles fan to participate in the day's festivities. The Eagles Takeover at Excursion Park, just a block away from The Ocean Drive, featured the Eagles Autism Foundation's popular Drumline, Cheer, and Football All Abilities Clinics.

Fans had the opportunity to have Rita's Italian Ice served by former defensive tackle and Super Bowl LII Champion Beau Allen, have memorabilia signed by former and current players, and take pictures with Kylie and Donna Kelce.

"Drinking beer with Jason is fun but for the 21 and older crowd," said Ryan Hammond, Executive Director of the Eagles Autism Foundation. "We listened to the families' feedback and understood their desire to share in this day in a meaningful way, so we added the Eagles Takeover this year.

"I think it all goes back to Jeffrey Lurie's vision. It's known throughout the organization authentically that this is our priority off the field and everyone rallies and does everything they can to make this day and every day so special."

The Eagles were recently named one of four finalists for the ESPN Sports Humanitarian of the Year award for the organization's Eagles Autism Foundation.

Before jumping behind the bar with all his friends, Kelce spent time doing a photo session with fans who bought V-VIP tickets, making a generous $250 per person donation to the Eagles Autism Foundation.

Joey and Michele Crawford were first in line for their photo op with Kelce. Joey had Kelce sign a tattoo of the legendary Eagle's center he got earlier in the week. The Delaware County resident plans on getting the signature inked on his leg in the coming days.

"I love his leadership mentality and what he does to give back to the community," Joey said.

Kelce gave back to the community in the town he calls home during the summer, guest bartending at The Ocean Drive with many of his longtime friends including former defensive tackle Fletcher Cox, 15-year Eagle Brandon Graham, guard Landon Dickerson, tight end Dallas Goedert, and many more former and current players.

One non-player stole the show at the Jersey Shore - Big Dom DiSandro, Senior Advisor to the General Manager/Chief Security Manager/Gameday Coaching Operations.

Sporting an Italian shirt that read "I got a guy," Big Dom was everybody's guy behind the bar, serving up drinks, selfies, and autographs.

The players and other celebrity guests took shifts at the four bar locations at The Ocean Drive, making sure that every Eagles fan got the chance to order a drink or take pictures with Kelce and his crew.

The guest bartenders, wearing custom Shore Birds jerseys with their names and numbers on the back, auctioned off selfies and autographs with all the proceeds going to autism research.

To take a break from bartending, a group of players took on VIP fans in the classic team drinking game flip cup at The Ocean Drive's Sandbar & Grill. Dickerson, Goedert, Kelce, and cornerback Avonte Maddox got off to a slow start in game one but eventually found their rhythm and dominated the competition.

"I just show up and drink beer, so I got the fun part," Kelce said. "Kylie and the entire Eagles Autism Foundation team put a lot of countless hours of time, work, sponsorships, and everything that goes into setting up today so that the players can just come here and have fun."

Second-year safety Sydney Brown, a late arrival to Sea Isle City, joined for the last game of flip cup, filling in for Goedert and not missing a beat.

Having just hopped off a flight from Miami, he hopped on top of the bar and served Jell-O shots with whipped cream to wild fans crammed in the first few rows. Wanting to make up for lost time, Brown stayed after the Team 62 fundraiser to serve drinks and interact with fans.

To wrap up Wednesday's festivities, Team 62 and the Eagles Autism Foundation auctioned off signed Kelce authentic and game-worn jerseys, footballs, a bike adorned with Eagles colors and logos, and an Eagles poker table.

The bike and poker table were the last two items auctioned off and were sold for a combined $2,500, both won by Kevin and Katie Backe of Drexel Hill, PA. The Kelce's and Dickerson came out to sign the poker table and take photos with the Backes after the event was over.

"It's a great cause," said Kevin, who worked for the Special Olympics earlier in his career. "Jason and Kylie Kelce are awesome role models and they have done such a great job with this event."

The two-day celebration concluded on Thursday with the second annual New Heights Beer Bowl at the Yacht Club of Sea Isle City.

After raising nearly $500,000 in 2023, the Team 62 at The Ocean Drive fundraiser surpassed that total in 2024, raising $865,000 with donations continuing to come in..

"We are so grateful that our fans are literally Eagles Everywhere," Hammond said. "People have flown in, changed family vacations, and are celebrating milestones with us just to be a part of this event. The response from the community is unmatched and it wouldn't be a success without them."

Those interested in donating to Team 62 and the Eagles Autism Foundation can click here.

The fourth-annual Team 62 Fundraiser at Ocean Drive in Sea Isle City, New Jersey surpassed all expectations, raising an incredible $865,000 and counting for the Eagles Autism Foundation. Check out the scenes from the event!

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