The Tom Coughlin Jay Fund Foundation was created in honor of Jay McGillis.

Jay was a special young man who developed leukemia while a member of Coach Coughlin’s team at Boston College. In the eight months between Jay’s diagnosis and the day he lost his battle with cancer, the Coughlin family saw first hand the physical, emotional, and financial strains the illness caused the McGillis Family. After going through the tragic events with Jay’s family, Coach Coughlin vowed that if he ever had the chance, he would create a way to help families with children battling cancer.

Coach Coughlin kept his vow and started this foundation to be there in Jay’s honor. For 25 years, the Jay Fund has evolved in size and scope. We have helped over 5,000 families and given away over $15 million in grants helping thousands of families in Northeast Florida and the New York/New Jersey Metropolitan Area.


The Jay Fund Team

Tom Coughlin


Keli Coughlin


Katika Chuon

Office Manager

Lynn Chwatsky

Managing Director

Jennifer Duncanson, MS, CCLS

Child Life Specialist

Suzanne Funke

Special Projects Coordinator

Sue Garbe

Program Manager, NY/NJ

Alex Garcia

Donor Engagement Manager

Rita Malie

Program Director

Richard Naylor

Director of Business Operations

Mary Jane Pulzello

Program Director, NY/NJ Area

Kim Todd, CCLS

Child Life Specialist

Edye Wright

Director of Community Engagement

Julie Zapala

Volunteer Coordinator

Kelly Bussanich

Communications Manager

Tom Coughlin Jay Fund Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statement, As of 2021

At the Tom Coughlin Jay Fund, diversity, equity, and inclusion is us walking compassionately alongside families journeying through childhood cancer no matter their race, color, religion, creed, culture, class, composition, or lifestyle. Cancer doesn’t discriminate and neither do we.

The Jay Fund has a record of effectively serving people from all backgrounds by earning their trust. Every one of our families is unique and remarkable, deserving of our absolute best efforts to provide them with what they need to persevere; financial, emotional, or practical support.

The Jay Fund promotes healing, connection, and support – the antithesis of bigotry, intolerance, and exclusion. No one should fight cancer alone, and it is our mission to be there. Our team of professional staff and dedicated volunteers are committed to fostering the acceptance of all people by creating safe, nurturing, and respectful spaces for those brave children fighting cancer and the families who love and care for them.

Board of Directors

Tom Coughlin – President
Ernie Bono, Sr. – Vice President and Secretary
Dr. Michael Joyce – Medical Director
Ernie Bono, Jr.
Gary Chartrand
Brian Coughlin
Tina D’Alessandro
Susan DuBow

Mike Lewis

Anne Coxe Mesrobian
Sandra Ramsey
Joanne Robertson

Advisory Board

Kristin Barbato
Kevin Boothe
Maribel Carson
Tim Coughlin
Mark Herzlich
Tom Kelly
Mike McGillis
Jon Miller
Sandy Montag
Kate Snee
Allison Stangeby

Honorary Board Members

Judy Coughlin
Fran Foley
Ken Tonning

Special thanks to the teammates that advise the Board Members in Committee roles: Donna Augustyniak, Susie Coughlin, Joli Craver, John Crawford, Christian D’Alessandro, Dustin Fries, Gary Hiatt, Marshall Hill, Dr. Saundra Jackson, Kerry Miller, Rick Plotkin, Tom Rackley, Peter Reynolds, Helena Richards, Pablo Saldana, Marcy Sandler, Terry Wilson, and Barry Zeidwig.

Tom Coughlin’s 2021 Leadership Team

Press Coverage