March’s #JayDay: It’s About Reliability

Today we celebrate the legacy of Jay McGillis, one of Tom Coughlin’s players during his tenure at Boston College.  Jay contracted leukemia in 1991, lost his battle in 1992, and became the inspiration for the Tom Coughlin Jay Fund Foundation’s founding.  Since Jay wore a #31 jersey, the Jay Fund has commemorated the 31st day of every 31-day month as #JayDay – a day to celebrate the memory and legacy of Jay McGillis.  Today, March 31st, we encourage everyone to honor Jay by emulating one of his most notable traits: his reliability.

The Reliability of Jay McGillis

Regardless of whom we asked about Jay, reliability would always come up in the conversation.  Former Boston College teammate Tom McManus said Jay was very reliable on the field – he was always in the right position to do his job on the defense, and he was always putting himself in a position to help his fellow defenders when the need arose.  Off the field, we heard story after story about Jay as a young man who was a picture of consistency in word and deed.  Even as he battled leukemia, he kept himself in the loop with the team, watched every game he could, and tried to be a reliable source of inspiration and positivity for his teammates to the bitter end.

Jay’s legacy of reliability ultimately became the inspiration for our slogan, “BE THERE”, which we adopted in 2012, twenty years after his passing.

The Reliability We Cherish

So many supporters routinely amaze us with their reliability.  Companies like Acosta Sales and Marketing, Brumos, Nemours Children’s Clinic, Southern Wine and Spirits,  THE PLAYERS and so many more donate and contribute year after year.  Since the Jay Fund’s founding in 1996 and the very first Celebrity Golf Classic in 1997, we’ve worked with countless volunteers who give of their time, energy and creativity to BE THERE for us and for all the wonderful families we have the honor of helping.  Last but not least, we’ve been amazed by the hundreds of donors who have made the Jay Fund their non-profit organization of choice for many, many years.

The Reliability We Encourage

Trent, a blogger for, wrote a wonderful article recently that spoke to the blessing of reliability.  In that article, Trent noted, “I view reliability as one of the biggest keys to personal, social, financial and professional success.”  He also passed along several tips for becoming more reliable, including these:

1. Be honest when saying “yes” and “no” to others. Reliable people try to follow through with any request brought to them, but if they can’t help, they decline so that the person in need of assistance won’t be let down.

2. Don’t demand credit all the time.  Reliability – and good will – dwindle when someone demands recognition for the assistance they’ve provided.  Reliable people recognize that the people who needed help already recognize the help they received, whether they acknowledge it or not.

3. Use reliability as a basis for building and cultivating relationships.  Reliable people seek out other reliable people; the trait naturally encourages it’s own development in others.

Jay McGillis employed these tips throughout his life before they were even posted, and today, on March’s #JayDay, we encourage everyone to put them into practice.  It’s one way you can BE THERE…like Jay.