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Awash in pink for a good cause

The crowd at the Hot Pink Party was in full blush.

Rock star Jon Bon Jovi took the stage at the Breast Cancer Research Foundation’s gala Tuesday night at the Intercontinental Hotel for a 25-minute set that featured hit songs “Livin’ on a Prayer” and “You Give Love a Bad Name.”

“For me, it’s got to be ‘Balance,’ ” said the rocker’s pal, New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick, when asked his favorite Bon Jovi tune.

The New Jersey singer volunteered the gig to help pay tribute to Notre Dame Head Football Coach Brian Kelly and his wife, Paqui, who were honored with foundation’s humanitarian award. Paqui is a two-time breast cancer survivor who started the Kelly Cares Foundation with her husband, and Brian is a product of Chelsea.


“Who made it out of Chelsea?” said a grinning Brian Kelly, who worked as a legislative assistant at the State House before getting out of dodge. “I called it UCLA — University of Chelsea Logan Airport.”

Kidding aside, there was a lot of pigskin love in the house. Patriots owner Robert Kraft joined the festivities with girlfriend Ricki Noel Lander, lovely in a pale BCBG dress. Cindy Citrone, part owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers, arrived in sparkly pink pants she picked up in Las Vegas. And, of course, there was Bon Jovi, who has football running through those musical veins. His son, Jesse Bongiovi, earned a walk-on spot on the Notre Dame football team last fall (hence the Kelly connection), and the singer/songwriter is part of a Toronto group reportedly interested in buying the Buffalo Bills.

Does Belichick know about this?

The longtime coach, who introduced the rocker’s acoustic performance, attended the powerhouse pink affair with longtime love — and event co-chair — Linda Holliday as well as 600 more partiers including Tiffany Ortiz, Penny Fireman, Remy Stressenger and Dwight Walker, Stacey and Larry Lucchino, Lauren Theodorakos (with a guitar in hand for signing), and Simone Winston.


The night raised well over $1 million — and that was before the live auctioning of a weeklong trip for 12 to Hollywood House, Carolyn and Peter Lynch’s vacation home in Ireland. The million-dollar sum was an especially decent haul considering a generous portion will stay with researchers in New England.

“It was a shoe in,” said Holliday, in a pale pink cocktail dress by Christian Dior.

Or, rather, a touchdown.