Don “Big Bird” Saleski is one of the Flyers’ famed Broad Street Bullies, but his wife Mary Ann Saleski is bullish for something else: philanthropy. As senior vice president and executive director of Comcast-Spectacor Charities, Saleski oversees numerous fundraising events for the company’s various entities.
Saleski’s first brainstorm has become a Philadelphia institution: the Flyers Wives Fight For Lives Carnival. As the 37th carnival approaches in January, more than $25 million has been raised for a variety of local causes. “After we won the first Stanley Cup in 1974, it was a magical time in the Flyers’ organization,” says the Media resident. “We wanted to give back to the people of Philadelphia.”
Saleski also spent 20 years as executive director of the Senior PGA Tour and its beneficiaries. She returned to Comcast-Spectacor in 2005, orchestrating new charitable ventures like the Flyers Charities Halloween 5K & 1-Mile Walk, the Flyers Wives Fashion Show, Building Hope for Kids and Quilts For Kids.
No matter her corporate title, Saleski still considers herself a Flyers wife, and she loves working with the spouses of current players. “We’re members of a unique sorority,” she says. “And we want to support the community the way that fans support our husbands.”
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