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Eric Wood gives back to children with foundation

Posted May 23, 2015

Eric Wood gives back to children with his foundation, The Eric Wood Foundation.

For Bills center Eric Wood, Buffalo is more than just a place where he plays football. It's also a place he can call home.

Wood was drafted by the Bills in 2009 from the University of Louisville. Number 70 has made a name for himself in the Western New York community on and off the field.

“Anything can happen in this business, but I have been very fortunate to play as long as I have here,” Wood said.  “Being drafted here, being re-signed, that is pretty rare in NFL nowadays, and I am very thankful for the opportunity. I have had many ups and downs through my career here, but everyone has always embraced me.”

During his seven years in Buffalo, Wood feels he has established himself enough to give back to the community. In 2014, he found a way to do so with the creation of "The Eric Wood Foundation.”

“It was time to do something a little bigger than football in this area,” Wood said.  “Dealing with families of sick kids and kids in general is something I am passionate about. It’s something that I grew up dealing with so I have compassion for those people. I felt like I could really make a difference in their lives.”

The primary focus of his foundation is to provide seriously ill, special needs and physically challenged children throughout the Buffalo area with daily encouragement and life-changing experiences.

Wood's motivation comes from an intensely personal life experience. He had a brother, Evan, who was born with a pinched brain stem. Evan passed away when he was just eleven years old of phenomena.

For the first six years of Evan's life he lived in a hospital. When he was able to come home, the Woods had a nurse 24-7 at the house.

“I understand the challenges emotionally, financially that can cause and something that means a lot to me,” Wood said. “Everybody has their story and has thought about a niche in their giving and that is my niche.”

Wood is hosting a Dinner for a Difference fundraiser June 8 at Hyatt Regency in downtown Buffalo.

For one evening only, Wood and teammates will trade uniforms and helmets for aprons as they help serve guests a three-course meal with fine wine and spirits. The night will also feature an exciting live and silent auction. Proceeds will benefit the foundation.

General admission tickets are $200. Guests can choose to purchase a $300 ticket to include a signature series football for autographs by celebrities. No outside memorabilia will be allowed at the event, but additional signature series footballs will be for sale for $150. Tickets and sponsorship packages are available at ericwoodfoundation.org.

 “We want to impact as many families and kids in Western New York as we can,” Wood said.  “We want to make it so maybe one of their days can be better. Whatever we can do to brighten their day and give them any bit of hope, would be awesome.”