Over 1.2 million dollars was raised in pledges and collections and Bills Head Coach Chan Gailey assisted by answering phone calls and appearing on the show with WKBW-TV Sports Director Jeff Russo. Booker Edgerson, former Bills cornerback and Wall of Famer, contributed a generous donation on behalf of the Bills Alumni Association while the Buffalo Jills Cheerleaders and Billy Buffalo also appeared at the event to show their hometown team support.
“To have Coach Chan Gailey, the Buffalo Jills, Billy Buffalo and the Alumni, it is indescribable,” said Steve Podosek, Variety Kids Telethon executive producer. “There are no words in terms of what they mean and do for our efforts and for our kids. The Buffalo Bills being our football team, our Buffalo Bills, and this is for our kids. We couldn’t be happier. They do so much to make good things happen every day for our kids.”
Coach Gailey realized the need to help and was impressed by the numbers.
“There are a bunch of kids out there that need help and this is what it’s all about,” said Gailey. “Seeing the money that is being raised is great. Times are not easy, yet you still see people with big hearts that open up their pocketbooks - and that’s how a lot of people show that heart by opening their pocketbooks and giving to a cause as great as this. That was pretty impressive.”
The money is vital to the continued strength of many local children's charities including Women and Children's Hospital of Buffalo.
“It’s pretty humbling,” said Gailey. “This has been going on for 49 years. It was here before I got here and it will be here after I’m gone. It’s something that is big in Western New York and it’s humbling to be a part of it. I am glad that I was able to help with this great cause.“
For more information on the Variety Kids Telethon which is annually hosted live by WKBW-TV, visit www.varietykidstelethon.com.