On behalf of the Buffalo Bills and Owner Mr. Ralph Wilson, CEO Russ Brandon received a special Back to Football Friday proclamation from Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, and County Executive Chris Collins, on Friday, September 10, 2010. At the United Way of Buffalo and Erie County, the day was officially proclaimed Back to Football Friday in Buffalo and Erie County to celebrate the return of the Buffalo Bills season to Buffalo, NY.
Businesses were encouraged to hold fun events, decorate their offices and wear the red, white and blue of the Buffalo Bills.
Schools in the Buffalo area were also encouraged to hold similar events and focus on health and wellness through the NFL/Bills Play 60 program that encourages kids to exercise for 60 minutes every day.
Dottie Gallagher-Cohen, Buffalo Niagara Chamber of Commerce president, Colleen DiPirro, Amherst Chamber of Commerce president/CEO, and Michael Weiner, United Way president and all of their staffs were instrumental in helping the Bills reach Buffalo area businesses to encourage them to participate in Back to Football Friday.
Companies can submit photos showcasing their pride and fans can vote on these photos by visiting "Fans" on buffalobills.com to have the chance to win a catered suite for up to 25 people to a Bills game and a catered office party courtesy of Tops Friendly Markets.
Buffalo area schools were also a participant of the special community endeavor. One Buffalo area school will be chosen by the NFL to win a visit to their school by a Bills player and a $10,000 grant for having the most creativity and enthusiasm.
One example of a Buffalo area school getting creative was Holland Elementary who held a "Game Experience Day" to celebrate Back to Football Friday for their students on September 10.
All of the students visited the school parking lot where they held a healthy tailgate at their parents' cars. They featured fruit, veggies and chips with homemade salsa. After the snack stations, they went into the grass field and played football inspired tailgate games such as mini-field goal kicking, bean bag toss, ladder ball and more.
After the tailgate and football themed stations all of the kids went into the field/track area. Each student had a "game ticket" to get into the stadium and had to show their ticket to the Holland supervisors who acted like ticket takers.
The students were then treated to a football game where they sat in the bleachers and cheered for their parents and teachers in a "Parents vs. Teachers" football game. The students were all wearing the Bills colors and made special Bills football signs to wave and showcase at the game.
In addition, The Buffalo and Fort Erie Public Bridge Authority lit the Peace Bridge red, white and blue throughout the weekend to celebrate and help kickoff the Bills 2010 season.