The Buffalo Bills Alumni Foundation awarded Chris and Donna Kowalski of Orchard Park, NY with their Grand Prize in the Bills Alumni Foundation's 6TH Annual Raffle Drawing. The drawing was held at the Adam's Mark Hotel in Buffalo on Sunday evening, January 18.
Charley Ferguson, Bills Alumni Foundation treasurer, presented a $2,500 check to the Kowalski's who, along with nearly 100 supporters and ticket holders, were present at the raffle drawing event.
Nearly 600 tickets were sold at $50 each for the raffle which directly benefits those organizations who participated in the sale of raffle tickets. Organizations were able to raise between 50 and 70 percent on every $50.00 raffle ticket they sold, and many took advantage of this great fundraising opportunity.
"I think it's great what the Bills Alumni Foundation does for youth groups in Western New York," said an elated Chris Kowalski. "Hopefully, this will bring an even greater awareness of the wonderful work the Alumni Foundation does."
Chris Kowalski sold raffle tickets to help support the Orchard Park High School Baseball Team whose group will be the beneficiary of the 100 tickets they sold.
Other prize winners included 2nd place winner Sherry Carr of Chaumont, NY who won a 42" LCD HDTV, 3rd place winner Kirk Parry of North Tonawanda who won $750, and 4th place winner Anne DiMatteo of Hamburg who won a 10-megapixel digital camera.
In addition, the Buffalo Bills Alumni Foundation reached an impressive milestone on Sunday surpassing the one million dollar mark in giving.
"This is really a community objective and for people who are really in need," said Bills Alumni Association president and former Bills linebacker Harry Jacobs (1963-1969). "What we're doing is helping those less fortunate than we are."
The Bills Alumni Association set their sights on a million dollars five years ago as their association grew and their efforts grew too. It was only fitting that they reached the million dollar mark on a football Sunday during the AFC and NFC championship games.
"Over the last five years we started targeting a certain amount (of giving)," said Bills Alumni Association treasurer and former Bills wide receiver Charley Ferguson (1963-1969). "We want to do things to give back to the community and we were able to accomplish that million dollar goal on Sunday."
The former football stars use the same skills that were used on the football field to help the community; leadership, a spirit and belief in making a difference, and their tireless efforts are making a positive impact for people in need in the Western New York community.
"We're going to make a difference in our communities through our attitudes, our behaviors, our outreach and our monies," said Jacobs. "Money is a big thing, there's no doubt about that, but more than that is the spirit in which our team, Buffalo Bills Alumni, looks at life."
Jacobs described the comparison between the on-field accomplishments where his Bills teams won back-to-back world championships in the AFL (1964-65) to the accomplishments in the community.
"We want to be out there in front of people and help them see that there is hope and if there is hope, we need to dig down deep," said Jacobs. "When we'd lose a football game we'd get down deep and dig hard and make a difference and make it happen on the football field and that's what brought us victory. We have that same attitude now, even at 72, I still have that same attitude and I know the other guys we deal with do. We need to and want to be out in front of our community and help them see that spirit that God's given us so that can also filter out to them and they too can stand up and make a difference with their truth and their hope and their community."
The Buffalo Bills Alumni Foundation was founded in 1999 and is comprised of past Bills players that have left an imprint on society during their football careers and want to continue molding society in a positive manner.
For more information regarding the Bills Alumni Association, please call 716.694.7867 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.