The Buffalo Bills Alumni Foundation spread over $61,000 of holiday cheer, to 25 Western New York not-for-profit organizations on Wednesday.
The money was generously donated to the various organizations at the Bills Alumni Annual Charity Check Presentation luncheon at the Adam's Mark Hotel in downtown Buffalo.
"During these tough economic times, organizations like these need our help now more than ever," said Buffalo Bills Alumni Foundation president Harry Jacobs. "Thanks to the wonderful sponsors of our fundraising events, we are able to support so many not-for-profits in our area."
Bills alumni in attendance were Al Bemiller, Mark Brammer, Hilton Crawford, Bob Dugan, Booker Edgerson, Will Fowler, Harry Jacobs, Joe Kulbacki, Marlo Perry, Ed Rutkowski and David White. Rutkowski recognized and thanked the sponsors while sharing some funny stories from his playing days. The alumni handled the presentation of checks to each recipient and at the end of the function, a raffle of Bills memorabilia was held for attendees.
One of the organization's representatives was very excited and said, "Thank you, thank you, this is great!"
The Alumni Foundation has given nearly one million dollars to various charitable organizations over the past several years and is only about $5,000 short of reaching the million dollar milestone. "We do this to give back to the community," said Ferguson, Bills Alumni Foundation treasurer. "One million dollars means a lot to us."
Ferguson added, "This really is the highlight of the year for our Foundation. These organizations that receive this support from us are so very appreciative, and we are happy to help them out in any way possible so they may continue bringing those needed programs and services to our 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.