Bills buddy up with kids at zoo

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Nine Buffalo Bills players visited with Stones Buddies children from Women's and Children's Hospital of Buffalo at the Buffalo Zoo on July 10. The players signed autographs, took photos and created arts and crafts with the kids in a special tent set up in the Zoofari Courtyard.

Participating Bills players included Ed Wang, Alex Carrington, Kyle Calloway, Danny Batten, Antonio Coleman, Dominique Harris, Arthur Moats, Sean Allen and David Nelson.

After the fun and games in the Zoofari Courtyard, the children, their families and the Bills players took a tour of the zoo, saw many animals and visited the rainforest exhibit.

"Today was a great day at the zoo," said Arthur Moats. "We got to see the little kids, sign autographs and go around the zoo. My favorite part about the day was seeing the zebras.  Antonio was joking about seeing the zebras saying he wanted to ride one. All of the kids really enjoyed joking around with us, so when we finally saw them (zebras) the kids really liked it and wanted their pictures taken in front of them."

"My favorite animal was the gorilla," said Danny Batten. "They weren't coming out in the beginning but in the end they decided to come out. They are just a cool animal. I also really liked hanging out with the kids, which is what it's all about. Everyone liked the rainforest but it was a little too hot for me!"

Stone's Buddies brings seriously ill young children and teens who are patients at Women & Children's Hospital of Buffalo, as well as the family members who love them, a special program that recognizes their courage and provides a network of support to help them cope with their daily lives.

Free of charge, patients and their families are brought together to celebrate the joys of living so they can draw strength from one another through Stone's Buddies' activities, events, correspondences and friendship. The Bills players joined the families at the zoo and helped create some fun memories for the kids and families that need them most.

It's one of the many ways to try and ensure that chronically ill patients and their families have the tools they need to make what they are going through just a little bit easier. For more information, visit www.stonesbuddies.org.

The Buffalo Bills partnered with Xerox who volunteered to help serve lunch and assist with the activities in the tent.

"It's very important to support Stone's Buddies - it does so much for the families and the moral of the kids," added Batten. "I think it's just a fraction of what we can do being in the position that we are in. It's hard to believe that we can really brighten someone's day as much as we can, it's an honor and I was glad to do it." 

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