The 2020 NFL Draft will, without a doubt, be one for the books. The first of its kind, the virtual event required general managers and personnel to move their operations from team facilities to their homes. Not only does the new format have fans glued to their TV screens, it also has them clamoring for behind-the-scenes looks at the remarkable setups. Area resident Peter Hall, however, got even closer to the action than he could have imagined.
One of seven winners of the United Way of Buffalo & Erie County sweepstakes that launched earlier this month, Hall – a longtime classical music host on WNED – joined general manager Brandon Beane for an experience of a lifetime. Linking up with Buffalo's draft guru on Friday, April 24, Hall was on Zoom with Beane as he called in the team's second-round pick, A.J. Epenesa.
Spearheaded by Beane, the program served as another way for Buffalo's GM to make a difference during the coronavirus pandemic. After giving $20,000 to relief efforts, Beane decided he would also donate his time to increase awareness for a special cause – the WNY COVID-19 Community Response Fund. Calling on Bills fans to rally for the initiative, Beane helped inspire others to support the fund. Through the campaign, a staggering $77,412 was raised.
One of over 1,400 individuals who contributed, Hall was eager to do his part.
"I'll tell you the exact truth, I'd seen some news articles [and heard reports] on radio and TV and people were saying that certain disadvantaged communities were really suffering disproportionately from COVID-19," Hall said on 'One Bills Live' prior to his big moment.
"I thought, 'I wonder if there's anything that I can do?' And then I filed my taxes…and realized I was going to get a refund and said, 'You know, I don't really need the money now, but somebody must.' So, what can I do? Then I thought of the United Way, so I went over to see how to donate and the next thing I know, there's a way to donate to this special fund. I said, 'Wow, this is exactly what I was looking for. This is really easy!' So, I made a donation…Then I got a call from the United Way [and they said], 'Hey, you won the most coveted prize. You get to be in on the draft pick.'"
Hall's generous gift and that of each donor, will benefit essential organizations in their fight against COVID-19.
Get a behind-the-scenes look at Buffalo's personnel as they work remotely during the 2020 NFL Draft. Draft coverage is presented by ECMC.