Over 700 fans, including some Buffalo Bills legends, attended the eighth annual Call to Courage Awards Breakfast sponsored by the Buffalo Pro-Ministry of Athletes in Action.
The breakfast, held at the Hyatt Regency in Buffalo, was hosted by former Bills quarterback Frank Reich as a way of thanking Western New York for their support during the team's Super Bowl years. Reich engineered the greatest comeback in NFL history when he led the Bills to a 41-38 playoff victory over the Houston Oilers in 1993 after trailing 35-3, and he is now the quarterbacks coach for the Indianapolis Colts.
Each year, Reich presents the Call to Courage Award to a current NFL player to honor excellence on and off the field.
This year's NFL award winner was John Kasay, Carolina Panthers place kicker.
The collegiate recipient of the award was the University at Buffalo defensive end Andrae Smith, who battled knee injuries for two seasons at UB and graduated in May. A native of Kingston, Jamaica, Smith is a mentor with the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Erie County.
The high school award went to Jason Winters, senior running back at Lockport High School. Winters is a mentor for young people and plans to attend Mansfield University in Pennsylvania and wants to become a lawyer. Other local high school nominees were Jesse Kelso of St. Mary's High School, Christopher Persons of Sherman High School, David Goltz of Orchard Park High School and Joseph Licata of Williamsville High School.
The Bills 50th Season was also celebrated at the breakfast as Bills players representing the five decades of the team took part in a roundtable discussion with topics ranging from Super Bowls, team owner Ralph Wilson and friendly advice for young fans. The 1960's, 70's and 90's were represented by NFL Hall of Famers Billy Shaw, Joe DeLamielleure and Jim Kelly. Brad Butler represented the current team and Jerry Butler represented the 80's.
The lively discussion was very entertaining and left fans wanting more.
To see AFL player spotlights, written and video content of Bills legends and to vote for your own personal Bills 50th Season All-Time Team presented by Tops Friendly Markets please visit buffalobills.com.