Bills running back Fred Jackson, safety Bryan Scott, linebacker Chris Kelsay, defensive lineman Kyle Williams and running back C.J. Spiller signed autographs for the Kids Escaping Drugs (KED) supports Renaissance Campus on September 21 at the Verizon Wireless store at Boulevard Mall.
Kids Escaping Drugs supports Renaissance Campus, is a long term residential treatment facility for teens with drug and/or alcohol addictions.
The Bills players were glad to help raise awareness and were featured on a special poster that was given to fans that donated monies to support the KED program. The poster's theme was "Take Pride in Making Strides."
"It's always good to raise awareness and any part I can do to help, I will," said Jackson. "It's good to keep kid's away from drugs because they are our future."
"It's actually an honor to represent the Kid's Escaping Drugs campaign," said Scott. "It's imperative that we steer them in the right direction, keep them off drugs and off the streets. I just strive to be a role model every day and if me being here helps the cause, I will continue to support the campaign for years to come."
Since 1986, Kids Escaping Drugs has been raising money to build adolescent treatment facilities for families throughout Western New York. Before that time, no facilities existed locally for this age group. Young people had to be treated in an adult setting, be sent to facilities out of town or, worse, get no treatment. In October 1990, Renaissance House was opened.
Chris Kelsay and his wife have been very involved with the KED program.
"Natalie and I have been a part of KED for years," said Kelsay. "Before we had our second child we went to KED every Friday and spoke with one house per week. We just let the kids know that we are interested in their well being and to let them know it's never too late, they have a second chance and it's how they make the most out of this chance that matters. It's great to be a part of that."
JoAnne Hudecki, KED executive director, was pleased with the turnout and appreciative of the support from the Buffalo Bills.
"The autograph signing with the Buffalo Bills is a wonderful tradition that we've had over the years," said JoAnne Hudecki, Kids Escaping Drugs executive director. "We really started in 1987 with our first poster. The Bills have been very gracious to this charity and have supported the Renaissance Campus since we opened our doors since 1987. It's been great tonight. I think we've had the biggest turnout we've had in a long time."
Today the Renaissance Campus has expanded to a 62-bed residential treatment program offering a continuum of care for chemically dependent adolescents. The Campus consists of three treatment facilities: Renaissance House, Stepping Stones and Promise House, as well as the Rosa's Resource Center, home to the Kids Escaping Drugs Campaign. Renaissance House is a 30 bed in-patient facility for boys ages 12-17; Stepping Stones is a 16 bed facility for girls ages 12-21, which combines in-patient and halfway programs; Promise House is a 16 bed halfway house for boys ages 18-21. The Campus' average age is 15 years old, but we can accept teens from 12 to 21 years of age.
The facilities offer a safe and supportive environment where adolescents can recover, learn responsibility and re-enter the community with the tools to live a drug-free lifestyle. Renaissance Campus is growing and so are adolescent drug and alcohol problems.
In addition, the Kids Escaping Drugs Campaign has been offering prevention and outreach to the WNY community since 1996 through various programs: Peer Awareness, Face to Face, Vocational Outreach Program and Art Therapy.
If you have a child in crisis or would like to speak to someone on the campus, call (716) 821-0391. For more information visit www.ked.org.