While local organizations work diligently to aid residents affected by COVID-19, Bills general manager Brandon Beane has too joined the campaign. Stepping up to the plate, Beane is donating $20,000 to relief efforts and is also teaming up with the United Way of Buffalo & Erie County – a longstanding Bills partner – to increase awareness for the recently established WNY COVID-19 Community Response Fund, in a unique and engaging way.
A collaborative effort, established by the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, Health Foundation for Western & Central New York, The John R. Oishei Foundation and the United Way of Buffalo & Erie County, the fund has brought together over 20 philanthropic groups – including the Buffalo Bills Foundation and Sabres Foundation – to support the region's eight counties. Designed to address the area's most critical needs, resources collected through the fund will be allocated to essential organizations such as health, human services, food, childcare and frontline responders.
"I'm grateful for individuals in Buffalo and across the country that are on the frontlines – doctors, nurses, first responders, grocery store workers, pharmacists, all the people that are trying to help others and are putting their own health at risk for this big cause," said Beane. "There's no way to really thank them, but hopefully this is a good way for the rest of the community to help."
Not only is he encouraging Bills faithful to contribute if they're able, Beane's taking action himself by donating funds to relief efforts and his time.
Through an exciting new sweepstakes, the team's general manager will offer fans an opportunity to interact with him as he gears up for the 2020 NFL Draft. The initiative, which officially launched on Monday, April 6 and runs until Friday, April 17, will award seven randomly selected entrants with one of the following Bills-themed experiences or prizes:
- One winner will have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to be on the phone as Beane calls in Buffalo's first draft pick (tentatively April 24).
- One winner will participate in an exclusive one-on-one Zoom Q&A with him. *
- One winner and three guests will enjoy lunch with Beane and a tour of the ADPRO Sports Training Center. *
- One winner will join Beane at a Bills practice. *
- One winner will get four (4) 100 level tickets to the Bills 2020 home opener.
- One winner will receive a collectible Bills helmet autographed by each of the team's 2020 NFL Draft selections.
- One winner will be awarded an autographed Josh Allen jersey.
For Beane, the sweepstakes is a great way to connect with Bills supporters and to showcase his appreciation for the community.
"I thought with the draft coming up in a few weeks, that this would be a nice distraction for people who are going through tough times right now," said Beane. "We know how enthusiastic Bills fans are, so I'm just trying to find a way to engage them and to open up opportunities that fans don't have access to generally and to inspire them to get involved."
Now, as communities around the globe grapple with this unparalleled crisis, it's critical that the resilient and proud people of Western New York band together to serve and protect one another.
"The time is now for the Western New York community to come together as we navigate the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are grateful to Brandon Beane for joining the effort and using his platform to support the WNY COVID-19 Community Response Fund," said Michael Weiner, President & CEO United Way of Buffalo & Erie County.
Aiming to motivate others, Beane is calling upon Bills fans to do what they do best – rally for a good cause.
"I argue all the time about how great our fans and community are, about how strong we are," said Beane. "The Bills are deeply rooted in the region – our players, our coaches, our staff, our whole building. We're a community that's blue-collar. We're going to all work together and get through this. While we're facing a worldwide pandemic, we must start relief efforts in our area first. What better way to get our fans involved? We've seen how passionate they are from their work with other charitable groups."
To make a donation to the WNY COVID-19 Community Response Fund or to find out how to enter the sweepstakes, please visit www.wnyresponds.org.
*Date and time to be mutually agreed upon.