Throughout the 2015 season, the Buffalo Bills worked in conjunction with several partners to make a significant impact in community. The organization takes pride in serving Western New York through a host of programs focused on Fitness, Health & Safety, Military Appreciation and Community Support. For a full recap of the community relations moments from the 2015 season, please see below.
ADPRO Coach of the Week
In 2015 the Buffalo Bills partnered with APRPO Sports to recognize high school head coaches in the Western New York and Rochester areas for their outstanding work on the field. Throughout the season 22 individuals were named the Bills/ADPRO Sports High School Coach of the Week. Additionally, Tim Delaney head coach of South Park High School (Section VI) and Chris Battaglia head coach of Aquinas Institute (Section V) were each named the Bills/ADPRO Sports High School Coach of the Year.
BENRUS Soldier Recognition
Partnering with BENRUS, the Buffalo Bills commemorated soldiers for their dedication and service. The BENRUS 3rd Quarter Break Soldier Recognition Ceremony took place at each home game, and honored 13 soldiers on-field throughout the 2015 season.
ECMC Billieve Weekend
Aligning with the NFL's annual A Crucial Catch campaign, the Buffalo Bills and ECMC teamed up with the American Cancer Society to generate awareness for breast cancer and raise money to support disease prevention. The Billieve Weekend started off with the tenth annual Billieve Event, which was held outside of (716) Food and Sport on Oct. 2, and concluded with the Billieve Gameday Celebration hosted at Ralph Wilson Stadium on Sunday, Oct. 4. The Bills welcomed 50 survivors to the game, where they formed Stampede Row and received on-field honors. The celebration continued at halftime, as youth football players dressed in pink took part in a scrimmage.
Eric Wood: Walter Payton Man of the Year Award
Not only does Buffalo Bills center Eric Wood exhibit leadership on the field, he takes pride in his work off the field, which includes giving back to the Greater Buffalo and Louisville, Ky. communities. Wood's dedication to helping those in need is evident through his participation in community events and through the Eric Wood Foundation. Through the organization, established in 2014, Wood has already made an impact on the lives of several children with special needs, those that are suffering from illness, and children with physical challenges. Wood's exemplary actions are inspiring and earned him the Buffalo Bills 2015 Walter Payton Man of the Year Award.
Fitness for Kids Challenge / Play 60 Fieldhouse Party
The Buffalo Bills and the Independent Health Foundation recognize the importance of leading an active and healthy lifestyle, and on Monday, Dec. 7 the organization awarded 300 children for their efforts. Partnering with the Independent Health Foundation and the American Heart Association, the Bills Play 60 Fieldhouse Party invited the children to partake in a celebration after finishing the Play 60 and Fitness for Kids Challenges. Special guests at the event included 11 Bills players, who helped educate the children on five health fundamentals.
Make-A-Wish Visit: Anthony
On Friday, Nov. 6, the Buffalo Bills and Make-A-Wish Foundation paired up to give Anthony Calaci the opportunity to fulfill his wish of being the Bills' water boy. Calaci's day started off with him signing an employment agreement contract. As the day progressed, Calaci received a custom Bills jersey to sport as he toured One Bills Drive, participated in a press conference with Bills Insider Chris Brown, and for his big debut on the practice field. Calaci's special Make-A-Wish experience allowed him to get to know some of his favorite players and to stock up on $1,000 worth of merchandise from the Bills Store.
For Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy, returning to Philadelphia to take on his former team was much more than just a homecoming. On Sunday, Dec. 13 before McCoy took the field, he met with a young Eagles fan named Kaitlyn. Through the Make-A-Wish Foundation, McCoy helped make Kaitlyn's dream a reality.
Punt, Pass and Kick Weekend
The NFL Punt, Pass & Kick Program gives young athletes aged 6-15 a chance to compete at the sectional, regional and national level. On Saturday, Dec. 5 the Buffalo Bills were proud to host the Bills Team Championship at the organization's ADPRO Sports Training Center. Participating athletes enjoyed putting their football skills to the test, while engaging in an assortment of fun activities along the way. Athletes were greeted by Bills safety Aaron Williams, who signed autographs and took pictures. Each athlete was also recognized at the Bills vs. Texans game at Ralph Wilson Stadium on Sunday, Dec. 6.
Of the Bills Team Championship winners, Kyle Mitchell from the 6-7 boys division, Aiden Early from the 8-9 boys division and Caleb Nuzzo from the 12-13 boys division advanced to the 2015 NFL Punt, Pass & Kick National Championship on Saturday, Jan. 2. The Bills were proud to have three talented representatives at the competition and congratulate Mitchell, Early and Nuzzo for their performances. Early went on to win his division after receiving a top score of 221.6.
Salute to Service Gameday
In support of the organization's Military Appreciation initiative, the Buffalo Bills held its annual Salute to Service Gameday on Nov. 8. During the pregame ceremony at the Bills vs. Dolphins game, 50 soldiers from each military branch were welcomed on-field to receive honors.
The Buffalo Bills worked with the Food Bank of WNY to hold its annual Thanksgiving Blitz on Wednesday, Nov. 18. The event brought Bills staff, players and family members together to prepare and hand out Thanksgiving meals to families in the Western New York community. Proceeds totaling $43,515 were raised to fund the event. Through the initiative, the Bills were able to provide food to 625 families and spread holiday cheer.
Toyota Rookie Club Holiday Party for Children
On Dec. 14, the Buffalo Bills hosted the Toyota Rookie Club Holiday Party for 94 children in the Toyota Van Miller Club. The children were thrilled as they received presents from their holiday wish lists from 17 Bills players. The festivities also included the chance for the children to meet with Santa Clause and have fun showing off their dance moves.
USA Football Month Celebration
Each year, the month of August not only signifies the start of the NFL preseason but it's also a time for teams around the league to celebrate USA Football Month. As the Bills worked to prepare for the teams season opener, they also geared up to recognize USA Football Month and the Heads Up Initiative. The Bills held several events throughout August to support the campaigns including, the Heads Up Football Moms Football Safety Clinic and an on-field scrimmage between the Hamburg Little Loop and Orchard Park Little Loop football teams during halftime at their third preseason game.
During the 2015 season, the Buffalo Bills teamed up with several partners to make an impact in the Western New York community.
Check out the photos from each of the Buffalo Bills Community Relations events from the 2015 season.