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Candlelight Ball brightens Hunter's Hope

The 9th Annual Hunter's Hope Candlelight Ball held November 21st, raised $165,000 to date, and will help Hunter's Hope to continue the Universal Newborn Screening Education and Awareness Campaign. The lives of thousands of infants will be saved through this initiative and a capacity crowd of nearly 600 people attended the black tie event at Samuel's Grande Manor in Clarence.

Bills' Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly, his wife Jill and Honorary Chairs Russ Brandon, Bills chief operating officer, and his wife Amy hosted friends, family and former and current Bills players at the Candlelight Ball fundraising event. Great entertainment and an outstanding silent and live auction kept attendees busy during the evening. In addition, a chef's extravaganza with over 30 of the finest restaurants and wineries in Western New York treated guests to delicious tastes throughout the night.

"My wife Jill and I are very appreciative of the tremendous support Hunter's Hope received from the Western New York community for this year's Candlelight Ball," said Jim Kelly. "This year we were also blessed to recognize two special people as Honorary Chairs, Buffalo Bills COO Russ Brandon and his wife Amy. It is a privilege to recognize them for their continued support of Hunter's Hope."

Jacque Waggoner, Hunter's Hope Foundation chief executive officer added, "We are so proud to have Russ and Amy Brandon and the Buffalo Bills on our Team."

The next event Hunter's Hope will celebrate is, "Hunter's Day of Hope for Children" on Valentine's Day, February 14, 2009. Many may wonder why this date is chosen since it is typically a romantic time for sweethearts. For the Foundation, Valentine's Day is Hunter Kelly's birthday, and he was born on his daddy's birthday - Jim Kelly. The other reasons are even more important to the Foundation, because they fulfill one of the primary goals of Hunter's Hope which is to remind parents how blessed they are to have the gift of children and to thank God for them every day. Two very exciting things take place at "Hunter's Day of Hope for Children." First, families come together and spend time just having fun (music, dancing, games, face painting and food). Second and more importantly, everyone gathers and prays for all of the c.hildren.

The Hunter's Hope Foundation was established by Pro Football Hall of Fame member and former Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly and his wife, Jill, after their infant son, Hunter was diagnosed with Krabbe Disease (Globoid-Cell leukodystrophy). The Foundation is the Kelly's lifelong commitment to increase public awareness of Krabbe Disease and other leukodystrophies, as well as to increase the likelihood of early detection and treatment. The major goal and highest priority of the Hunter's Hope Foundation is that every newborn in every state will be tested for every possible disease, saving the lives of thousands of children through newborn screening programs. The Foundation's ultimate goal is to raise funding for research efforts that will identify new treatments, therapies and a cure for Krabbe disease.

For more information on the great things that the Hunter's Hope Foundation is doing and on how you may support their Foundation, please visit or call 716.667.1200.

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