Bills cornerback Drayton Florence thanked United States military families and provided them with full Thanksgiving dinners for their tremendous service to our country. On November 22nd, Florence personally hosted 29 military families, selected through a partnership with WNY Heroes, to give them their special holiday meal in Cheektowaga.
"This is a great opportunity to show these families how much we appreciate their sacrifice throughout the year," said Florence, a child of a military family himself, with his father and currently his sister serving our country. "The holidays are always a time of reflection, so on Thanksgiving it is great to be able to give back to these families."
The new Sky Zone Sports indoor trampoline park, which just opened on November 19, provided the location for the event and also gave the 29 military members, their spouses and children free passes for the park on the night of the Thanksgiving celebration.
This is the first year the Drayton Florence Foundation has partnered with WNY Heroes, whose mission is to provide veterans, members of the armed services, and the widows and children of deceased veterans with access to essential services and resources that support their lives and sustain their dignity. Founded in 2007 by U.S. Army veteran Chris M. Kreiger and community activist Dionne Kane, WNY Heroes is a not-for-profit organization serving the needs of Western New York's veterans and their families.
"We couldn't be more excited to be selected by the Drayton Florence Foundation as the partner organization for this year's Day of Thanksgiving in Buffalo to support our military families right here in the Western New York area," said Kreiger. "Every day we are touched by the stories we hear of our local military families, both active duty and veterans, struggling to make ends meet and to provide for their families. These efforts by Drayton and his foundation truly make a difference for these families who have already sacrificed so much for our freedom."
On November 17, Drayton Florence also hosted his annual "Day of Thanksgiving" in Drayton's hometown of Ocala, FL for the over 100 students of Take Stock in Children. The statewide mentoring program for at-risk, low-income students provides a caring mentor throughout high school and a Florida pre-paid scholarship upon successful completion of the four-year program. He also helped teammate George Wilson!(/team/roster/george-wilson/8b42ec4a-aadb-43cf-be76-729d4d40eb01/ "George Wilson") with Wilson's S.A.F.E.T.Y. Foundation boxes of love Thanksgiving event on November 21.
"I am so excited to be helping even more families at Thanksgiving this year," said Florence. "I have been so blessed to be able to give back to those less fortunate, and there's no better time of year to show our appreciation and support our military and our youth than the holidays."
This season, the Drayton Florence Foundation has also partnered with the Wounded Warrior Project to provide Buffalo Bills tickets to troops wounded while serving our country. Later this year, Florence will also host a Christmas holiday party for our Western New York military families, complete with gifts, games and activities for the entire family.
Florence is steadfast with his support for the military.
"Recognizing their service and the service of all the men and women in uniform is important," said Florence. "Our game is measured in wins and losses. What they do for all of us can't be measured."
For more information about the Drayton Florence Foundation, visit draytonflorencefoundation.com/.