The Patricia Allen Fund at John R. Oishei Children's Hospital reached $1 million Monday following a contribution of $217,000 from Bills fan and Buffalo native Sue McCollum.
"I am grateful to be able to make this gift in honor of my late parents, Frederick D. and Joan R. McCollum," Sue McCollum said in a statement. "My parents loved their family, their hometown and we grew up knowing Sundays were made for Buffalo Bills football! They'd be proud to know they are joining the Bills Mafia in honoring Josh Allen's own grandmother and in doing great things for the kids in Buffalo."
The fund began with a grassroots effort from Bills fans who donated in $17 increments after it was announced that Patricia Allen – grandmother of quarterback Josh Allen – had passed away unexpectedly in the days leading up to Josh's 415-yard performance against the Seattle Seahawks on Nov. 8.
Contributions totaled more than $300,000 by the following Wednesday and had climbed to $483,000 when the quarterback announced his own $17,000 donation on Nov. 13. Labatt USA donated $17,000 to raise the total to $776,000 on Sunday.
"I know my family is forever ingrained here, myself included," Allen said in response to the support. "I don't ever want to leave, obviously. I want to play here for as long as I can and give back to the community and give back to the Bills Mafia here."
Oishei announced the ongoing "Patricia Allen Fund" on Nov. 21 in support of the hospital's patients and rebranded the west wing of its 10th floor as the "Patricia Allen Pediatric Recovery Wing," with mockups including a photo of Josh Allen pointing toward the sky during his performance against Seattle.
The Patricia Allen Fund will directly support the hospital's pediatric critical care team, which provides life-saving care to pediatric patients. Within that team, the pediatric transport team transfers over 800 patients annually to Oishei from all eight counties in Western New York and Northern Pennsylvania.
"I have always rooted for the underdog, for those fighting to overcome the odds, and so many of the kids at Oishei Children's Hospital do just that," McCollum said. "I hope this fund continues to grow. I couldn't think of a better way to spend the Holidays knowing I was able to help these kids, while honoring my parents, Colleen's grandparents and my great nephew's great grandparents. Watching the Bills win the AFC East title was pretty great too, I have no doubt my parents heard the cheers."