TheBuffalo Bills Alumni Foundation's premier fundraising event of the year, the annual Weekend of Events, will pay tribute and honor America's Heroes – The Wounded Warriors while making them the primary recipient of charitable funds for 2011. The dates for the Bills Alumni weekend are set for September 17-19.
"Every year, the Bills Alumni selects a major recipient from the funds that we raise from our annual Weekend of Events," said Booker Edgerson, Bills Alumni president and former Bills cornerback, 1962-1969. "We understand the difficulty that these American servicemen and servicewomen have when they return home from the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, and we want to do our part to demonstrate to these heroes how much we value and support what they have done for us and our country."
In conjunction with the Wounded Warriors recognition there will be something very special that will take place at the Bills Alumni VIP Gala on September 17 at the Seneca Niagara Events Center in Niagara Falls, NY. Former ESPN personality, Roy Firestone, who is one of the most highly sought after entertainers in America, will be bringing his high energy stage show to the VIP Gala on Saturday night, September 17.
As one of America's most versatile talents, Firestone is recognized for his multiple abilities as an interviewer, journalist, commentator and stage performer. Critically acclaimed for his work in broadcast journalism, Firestone has interviewed more than 3,000 people, including nearly every major sports figure. He has won seven Emmy awards as host of ESPN's talk shows for more than two decades. Firestone has performed his hilarious, moving and highly motivational review at major sporting events, meetings, formal events, and conventions throughout the world.
"We are very excited for the first time at our Gala to bring in such a high profile, nationally known sports entertainer like Roy Firestone," said Charley Ferguson, Bills Alumni Weekend of Events chairperson and former Bills wide receiver, 1963-1969. "Mr. Firestone will be putting together a special program tailored around the Wounded Warriors and the Buffalo Bills. It will be a very fitting and uplifting tribute."
This year's Weekend of Events is jam-packed with excitement. Several of the Buffalo Bills Hall of Famers, legends and stars of the past will be in attendance. Two very special Bills Alumni will get together at the VIP Gala to do something that has never been done before. Arguably, the greatest single play in Buffalo Bills history is the now famous, "Hit Heard 'Round the World." This was THE TACKLE by Bills linebacker Mike Stratton, 1962-1972, on San Diego Chargers running back Keith Lincoln. That one play in the 1964 AFL Championship game between the Bills and the San Diego Chargers, played in War Memorial Stadium, was captured forever by then Bills photographer Robert L. Smith. It is one of the most famous photos in Bills history.
At this year's Bills Alumni VIP Gala, for the very first time ever, Bills great linebacker Mike Stratton, who made the hit, will be joined by then Charger star running back Keith Lincoln, who was knocked out of the game from the hit, for a special one-time autograph signing session of the famous photograph of that historical play. Ironically, Lincoln later joined the Buffalo Bills for the 1967 -68 seasons.
Another feature at this year's Bills Alumni VIP Gala will be country music singer Ricky Lee, who will be performing a special song to honor America's Heroes – The Wounded Warriors.
The list of Buffalo Bills Alumni who have been invited to this year's Weekend of Events include some of the greatest players in Bills history.
The Bills Alumni Association was founded in 1999 and is comprised of past Bills players that have left an imprint on society during their football careers and want to continue molding society in a positive manner. Not only have they changed the game, but they have touched and shaped Buffalo as we know it today.