Date : November 01, 2011 11:21 AM
DFF to provide Thanskgiving for Buffalo military families
Buffalo, NY (November 1, 2011) – For the second consecutive year, the Drayton Florence Foundation wants to give thanks to US military families, who sacrifice so much for our country by providing them with full Thanksgiving dinners. On Tuesday, November 22nd, Buffalo Bills cornerback Drayton Florence will personally host the 29 military families, selected through a partnership with WNY Heroes, to provide them with their special holiday meal at Sky Zone Sports in Cheektowaga at 7 pm. In addition, Florence will sign autographs for the general public at Sky Zone Sports from 6:30 – 7:00 pm.
“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 both 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.”
Bills fans who want to contribute to the military families can make donations of nonperishable Thanksgiving food items, including boxed potatoes, stuffing, gravy and canned vegetables, now through November 22 at Sky Zone Sports, whose staff will also be collecting items from now until the Thanksgiving celebration. Donations at Sky Zone Sports may be made daily from 11 am – 5 pm from now until November 22. Fans may also make a personal contribution at this same location or on the official website of the Drayton Florence Foundation, that will be used to purchase any remaining items. 100% of funds collected will go to help local military families during the holiday season.
“We are excited and honored to be able to participate in a program that shows appreciation for the families of the people who stand up for our country every day,” said Sky Zone Sports general manager Rich Sanders. “And we are very pleased to be able to partner with Drayton, who has done a great deal for our community, and his foundation to make this happen.”
In addition to providing the location for the special Thanksgiving event, the new Sky Zone Sports, which celebrates it’s grand opening in Buffalo on November 19, will also provide our 29 military member, their spouses and children with free passes to the indoor trampoline 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.”
Just a few days earlier on November 17, over some 1,200 miles away, the Drayton Florence Foundation will also be hosting 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 PrePaid scholarship upon successful completion of the four-year program.
“I am so excited to be helping even more families at Thanksgiving this year. 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,” said Florence.
The Drayton Florence Foundation has also partnered with the Wounded Warrior Project to provide Buffalo Bills tickets to our troops wounded while serving our country. Later this year, the foundation will also host a Christmas holiday party for our western New York military families, complete with gifts, games and activities for the entire family.