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Bills GM Brandon Beane Offers Fan Experiences to Raise Money for COVID-19 Relief

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistApril 6, 2020

FILE - In this Feb. 28, 2019, file photo, Buffalo Bills general manager Brandon Beane speaks during a press conference at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis. Coming off a 17-player haul in free agency, Beane has plenty of options entering the NFL draft. And the Bills general manager isn't going to restrict himself to focusing on one or two positions when it comes time for Buffalo to make the No. 9 selection.  (AP Photo/Darron Cummings, File)
Darron Cummings/Associated Press

Buffalo Bills general manager Brandon Beane announced a partnership with local charitable organizations to aid people affected by the coronavirus pandemic, including a $20,000 donation.

In a release sent out Monday, Beane announced he is teaming with the United Way of Buffalo & Erie County to raise awareness for the WNY COVID-19 Community Response Fund. The fund is a collaboration between several local groups, and proceeds will go toward aiding essential organizations.

"I'm grateful for individuals in Buffalo and across the country that are on the frontlines—doctors, nurses, first responders, grocery store workers, pharmacists, all the people that are trying to help others and are putting their own health at risk for this big cause," Beane said. "There's no way to really thank them, but hopefully this is a good way for the rest of the community to help."

In an effort to raise fan engagement with the process, the Bills are also offering seven different fan engagement opportunities to those who donate. The release offers seven potential prizes, with the initiative beginning Monday and ending April 17:

  • One winner will have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to be on the phone as Beane calls in Buffalo's first draft pick (tentatively April 24).
  • One winner will participate in an exclusive one-on-one Zoom Q&A with Beane.
  • One winner and three guests will enjoy lunch with Beane and a tour of the ADPRO Sports Training Center. 
  • One winner will join Beane at a Bills practice.
  • One winner will get four (4) 100-level tickets to the Bills' 2020 home opener.
  • One winner will receive a collectible Bills helmet autographed by each of the team's 2020 NFL draft selections.
  • One winner will be awarded an autographed Josh Allen jersey.

New York state has been hit the hardest by the pandemic, with more than 120,000 confirmed cases and 4,161 deaths attributed to the coronavirus, according to the New York Times. Erie County, where Buffalo is located, has more than 1,000 confirmed cases as of Monday.

"I thought with the draft coming up in a few weeks, that this would be a nice distraction for people who are going through tough times right now," Beane said. "We know how enthusiastic Bills fans are, so I'm just trying to find a way to engage them and to open up opportunities that fans don't have access to generally and to inspire them to get involved."

The Bills' first pick is currently No. 54 overall after they traded their first-round selection to Minnesota for Stefon Diggs.

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