The 2015 Buffalo Bandettes!

The 2015 Buffalo Bandettes!

Friday, July 31, 2015

Stanz Benefit-revisited

With the Bills starting their 2009 season on Monday Night Football, Opening Sunday was free for anyone not focused on the rest of the NFL. In Jamestown, NY, Shawbucks was the location for a benefit to support local Marine Staff Sgt John Stanz in his recovery from injuries received from an IED in Afghanistan.
I found out about the event only a few days prior from one of the organizers of the event, Jills rookie Ambassador Ruby. As long-time readers may recall, our first encounter with Ruby actually came two years prior when she accompanied 2005 Jills alum Dominica to 2007 tryouts. When I arrived at the event, I was greeted by not only Ruby, but Dominica as well as she was on her way to becoming a part of the injured Marine's family at the time.
Dominica and Ruby
As it turned out, that wasn't it as far as Jills alumnae were concerned. Jill R, who spent 2007 and part of 2008, was bartending there that day and her fraternal twin sister Joy, on the squad in 2007, stopped in for a bit as well. Just after Joy left, the Jills showed up in the forms of Kaitlin V and Murissa. They spent the afternoon visiting with supporters and selling raffle tickets as well as catching up with Jill some.
Jills alums Joy, Jill R, and Dominica
Ruby, Murissa, Jill R, Kaitlin, and Dominica
See all the pics at https://buffaloprocheerbuffalojills.shutterfly.com/pictures/5749
From the Bandettes comes a photo from the March game against Toronto and was taken before the game when the squad was signing their new calendars. Shown smiling for the camera are Cheri and Abby, two stunning young women who Bills fans missed out on getting to see on the sidelines for different, equally wrong, reasons. On a personal note, seeing them on the Bandettes was a major plus since they were assured of a good experience and we got to see these two beauties dance in 2015.
Cheri and Abby

Friday, July 24, 2015

DFT Tailgate and Septemberfest 2009-revisited

The day before the 2009 NFL season's first Sunday games started featured 2 Jills appearances in Chautauqua County.
The first appearance was a tailgate party sponsored by DFT Technology Plus and located in the TJ Maxx Plaza in Dunkirk, NY. The attendees, of which there were many, got free hot dogs and registered for prizes like a flat screen TV or a Terrell Owens autographed jersey. Put together as a fundraiser for the Boys & Girls Club of Northern Chautauqua County, DFT brought in former Bills LS Adam Lingner as well as Jill, Jessica, Angelina, and Joya of the Buffalo Jills to sign autographs and pose for pictures.
When I got there, Jill and Joya were inside the DFT store visiting with customers while Jess and Angelina were out front with Adam and the fans enjoying the beautiful day. In addition to posing for photos and signing autographs, they were letting people know about an Open Practice the Jills were putting on a few weeks later. The fans were all happy to see the Jills, especially the younger fans, but perhaps the most excited were members of Dunkirk's cheerleading squad, who not only posed for photos with their heroes but performed a cheer for them. Their excitement only skyrocketed when they heard about the Open Practice.
Angelina and Jess with some young fans
After I'd been there for a while, Jill and Joya came out to join us and pose with some more fans as well as Adam before it was time to draw the winners for the day's prizes.
Joya, Jess, Angelina, and Jill with a pair of Dunkirk cheerleaders
Angelina, Joya, Jill, and Jess with former Bills LS Adam Lingner
After things wound down in Dunkirk, it was off to Merritt Winery in Forestville for Septemberfest. A fundraiser for Camp Good Days, the event featured Danny Gare and Baby Joe Mesi in addition to appearances by the Jills all day long. I made it there as Jennifer and Ayeshia were about halfway through their shift and were visiting with fans on the grounds of Merritt Estates. I accompanied the two of them the rest of the day as they posed for pictures and signed autographs. There were a few younger fans that seemed particularly entranced by Ayeshia and she was more than happy to pick them up and pose with them for the camera while Jenn was checking out all the merchandise for sale.
Ayeshia and Jenn with a young fan
See all the pics at https://buffaloprocheerbuffalojills.shutterfly.com/pictures/5718
From the Bandettes comes a photo from before the March game against Toronto when the squad was signing their new posters. Lauren spent 4 seasons on the squad and says that 2015 was her last...though we did hear that from LB a few times before she retired. We'll see for sure in less than 6 months. Jennifer and LaToya were rookies in 2015 and while LaToya left the squad early, hopes are that we'll see at least Jennifer back in action in 2016.
Lauren, Jennifer, and LaToya

Friday, July 17, 2015

Labor Day in Mayville 2009-revisited

Frequently, pro cheerleaders/dancers are called upon to make appearances at various community events throughout their region. One such appearance in 2009 was the Mayville Labor Day Festival. Festivals all throughout Chautauqua County that year put together a huge fireworks display designed to be seen even from the International Space Station but during the afternoon, the focus was on rides, cooking out, and relaxation...and in Mayville, getting autographs and photographs with members of the Buffalo Jills.
When I got there, Kelly and Loren, 2 rookie dancers on the squad that season, had just gotten set up with a table and chairs underneath a pop-up tent to keep the hot sun from beating down on them too much. With community events like these, their duties were pretty light and the 3 of us wound up sitting there talking for much of their two hour shift except when festival-goers happened by asking for an autograph or a photo. About halfway through, their contact who had helped organize the festival grabbed a chair and joined us in our conversations.
Kelly and Loren with some young fans
Kelly and Loren with Chautauqua Lake behind them
See all the pics at https://buffaloprocheerbuffalojills.shutterfly.com/pictures/5706
From the Bandettes comes a photo from before the March game against Toronto. The Bandettes were signing their new posters. The 2015 squad had a large number of impressive rookies including these two ladies. Brittany took some time to start a family to join the pro ranks while Melanie seemed to be this year's quiet one. Now that's not a bad thing by any means. A couple other Bandettes who started out quiet are LB and Mandy, and quiet isn't how we'll think of them when all is said and done. Hopefully the lovely Melanie returns for 2016 and we can see her come out of her shell in a similar way.
Brittany and Melanie

Friday, July 10, 2015

2009 Bears Preseason game-revisited

Our 2nd game look-back of the summer takes us to the 2009 preseason game against the Chicago Bears. That day was special in that it was not only the annual Kid's Day game, but the 1st filming of Tailgate Warriors, a Food Network show starring Guy Fieri that pitted tailgating teams from opposing teams against each other. Da Bears Bus and Buffalo's CBNG faced off with several other notable Buffalo tailgate parties providing the backdrop in Lot C. With a big event like that, the Jills just had to be involved as well.
Lisa
I got there a little before 11 just as Lisa was finishing up her visit to the lot. I got a chance to catch up with her a bit and grab a quick photo before heading over myself to catch up with some friends who were part of the backdrop. Taking over at the show were rookies Loren, Kelly, and Alyssa. They visited with fans, signed autographs and even got some extra work. The Food Network Producers asked them to put together a cheer for CBNG and Alyssa had me watch her bag while they worked on it. I was able to capture video of their practice but really can't share it as Loren and Kelly may never speak to me again. lol They did get to perform the finished product for the cameras but it unfortunately didn't make the final show.
Loren, Kelly, and Alyssa working through their cheer for CBNG
Kelly, Loren, and Alyssa with the tailgating commissioner
After their television performance, they accompanied me around the area and got to meet, among others, Joe Cahn, the Tailgating Commissioner, who regaled the ladies with some tailgating stories from over the years. Kelly Ann, Ayeshia, Keisha, and Kristen took over for them and got to check out the famed Pinto, meet the Wing King Drew Cerza, and even take a look inside the CBNG Tailgate Truck. Eventually, the TV show shooting died down and the focus went to the Kid's Day festivities going on in Lot C. I had to handle things at my tailgate party in Lot 1 once the lots officially opened but made another stop over at Lot C to check in with the Ambassador Jills before finishing up with the tailgating day to head in for the game.
Kelly Ann, Ayeshia, Keisha, and Kristen with Pinto Ron and Captain Buffalo
Laura, Amanda F, and Heather
Jess waving to the camera
Vincenza, Kelly, and Murissa in action

See all the pics at https://buffaloprocheerbuffalojills.shutterfly.com/pictures/5404
From the Bandettes comes a photo from the March game against Toronto. The Bandettes' new posters were available for the 1st time this season and while Chrissy and Stephanie were selling game programs, the rest of the squad was behind them autographing their posters for the fans. Shown smiling for the camera are Syidah, Janelle, and Mandy.
Syidah, Janelle, and Mandy.

Friday, July 3, 2015

2009 HOF Game-revisited

We haven't really looked at game pics in the past because the story is in the game itself but in 2009, there were a few occasions in which there was a big story besides the game.
Our story actually starts out the day before the game, the day of Pro Football Hall of Fame inductions. The majority of the Buffalo Jills squad was coming into town on the day of the game via bus and leaving right afterwards. Laura, a 3rd year ambassador at this point, was already in Ohio for the weekend for an archery/hunting show in another part of the state. After the show on Saturday, she left for Canton and kept in touch with me via cell phone. We kept in touch the next morning as I gave her directions on how to get to the parking lot at which where she'd be meeting her squadmates while I was tailgating with my friends. After the tailgating was done where I parked, I headed over to the stadium earlier to get a look at the area. I had been hoping to meet up with Laura and the other ambassadors before the game but the appearance they were at was a few miles south of the stadium and I wasn't giving up the parking spot that I had found. As it turned out, when I got to the stadium, a little over 3 hours before kickoff, the Jills dancers were already on the field getting warmed up and going through some final practice before the game. Several fans were already watching and I was able to get a few photos of the practice.
some of the dancers waiting for instruction in pregame practice
Unlike most NFL stadiums which open 90 minutes before kickoff, Fawcett Stadium opened 3 full hours before kickoff but that was right when the Jills were heading back in the locker room and the Tennessee Titans Cheerleaders came out. Rather than bemoan the bad luck in missing out on some great Jills pics, I went over to where I'd be sitting for the game to get some pics of the Titans cheerleaders practicing to share with UltimateCheerleaders.com. However, just as I was ready to start clicking the shutter, I saw a familiar site out of the corner of my eye as first Anna, and then other members of Eileen's line, came back out of the locker room and onto the field to go through some extra practice. I headed back over to the sidelines where they were happy to see me as they started going through their routines. Jess showed up after I did and after her linemates had begun and had been so focused on getting into the routine that she never looked up into the stands at first. Her smile grew even broader than it usually was when she realized I was there and after exchanging greetings, I continued to photograph them in action and even grabbed some video of one of their routines. Needless to say, Eileen padded her photo count lead over Omarlla.

 
Eileen's line posing for photos
Getting ready to perform

By the time they finished up, the Titans cheerleaders were done as well so I relaxed for a bit before the rest of my crew made it into the stadium. Seated in the end zone, I got a few good photos of the Jills in pregame, though an inflatable helmet blocked most of my access. Throughout most of the game, I got some decent sideline shots as the Jills stayed on the Bills sidelines while the Titans cheerleaders stayed on the Titans side.

several of the Jills on the sidelines

In the 4th quarter, I got lucky. With it being a preseason game, several fans left early including fans seated on the 20 yard line of the closest end of the Bills sideline. Obviously I wasn't going to pass up on a golden opportunity and was able to get some great shots including a few group photos.
line shot in the 4th quarter
Loren, Gabrielle, and Kaitlin in the 4th quarter

See all the pics at https://buffaloprocheerbuffalojills.shutterfly.com/pictures/5235
From the Bandettes comes a photo from the March game against Toronto. The last couple of seasons, members of the Bandettes would help out with program sales most of the 1st hour the gates are open. For this game, both co-captains handled that duty and the beautiful Chrissy is pictured here. Hard to imagine she was a 5th year vet, the longest tenured on the squad, this past season. I still remember her as a rookie and she's only improved as time has gone by in terms of confidence and beauty.
Chrissy