Friday, October 17, 2014

2008 Jills Away Game parties Part 3-revisited

After a couple weeks away from Rhinos with a bye week and a home game, the away game parties continued with the Bills in a bit of a slump, with 3 straight losses, all at the hands of division rivals, this early November game against New England being the final one of those. While the game itself was nothing to write about, the fans at Rhino's had few complaints with James keeping things lively and a pair of stunning Buffalo Jills on hand for the 1st half. Lisa and Ali had spent time with the Rhino's crowd earlier in the season so they knew what to expect and in addition to helping with prizes and signing autographs, they were able to watch the game as well, cheering on the good plays and covering their eyes on the bad ones.

Lisa and Ali with James from The Edge
You can see all the pics from the New England party at https://buffaloprocheerbuffalojills.shutterfly.com/pictures/8545
A couple of weeks later, a week after a rare MNF appearance, we were back at Rhino's for an away game party while the Bills visited Kansas City. For this game, Brandi made a return engagement with 3rd year vet Christina. Christina kept very busy on this day with not only visiting with patrons but paying close attention to the game. Out of all the Jills I've worked with over the years, she has to be one of the most devoted to the game as any I've ever met. It was a common occurence throughout her career to, after she's done a training camp appearance, to switch into civvies and watch the rest of the practice with the rest of the fans. 
posing with Christina

Brandi and Christina with James
See all the pics from the Chiefs party at https://buffaloprocheerbuffalojills.shutterfly.com/pictures/8650
From the Bandettes comes a photo from the game against the Minnesota Swarm. Kirsten and LB, the Bandettes captains, would grab a photo together almost every game, including this great shot from pregame, just before they led their squadmates out to perform. LB said 2014 was her last season and while I wish that hadn't been the case, she was a pleasure to work with these past few years. Kirsten, who also retired, was noted for her love of the camera and as a photographer, there's no better type of person to work with.

Friday, October 10, 2014

2008 Bills Away Game Parties Part 2 and some Bayou bartending-revisited

We take another look back at an away game party that was held in 2008, as well as an appearance by some of the Jills bartending at a local hotspot.
The Miami game was the 1st one against a division opponent that season, in week 7, and the Away game parties at Rhino's Rock Bar had gotten to be a pretty popular destination when the Bills were on the road with James from 103.3 The Edge handling things with giveaways and a prize board each week. Of course it didn't hurt to have a pair of beauties from the Buffalo Jills on hand for the 1st half each week and they didn't hold back on the beauty that week as 2nd year vets Amanda F and Lisa were there for the game. During their years on the Jills, they were each well-known for not only their looks, but how easy they were to get along with.

Just before halftime, we were joined by another pair of Jills. They weren't there as part of the appearance though, but to watch the game. In 2008, a group of the Jills customarily gathered at Lisa's place to watch the road games together and obviously that was out that week with her at an appearance. 2nd year vet Ayeshia and rookie Jennifer were at a different appearance at the start of the game and made their way to watch the second half at Rhino's. Amanda and Lisa had made other plans for the 2nd half so Jennifer and Ayeshia hung with me for the rest of the game that looked promising for a while but the Bills couldn't pull out a win.
You can see all the pics from the Miami party at https://buffaloprocheerbuffalojills.shutterfly.com/pictures/8387
As I had posted earlier, Bayou was the favored nightspot for the Jills in 2008 with Jills and alumnae employed there and it being the preferred spot for birthday parties. I went to 4 of those myself and with all the loyalty from the Jills, the nightclub graciously allowed the Jills to run a small fundraiser there the 1st Friday in November. What it involved was some of the Jills doing some guest bartending for a portion of the evening with all the tips raised going to help fund the 2009 Calendar Trip.
I started out my evening at the Buffalo Chophouse spending a gift certificate I had received on the best steak I've ever had. Afterwards, I headed on over to Bayou just as they were opening up. Alecia was already there as it was her regular job but it wasn't long before Val, Lisa, Danielle, and Lynn showed up to learn what they were to be doing behind the bar for the evening and to meet the rest of the staff. Some of their squadmates showed up to support their efforts as well and it wasn't long before the club was packed and a good sum of money was raised for the cause.
Danielle, Lynn, Val, Alecia, and Lisa
Val loves her hat

See all the pics at https://buffaloprocheerbuffalojills.shutterfly.com/pictures/8666

From the Bandettes comes a photo from the 2nd home game against the Philadelphia Wings. Taken at halftime, some of the girls were excited to show off their Valentine's Day-themed shirts. Shown posing for the camera before they went out for their performance are LB, Stephanie, Ashley, and Chelsea.
LB, Stephanie, Ashley, and Chelsea

Bring Back the Jills!

With the Jills organization shut down for the season, a lot has been missing from the Buffalo landscape. The Buffalo Stampede drum line, while nice at times, has proven to be no replacement for the Jills in so many ways. A better use for the drum line would be to accompany the Jills similar to how college bands accompany college cheerleaders and the Panthers Purrcussion accompanies the Carolina TopCats cheerleaders. Besides being missed on the sidelines, the Jills are missed in the community. There are countless girls all across the region who grow up hoping to become Buffalo Jills and when they get the chance to meet their idols, the reactions are priceless. To deprive children of those moments is something that just can't go on.
Tonight, the Buffalo Bills are doing their annual Billieve event at Niagara Falls and the Jills were always a big part of that. There are about 35 young women who should be there tonight, inspiring the crowd and visiting with fans but aren't because of the decision to shut down the squad for the 2014 season.
Those 35 young women aren't all taking this lying down, however. There's a movement started, in part by Gabrielle F, who spent the 2012-13 seasons on the Jills Ambassador Squad and was slated to be that group's co-captain  in 2014. The goal of that group is to garner large amounts of public support to show how much the Jills are wanted back in action. With the Bills' new ownership taking control today, the time is perfect to really get the message out there. Kim Pegula, the new Bills owner along with her husband Terry, is a former cheerleader at Houghton college herself and may very well have had some of those same dreams that the girls I talked about earlier still have. Kim hasn't been a silent partner in the Pegula's business and sports ventures and has been a big part of getting things done.
To show support, you can voice your opinions on social media and to the news and you can now even wear your support. Gabrielle has been talking with the media of late and promoting the sale of these shirts you can wear to show your support. They come in women's and men's designs and are available for a limited time for $20 at http://www.tourcitymerch.com/webhosting/jills/web/ Now, if you're worried that this is just a money-making thing, don't be. All the profits from these shirts goes to charity, specifically the Hunter's Hope Foundation started by Jim and Jill Kelly which is working toward treatments and a cure for Krabbe & Leukodystrophie.
Let's make sure moments like these can happen again
While the idea that the Jills could return for 2014 with the lawsuit still pending is a longshot at best with all that needs to happen, if we show the support to bring them back now, we can help ensure 2014 will be just a one-year hiatus and we'll have a new squad in 2015 with the girls properly compensated and treated.
The movement even has a website set up at Bringbackthejills.com

Friday, October 3, 2014

2008 Buffalo Jills Calendar Release Party-revisited

In 2008, the Jills struck up a deal with the Club Paradise nightclub in Blasdell to host the majority of their events and after a successful Congratulatory Party, the next big event to be held there was the annual Buffalo Jills Calendar Release Party. Held in late October, the event boasted CW23 star and honorary Jill Lydia Dominick as the emcee and included plenty of raffle prizes as well as dance routines and the customary swimsuit fashion show.
I got there early to help set up and it wasn't long before the girls on the squad started showing up, 38 of the 45 girls on the squad in all. While fans were still just starting to arrive, there were photo ops galore.
Stephanie, Ali, and Liz
Amelina, Sarah, Anna, Amanda F, Holly, and Lonna
Ashley, Alecia, Kristin B, Amelina, Brandi, Rita, Murissa, and Kristina
Laura, Lydia, and Dana
There was even an area set up especially for photos with the girls and 97Rock's intern Katie, who was on hand to help with the event was all too happy to jump in a few photos. Anyone who's paid attention to the Jills the past few years will recognize Katie pretty well as she herself joined the squad the following season and even landed the cover of the annual swimsuit calendar.
Liz, Ali, 97Rock intern and future Jill Katy R, Stephanie, Jill D, and Angelina
Eventually, it was time for the dance portion of the evening as the Jills put on 3 rousing dance numbers with Christina and Jennifer handling the 1st part, Nicole, Eileen, and Amelina wowing the fans in the 2nd number before giving way to a big performance by Jackie, Lynn, Anna, Valerie, and Jessica.

After that was completed, all the girls took the stage as they showed off the suits they wore in the 2008-09 Swimsuit calendar. With a different venue than in previous years, I had to pick out a spot where I could get the best shots possible but unfortunately, the lighting from where I was didn't cooperate on everyone's pics. I did get a few good shots of some of the most beautiful young women in Western NY, though.
Jess looking flawless in the fashion show
After the fashion show, it was time for the photobooth to get a lot of attention as Jenica, Stefanie, Holly, Ali, and Lonna stayed in their suits to pose for photos with the fans.
Jenica, Holly, and Stefanie posing for photos after the fashion show
While photos were being taken, the dance floor started getting filled up by some of the Jills along with the fans. Jess even had a special dance partner who, each time the Jills had an event there, would always get a dance with her. He was a regular at Club Paradise even when the Jills weren't there as I saw him frequently when I was there with the Studio 54 Dance Band as well.
Jess and her favorite dance partner
Anna, Vincenza, and Lonna
"Sisters from another mister" Jill D and Ayeshia
You can see all the pics at http://buffaloprocheerbuffalojills.shutterfly.com/pictures/8281
From the Bandettes comes a photo from the 2nd home game against the Philadelphia Wings. Since getting my season tickets in 2007, I'm always getting the girls on the squad posing for pictures. Besides the photos going out to the fans, the girls are very interested in getting them as well. A lot of cheerleaders over the years, Jills and Bandettes alike, have told me they don't get many photos of themselves in action through friends and family and this site has become a great resource for them and  they'll be able to share these photos years from now with children and grandchildren to show them what they used to do. Prior to this game, we have a group posing together made up of Kelsey, LB, Cheri, Brianna, Mandy, and Lauren K.
Kelsey, LB, Cheri, Brianna, Mandy, and Lauren K

Friday, September 26, 2014

Photos from the 6th Annual Blondes Vs Brunettes of Buffalo game

Last week, the Buffalo chapter of the Alzheimer's Association held their annual fundraiser in the form of a powderpuff football game at Amherst's Sweet Home High School. In its 6th year in Buffalo, the Blondes vs Brunettes games have spread all over the country since 1st starting in Washington DC in 2005. Co-chairing the event for their 2nd year in a row are Deanna Bednarz and 8-year Buffalo Jills alum Jenn Chodora. These two ladies have really pushed the fundraising and for the 2nd year in a row, raised over $90K and are up over $98K this year with another event to come.
Jenn and Deanna address those in attendance
Another draw to the game this year was the appearance of newly inducted Pro Football HOF WR Andre Reed. For a second consecutive year, Andre made an appearance at the BvB game to help officiate the coin toss and there were a few #83 jerseys in the stands because of it. A good friend of former BvB co-chair Tracey Callisto, the game coincided with another big Buffalo appearance Andre had to make...at Ralph Wilson Stadium the following day to receive his HOF ring at the Bills game!
Onhand to help officiate the coin-toss for a 2nd year in a row, HOF WR Andre Reed
The game started off as a defensive struggle with the teams exchanging interceptions on consecutive drives after the Brunettes turned it over on downs in the game's opening drive. The Blondes were able to get into the endzone once in the 1st half though and went to the locker room up 6-0. New this year was a way for fans to help decide the game. For $5, fans could attempt a FG at halftime and add single points for made kicks to the team of their choice.
Kicking FGs at halftime
As it turned out, the Brunettes were helped immensely by this new feature. Most of the FGs made went to them and their 6-0 halftime deficit turned into a 9-7 lead at the start of the 3rd quarter. The Blondes came out of the locker room pretty fired up and anxious not to let their hard work go to waste. By the end of the 3rd quarter, they had regained the lead and held a 21-9 advantage going into the final quarter of the game. The Bru Crew finally got in the endzone themselves a few times in the 4th but the Blondes earned their 3rd win in a row with a 33-22 final score.
Last year's Blonde MVP Margo Poloski comes down with a pass. The Blondes would score on the next play
Poloski on a reverse on a play that could've gone for a TD if not for a huge hit from the brunettes

See all the pics at https://buffaloprocheerbuffalojills.shutterfly.com/pictures/34793
The BvB have another event on October 5th as they join some Buffalo Bills alumni in watching the Bills take on the Lions at the Armor Inn on Abbott Road in Hamburg. The festivities start at noon. Tickets are only $25 and include free food & pop while watching the game with some of the Buffalo Bills Alumni! There will also be a chinese auction, live auction, music and drink specials!
From the Bandettes comes a photo from the 2nd home game against the Philadelphia Wings. I visited with both lines before heading to my seats and grabbed this shot of Kirsten's line in their Valentine's Day-themed t-shirts near the top of the east bank of escalators. Shown posing for the camera are Mandy, Chrissy, Stephanie, Brianna, Danielle, Kirsten, and Erin Y.
Mandy, Chrissy, Stephanie, Brianna, Danielle, Kirsten, and Erin Y