Your 2016 Buffalo Bandettes!

Your 2016 Buffalo Bandettes!

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 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
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

Friday, September 19, 2014

2008 Bills Away Game Parties part 1-revisited

It's long been a custom of local sports bars to recruit the local NFL team's cheerleaders to appear during the team's away games. In 2008, the Jills took that one step further as they appeared at Away Game parties with James from 103.3 The Edge, one of their primary sponsors, at Rhino's Pub in Orchard Park, just minutes from the stadium.
I've always been more at ease watching away games from home myself as it's a lot cheaper with fewer distraction but I decided to check it out for 2008, only missing the one party that happened the day after the Fundraiser and Lisa's birthday party. Showing up, I wasn't sure what to expect but when I got there, they had a board set up for people to sign up for football squares. Prizes would be won after each quarter and the game and it was all for free. I grabbed a seat at the bar and started talking with a few of the regulars, one of whom used to work security at the stadium. They didn't seem that sure of whether or not to believe my status with the Jills until Ali and Brandi, two rookie Ambassadors on the squad that season, showed up and were thrilled to see me.
Ali and Brandi at the 1st Rhino's away game party
Brandi and Ali with James from The Edge
You can see all the pics from the Bills-Jags Away Game Party at
I wasn't able to make it to the next Away Game party as Lisa's birthday party that followed the Fundraiser kept me out pretty late and I still wish I had made it as it turned out to be one of Kelly's last ever appearances as a Jill. The following week, she took ill and under doctor's orders, she had to back off her responsibilities as the Jills Ambassador captain. As it turned out, she had been signed up to appear at Rhino's that following week as well leaving Omarlla on her own. However, as I've stated on this site many times over the years, there was a girl on the squad who went above and beyond for her squadmates on a regular basis. In 2008, Keisha showed that aspect of her personality more than ever, including showing up at Rhino's to watch the game with the fans and with Omarlla. Fans were especially impressed with Omarlla, who was in her 9th year on the squad at the time. They couldn't believe how much time she had put in when you consider how poorly pro cheerleaders are compensated.
Keisha and Omarlla cheering on a TD by the Bills
See all the pics from the Bills-Cardinals Away Game Party at
From the Bandettes comes a pic from the 2nd home game against the Philadelphia Wings, a team that will begin playing their home games in Connecticut in December. Prior to the game, I was able to visit with both lines as they were sporting Valentine's Day-themed shirts. Shown posing for the camera are Amanda, Kelsey, Janelle, LB, MaKenzie, Chelsea, and Cheri from LB's line.
Amanda, Kelsey, Janelle, LB, MaKenzie, Chelsea, and Cheri

Friday, September 12, 2014

2008 Buffalo Jills Fundraiser-revisited

In the spring of 2008, the Jills held their 1st pizza and beer blast fundraiser at SoHo to raise money for their annual Calendar trip. While the event was a huge success, the one drawback was that a significant portion of the 2007 squad wasn't in attendance since many had already chosen not to return in 2008. A change was made with the 2008 squad, holding the Fundraiser in September and as it turned out, the event was an even bigger success than the one in the spring. My favorite part of that was not only that more of the Jills were there, but I didn't have to miss any part of a Bandits game to attend! lol
I arrived early to help set up and it wasn't long before the Jills started arriving with pizzas and wings for the parties from various pizza places in Buffalo. The funniest part for me was when Shana arrived with a box from one certain local place. At the Taste of Buffalo, she had warned me off trying the pizza from this place and when she showed up with a box from there, I had to question her. She hated the pizza from there but loved the wings, which is what she brought.
Jennifer and Lisa
Jessica K (2006) on hand to support her sister Jenica
The 2 Canadians on the squad, Sarah and Anna
Rita and Shana
Kristin M, Rita, and Dana
Danielle, Murissa, and Ashley
Lisa, Anna, Ali, and Katherine out front to greet fans as they arrive
Val, Jess, and Eileen
Liz and Ali, who are still best of friends 6 years later
Kelli, Vincenza, and Anna
One of the funnier moments of the evening came with Jess and Stefanie.There were times, over the years, that Stefanie got caught on camera so focused on the game that she wasn't smiling all that much, something that got brought up in practices on occasion. She and Jess were, and still are, pretty close friends and the three of us were talking about that smiling issue when Jess had a brainstorm for a photo. They decided to pose back to back with a serious face. Jess is rarely without a smile and Stefanie couldn't keep a straight face for the camera.
Jess and Stefanie

You can see all the pics at
The evening didn't actually end with the Fundraiser for a lot of us. Early in the evening, Lisa made a special request to join her and some of her squadmates for her birthday party across the street at Bayou after she found out that my own birthday had just passed a few days beforehand. Since I knew that Jills alum Jessica D (2006-07), who I was good friends with at the time, was working over there and had already planned to swing by to say hi, I took Lisa up on her offer. We had a little VIP area set up at Bayou and were joined by about a dozen of the Jills, some boyfriends, and even a few alumnae. While there, we not only saw Jessica but Kristen M (2006) who was working there at the time and Lisa and I bought each other shots before the bulk of us went back over to SoHo to finish out the evening. Possibly the most amusing part of the evening was when the SoHo DJ played "Break The Ice" by Britney Spears. Seeing as how that was the song they tried out to in 2008, a number of the girls on the squad started going through the tryout routine only to be completely thrown off when the song didn't follow along with the version that they tried out to. When putting together tryout music, Kelli puts together remixes that can be very different from the original song. Now, I can't share the photos that were taken at the birthday celebration since those are just for Lisa and her guests but I had to share that story. The girls on the Jills in 2008 had a lot of fun together but at the same time, didn't get carried away enough to embarass themselves. There were even a few of the girls who didn't drink so as to ensure the safety of the whole group.
From the Bandettes comes a photo from the 2nd home game against the Toronto Rock. Shown posing for the camera at halftime is the full squad showing off their "Braver Than Brave" t-shirts. The saying is in reference to Tucker Williams, the son of Bandits F Shawn Williams, who was diagnosed with Stage III Burkitt Lymphoma in January and started fighting it with the backing of the entire NLL and its fans.
Bandettes showing off their Braver Than Brave t-shirts

Friday, September 5, 2014

2008 Buffalo Jills Golf Tournament-revisited

In 2008, the Jills once again held their annual Golf Tournament at Fox Valley Country Club in Lancaster, NY. With a 48-girl squad, there was no shortage of girls to handle all the duties that were needed. As was typical with these tournaments, family members were a big part of the group attending, including, but not limited to, Lisa's father. It was only the 1st time I met Lisa's dad, who is a true gentleman. After that, I saw him at other golf tournaments, some games, and even sat next to him and his wife in Toronto in 2010 after I got a ticket in the Jills section.
Lisa and her dad
I always looked forward to the Golf Tourney and even took vacation days for it once I knew the date because it was the 1st public event where the entire squad (or the majority of it at least) was together after having gotten to bond over months of practices. The way it was set up, I was able to talk to a lot of the girls that I wouldn't at games.
rookies Ashley (now a captain with the TopCats) and Dana
A staple of the golf tournaments has been the auctioning off of some of the Jills as caddies and filling that role in 2008 was a quartet of Ambassadors, Amanda F, Katherine, Danielle, and Laura.
Amanda F, Katherine, Danielle, and Laura
Before the tournament started, golfers grabbed lunch, signed up for different games, and posed for photos with some of the Jills, who also were more than happy to grab photos with squadmates they bonded with over the summer.
rookies Alecia and Kristin M
One pairing of Jills was particularly significant. 2nd year vet Angelina was the shortest girl on the squad at 5' tall and was especially excited when rookie dancer Amelina joined the squad at 4'11". The two bonded over their lack of height and proved that great things can come in small packages as what they lacked in height, they more than made up for in energy while performing.
Angelina and Amelina
Before long, it was time to hit the links and my 1st stop was to visit with Lisa and Rita. Lisa and I always got along great, and she proved how much she valued me later in the season. But that day, she decided to have a little fun with me when I visited them and gave me a nickname of her own because she didn't like the one I had.
Lynn, Rita, and Lisa just as they were heading out to the course
As I got started leaving for another hole, one of the club's staff came by and dropped off a spare golf cart for me to use. I wasn't against walking the course but the cart was a big help! It gave me the ability to make more visits, which translated to more photos and allowed me to help the girls get back to the clubhouse at the end of their shifts if need be. I made a few visits with different pairings over the next few hours with some memorable conversations, like the one I had with Amelina and Stephanie Br about social media. Lynn had an early shift that day and after she finished up her shift at the one hole with Murissa, she decided to hang with me for a little bit as well as visit with a few friends who were on the course.
Stephanie Br, Amelina, and Lynn
Lynn with her pals
With the caddy auctions that happened every year, sometimes the girls ended up with a friend or family member. In 2008, Amanda F and Danielle went to the same foursome, with two of the golfers being people they knew pretty well.
Holly and Kristin B pose for a photo with Danielle, Amanda F, and their group.
Laura giving golf a shot
Sarah teeing off
Over the years, we were generally pretty lucky in regards to weather. We had warm and sunny weather without it being unbearably hot each year. Towards the end of the day in 2008 however, we had a small cloudburst. It certainly wasn't as bad as any of the rainfall that Western NY has experienced over the summer of 2014 but it did startle us a bit. At the time, I was visiting with rookies Kristin B and Holly and when it started, Holly immediately jumped into my golf cart while Kristin and I were under the shade of some trees. It only lasted a few minutes and  it wasn't long until the tourney wrapped up afterwards.
Upon completion of the tournament itself, Holly and Kristin rode back to the clubhouse with me where more of the girls were waiting to cover the dinner shift. I hadn't seen a lot of these ladies since the Congratulatory Party so they were more than happy to pose for lots of pictures while the golfers arrived back to the clubhouse to sit down for dinner.
Jenica and Val

Sarah, Alecia, Jenica, Dr Amanda, and Holly
During dinner, the Jills put on a 3-part dance performance that kept the golfers' eyes glued to the dance floor. Luckily, it was early in the meal so the food didn't get cold! Unfortunately, with the big bay windows behind the dancers, lighting didn't work out as well for the video as I would've liked.

The photo taking extended into dinner as I hung back with the girls to grab photos of them handing out raffle prizes.
Jill R and Jenica
Christina and Jennifer
Val, Alecia, and Jenica
You can see all the pics at
From the Bandettes comes a photo taken in the 2nd quarter of the 2nd home game against the Toronto Rock. Shown dancing up a storm are Amanda and Kelsey. 3rd year vet Amanda started her Bandettes career as an ambassador while Kelsey, who just finished her 2nd year, spent the 2014 season in the running for NLL Girl of The Year!
Amanda and Kelsey