Your 2016 Buffalo Bandettes!

Your 2016 Buffalo Bandettes!

Friday, June 26, 2015

2009 Buffalo Bills Training Camp-revisited

Buffalo Bills Training Camp without the Jills seems to lack something in terms of atmosphere and since they moved camp several hours away, I made sure to time my visits to the days the Jills were on hand so I could be sure to get some photos as well as take in the practice.
In 2009, the 1st date I chose to attend was the 1st Saturday of camp. Even during the seasons in which the Jills appeared at camp, they always appeared that day. Omarlla, Eileen, Katie, and Ayeshia all made the trek from Buffalo to Pittsford that day and spent most of their time in the air-conditioned merchandise tent that fans travel through to get to the practice fields. They perused the Bills store some while visiting with fans as they came through.  Many younger fans were especially excited to see the Jills and many got photos taken with them.
The little competition between Omarlla and Eileen kept going as they were never far from each other, ensuring that they'd remain in a tie for most of the day. They spent the second half of their time at camp that day in the VIP tent, visiting with premium seat holders before they finished for the day. However, as luck would have it, I ran into them again before they left and a few young fans asked Eileen for a photo...which wound up putting Eileen in the lead in the competition.
See all the pics at
I made a 2nd trek to Training Camp that summer the following week as the Bills were holding a Jr Bills Backers Day at camp that morning. Included were gifts, a VIP breakfast, and an up-close autograph session with a lot of the players as well as a visit from 9 of the Buffalo Jills!
Kelly, Amanda, and Lindsay with some young fans
When I got to practice, Amanda, Lindsay, and Kelly were stationed in front of the merchandise tent where fans of all ages were getting their pictures taken with them, with the children being the msot excited. There were even a few fans who hadn't brought their own cameras so I took a few for them, giving them my card so they could see the photos on this site. After a little while, I went on towards the practice fields where, just past Growney Stadium, I ran into Jennifer, Loren, and Heather near where they had been entertaining some youngsters. After a quick visit with them, I swung down past the VIP tents where Jr Bills Backers were finishing up their breakfasts and getting to see Stephanie B, Ruby, and Nicole L before they left to go to the practice fields with their parents. After a few photos with them, it was off to the practice fields for me as well while Stephanie and Jennifer's groups mingled with some of the fans and posed for photos.
Jennifer, Loren, and Heather
Ruby, Stephanie B, and Nicole L
See all the pics at
From the Bandettes comes a photo from the February game against the Colorado Mammoth. At 3rd intermission, several of the girls on the squad lined up for a group photo. More and more girls joined in and we wound up with 3 different photos. Shown is the final one of those photos, with everyone but LaToya getting into the photo.
2015 Bandettes minus LaToya

Friday, June 19, 2015

7th Annual Buffalo Jills Golf Tournament-revisited

In the Jills' last year at Fox Valley Country Club, the summer hadn't been a great one with rain and below average temps for much of the time. Luckily, Mother Nature was a Jills fan and it was a beautiful day in Lancaster, NY that day. The beauty wasn't just in the sky that day as when I arrived, several of the Buffalo Jills were already there setting up for the day. There were gift bags for the golfers, games being set up, and when the golfers arrived for lunch before heading out onto the course, they were able to bid on caddies in the form of some of the Jills. For 2009, Danielle, Kristin , Laura, Kelly Ann, and Nicole L had the task of getting bids to go along with a group of golfers on the course for the day.
Caddies for the day Danielle and Kristin
While some of the girls were signing golfers up for games, selling raffle tickets, and the caddies were collecting bids, the rest of the squad was mingling with everyone and posing for photos before it was time to head out to the course. I spent the day on foot, starting off the day on the back 9 where I spent some time with Kristen and Lynn before dropping by where Liz and Michelle were. As it turned out, Liz and Michelle were only there for a short shift and I accompanied them back to the clubhouse where a large number of Jills were there just starting their day.
Lynn and Michelle
I took off to the front 9 next and spent some time with Lisa and Murissa. Lisa was sporting some new shorts that were a part of the Jills uniform for some events. Similar to what some squads wear on the sidelines, the Jills weren't allowed to wear them there because of the more conservative views of the Bills' owner. With the Bills having a new owner now, maybe we could see shorts like these on the sidelines when the Jills return?
Lisa about to try her hand at golf
Laura's turn
Courteney and Ashley with Rich "Bull" Gaenzler's group
After a few more stops around the course, the day started to wind down and it was back to the clubhouse for dinner, where several more of the Jills had already shown up, either from other spots around the course or from home since some of them were only scheduled to be there for dinner.
Gabrielle, Keisha, Amanda F, Omarlla, Lindsay, and Christina
Jennifer, Loren, and Ayeshia
Earlier that year, Photobucket, where our photos were posted at the time, had introduced photo tagging to its site and I had gone through the photos to make it easier for the girls on the squad to find their photos. I had the task completed in time for the golf tourney and, as it turned out 10th year vets Omarlla and Eileen were tied for the lead in the number of photos. When they arrived late in the day, I let each of them know that fact and they had some fun with that at various times throughout the course of the season, trying to one-up the other and gain or hold the lead.
Eileen and Katie K

See all the pics at
From the Bandettes comes a photo from the February game against the Colorado Mammoth. This was the game featuring the Jr Bandettes and they joined the Bandettes for a performance at halftime before posing for a big group photo.
Bandettes and Jr Bandettes

Friday, June 12, 2015

2009 Taste of Buffalo-revisited

Western NY is known for its summer festivals and chief among those is the Taste Of Buffalo, the largest 2-day food festival in the nation. Held on the 2nd weekend of July each year, one of the features many years was the Buffalo Jills. Up through 2009, the Jills would appear during the day at the 97Rock and 103.3 The Edge stations handing out Bills schedules, posing for photos, and sometimes helping with games.
Amanda F, Lindsay, Jackie, and Angelina
I got there shortly after noon on the Saturday of the festival and found a quartet of Buffalo Jills at the 97Rock booth, with Jackie and Lindsay winding down their day. With Amanda F and Angelina headed over to the 103.3 The Edge booth, I spent some time at the 97Rock booth until Jackie and Lindsay were done for the day. Afterwards, I went for some food at a few different vendors before heading over the the 103.3 booth where Loren had shown up to take over.
Loren, Angelina, and Amanda F
After Amanda and Angelina took off for the day, Loren was on her own for a bit so I held off on taking off for more food until Anna made an appearance. I grabbed some photos of the two of them with some fans, some of the very young variety, before making one last food run for the day. While out, I actually ran into a very familiar face, former Jill and Bandette Marissa D.
Anna and Loren with a little fan
It wasn't long after I made it back to Loren and Anna that another familiar face showed up. Taking in the beautiful day at the Taste was Bandettes alum Richelle, who had retired from the Bandettes two years prior. I hadn't talked to her since the night the Bandits won the NLL title in 2008 so I got too catch up with her a little while the Jills were talking to other festival-goers. Shortly after Richelle left, it was time for Loren and Anna to head out as well. They had parked in separate directions so I walked Anna to her car as it was on my way to my own..
Anna and Loren with Bandettes alum Richelle

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From the Bandettes comes a photo from the February game against Colorado. A few times a year, the whole squad will get together for a group photo, usually completely their own idea. This was one of those times in a photo taken when the squad was waiting to head out for pregame, although catching the lovely LaToya in mid-blink was purely by accident.

Friday, June 5, 2015

2009 Strawberry Festival-revisited

In addition to Bills events, squad events and charity appearances, the Jills could frequently be seen supporting their sponsors, who generally gave the girls on the squad a few perks and paid the main sponsor of the squad a tidy sum to be named as a sponsor. In 2009, one of those sponsors was Merritt Estate Winery who even added a Buffalo Jills-wine to their inventory. Based in Forestville, NY, they hold a couple of charity events each year with live music, vendors, free wine-tasting, and more. Their June event, called the Strawberry Festival, raises money for a different charity each year, frequently helping out a local athlete's cause. In 2009, that charity was the Ruben Brown Foundation, which raises funds for youth service and enrichment programs. With Merritt sponsoring the Jills that year, girls from the squad were on hand for the Saturday portion of the event.
When I arrived, several of the Jills were already on hand selling the Jills wine, signing autographs, and posing for photos. One of the young ladies was going a little above and beyond as they had a dunk tank set up and rookie dancer Gabrielle had volunteered to be in it. Unfortunately, it wasn't a typical June day with temps in the 70s but instead in the high 50s to low 60s. No one would've blamed Gabby for backing out of the dunk tank duties but she stuck with it with a smile on her face.
Heather and Kelly with Ruben Brown
Gabrielle in the dunk tank
She even kept smiling while her squadmate Jennifer was giving it her all to dunk her herself...though maybe the reason she kept smiling through that is because Jennifer missed each time. She did get dunked a few times however and when she came out, she had goosebumps on her goosebumps! But through it all, she never stopped smiling
Jennifer anxiously trying to dunk Gabrielle
Kelly, Jennifer, Ayeshia, Gabrielle, Heather, Joya, and Murissa
After a few hours, the Jills that were there left to be replaced by Lynn and Katie who were replaced later by Jill and Kelly Ann to finish up the day. One of the things brought up in the Jills lawsuit that was filed last year was how the girls aren't supposed to express opinions on hot topics. The reason for that is so that they can appear as friendly to everyone and a big topic can get pretty heated easily. The hot topic that year was the eventual reinstatement to the NFL of convicted felon Michael Vick. A young man tried to get Jill's and Kelly Ann's opinions on bringing Vick to the Bills and thankfully I was there to steer the debate away from the ladies.
Lynn, Katie K, Murissa, Jennifer, and Ayeshia
Lynn and Katie with a bottle of Jills wine
Jill and Kelly Ann with Ruben Brown
You can see all the pics at
From the Bandettes comes a photo from the January game against the Minnesota Swarm. Taken just after halftime, Mandy grabbed her co-captain Chrissy for a photo together after their line came out to perform during the 3rd quarter. It's fitting that these two were paired as captains in 2015 not only to balance out their experience with Mandy in her 2nd season and Chrissy in her 5th. They each started off their careers as pretty quiet, although Mandy shed that quiet label by midseason.
Mandy and Chrissy

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Buffalo Jills lawsuit inspires Cheerleaders’ Fair Pay Act

Assemblywoman Nily Rozic has introduced a measure designed to give cheerleaders labor protections — a bill that comes after cheerleaders for the Buffalo Bills sued over their workplace conditions. 
The measure would provide cheerleaders for sports teams equal benefits and rights that are enjoyed by employees at sports-related services contracts receive under the current labor laws.
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What does this all mean?
Once the bill passes, all pro level cheerleaders/dancers will be paid in accordance with NYS labor laws. The Buffalo Jills and Bandettes, the Rochester Knightingales, the New York Knicks Dancers, and the Brooklynettes (dancers for the Brooklyn Nets NBA team) will all be protected under this law. When the Jills are reinstated, they'll not only have new management, but we can be assured of no further lawsuits based on money.
That being said, it's true that it's known to everyone before trying out that being a Jill was not a paid gig and the vast majority of ladies who have been Buffalo Jills over the years were always more than ok with that. At the same time, that lack of pay did have a major impact. Despite the Jills' website always talking about 150-200 girls auditioning each year, since 2006, the number has never topped 120 and, in fact, dropped down to 80-90 every season since 2009. When the Jills are reinstated, we can be assured that competition for spots on the squad will draw in many more young ladies than in many, many years.
You'll notice that I used the word "when" and not "if" in regards to the Jills returning and that has two reasons behind it. For one thing, we need to stay positive in regards to bringing them back. Secondly, we have a former cheerleader in Kim Pegula as a Bills owner, an owner who is big on PR and is part of an NFL Committee that, among other things, focuses on community outreach, the biggest job of pro cheerleaders. While the lawsuit is pending, unfortunately, she and other people with the Bills organization can't talk about the Jills. Hopefully with the courts throwing out the NFL's attempt to be excused from the case, the suit can more forward and be settled so that we can get our ladies back on the sidelines and in the community where they belong.