Your 2016 Buffalo Bandettes!

Your 2016 Buffalo Bandettes!

Friday, August 7, 2015

2009 Buffalo Jills Calendar Release Party-revisited

The 2009 Buffalo Jills Calendar Release Party was perhaps the most unique event of all the events that I've covered over the years.
Our story actually starts out earlier in the day when I was still in Jamestown picking up a few last minute supplies for the next day. Since the Bills were playing the next day, heading home after the event wasn't a real possibility since I had to be back up there the next morning. As I was leaving the store to get back in my car, I got a text message from Jills Ambassador Laura checking to make sure I was coming to the event. It was a pretty odd question since I hadn't missed a Jills event since I started attending them in 2005. What was doubly odd was that 3rd year dancer Jess had already asked me if I'd be at the event as well when I saw her at the DFT Tailgate appearance earlier in the month.
When I got there, nothing really seemed out of the ordinary and I helped get things set up for the event while the squad showed up. One thing that was different was a few friends of mine that had shown up. I frequently invited buddies to come to the events and I could even get one in for free at the events but whether it be the fact that some weren't going to be in Buffalo that weekend or whatever else, no one took me up on the offer until this event. With the Bills playing the next day, a pair of guys I used to pretailgate with stopped by for the evening and didn't regret it for a second.

Kelly Ann and Omarlla 
For the bulk of the evening, Jills sold raffle tickets and mingled with family, friends, and fans until about halfway through the event when raffle prizes were awarded. While the bulk of the squad handed out raffle prizes, several others got warmed up to put on a great dance performance. 
The 3 Musketeers Alyssa, Nicole, and Kristen with my friends Paul and Jamie
Twins? Val and Lindsay
Lydia and Heather

Following the dance performance, the whole squad departed the club to get ready for the swimsuit calendar fashion show. Anyone who's paid attention to the Jills lawsuit heard about allegations of some inappropriate conduct towards the ladies at the 2013 Calendar Release Party at Turning Stone Casino and while I didn't see everything that went on at Club Paradise in 2009, I do know that security kept a close eye on things so that the Jills didn't feel unsafe. However, the previous year, a photographer from did take a few less than appropriate photos and in 2009, I made sure I was where he had been so that it couldn't happen again. I always have ensured that each photo I took and shared was something the ladies on the Jills or Bandettes would be something they'd feel comfortable sharing with their families for years to come and that didn't change just because they were in skimpy bikinis and other swimwear.

Kaitlin, Vincenza, Loren, and Alyssa
Covergirl Katy before heading out for the show
After the fashion show, I finally found out why Laura had called me to make sure I'd be there that night. I was told that the squad wanted to get a group photo but I was a little confused. The squad all went up to the seating area behind the DJ booth instead of in front of the stage where they usually took group photos. When I went down in front of the DJ booth to try to get into position to get a good photo, Heather came down and told me I was needed up where the squad was. When I got up there, I spied a cake on one of the tables and Heather had me come over to the cake, presumably to get a photo of it. I knew the next day was Lisa's birthday so I naturally assumed it was hers. Imagine my surprise when it had my name on it, with my birthday having been a few days prior. I handed my camera to Jennifer who took a few pics of my extremely red
Afterwards, I went back to taking photos of the evening and even had a unique encounter with the boyfriend of one of the Jills. Then-3rd year vet Jess and I always got along great and a few months prior, she started seeing a new guy. She made a point to introduce us and I made sure to warn him that in the 2 years I'd known her, her beauty had only increased over time and it would likely only continue to do so.
Jess showing her love for Stefanie

See all the pics at
From the Bandettes comes a photo from the March game against Toronto. Prior to the game, the co-captains were selling programs while the rest of the squad was signing their new posters. Shown smiling for the camera is 4th year vet Stephanie. It's hard to believe she's already finished a 4th season as I can still remember seeing her try out for the 1st time after learning dance and cheering from 2 former Bandettes.

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