MIAMISBURG, Ohio (WDTN) – It’s been nearly one week since Buffalo Bills player Damar Hamlin collapsed in their game against the Cincinnati Bengals.
The Bills were back on the field for the first time Sunday, and fans from Dayton were out in full force, raising money for Hamlin’s charity.
Every time the Buffalo Bills play, you’ll find the seats packed with fans at Bennett’s Publical Family Sports Grill in Miamisburg.
“This is just a phenomenal place, we have such a great time, and it’s perfect for us,” Buffalo Bills Backers of Dayton President Casey Davis said.
The Buffalo Bills Backers of Dayton was established in the early 1980s. The groups has grown from just a few fans to more than 100. Most of the members are from or have ties to Buffalo, New York.
“We’ve got one heck of a crowd, very loyal, love Buffalo,” Mike Paluch, the original president of the Dayton Bills Backers, said.
This Sunday, though, was more than just a game, it was a show of support for Damar Hamlin.
Hamlin collapsed on-field from a cardiac arrest last Monday. Since then, he’s made steady progress at U.C. Medical Center.
“It’s been an emotional week for us, ups and downs,” Paluch said. “Great news, great news we had this week.”
Rallying behind Hamlin, the Bills Backers have raised more than $2,200. 75% of that will go to Hamlin’s charity Chasing M’s, which has gone viral, raising millions in just one week.
The remaining 25% will go to Bengals player Tee Higgins’ foundation, Axe ALS.
“It’s one of the few times you’ve seen someone get hurt in that way, and to see how everyone’s just rallied around his health,” Davis said. “It’s so much bigger than football.”
Now the Bills are on the road to the playoffs, and Hamlin is on the road to recovery.
“I think the Bills have something to play for now, and I think we’re going to do good,” Paluch said.
To donate to the Bills Backers of Dayton’s fundraiser, visit their Facebook page here to contact President Casey Davis.