BUFFALO, NY (WIVB) – Pro Football Hall of Famer and Bills legend Bruce Smith is lending his support for a scholarship in the name of Aaron Salter.
That scholarship has been created by three retired Buffalo Police officers who knew and worked with Salter. Smith says he’s reached out to the NFL, the Pro Football Hall of Fame and other entities to get them involved as well to help grow the scholarship.
“This is truly a worthy cause, if there was ever a worthy cause this is it,” Bruce Smith said in a Zoom interview.
Smith says he needs the help of Bills Mafia to support the Lt. Aaron Salter Memorial Scholarship. Not only will it help future scholars, it will also help families of the victims and keep Salter’s memory alive.
“My teammates and I and so many others just want to help this is too important to sit on the sidelines and do nothing,” Smith said.
The Bills legend says he’s been in touch with other Bills greats like Jim Kelly, Thurman Thomas and Steve Tasker, as well as the NFL, Pro Football Hall of Fame and his alma mater Virginia Tech, about jumping onboard.
“The overwhelming answer from all these organizations was yes,” Smith said.
Retired Buffalo Police officers Bradford Pitts, Earl Perrin, Jr. and Nate Goldsmith created the scholarship in memory of their friend.
“We don’t want people to forget who Aaron was and how great a person he was,” Pitts said.
Admired for his service to the community and inventions, $5,000 grants from the scholarship will be awarded at the end of this coming school year to about 10 graduating high school seniors in the City of Buffalo in need of financial assistance.
“The boundaries and qualifications won’t be determined by their final average it’s your intellect, your character and your willingness to serve in the community,” Perrin said.
The scholarship will also help children of victims in the mass shooting.
“We need to do our part to support these families as long as we have breath within our bodies,” Smith said.
On Monday, August 29 at 9:00am at the Lockport Country Club a celebrity golf tournament will be held. Current and former Bills players will be there, in addition to current coaches. Some of the proceeds will go to the scholarship. A gala at 6pm at the Seneca One Towers will be held that evening.
Jeff Preval is an award-winning anchor and reporter who joined the News 4 team in December 2021. See more of his work here.