LOCKPORT, N.Y. (WIVB) — Former Bills stars traded in their cleats for their golf clubs for a round to help the community heal after the tragedy at Tops on Jefferson Avenue.
“We and I love Buffalo,” said NFL Hall of Famer Bruce Smith, who hosted the First Annual Salter Memorial Scholarship Inc. Celebrity Golf Tournament and Gala Event. “My heart is here in Buffalo and every time I think about this horrific act of evil that took place it makes my emotions overflow with heartache. It’s heartwarming to know that we will have an impact on being able to strengthen and provide these young kids a platform of opportunities to get education.”
The Lt. Aaron Salter Memorial Scholarship was founded by three close friends of Salter’s: Bradford Pitts, Earl Perrin, and Nate Goldsmith, to recognize students who have the passion and skills that mirror his.
“Aaron was an outstanding individual, he was all about helping people,” said Earl Perrin Jr. “Not just a victim, but a hero, because he allowed others to live and understand. This is not just about Aaron Salter; we emphasize all of them, but we’re trying to hold that ideal of heroism and how someone can give their life for someone they don’t know, and because of him, there are so many still alive.”
The scholarship will go towards 10 Buffalo students that serve their community and share the same ethics and morals that Salter did.
“He put everyone else’s needs above his, and he just cared a lot about other people and you could never take that way from him.” said Aaron Salter III, Salter’s son who attended the tournament to thank the players. “Your character is what speaks for you and with everything going on with my dad right now, with this tournament going on and the gala later–it’s just off of character, if he didn’t have good character all of this wouldn’t have happened.”
The tournament teed off Monday morning, and lasted into the evening with a Gala at Seneca One Tower. Former Buffalo Bills like Jim Kelly and Thurman Thomas attended the tournament as a team.
The amount of money raised is still under determination, however, with the help of Paddock Chevrolet, they donated over $100,000 towards the scholarship.
For more information on the scholarship and how to donate, head to their website here.