GRAND ISLAND, N.Y. (WIVB) — You’re never too young to become a member of the Bills’ Mafia. When the Buffalo Bills are playing, Josh Allen has 8-year-old Ciara Penque’s full attention.
“It’s a whole spectacle every Sunday,” said her step-mother, Jody Antonucci. “And she just waits for him to get on the TV.”
The 8-year-old has autism and her step mom says, watching #17 play, helps her stay focused.
“Ciara loves numbers. So she’ll watch the numbers on the screen and she’ll pretend like she’s playing football,” she said.
She also likes to express her love for Allen through art! Whether she’s chalking his name or writing it on her papers in school.
A few weeks ago, her parents posted a photo of her glued to the screen in her game day attire, on the Bills’ Mafia Facebook page. To their surprise, they were reached out to by a member of the Bills’ organization.
“Three weeks later we get this package with a photo and Josh Allen’s signature, a back pack headphones, lanyard, fanny-pack and bobble head,” she said. “She was absolutely ecstatic.”
It also included some sensory items for Ciara. Both her mother and step mother say they were so touched by the kindness of the Bills’ Mafia and the organization.
“We know Ciara has autism but the thing is we don’t let it define her,” said Atonucci. “She’s going to go places and do amazing things and just for someone to recognize that and do something nice for her.. she deserves it!”
Gabrielle Mediak is a reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.