PITTSFORD, N.Y. (WROC) — Thursday marked the last day of Bills training camp at St John Fisher College, and driving down North Main Street, perhaps you noticed the Bills energy still going strong.
News 8 came across a special pop-up, where two Bills fans — and small business owners — had a plan for the last day of camp.
Outside Pittsford Pub, the fans kept on coming; for lunch and bills gear. The merchandise was all from the Buffalo-based business 26 Shirts.
Owner Del Reid is also known for his role in creating the “Bills Mafia” slogan when it first originated.
“We sell a lot of Buffalo-themed t-shirts,” said Reid. “And for every shirt that we sell, we give a portion back to a local family or charity.”
Since 2013, the organization has raised almost $1.5 million for those in need.
Reid said a lot of the money goes to families dealing with unexpected tragedies, like a medical emergency or a house fire.
Why? Reid says after helping create the slogan, he got a lot of attention on social media. He decided, why not do something with it?
“With great power comes great responsibility, and so I’ve always kind of looked at things that way,” he said.
Through a mutual friend, he recently connected with Scott Thyroff, owner of Pittsford Pub. The two wanted to finish off training camp strong. Reid had the idea to hold a pop-up.
“We’re right down the road from St. John Fisher, and Del reached out to me,” Thyroff said.
Thyroff said that whenever the Bills are in town, it brings a major boost in business. It’s something they’ve been missing through the worst of the pandemic.
“It seems like we filled up every lunch that they’ve had training camp open to the public,” he said. “Yesterday Jim Kelly had lunch on the patio.”
But, underneath all the excitement and hype, comes a desire to do good.
It’s a short-term collaboration. But, two hours can affect so many people and it all starts with a love for football.
Thyroff said he’s confident the customers will keep coming back, even though camp is over. He predicts about 500 turned out for the pop-up.