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by Clare Lewis / Buffalo Sabres

While the Buffalo Sabres battled on the ice in Philadelphia on Thursday night, the Sabres Alumni Association helped to battle cancer. The 10th Annual Fall Wine Festival was held at First Niagara Center to benefit breast cancer charities in the area.


Hundreds turned out to mingle with Sabres alumni while bidding on items in the silent auction and trying their luck at the basket raffle. Each current Sabres player donated a basket, along with several of the alumni. There was also a silent auction featuring autographed jerseys and memorabilia from various professional sports teams and entertainers.

More than 30 local businesses were on hand to allow attendees to sample food and various wines.

The event first began in 2004 and started in part because several wives of Sabres alumni had been affected by breast cancer. Former Sabres Alumni president Larry Playfair has been involved with the Wine Festival since its inception, and said this was a way for the group to help out the cause. “It started slowly but surely. It’s grown over time and now it is huge.”

Playfair is thrilled to be able to see old friends who attend the event as well as help out a cause that is close to his heart. The alumni visit from all around the country to be a part of the event, giving them a chance to reconnect with former teammates and meet the fans who remember them fondly.

Proceeds from the event will be donated to the ECMC Mammography Bus, Roswell Park High Risk program in the Breast Center, Hope Chest Buffalo/Niagara, Medina Memorial Hospital and the Janis Foligno Foundation.

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