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BUFFALO, NY (WIVB) — If you’re still mad about Sunday night’s missed pass interference call, you’re not alone. Although fans can’t do anything about it, Bills Mafia turns that anger into something productive.
The movement began with a donation from Hunter Schinabeck, a Massachusetts resident but longtime Bills fan. Outraged by Sunday’s call, he took to social media, asking what fans could do to make things right.
“Someone said, ‘oh donate to a blind charity, for the referees,'” Schinabeck said.
So that’s exactly what he did.
“I found the VIA (Advancement of visual impairment) after a quick Google search. They seemed to be doing a lot of good, so it was an easy call at that time,” Schinabeck said. “And then I just made my donation in honor of NFL referees.”
Vision Impairment Advancement is a local non-profit rehabilitation agency that helps people with vision loss.
Ray Zylinski is visually impaired and a VIA employee. He tells News 4 the donations will be put to good use, for people across Western New York.
“We serve a large number of people. From your birth to our oldest customers – over 100 years,” Zylinski said. “We have services in between, so this support makes a difference for a lot of people,” he added.
Donations poured in to VIA’s website all day – particularly in $17 increments representing Josh Allen’s jersey number. As of Wednesday night, over $40,000 was donated.
“The people of Buffalo, when they see an opportunity to help, they rise to the occasion,” said VIA President and CEO Tammy Owen. “It makes you feel good, not only about the customers we serve, but also about the wonderful nature of the people who live in this community.”
Click here to donate to Vision Impairment Advancement.