A Good Samaritan who rescued 24 people during the deadly winter storm that struck western New York in December was awarded tickets to this year’s Super Bowl by the Buffalo Bills.
On Christmas Eve, Jay Whitey, of Cheektowaga in Erie County, broke the window of a school to seek shelter from the blizzard after spending the previous night in his trapped truck with a few other people seeking warmth, according to CNN.
Withey then went outside to search for other people who were stuck in their vehicles and brought them into the warm shelter of the school from the storm, bringing in a total of 24 people. The blizzard reportedly killed nearly 40 people in western New York.
On Christmas morning, after spending the night, Withey and others used the snow blowers from the janitor’s closet to free their vehicles.
Before leaving, Withey left a note telling the school that he was sorry for breaking in but said he “had to do it to save everyone and get them shelter and food and a bathroom.” He then signed the letter, “Merry Christmas, Jay.”
The Cheektowaga Police Department later identified Withey as the Good Samaritan and shared on Twitter a picture they received that night of him and the people he rescued.
To thank Withey for his heroic efforts, the Buffalo Bills and the regional branch of Blue Cross Blue Shield surprised Withey with two tickets to Super Bowl LVII in Glendale, Arizona, on February 12.
Hall of Fame former Bills running back Thurman Thomas and his wife, along with a Blue Cross Blue Shield representative, presented the tickets to Withey while expressing appreciation for his actions.
“We love you. We know what you did on Christmas Eve was very heroic,” Thomas told Withey. “You are our hero.”
“A hero is someone who puts the health and safety of others more than themselves, and you did that,” Blue Cross Blue Shield Vice President of Community Affairs Mike Ball told Withey.
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