LOCKPORT — Bills running back Fred Jackson is a warrior, one of the rare Buffalo players over the course of the past 13 non-playoff seasons that fans happily choose to embrace. Jackson never goes down easily, always fighting for that extra yard, and fans appreciate it.
That's what makes Jackson the perfect Bill for an autograph signing, and there he was at the Niagara County Deputy Sheriff's Association Union Hall in downtown Lockport on Tuesday evening. Jackson, along with third-year Bills safety Aaron Williams, took the time to pose for pictures and sign Bills memorabilia for eager fans and supporters for two hours, from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m.
Jackson and Williams shook hands, obliged all requests and pleasantly interacted with the crowd throughout the session. In total, about 200 guests attended the event.
Jackson said he views building a sense of connectivity with the fan base as an important part of his role as a player and team leader.
"It's huge," Jackson said. "Fans drive our sport, so anytime you can come and hang out with them, sign a few autographs and build a fan base, that's what you want to get done. To have this opportunity is something that myself and Aaron like to jump on. You get to interact with fans, pick their brains, and it's always fun to do."
The event cost was $15 per autograph, per player, and proceeds were to be donated to the United Way chapter of Greater Niagara. Different charities such as Kids Escaping Drugs have been beneficiaries of similar NCDSA-hosted over the past two years, and Deputy Sheriff's Association president Jeff Newman said these signings serve a variety of functions.
"First of all, it's nice to have a chance to bring some well-known Bills players up to Lockport, and it also gives us a chance to help give back to important charities throughout the region," Newman said. "It also helps us promote the Sheriff's Association and the things that we do, as well."