The day before the Bills play their opening game at New Era Field is scheduled for the memorial service of Ezra Castro, also known as the Bills superfan, Pancho Billa. The family of Castro is planning the event to take place close to New Era Field, and they invite the entire Bills family to join them in the celebration of his life.
Castro, originally from El Paso in Texas, moved later on in his life to Dallas. Even though he never had any connections with Western New York, he was considered to be the enormous fan of the Buffalo Bills. Castro sadly passed away during May this year after losing the battle against stage four cancer. He was only 39 years old.
His Gift to the Children of Western New York
Before Castro passed away, he asked that no flowers will be sent to his funeral, but that people must much instead use the money to assist John Mika, the director of the Teacher Desk in Buffalo with backpacks for school kids. Mika himself is serving in the role as a substitute teacher and considers himself to be a casual fan of the Bills. The Bills fans adhered to Pancho Billa’s request and over $100 000 was raized for the Teacher’s Desk. With the assistance of 26shirts, Teacher’s Desk managed to supply backpack to thousands of kids in Western New York. For every $10 that they have received, they managed to put together a pack and supplies valued at $100.
A Celebration of Pancho Billa’s Life
Castro had another request before passing away, and that is what his family will honour on the 21st of September. The day before the Bills opening game, a celebration of Pancho Billa’s life will take place at the Hammer Lot, close by to New Era Field. The event is set to take place between 2 -6 pm and donations for tailgating cars will be asked. Donations will go to the Castro family. The day will serve as a day of remembrance, laughter and sharing of great memories.
Pancho’s Life In Print
Another dream of Pancho was to write children’s books. An idea which was now realized by Roselyn Kasmire, author to the book Pancho Power. Michael Biondo illustrates the children’s book, and it tells the story of the inspiring life of Bill’s superfan. The children’s book is set to inspire young readers and to convey the Bills essence of strength. Kasmir and Castro became friends a couple of years ago, and he was a great fan of her work. He often bought her books to read to his own two children. The idea of a children’s book already started a while before Pacho passed away and after collaborating closely with Pacho, Kasmire and Biondo were able to show him the early drafts of his paper.