After receiving death threats online for missing a critical field goal in the team's playoff loss against the Kansas City Chiefs Sunday night, fans have found a new way to lift the spirits of Buffalo Bills kicker Tyler Bass — and it's all in the name of charity.
The Buffalo-area nonprofit Ten Lives Club has now received over $270,000 in donations in support of Bass, and the organization shared that every dollar will be going right back to saving more cats from being euthanized.
“I was crying on the phone today, I just can’t believe it,” said Ten Lives Club Public Relations Manager Kimberly LaRussa. “I’m just so happy for the cats.”
Ten Lives Club tenants Lake Effect, Whiteout and Erie were born the day before the Bills lost a heartbreaking playoff game against the Chiefs. In response to the hate Bass received online after missing a late field goal to tie the game, these three kittens have now watched the donations flood in.
“We are all speechless at Ten Lives Club and can’t believe this is happening,” LaRussa said.
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, cat food, litter, and vet costs add up to about $675 per year. By those numbers, this donation amount can help Ten Lives Club host over 400 cats this year.
However, most of their cats are adopted to their forever home much quicker than that, meaning the number of cats saved can only increase from there.
“I hope it brings him [Bass] a smile to know how many cats he is saving right now,” LaRussa added.
She shared that this has been their largest amount ever received by far, topping even their largest fundraiser 10 times over.
“It’s not a fundraiser," she said. "This is just the community saying they want to donate and they’re doing that, the Bills Mafia.”
It all stems from an ad campaign Bass was part of in 2022. Timothy Cardone volunteers for the organization and said the Bills kicker was holding one of his cats, named Harley, whom he fostered.
“All the players were meeting with dogs, but he wanted cats, so I brought him one of my kittens,” Cardone said. “I’m still in shock and awe, I look at it [the donation total] every day."
“Taking a photo with a rescue cat may not seem like a big thing for him to do, but for us it was everything,” LaRussa added. “Thank you, Tyler Bass.”
Anybody interested in donating can do so at https://www.tenlivesclub.com/donate.
This story was originally published by Derek Heid at Scripps News Buffalo.
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