Niagara Falls, NY (WKBW) Niagara Falls City Hall was packed Friday night with family, friends, and fans, many clad in the green and gold of the Green Bay Packers. All to honor James Starks, the Niagara Falls native who helped the Packers win the Superbowl earlier this month, has received the city's highest honor. Mayor Paul Dyster presented Starks with the key to the city of Niagara Falls.
After the presentation, Starks spoke to Eyewitness News about what the day meant to him. "Coming back to your home town, where you're from, and get the key to the city, it was touching for me," he said.
Also in attendance was Starks' high school football coach at Niagara Falls High School, Donald Pass. "Today was just a culmination of everything. And as much as it was about James, it was about hope and inspiration for all the other kids out here who can dare to dream, and dare to dream big," Pass said.
Mayor Dyster spoke of Starks and his accomplishments with great pride. "I couldn't feel better as the Mayor of the City of Niagara Falls to have this fine young man as a representative of our city to the broader world," Dyster said.
During the ceremony, proclamations were read from Governor Andrew Cuomo, the Niagara Falls City Council, New York State Assembly, and many more. February 25th was also officially made "James Starks Day" in Niagara Falls. Many honors for a man who many called the most deserving of all.
"I'm just so happy for James. James is a blessed kid. He deserves everything he's getting at this point," James' mother Lillie Hall said.
"He doesn't like the spotlight, he deflects it. But he is without question worthy of this honor," Pass added.
Afterwards, Starks thanked all those who supported him in his devoted hometown.
"Right now, I'm living the dream. Just trying to do the best I can, as a human being, whether it's on the football field or off the football field, trying to be a positive person, and its working out for me," Starks said.
To top it all off, Friday was James Starks' birthday. He said he couldn't think of any better way to spend it.