Buffalo (WKBW) It was a snowy night in February when Buffalo Police Officer Gary Sengbusch's life would change forever, after a crash left him in critical condition and fighting for his life. But it would be a warm June night that would help him along his road to recovery, at a baseball game in downtown Buffalo.
Four months after he was nearly killed by a suspected drunk driver, Buffalo Police Officer Gary Sengbusch stood on the mound at Coca Cola Field, and threw out the ceremonial first pitch to a thunderous ovation.
It was all part of the 'Team Gary Benefit Bash' sponsored by the Bisons to raise money for the injured officer and to help cover his medical costs.
"It's really hard to explain without breaking down and crying. But I'm trying not to do that today," Officer Sengbusch said.
"Seeing people I don't even know cheering him on and being here for him, it's just amazing," Sengbusch's girlfriend Julie Bradigan said.
Mayor Byron Brown was also in attendance at the event.
"This shows the spirit of Buffalo and Erie County. This is the city of good neighbors and the city of good neighbors really turned out tonight for Officer Gary Sengbusch and it's great to see," Mayor Brown said.
Sengbusch met the team, got to watch the game from a private suite, and had his badge number emblazoned below home plate. The Bisons took on Lehigh Valley, but to those involved the night was much more than a baseball game.
"I think that everyone being here shows what kind of guy Gary is. He's an amazing guy, and its overwhelming," Bradigan said.
"There's definitely days at therapy when you're thinking I'm not going tomorrow, but then you remember that you've got so many people behind you," Sengbusch said.
"Someone I'm very proud of and someone that my son and other young people in the community can look to as a very positive role model," Mayor Brown said while speaking about Sengbusch and his recovery.
A portion of all ticket sales, along with raffles and auctions all goes to pay for Officer Sengbusch's medical costs. One retired police officer donated a check of five thousand dollars, his retirement gift from the department, to help in Gary's road to recovery.
Officer Sengbusch says that one day he hopes to return to work as a police officer.