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Buffalo Strong: Hundreds thank fellow frontline workers

Posted at 1:38 AM, Apr 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-25 01:38:19-04

CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WKBW) — It's a way to say thank you. That's what a several of those on the frontlines said about Light Up the Night Buffalo.

"Trying to make a little difference," Matthew Leverenz, owner of Tick Tock Towing and Recovery in Silver Creek, said. He was one of the first to come to the Walden Galleria parking lot to take part in this event. And that parking lot was packed with more than 200 police, fire, EMT, Mercy Flight and tow truck drivers. All in attendance to thank their fellow front line workers in Buffalo-area hospitals fighting COVID-19.

"It’s Buffalo we get through thick and thin and we always come together when things get tough," Fire Chief Brett Hanford of Clarence Fire District #1 said.

Fellow first responder, Forks Fire Company Assistant Chief Jeff Winiarski adding, “This is big buffalo strong.”

It’s an idea two competitors in the tow trucking business started piecing together two weeks ago.

"The whole community coming together to do something like this is amazing," Joseph Asciutto said. He co-organized the event with Al Montgomery. The response — both said —overwhelming.

From Silver Creek-- "It’s a lot to us that we can payback a thank you to the other people who can’t be there with us," Leverenz said.

To Cheektowaga — “Jen’s a dispatcher, Eric works at ECMC, Kurt is a police officer. We have a lot of people ourselves that are on the front lines so this is just to show them including ourselves how much we do respect what they’re doing," Winiarski said.

To Clarence— "They’ll fully understand what we’re saying without even exchanging words," Hanford said.

These men and women on the frontline all came together for to say thank you in the form of a parade. One that stretched from St. Joe’s to the Buffalo Medical corridor. Neighbors along the route waving, clapping and giving a thumbs up to every one on the front lines. Doctors and nurses saying everything through a window.