BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — In the shadows of New Era Field stands a memorial for beloved Buffalo super fan Pancho Billa.
Taped to a light pole in front of the stadium, are three pictures and a simple sign that reads: "R.I.P. Pancho Billa! Fly high amigo...Viva los Bills."
Since Pancho Billa died Tuesday after a battle with cancer, hundreds of messages have flooded social media using #PanchoPower.
Fans have also been donating to Roswell Park in Pancho's memory.
The passion & love of #BillsMafia once again shines bright — this time for one of their own, @PanchoBilla1. Ezra, the donations people are sending show how much you were loved & how deeply you will be missed. From our cancer warriors to you, #PanchoPower forever. Thank you ❤️ https://t.co/YbkcUp5N8f— Roswell Park (@RoswellPark) May 14, 2019
"We're just about at $5,000 and counting," Jim Newman, Chairman of the Roswell Foundation, said. That dollar amount still growing with donations pouring in so far from 35 states and 3 countries.
"This will allow Roswell to conduct a series of trials to try and find a cure to cancer and we'll share the results of this with other comprehensive care centers," he said.
Before he died, Pancho made it clear he didn't want flowers for his funeral. Instead he wanted backpacks full of school supplies to be donated to children in need. And that's exactly what he's getting.
Buffalo Station House owner, Dave Cronk, started this Facebook group to collect school supplies and backpacks for the cause.
Businesses like Cellino Plumbing are taking backpack donations, too, at their McKinley Mall location.
Del Reid, co-founder of BillsMafia, for every $10 donation to The Teacher's Desk, a backpack full of $100 worth of school supplies will be donated to a child in need.
Today Del Reid, co-founder of Bills Mafia, asked us to partner with him to make Pancho’s wish come true. We are honored to be here for such a time as this. #PanchosPack #BillsMafia #TheTeachersDesk pic.twitter.com/J4u8VuwaMI— The Teacher's Desk (@TeachersDeskBuf) May 16, 2019
Plans for a celebration of life for Pancho have been set for Saturday in Irving, Texas. According to a post on Facebook by his longtime partner, his family is asking for the donation of backpacks. "We wish to honor Ezra's request and ask that everyone wear their favorite team jersey to the service. In lieu of flowers we ask for kids backpacks with school supplies for Panchospacks for Panchoskids."
Ezra's first celebration of life will be held this Saturday May 18, 2019. The service will be held at Christ Church Irving, 1750 E. Airport Fwy, Irving, TX 75062. Family will receive guest from 4:30pm to... https://t.co/OXuvUohkqs— Pancho Billa (@PanchoBilla1) May 16, 2019
Fans on social media are also planning a candlelight vigil this Friday from 7 to 9 p.m. in front of the stadium to honor the life of Pancho Billa.