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'We like to help. That's just who we are', Pancho's Army continues mission of giving back

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Posted at 2:07 PM, Oct 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-07 14:07:56-04

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WKBW) — "I don't call it Bills mafia. I call it Bills MaFamilia."

Not just a fan base but a family, and Anthony Trifolo is proud to be a member. He's a long-time fan who truly embodies the Buffalo MaFamilia spirit.

But he's more than just a guy in the crowd, he's a co-founder of a group who brings Buffalove to a whole new meaning.

"That's just who we are," he said. "We like to help. We're an army."

Pancho's Army to be exact, named after Trifolo's late friend and beloved bills fan, Ezra Castro. The group is made up of at least twenty members stretching from Buffalo to El Paso, Texas and all the way to Alaska.

Their mission is simple: to spread love, honor their veterans and loved ones, and most importantly, give back.

"I'm here to see smiles on people's faces at the end of the day when we're done helping them," Trifolo said. "It's a blessing actually. It really is."

Panchos' Army has teamed up with others like Patti Thomas and Joe Croom Photography to raise almost $10,000 for various charities [Wings Flights for Hope, Pancho's Packs, PUNT Foundation, and many more]. But the Army also includes past and present Bills players [Harrison Phillips, Lorenzo Alexander, Jerry Hughes, Josh Allen, Eric Wood] who are good human beings.

"They go above and beyond to help everybody," Trifolo explained about those who are "inducted". "They help not only people in our community, but where they're from as well."

Members get Pancho's Army jackets, handmade by Trifolo and Linda Young. Each jacket takes about a month to make and is personalized with various patches, according to the individual's interests or background.

The players who wear the jackets know how special it is to be a part of this Army. For Trifolo, seeing a player proudly wear it, is a reminder of their mission and the people who helped inspire them in the first place.

"It's something greater than myself, like my mother said," Trifolo said. "You're going to do something greater than yourself and if it wasn't for her, it probably wouldn't have happened."

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