Courage to Comeback Press Release
BUFFALO, N.Y. (September 20, 2018)—Former Buffalo Bills running back and National Football League Hall of Famer Thurman Thomas and his family will be among the award winners at the third annual Friendship Foundation Courage to Come Back awards banquet, presented by Russell J. Salvatore and Russell’s Steaks Chops & More and supported by Entercom Radio and WKBW-TV Channel 7.
The banquet will be held on Thursday, October 18 at Samuel’s Grande Manor at 6 p.m. The event is open to the public and for ticket and sponsorship information, contact Jack Guastaferro at 716.515.8242 or visit www.friendshipfoundationbflo.org.
The Friendship Foundation supports and assists the Restoration Society, Inc. in providing a wide range of recovery-based services, and to advocate for the rights of individuals with behavioral health and substance use conditions here in Western New York.
The Courage to Come Back Award honors individuals who have made substantial progress in recovery from psychiatric conditions and/or substance use conditions. The Recovery Advocate Award recognizes those who have had a significant role in encouraging and facilitating the recovery of individuals with psychiatric and/or substance use conditions.
Annika Thomas, the daughter of Thurman and Patti, will receive a Courage to Come Back Award as she is recovering from anxiety and depression. The Thomas family will receive a Recovery Advocate Award for supporting Annika’s recovery and for speaking out against the stigma associated with mental illness.
Other Courage to Come Back Award winners are Sweet Home High School graduate Keith O’Neil, who won a Super Bowl while playing in the NFL for Indianapolis, who suffers from bipolar disorder; former University at Buffalo phenom Alex Neutz, recovering from anxiety, depression and opiod addiction and his mother, Adrienne, recovering from alcohol addiction. Also, Valerie Day, an RSI employee with a background of physical and sexual abuse; who was raped, homeless and she has survived addictions, will received a Courage to Comeback Award.
The other Recovery Advocate Award winner is Dan and Stacy Gagliardo, owners of D’Avolio Olive Oils & Vinegars, long-time supporters of the Restoration Society, Inc. and its Harbor House for the homeless in Buffalo.