Man who rescued dozens in Buffalo blizzard gifted Tremendous Bowl tickets

BUFFALO, N.Y. — A local man who became known as “Merry Christmas, Jay” after he rescued 24 people during the deadly snowstorm in Buffalo last month was surprised with Super Bowl tickets by a Bills legend on Friday.

Thurman Thomas and his wife, Patti, presented Jay Withey with two tickets to next month’s Super Bowl LVII in Glendale, Arizona, on behalf of the Bills and Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield.

On Christmas Eve, Withey broke a window of a school while seeking shelter from the blizzard after spending a night sleeping in his truck with two strangers to stay alive. Once inside, he went back out into the storm in search of others who needed help, including seven elderly people who were stranded in their cars, and brought them to safety inside the school.

He earned the moniker “Merry Christmas, Jay,” after he left a note for the school explaining why he broke in.

“To whom it may concern,” Withey wrote in the letter, “I’m terribly sorry about breaking the school window and for breaking in the kitchen. Got stuck at 8 p.m. Friday and slept in my truck with two strangers just trying not to die. There were seven elderly people also stuck and out of fuel. I had to do it to save everyone and get them shelter and food and a bathroom. Merry Christmas.”

He signed the note “Jay.”

The Cheektowaga Police Department later shared the letter on social media, along with images of Withey, writing that they would like to find him to thank him for saving people’s lives.

After receiving the tickets, Withey said he can’t believe the amount of people who have reached out to him, including thank you letters from Australia.

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