Queen City recognized for hospitality towards tourists, neighborly love, manners, politeness, warm dispositions
By David Yarger
Tuesday morning, Buffalonians had much to cheer about, as Cheerios, along with Buffalo Bills Pro Football Hall of Fame running back Thurman Thomas, celebrated a prestigious honor.
Buffalo was recognized as one of the friendliest cities in the United States, as locals across the country were asked "what their city was best at." Buffalo scored the highest in hospitality toward tourists, neighborly love, manners, politeness and warm dispositions.
Thomas and Cheerios kicked the day off early at Fountain Plaza, 580 Main St., with free breakfast and a meet-and-greet to the public.
The city is also known for its generosity, and during the celebration, attendees could high-five a fellow Buffalonian through Cheerios' virtual high-five machine. For each high-five, Cheerios donated $5 (up to $10,000) towards the Thurman Thomas Foundation, which supports local Buffalo families and awards scholarships at Erie Community College. High-fivers were also given a complimentary snack-size box of Cheerios.
Of the honors, Thomas said, "It speaks volumes for the people here in the City of Buffalo and around in the community. If anything bad happens to anybody, we're always the first ones to really come out and do anything for a lot of people. My wife is from Buffalo and I've always had a great experience up here with charities and working in the community. ... It's great Cheerios is out here doing this for the Thurman Thomas Foundation, local charities and Erie Community College.
"It's no surprise to me that Buffalo is ranked in America's friendliest cities. We are the city of good neighbors and it definitely shows today."
Thomas, who suited up for the Bills from 1988 until 1999, said Buffalonians should feel tremendous about the honor.
"(They should) feel great about it," he said. "I'm trying to ask myself what took so long! It's always been like this. ... People here have always treated me well and, to be honest, they've always treated outsiders well, too, when people come here and visit. I know there's a lot of people that have been here, that love the city and have actually stayed here, and I'm one of those persons. ... I love it here. We do a lot of great things for the community and that's why it's America's friendliest city."
Thomas added that his experience with the city has only gotten better and better since his arrival in 1988, and it's been great to see Buffalo grow and become the city that it is today.
"We continue to grow as community now. You've seen the recent buildings, the construction that's been going on in the past couple of years. With the Pegula's (Terry and Kim) buying the Sabres and the Buffalo Bills and keeping them here in Buffalo, the community continues to grow. ... Some of the people that did leave are coming back now," Thomas said.
Thomas, who is president of 34 Group, a Buffalo company that works in telecommunications, construction, and architecture and engineering, said seeing the growth has not only been a plus to witness for the company, but as a resident, too.
"It's just great to see (we) continue to add jobs here in the area," he said. "It's great for the City of Buffalo and hopefully they continue for the next 10, 15, 20 years."
In addition to all the day's festivities, Cheerios will light the Peace Bridge a bright yellow to continue the celebration as the friendliest city.
Cheerios also encourages people to follow #GoodGoesRound and Cheerios on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to find out how to get involved.
Thurman Thomas using the Cheerios virtual high-five machine.