On Friday, former Buffalo Bills running back Thurman Thomas surprised local hero 27-year-old Jay Withey with two tickets to next month's Super Bowl LVII in Arizona.
Thomas told Withey, "We love you. We know what you did on Christmas Eve was very heroic, and you're our hero."
The Buffalo Bills posted a video of the surprise on Twitter, thanking Withey for his bravery.
What are the details?
On December 23, Withey found himself stranded in a blizzard after his truck got stuck in the snow. Unsuccessful at finding shelter in town, Withey spent the night in his vehicle with two other stranded motorists.
The next day, with his truck running low on fuel, Withey realized he had to seek shelter elsewhere. On Christmas Eve morning, he noticed a nearby school and decided to break in to escape the cold.
In an interview with WBEN radio, Withey stated, "I knew the power would be on, there would be heat in there, and I was guaranteeing there would be food in there."
After successfully gaining entry into the school, Withey returned to the frigid blizzard to rescue other stranded motorists. In total, Withey led 24 people and two dogs to safety.
On Christmas morning, after the worst of the storm had passed, Withey used the school's snowblower to dig out the strangers' vehicles.
The group of strangers took only what they needed from the school's supplies to survive and put everything back in its place before they left.
Withey even left a note apologizing for breaking into the school.
"To whom it may concern," Withey's note read. "I'm terribly sorry about breaking the school window and for breaking in the kitchen. Got stuck at 8pm Friday and slept in my truck with two strangers just trying not to die. There were 7 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."
Local police located Withey and thanked him for his brave actions. Cheektowaga Police Chief Brian Gould stated, "He definitely saved some lives that day."
On Sunday, Withey told CNN, "Buffalo is a city of good neighbors, great neighbors actually."
"We're all just a big family. Everyone just sticks together and we're resilient. You can't put us down," he added.Like Blaze News? Bypass the censors, sign up for our newsletters, and get stories like this direct to your inbox. Sign up here!