Bills fans to hold tailgate party to honor Ralph Wilson

Ralph Wilson

A Buffalo Bills fan club is planning a tailgate party near the Buffalo Bills stadium to honor the late team owner Ralph Wilson.

Just hours after the team said the 95-year-old Wilson had died at his Michigan home Tuesday, the Bills Mafia fan club announced on Twitter that it would hold a memorial tailgate at a privately-owned parking lot just down the street from Ralph Wilson Stadium.

The group says Bills fans want to say thank you to Wilson the best way they know, with a tailgate party.

The event will start at 1:00 p.m. Sunday. Parking will cost $10, with all proceeds to be donated to the Hunter's Hope Foundation. The foundation is named for the late Hunter Kelly, son of former Bills quarterback and Hall of Famer Jim Kelly.

In related news, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder says Wilson will be remembered for much more than just professional football.

The Republican governor tells The Associated Press in a statement Wilson "was a leader in more areas of business" than he can count.

Wilson was a major investor in a venture capital company that Snyder helped create.

Wilson was a philanthropist who also owned companies in the trucking, construction, media, insurance and manufacturing industries.

His Ralph Wilson Equity Fund was among the original investors in Ardesta LLC, a venture capital business focusing on micro- and nanotechnology startups and co-founded by Snyder in 2000.

Snyder says Wilson was "a fascinating man who simply loved life."