Tyler Boyd's touchdown catch a gift that keeps giving for WPYAA
Former Clairton and Pitt star receiver Tyler Boyd's fourth-down touchdown catch that clinched both the Cincinnati Bengals' victory over the Baltimore Ravens and the Buffalo Bills' first NFL playoff berth since 1999 is the gift that keeps giving.
Not only did Bills fans donate more than $100,000 to Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton's foundation, but they gave $65,000 to Boyd's charity of choice, the Western PA Youth Athletic Association, through the YouCaring.com website.
"It was so unexpected," said Boyd's mother, Tonya Payne, who is in her third term as WPYAA president. "Andy Dalton has this great foundation that he has built. You see the donations going in.
"When people started reaching out to Tyler, we thought we may get a couple thousand dollars. We never anticipated it would be $65,000 in a matter of three days. As soon as he posted it on social media, within 10 minutes there was $1,500. We set a goal of $20,000. Did we think it would get to $20,000? No. That was just incredible."
Thank You to the Bills entire fan base. What great people you are . We have reach our primary goal with 20k and any other donations will still be excepted as well— Tyler Boyd (@boutdat_23) January 4, 2018
Payne said Bills donated in increments of $17 to represent their 17-year playoff drought and $83 to represent Boyd's jersey number.
Thanks Andy for the AWESOME throw and Tyler Boyd for the longest run after catch to END our suffering!Donation sent!
Thanks Andy for the AWESOME throw and Tyler Boyd for the longest run after catch to END our suffering!Donation sent!— cbkunks(@Cbkunks) January 2, 2018
The donations allowed WPYAA to add youth basketball and spring football programs to its fall football organizations for children ages 5 to 14. Since the donations poured in, the original football league (Clairton, Duquesne, the Hill District, Lincoln-Larimer, Pittsburgh Hurricanes, Steel Valley and Westside) expanded to add teams from Braddock/Swissvale, Hilltop, Lawrenceville, Monessen and South Side. The basketball league includes McKeesport.
Spring football, a 10-week season which begins April 28, will feature 9-on-9 flag football for children ages 5-10 and 7-on-7 football for ages 11-14. The donations will help defray costs for equipment, officials, fields, concessions and travel. That will help the individual organizations become self-sustaining and freeze registration fees for the low-income communities that the league serves, Payne said.
"It's amazing," Payne said. "Tyler's always looked out for his hometown team, with donations to the Clairton little league and high school program. This was an opportunity to give back to several communities. It's actually impacting more programs and more kids."
On Saturday, the WPYAA will celebrate its first basketball championships at Duquesne High School gymnasium, starting at 1 p.m. with a coaches' game that will feature Boyd and Clairton High School defensive coordinator Jeff Thompson.
"The coaches throughout our league are interacting and coming together. Not only does it show that all of the coaches can interact together but it would draw bigger crowds for the other games. It's fun to see not only Tyler's success story but how these guys have come full circle. They've been through the program. Now they're giving back."
Kevin Gorman is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @KGorman_Trib.