Banquet raises awareness, funds for Buford FCA

BUFORD -- In the early 2000s, Chan Gailey routinely visited Buford to recruit some of the Wolves' football players as the head coach at Georgia Tech.

Gailey was back in Buford on Thursday, but it wasn't to woo high school players. The former NFL head coach was the guest speaker at Buford's Fellowship of Christian Athletes seventh annual fundraising dinner at Buford Community Center.

"I've been involved with FCA since before most of you were born in 1968," Gailey said. "It's a great organization. They've made an impact on athletes and coaches and that's what it's all about."

Gailey was the highlight of the night, which also included a silent auction, music by Ian Taylor from the band of 10 Steps Back and testimony from Buford grad Matt Pridemore.

"The point of this ... It's two main goals," Buford FCA sponsor David Snell said. "The first is to let the community know about the FCA. No. 2 is to raise needed funds for camp scholarships."

Buford sent 159 students and four coaches families to attend FCA camps or retreats with money raised from last year's banquet.

"The cool part of the banquet is the money goes back to our scholarships," Snell said. "It's a good night for our community."

Gailey was the head coach at Georgia Tech from 2002-07 where he had six straight winning seasons. He spent the last three seasons as the head coach of the NFL's Buffalo Bills.

Gailey spoke about some of the best players he's ever coached, the biggest games he's coached in and some of the influential people in his life to the nearly 300 people in attendance.

"By far the most influential person in my life as far as my coaching career is Jesus Christ," Gailey said. "He's impacted me more than words itself.

"That's what we're doing in FCA, is helping young men and women with the relationship part."