Benefit for Bill Sager will go on despite his death

Air National Guardsman Bill Sager

GRAND ISLAND, N.Y. (WIVB) — The men that served alongside Bill Sager in the Air National Guard are fulfilling a promise.

Anthony Re said, “No matter what happens to each other, we are going to support each other’s family in case we are unable to.”

Sager was pushed down the stairs at Molly’s Pub in May.  He died earlier this week after being in a coma for months.  It’s a heartbreaking loss for his Air Guard brothers.

David Castiglia said, “We deployed several times together and we were like a family.”

Sager’s death came just days before they planned to hold a benefit to help pay for his medical costs.  Now, the benefit will go on to help pay for his funeral costs.

“That’s what he’d do for us so we’ll tough it out and work through it and band together as a family and deal with it,” Castiglia said.

Sager’s family includes his fiancé Erika Webster; he was supposed to marry her last month. Sunday, hundreds plan to help his friends stay true to their word.  From 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. friends, family and strangers will gather at the Grand Island VFW to raise money.

The VFW commander said, “It’s really tying all the generation of veterans regardless of if they are Korean War vets, Vietnam, Desert Storm, post 9-11, everyone is coming together for a common cause.”

For now, these men are focused on the celebration. The grief will come later.

Re said, “I think it’s going to kick in for a lot of people tomorrow but we’re going to use that time to remember our friends and honor him.”

Tickets to the event will be available at the VFW Sunday.

There will be basket raffles, a 50/50 split, door prizes, as well as entertainment for the kids. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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