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Cheerful lifesaver Dion Dawkins’ ‘Snowman’ story

Perhaps it’s his large presence at 6-foot-5. Perhaps this is a characteristic sound you hear when he is around. Or maybe it’s his warm, welcoming smile when he’s around you. Whatever it is, left tackle Dion Dawkins lights up a room the moment he walks in. From a room full of strangers, Dawkins will walk out with 20 new friends.


That’s just the kind of man he is. Just ask linebacker Tyler Matakevich who’s known Dawkins for more than 10 years. “Ever since I first met him when he was 17 or 18 year old, when he walks in the room he’s one of those guys who’s just got a smile on his face,” his former college teammate Tyler Matakevich said. “He just brightens up the room, and having a guy like that around the team, that’s all you can ask for.”

The Temple product’s infectious personality and fun-loving soul is what family, friends and teammates can’t get enough of, and it’s a big reason why he’s having a career year on and off the field. “He’s probably the most impressive teammate I’ve been around,” right tackle Spencer Brown said. “There is no other Dion Dawkins.”

LT is in his seventh season as a Bill and has been in Buffalo since Sean McDermott took over as head coach. Dawkins is one of the cornerstone members of this team and his presence permeates the locker room in the best way possible. He was one of the key people who has been here since McDermott first came in,” Matakevich said. “Him, Matt Milano, and Tre’Davious White… he’s the reason we’re here today.”
“He is the heart and soul of this team.”

Lead with all your heart
Dawkins’ heart isn’t limited to his teammates. During his time in Buffalo, it expanded beyond One Bills Drive as the offensive lineman got to know numerous Bills fans. Schnowman has always strived to give back to the community, which led to him being named Walter Payton Man of the Year in Buffalo two years in a row.

From hospital visits to toy drives to school visits, Dawkins has always loved others. He didn’t know it would one day help save lives. Reflecting on that day, Dawkins said, “I don’t know what God was using me for, but he put me in a situation where I needed to be.”

It was Dawkins’ rookie, and he was heading to the movie theater with a few of his teammates on his day off. He noticed that a young NFL player needed someone’s help on his way home. “I tried to go and buy his ticket, but he started breaking down,” Jim LeGasse said. “The young man came up to me and he asked how I was. He took me back inside.


He helped me buy the ticket. He walked me to the store and helped me carry soda and popcorn to my seat.”
This young man was Dion Dawkins. “He didn’t know exactly what to do or say,” Dawkins said. “But I felt the energy that he needed me at this moment and that I would be there.”

A man in need of help LeGasse is a retired senior special agent for the U.S. Treasury Department who investigated organized crime and drug trafficking. Among other awards, he received the Medal of Valor and has done much for our country, including infiltrating drug trafficking organizations and dismantling them.

Like Dawkins, the Niagara Falls native is 6-foot-5 and can still squat 660 pounds at age 63. No matter how strong and tall he was, the intense undercover work began to take its toll on LeGasse. As LeGasse struggles with this problem, under doctor’s orders, he has been advised to go out in public more often. So he thought he could go to the movies that day.

“We waited until everyone had left before we started watching the movie because sometimes we had a hard time at the end of the movie,” LeGasse explained. Dawkins was also waiting for the movie to end. Dawkins said of why he stayed longer: “I don’t know why, but there always seems to be a secret message at the end of the movie.” “And then I noticed another person sitting there. “He was sitting there shaking.

It seemed like something was wrong… I asked if he needed help. Then he started talking about how uncomfortable and very worried he was around people. It was a big deal for him at that moment.”
“He came and picked me up and took me to the car,” LeGasse said. “I pulled out a lanyard with Buffalo Bills papers attached. And he asked me, “Do you like the Buffalo Bills newspaper?” I said, “Yes. “Everyone loves the Buffalo Bills.” He said, “I’m Buffalo Bill.” My name is Dion Dawkins. nice to meet you “We continued to communicate after that,” he said.

Seven years later, they still communicate through text messages and Instagram. LeGasse also maintains regular contact with Dawkins’ mother.
“I’m watching him,” Dawkins said. “He would comment on family photos and such. Now he is truly part of our family.”
“When her mother passed away this year, Dion sent me a handwritten letter of condolence,” LeGasse said. “He’s a football player and he’s doing all this for all these people and he took the time to write me a handwritten letter.”

LeGasse will never forget what Dawkins did for him that day. “He was a real discovery,” LeGasse said of Dawkins. “You must understand that I was so distressed that day that I tried to do something foolish.”
Dawkins didn’t realize it at the time, but he saved lives that day. “He is the epitome of kindness and integrity,” LeGasse said. “That person is a sincere person. “The person who approaches a man in his late 50s who has passed out in a parking lot.”
Dion Dawkins is that person. He didn’t think twice about helping LeGasse. He led with his heart.

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