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News from the Buffalo Renaissance Foundation Winter 2021-2022

Letter from the President

As I write to you, although stuck in the doldrums of a Buffalo winter, I reflect on the bright sunshine of the accomplishments of the Buffalo Renaissance Foundation in 2021.

We experienced record fundraising and increased our 2021 appropriations to a record level. Our endowment has grown to a new high, which provides us the opportunity to make an increasing impact in the community based on giving. This success is directly attributed to the active participation of all of our directors and the generosity of the WNY community.

In 2021 we marked 40 years as a charitable foundation. We celebrated 40 years of growth and accomplishments with an eye towards the next 40 years. This year we expect an increased level of fundraising and an increased level of charitable giving to Western New York charities and causes.

This outlook is bolstered by the active contributions of our existing directors as well as the addition of our newest director, Tom McManus. I look forward to Tom’s involvement in our mission.

The City of Buffalo and our surrounding communities have experienced a significant renaissance over the past 40 years. The sun shines brightly on our future. The Buffalo Renaissance Foundation stands poised to continue our good work shaping that positive future and, as always, moving Buffalo forward.

BRF Outreach Program

We postponed our Annual Easter Egg Hunt this year and shifted gears to recognize how difficult life has been on the elder population in WNY during the last few years of COVID. We delivered Easter Baskets to the residents of Fredonia Place of Williamsville in April.

 

Appropriations Doles Out 2021 Grants at Buffalo Renaissance Community Center

Our Appropriations Committee awarded grants to the Buffalo Collegiate Charter School, Friends of Little Portion Friary, Kevin Guest House, Lancaster Baseball Booster Club, Our Lady of Victory National Shrine & Basilica Centennial, The Nativity Miguel Middle School of Buffalo, and The Buffalo Renaissance Foundation Community Center.

Veterans and Military Committee Active in 2021

Our annual Veterans Luncheon, an event that continues to grow and support our local Veteran community, returned in October after a one-year hiatus due to the pandemic. Our Committee remained active, making local donations in 2021 to the Buffalo & Erie County Naval & Military Park Shawn’s Heroes for Life, the Marshall Legacy Institute, and the Virginia War Memorial Foundation. It also provided another WNY Gold Star luncheon for those whose loved ones died in service to our nation.

The annual luncheon was again held at The Buffalo Club in October and honored our late sustaining member and past president, Gary Stott. We awarded our first annual Gary M. Stott Scholarship to Joshua Kitchens. The Stott family was in attendance to present the scholarship to Mr. Kitchens.

We were honored to have Major General Robert M. “Bo” Dyess as this year’s keynote speaker.

Luncheon Honoring Roswell’s Candace Johnson Moved to September, Over 500 Attend

 

Sculptural Art Initiative

Our Spirit of Buffalo Sculptural Art series is in the process of finalizing its fifth and final sculpture with a piece scheduled for the grounds of the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library being completed in concert with our partner, Just Buffalo Literary, for 2022. The final piece, named the Spirit of Inspiration, will be the work of Okunola Jeyfous, a Nigerian-American neuroscientist and photography enthusiast based in Chicago.

As well as finishing our fifth sculpture, the BRF completed a new joint effort in partnership with the Junior League of Buffalo on a new sculptural initiative installed on the Burchfield Penney Art Center Grounds. The initiative demonstrates to women and girls in our community that they have the capacity to achieve.

The statues embody the essence of female power, capturing the long history of women’s impact in Western New York. The installation allows visitors and community members to experience the significance of the artwork and its message. As the “Fearless Girl” sculpture in New York City has demonstrated, this statue promises opportunities for discourse around the contributions of women in our community. The BRF is proud to be a major contributor to this endeavor.

Founded in 1981, the Buffalo Renaissance Foundation (BRF) is a non-profit, 501(c)3 organization dedicated to moving Buffalo forward, to help our future generations realize the best opportunities to enjoy a high quality of life in Western New York.

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