Communities of Giving Legacy Initiative Honors Community Champions at Annual ‘Pay It Forward’ Awards

The Communities of Giving Legacy Initiative (CGLI) announced its 2019 Pay it Forward Award recipients who were honored at its annual Pay It Forward Awards on Nov. 7, 2019.

The 2019 Pay It Forward honorees are:

 Herbert Bellamy, Jr. – CEO,  Bellamy Enterprises and Buffalo’s Black Achievers, Inc.

Willie Hutch Jones Educational and Sports Program

Brenda W. McDuffie – President and CEO, Buffalo Urban League, Inc.

Karen Lee Spaulding – Vice President of Philanthropic Support, The John R. Oishei Foundation

The award recognizes personal and professional accomplishments and how those actions increase philanthropy in communities of color. Emphasis is placed on service to the community and educating the next generation, with a focus on showcasing community champions that reflect the multicultural and ethnic diversity of the CGLI mission.

“We are honored to recognize these individuals and organizations who are cultivating positive change in the lives of youth of color in Western New York,” said Cindy Odom, Chief Community Impact Officer at the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo. “The honorees exemplify what it means to ‘pay it forward’ and create a legacy of success that will encourage collective giving to support positive change.”

The Pay it Forward Award is the highest honor the CGLI bestows upon an individual or organization. Since the awards were created in 2012, the CGLI has recognized more than two dozen outstanding individuals and organizations.

Additionally, at the awards, the recipients of the Emerging Philanthropists of Color (EPC) 2019 grants were announced. The EPC initiative is a unique giving circle of the CGLI and offers access to people, places and experiences for entrepreneurial individuals of color who are enthusiastic about collective giving. EPC members vote to award two organizations with $2,500 grants.

The 2019 EPC grant recipients are:

Points of Access, an educational opportunity for students at Lewis J. Bennett High School to build their interests in architecture.

Sew REDI, which provides job readiness skills and entrepreneurship opportunities for newly-resettled members of the community.

For more information about EPC Grants, visit


About the Communities of Giving Legacy Initiative

The Communities of Giving Legacy Initiative® (CGLI), a fund of the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, exists to cultivate positive change in the lives of trailblazing youth of color living within Western New York. The CGLI works toward this mission through endowment building, engaging strategic partners, and intentional community connections. For additional information about the CGLI, please visit

 About the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo                                                              Celebrating its centennial year in 2019, the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo was established in 1919 to enhance and encourage long-term philanthropy in the Western New York community. A 501 (c)(3) organization, the Community Foundation’s mission is: Connecting people, ideas and resources to improve lives in Western New York. For 100 years the Community Foundation has made the most of the generosity of individuals, families, foundations and organizations who entrust charitable assets to the Community Foundation’s care. Learn more at