Message from the President

As we head into warmer months, we are happy to bring you our second newsletter in 2019. This year we are celebrating 100 years by honoring local change makers. In January, we announced plans to award a total of one million dollars in honor of 12 individuals who have made change in Western New York. We were delighted by the response to our call for nominations from all eight counties in Western New York. The 12 honorees will be announced in September at a celebration to mark 100 years.

Additionally, on behalf of clients, the Community Foundation is committed to leading change through partnerships. Some highlights of this work in the first quarter include:

  • The Community Foundation’s Greater Buffalo Racial Equity Roundtable in partnership with Erie County and the Erie County Sheriff’s Office, has announced plans to establish an Erie County Reentry HUB at 120 West Eagle Street in Buffalo. Anticipated to be completed later in 2019, the HUB will signal a new approach to the service delivery for citizens reentering our community. The goal is to improve reentry success while reducing high rates of recidivism among individuals who have spent any amount of time in jail. Strengthening reentry services in Erie County is one of the Roundtable’s nine goals.
  • We announced a unique partnership of private and philanthropic organizations who joined together to create a collaborative fund that will be used to build the capacity of nonprofit organizations working on Buffalo’s East Side in order to ensure overall success in improving economic conditions in that area of the city. The newly created fund will support and complement $50 million in capital improvements and other initiatives planned for the East Side by New York State through Empire State Development.
  • The Community Foundation is working with local partners and funders across the state to ensure everyone is counted in the 2020 Census. Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz recently signed an executive order creating a Complete Count Committee and Cara Matteliano, Vice President Community Impact at the Community Foundation, will be co-chairing this committee, in close collaboration with the City of Buffalo Complete Count Committee.
  • The Community Foundation is proud to have been the catalyst that initiated the efforts to bring Say Yes to Buffalo and recently received the Say Yes Founder’s Award. We are grateful to have been chosen to manage the Say Yes Buffalo Endowment Fund, which will keep the promise that is Say Yes Buffalo to future generations of Buffalo Public and Charter School graduates. We are truly honored to be part of the ongoing fundraising efforts that make it possible for Say Yes Scholars to attend college, earn post-secondary certificates and graduate from colleges and universities throughout Western New York and all across the nation.

More highlights follow, including a feature on our Green and Healthy Homes Initiative and Lead work, and we will also share the story of one of our legacy clients, Robert Traynham Coles, a renowned architect, and his wife, Sylvia, who continue to leave their mark on Western New York.

We remain thankful to our nearly 1,000 generous clients and hundreds of collaborative partners as we continue connecting people, ideas and resources to improve lives in Western New York.

Focused forward with gratitude,

Clotilde Perez-Bode Dedecker