Buffalo, N.Y. – Project Play Western New York (WNY), driven and funded by the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation’s Youth Sports & Recreation focus area in partnership with the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, announced that 12 organizations have received a 2023 Summer Free Play Series grant award. The goal for the Free Play Series is to provide youth in all eight counties of Western New York with opportunities to play, have fun, and enjoy free play. The total amount granted for this inaugural process is more than $70,000. Organizations who received grants are providing summer programming that best aligns with the mission of Project Play WNY, which is to work toward a community in which all children have the opportunity to be active through sports regardless of zip code.
The 2023 recipients are:
- Algonquin Sports for Kids – $20,000
- Boys & Girls Club of Buffalo, Inc. – $10,000
- Boys & Girls Club Northern Chautauqua County – $3,000
- Erie Regional Housing Development Corporation – The Belle Center – $4,000
- Explore & More Children’s Museum – $5,000
- King Urban Life Center – $6,000
- Lackawanna PBA – $5,000
- Lockport Ice Arena and Sports Center – $3,500
- Olive Missionary Baptist Church – $5,000
- Seneca Nation of Indians – $2,855
- YMCA of the Twin Tiers – $4,634
- Youth Advantage/Buffalo Legacy Project – $3,000
Reintroducing free play is one of eight strategies, or “plays,” of Project Play WNY, and aims to increase sport participation with urban, suburban and rural youth in Western New York. This strategy is a result of a comprehensive study about youth sports in the eight counties of Western New York, the State of Play: Western New York, commissioned by the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation in partnership with the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo and Aspen Institute’s Sports & Society Program.
For more information on the Summer Free Play Series Grant Process, visit https://www.cfgb.org/nonprofits/grants/project-play-wny-summer-free-play-series-grant/
About Project Play WNY
Project Play WNY is driven and funded by the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation’s Youth Sports & Recreation focus area in partnership with the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo. It is a collective impact model that includes more than 100 individuals who are focused on ensuring all WNY kids have the opportunity to be active through sport. For more information, visit projectplaywny.org.
About the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo
For more than a century, the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo has enhanced and encouraged 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. Established in 1919, 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 cfgb.org.
About the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation
The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation is a grantmaking organization dedicated primarily to sustained investment in the quality of life of the people of Southeast Michigan and Western New York. The two areas reflect the devotion of Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. to his hometown of Detroit and greater Buffalo, home of his beloved Buffalo Bills NFL team. Prior to his passing in 2014, Mr. Wilson provided that a significant share of his estate be used to continue a life-long generosity of spirit by funding the Foundation that bears his name. Based in Detroit, the Foundation began with a grantmaking capacity of $1.2 billion over a 20-year period, which expires January 8, 2035. This structure is consistent with Mr. Wilson’s desire for the Foundation’s impact to be immediate, substantial, measurable, and overseen by those who knew him best. For more information visit www.rcwjrf.org.