Western New York Land Conservancy to celebrate 25 years of conservation success at annual gala

The Western New York Land Conservancy will host its annual gala from 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 21, in the Golden Ballroom at Statler City, celebrating 25 years of conserving our region’s special places. The regional land trust and its thousands of supporters have saved more than 6,000 acres of forests, wetlands, meadows and farms in the eight counties of Western New York since 1991. These places include, among many others, the Stella Niagara Preserve in Lewiston, Niagara Escarpment Preserve in Lockport, Kenneglenn Scenic and Nature Preserve in Wales, Mill Road Scenic Overlook in Aurora and farmland throughout the region. These places are protected forever because of the Land Conservancy and the efforts of its members.

The entire Western New York community is invited to attend this memorable event and celebrate these remarkable accomplishments. The gala will be led by celebrity emcee and long-time Land Conservancy member Steve Tasker, and will feature live gypsy jazz music by The Hot Club of Buffalo, as well as an exciting live auction presented by Cash Cunningham.

The live auction will feature sensational prizes including getaways to New Zealand, Niagara-on-the-Lake, East Aurora, and a secluded Lake Erie Beachfront property; a day-long fishing charter; a cruise on the lower Niagara River; local art and much more!

“As a membership organization, the Land Conservancy’s work would not be possible without the support and hard work of remarkable people in the community,” said Land Conservancy Executive Director Nancy Smith. “At our Silver Anniversary Gala, we will honor Kathy Lasher, Gerry Rising and Joanne Schlegel for their incredible contributions over the years.”

Honorary Gala Chair Senator Patrick Gallivan is particularly fond of the Land Conservancy’s farmland protection efforts. “The Western New York Land Conservancy has played a vital role in protecting one of our region’s greatest assets, our farms,” he said. “Agriculture is critical to New York’s economy and is part of our culture and heritage. By supporting farmland protection, we can ensure that we will have places to grow and produce fresh, quality food for our families now and in the future.”

Over the next five years, the Land Conservancy will focus their work in Erie and Niagara counties. Assemblyman Sean Ryan, who is also an Honorary Gala Chair, said, “After 25 years of important work, this is a great time to partner with the Land Conservancy as they embark on the next phase of conservation work around our region’s largest cities.”

“The Land Conservancy’s work in our region has made a huge impact on our community,” said NYS Assemblyman John Ceretto, another Honorary Gala Chair. “It’s such a comfort to know that places like the Stella Niagara Preserve will always be here for people to enjoy.”

Tickets to attend the gala are $160 or $220 for patrons who will be recognized in the printed program. Full tables of 10 and 12 are available at discounted rates. Contact the Land Conservancy at (716) 687-1225 or info@wnylc.org to make reservations for the gala. Attendees must RSVP by Sept. 9. All proceeds will support the work to save transformative places in our region.

The 25th Anniversary Gala is made possible by the support of numerous sponsors. The main sponsor is the West-Herr Automotive Group Inc. Platinum sponsors include Applied Ecological Services, Inc.; Buffalo Southern Railroad, Inc.; and the Winkelman Farm Conservation Corp. Gold sponsors are Ciminelli Real Estate Corporation; Donald Spoth Farm; Ecology and Environment Inc.; Hodgson Russ LLP; JD Hartman, AXA Advisors; Joe & Pamela Priest; Kreher’s Farm Fresh Eggs; TM Montante Development; and Vacco Farms, Inc.

Silver sponsors are CC Environment & Planning; C&S Companies; Darrel Morrison and Nancy Aten; Lippes Mathias Wexler Friedman, LLP; Lytle Associates; Mark J. Peszko, Esq.; Meibohm Fine Arts; Otis Eastern Service LLC; Phillips Lytle LLP; PRP Financial Solutions LLC; Rupp, Baase, Pfalzgraf & Cunningham LLC; Solar Liberty; and Wendel. Bronze sponsors include Astronics Corporation; Buffalo Niagara Association of Realtors; Gomez and Sullivan Engineers DPC; Make Communities; McIntosh & McIntosh, PC, Land Surveyors; Richard C. Pohlman, Atty; and Root Down Farm. WKBW-TV, Channel 7 is the media sponsor. The Land Conservancy is grateful to all of these sponsors!

The Western New York Land Conservancy is a regional, not-for-profit land trust that permanently protects land with significant conservation value in Western New York for future generations. The Land Conservancy envisions a future in which open spaces, working lands, wildlife habitat and scenic beauty are cherished and protected as part of the landscape and character of Western New York. The Land Conservancy is accredited by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission and is one of 1,700 land trusts nationwide, including 90 in New York State. Land trusts have protected 40 million acres over the last 20 years. For more information on upcoming events, volunteer opportunities or the mission of the Western New York Land Conservancy, please call (716) 687-1225 or visit www.wnylc.org.

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