Pegula Sports & Entertainment, in partnership with the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres foundations, is committing $50,000 to the Rochester community as part of its direct community aid initiative in the fight against COVID-19. The commitment will benefit the Community Crisis Fund, established by the United Way of Greater Rochester and the Rochester Area Community Foundation, along with the Veterans Outreach Center, C.U.R.E. Childhood Cancer Association and the COVID Hero Fund.
“We have a lot of respect for all of the work that these great organizations are doing to help the Rochester community through the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Rob Minter, VP of business operations for the Rochester Americans, Knighthawks and Blue Cross Arena. “These donations will aid our frontline workers with needed protective equipment, and help expand the outreach to those most affected. We continue to fight this pandemic together and urge everyone to do all they can to remain safe and healthy during this time.”
Rochester’s Community Crisis Fund has created a centralized funding pool to rapidly deploy flexible resources to nonprofits that are disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the economic consequences of the outbreak, community and organizational recovery, and future community emergencies. It’s managed through a partnership between the United Way and Rochester Area Community Foundation.
“During a time of such need, it means so much to have community leaders such as Pegula Sports & Entertainment stepping up with this critical grant,” said Jaime Saunders, President & CEO of United Way of Greater Rochester. “This investment to help with supplies and support for those who need it most, combined with the team’s volunteer efforts, demonstrates how dedicated they are to helping our community.”
“This wonderful contribution to the Community Crisis Fund shows how every sector of our community is helping the helpers on the front lines,” says Jennifer Leonard, President and CEO of Rochester Area Community Foundation. “Raising nearly $4 million continues to be a true team effort.”
“These uncertain times are challenging to navigate. The kindness from the Amerks, Knighthawks and all of Pegula Sports & Entertainment is overwhelming,” said Holly Dutcher, Executive Director of C.U.R.E. Childhood Cancer Association. “This gift gives us at C.U.R.E. the opportunity to continue to provide practical support to families across the Greater Rochester Area managing a childhood cancer or chronic blood disorder diagnosis. With so much uncertainty surrounding our current situation, it is reassuring to have the friendship of local partners, because together, we are embracing families at every turn and ensuring they receive the support they need during these uncertain times.”
“We are so grateful for this support, which will allow us to continue to meet the extraordinary needs of our veterans during the COVID-19 crisis,” Veterans Outreach Center Executive Director and U.S. Army Veteran Laura Stradley said. “Providing personal hygiene kits as well as PPE for our veteran families and staff is going to help stem the tide of virus exposure on a day-to-day basis. This is how communities and organizations band together to share resources to benefit those who are most at risk. We are in this together, and it certainly is a testament to the level of community commitment from both the Amerks and Knighthawks as well as the entire Pegula Sports & Entertainment organization.”
PSE launched its direct community aid initiative in March with $1.2 million in funding provided by Terry and Kim Pegula, the Buffalo Bills Foundation and Buffalo Sabres Foundation. The fund has since grown with more than $270,000 in donations from players and staff. It is also providing resources to community members affected by the crisis through the Western New York COVID-19 Community Response Fund, FeedMore WNY and donations to local hospitals.