Buffalo Sabres launch 'Community Assist' programby jmaloni
Players, team officials will take part in a week of community service projects in October
The Buffalo Sabres have announced a new community program this season that will involve Sabres players, coaches, team officials, alumni and fans supporting a variety of different nonprofit agencies and individuals in Buffalo, Western New York and Southern Ontario. "Sabres Community Assist" will be a six-day endeavor, taking place from Oct. 18-23, that will include player visits to area nonprofit organizations, a fundraising walk to benefit the I AM effort, and will shine a light on individuals whose lives have inspired and impacted others.
"We are very excited to introduce the 'Sabres Community Assist' program, which is intended to help and recognize different agencies and individuals that make this area such a special place to live," said Sabres Chief Development Officer Cliff Benson. "This organization-wide effort is one way for us to give back to a community that has given us so much over the years."
The schedule of events for "Sabres Community Assist" is as follows:
Friday, Oct. 18: Heritage Centers
For 60 years, Heritage Centers has delivered comprehensive services to individuals with developmental disabilities. Through its efforts, Heritage Centers has helped thousands of children and adults with special needs strive to reach their full potential. On Oct. 18, Sabres players and personnel will make a special visit to the Heritage Centers Maryvale School to take part in the annual Fall Carnival. The players will join in recreational activities, sporting events and a pizza party alongside of the inspiring individuals and their families who are a part of the Heritage Education Program.
Saturday, Oct. 19: Vive Inc.
Vive Inc. is a nonprofit humanitarian organization that assists refugees seeking protection in the U.S. and Canada. With 118 beds for men, women and children, Vive offers food, clothing and shelter for refugees from around the world. The Sabres will share the stories of two inspirational and courageous families who fled from the violence and oppression of their native countries (Rwanda, Uganda) in search of a better life in the U.S. Through the efforts of Vive, the families are now safe, healthy and happy members of the Buffalo community. The Sabres are honored to welcome the families as special guests at the team's home game against Colorado on Oct. 19.
Sunday, Oct. 20: I AM Tribute Walk
Since Sept. 11, 2001, more than 60 individuals from Western New York (eight western counties) have lost their lives fighting for this country in Iraq and Afghanistan. The objective of the I AM effort is to build a memorial in honor of the brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for this country, which will be located in the Buffalo & Erie County Military Naval Park. The Buffalo Sabres are proud to join the fundraising effort by hosting the "Gold & Blue Star Military Family Tribute Walk" on Oct. 20 at 10 a.m. at First Niagara Center. Sabres fans are encouraged to help the cause ($30 registration fee/children ages 12 under admitted free) and walk alongside Sabres players and alumni so enough funds are raised to complete the monument. Anyone interested in signing up for the walk can do so by visiting www.Sabres.com/IAM.
Monday, Oct. 21: Renaissance House
The Kids Escaping Drugs Renaissance Campus houses up to 62 chemically dependent youth ages 12-20. Since 1977, KED has operated treatment services that have made a critical impact on the lives of many youth in Western New York. On Monday, Oct. 21, Sabres players and alumni will visit the KED campus to spend time with kids currently in the treatment program. The players will take part in Ping-Pong, volleyball and other recreational activities while capping of the night with pizza, wings and "Monday Night Football."
Tuesday, Oct. 22: Buffalo City Mission
Since 1917, the Buffalo City Mission has been a lifeline for area homeless who have nowhere to turn. Today, military veterans make up a large number of the homeless population who depend on the compassion and services of the Buffalo City Mission to get them through very difficult times. On Tuesday, Oct. 22, Sabres players and staff will lend a hand by remodeling the veterans' dormitory at the Buffalo City Mission. New flooring will be installed along with window treatments, furniture and a fresh coat of paint. The goal of the renovation project is to create a more comfortable setting for the veterans to reside as they transition toward a better life.
Wednesday, Oct. 23: Rowan Langille
The "Sabres Community Assist program" will conclude with a special tribute to a very special boy named Rowan Langille. Langille, a 4-year-old from St. Catharines, lost his three-year battle with brain cancer this past summer. His spirit, however, lives on in the individuals and community who will be forever changed by his short life. Twenty of Rowan's family, friends and classmates will be invited as special guests to the Sabres-Bruins game at First Niagara Center on Oct. 23 to celebrate Rowan's life and memory.