For the fourth year in a row, the Village of Lewiston branch of RealtyUSA raised money for WNY Heroes Inc. As in past years, the community was invited to participate in a monthlong basket auction in May. Thanks to the support of the public, and the initiative of the real estate agents, $1,000 was raised.
Earlier this week, the RealtyUSA staff members gathered together to present a check to WNY Heroes co-founder Chris Kreiger.
WNY Heroes is an organization that provides veterans, members of the armed services, and the widows and children of deceased veterans with access to essential services, financial assistance and other resources to help these individuals improve their lives and maintain their dignity.
Kreiger, an Iraq war veteran, helped establish WNY Heroes in 2007. Today, the organization coordinates several successful grant programs with the help of volunteers and the support of entities like RealtyUSA.
Programs include "Bridging Hearts," which helps veterans and their families with financial assistance and covers up to three months of past-due mortgage, rent and utilities; "Pawsitive for Heroes," a service dog program that was created in 2014 to help returning veterans with PTSD, anxiety and hyper-vigilance; "WNY Kids are Heroes Too," which helps veterans provide their children with the ability to participate in a wide array of extracurricular activities in their community; "Adopt-A-Veteran Family," a seasonal grant that helps during stressful holiday seasons through the use of local donations and sponsorships; a backpack drive that provides backpacks filled with essential school supplies; academic scholarships allow veterans to apply for a scholarship to help complete their college education after their GI Bill has been exhausted or no longer is available; and "Operation B.O.O.T.S." ("Battle Buddies On Our Troop Side"), which brings veterans and their families together in a casual, safe, nonclinical, fun environment, which fosters teamwork and friendships.
WNY Heroes will host its eighth annual "Red, White & Blue Gala" from 5-10 p.m. Friday, Nov. 10, at the Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino in downtown Niagara Falls. For more information on the gala, or to donate, call 716-630-5020 or visit www.WNYHeroes.org
(Photos by Joshua Maloni)
RealtyUSA's Gina Gigliotti, a U.S. Army Reserves veteran, stands with WNY Heroes co-founder Chris Kreiger, a U.S. Army veteran.
Bubba, a WNY Heroes service dog, prepares to look over the details of the fundraiser.