Neither a global pandemic nor a national labor and supply shortage could stop Community Missions from providing more than 174,000 meals and 10,000 nights of care to those in need in Niagara County last year.
It’s an amazing achievement, but, as President and CEO Robyn L. Krueger said, “We cannot meet the needs of all those who come to us without community support.”
On Friday, Delaware North presented Community Missions with a pair of checks totaling $20,000 at a ceremony at Niagara Falls State Park. The donation includes support for the agency’s TOWER workforce development program.
“We so appreciate Delaware North for all the ways they partner with us to help our neighbors,” Krueger said.
She added, “It just gives us warm fuzzies on a chilly day to be able to celebrate this opportunity, to thank our partners, and certainly none of this would be possible if the City of Niagara Falls wasn't supportive of Community Missions. We're grateful for what we have. We're grateful for the process, and the possibilities that this money brings to the agency, and we look forward to our continued partnership.”
City of Niagara Falls Mayor Robert Restaino said, “Community Missions provides so many vital services to our residents. Those who are in difficult situations. This funding, provided by Delaware North, will assist in their programming and provide further opportunities for Community Missions to continue their service to the community.
“We're proud to be able to assist, through city government, to provide to Community Missions for their service. And we certainly appreciate the contributions from Delaware North, in their partnership with our community, and with Community Missions, as well. I want to thank them for continuing to provide that kind of partnership that's vital to healthy communities."
Restaino said the work done through Community Missions is “critical to the survival of any community.”
Angela P. Berti, APR, added, “New York State Parks at Niagara Falls thanks Delaware North for this initiative, and we thank Community Missions for all the work they do to make Niagara Falls a better place.”
The TOWER program provides training, real-world work experience, and tools for success to returning citizens. It supplies employment resources to participants.
The funds donated Friday will support training at the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute.
Proceeds came, in part, from a “Round Up for the Region” campaign conducted within the world-famous Niagara Falls State Park this summer.
Director of Corporate Social Responsibility and Strategic Initiatives Katie Gorman said, “Delaware North is really proud of our partnership with Community Missions. And the TOWER program that Robyn mentioned is just one more example of an innovative and creative way that she and her team are making an impact on our most vulnerable neighbors in Niagara County.
“Thank you to the mayor, thank you to Angela Berti from New York State Parks. They are both great champions for this organization. And they really helped steer Delaware North towards partnership with the organization.
“TOWER is a forward-looking program. It helps to reconnect individuals to the labor force, and reunite families and communities. And our CEOs were so proud last year to contribute $10,000 in the program's inaugural year. Today, they have committed an additional $10,000.
“I know that Niagara Falls Culinary Institute is already a great training partner for this program. Delaware North looks forward to future training programs at our locations in Western New York, including Niagara Falls State Park and, of course, Highmark Stadium and KeyBank Center.”
The Delaware North team at Niagara Falls State Park is under the helm of General Manager Michael Barnes. Throughout the tourist season, his staff, led by Keith Jedlikowski, asked customers to round up purchases at retail locations within the Goat Island and Prospect Park areas to benefit Community Missions.
“This is our second year doing a roundup program for Community Missions,” Jedlikowski said. “This year, we raised approximately $10,000. Last year, again, approximately $10,000. This program would not have been able to be as successful as it was without our retail management team, our associates. I'd like to thank them for really being crucial in the success of this program.
“I also would like to thank all the guests that have come to Niagara Falls over this past year and last year, and their support for the local community. I think it's very telltale that people from all around the world, when they come here to Niagara Falls, they want to give back to our community. And I think that's a wonderful, wonderful aspect of the visitors here at Niagara Falls.”
Shown in the photo, from left: Keith Jedlikowski of Delaware North; Community Missions President and CEO Robyn L. Krueger; City of Niagara Falls Mayor Robert Restaino; Delaware North Director of Corporate Social Responsibility and Strategic Initiatives Katie Gorman; and Community Missions Vice President of Public Relations and Development Christian Hoffman.
Since its founding in 1925, Community Missions has provided a unique blend of referral, crisis, community support, and residential services for youth and adults. It provides an emergency housing shelter, a food pantry and soup kitchen. Additional agency programs serve adults and youth with mental health concerns, individuals returning from incarceration, at-risk youth, and other underserved populations in both residential and recovery-oriented settings.
For more information, visit www.communitymissions.org.
Delaware North is a global leader in the hospitality and entertainment industry. The company annually serves more than a half-billion guests across four continents, including at high-profile sports venues, airports, national and state parks, restaurants, resorts, hotels and casinos. Learn more at www.DelawareNorth.com.
At Niagara Falls State Park, Delaware North operates under a contract with the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.
State Parks oversees more than 250 parks, historic sites, recreational trails, golf courses and boat launches, which are visited by more than 78 million people annually. For more information on any of these recreation areas, visit www.parks.ny.gov.