Pegula Sports & Entertainment, in partnership with the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres foundations, will provide at least $1.2 million in direct community aid to Western New York residents in need during the COVID-19 pandemic, owners Terry and Kim Pegula announced today.
The money will go to three direct and immediate purposes:
- The two team foundations will contribute to the newly formed Western New York COVID-19 Community Response Fund, formed by 18 local foundations on Tuesday, including Wilson, Oishei, Wendt, M&T, Lee and others. The fund has committed more than $4 million to helping the region's non-profit agencies in key areas of the battle against the virus. The project of the United Way of Buffalo and Erie County and these foundations invited the Bills and Sabres foundations earlier this week, and the boards of both team foundations approved the allocations Wednesday.
- A broad and ongoing commitment to FeedMore WNY (formerly the Food Bank of WNY and Meals on Wheels for WNY), and the Rural Outreach Center in East Aurora. This targeted aid will provide thousands of bags of groceries to underserved and unemployed urban and rural families in the Western New York region.
- The remainder of the aid will be directed to areas of most pressing need, including support for first responders, hospital workers, nurses, and protective- and medical-equipment supplies. The goal of the aid will be to bolster the Buffalo Niagara community's response and effectiveness in fighting the pandemic.
"We realize we are in uncertain times as a nation and as a community," said PSE President and CEO Kim Pegula. "Like many Western New Yorkers, we are faced with making difficult decisions, but we realize that focusing on the health and welfare of our community is what will get us through these difficult times. While we don't yet know the scope of the pandemic, we wanted to ensure that we were able to give some immediate assistance to those in need and those fighting on the front lines. We applaud the community relief fund and are proud that our foundations will join these community leaders in their efforts."
"Terry and I have always believed that something positive can come out of something negative, and we pray this situation is no exception," she added.