It was back in 2008 that I first learned of the Buffalo B-Team (see story). Since that time I have heard of the many volunteer efforts that the group has been involved in. Over the years I’ve seen a lot of these groups come and go… some with greater success than others. While the majority spent great time and effort looking for an identity and the right causes to support, I am happy to see a fresh wave of promoters who are steadily gaining traction. Another group that has recently surfaced and is embarking upon a from-afar form of community activism is the Buffalo Expat Network (BEN), formerly Buffalo Alumni Society (see story). The Buffalo News has an article on the group’s efforts in today’s paper. I spoke to News Staff Reported Steve Watson regarding the expat group after attending BEN’s recent local outreach party at Betty’s Restaurant (lead photo), and we both agreed that additional outside support should be encouraged on a number of levels.
At this point, BEN is looking to initiate a series of Buffalo Revisit(ed) Weekends. The weekends (first one is Friday, April 30th – Sunday, May 2nd, 2010) are designed to encourage ex-pats to come back for action packed meet-ups that revolve around planned events such as the opening night of Buffalo Bushido, cocktail parties, art openings, and the Allentown Art Festival (the following weekend). These get-togethers are, in essence, ongoing expat activist versions of the all-encompassing expat event Citybration (run by Marti Gorman – originally Buffalo Old Home Week) – a three day bash concocted to draw expats home for organized events that include tours, a job fair, cocktail parties and a wrap-up Sunday brunch (June 24 – June 27). Citybration is intent on promoting permanent moves back to Buffalo through hands-on networking initiatives, while most of BEN’s members will continue to promote the city by tapping into valuable resources not readily available to Buffalo.
Be sure to tune into all of these group’s initiatives by visiting their websites for updates. In the meantime, if you would like to meet up with the Buffalo B-Team, be sure to attend their next get-together being held at WJ Morrissey Irish Pub (6pm – $5 at the door) on April 9th to benefit Crisis Services. The initiative is called Comfort Kits, and is intended to raise money in order to provide clothing for victims of sexual assault.