Upstate New York Transplant Services (UNYTS) and the Buffalo Sabres Charitable Foundation have stepped up to fill the funding gap that threatened this year’s ball drop, joining the existing sponsors Independent Health Foundation (which also sponsors the alcohol-free, family-oriented First Night activities from 5 to 10PM in the Convention Center), 97-Rock and the Buffalo Police Athletic League, with television coverage by WKBW-TV Channel 7.
According to Mayor Byron Brown, who made the announcement, “The Buffalo Ball Drop and fireworks display at the Electric Tower has become one of our city’s and region’s great annual traditions, beginning in 1988 as a gift to the City of Buffalo by 97-Rock.” He adds that the “generous donations will help make the event happen this year.”
Mark J. Simon, President & CEO of UNYTS, says, “Buffalo’s New Year’s Eve ball drop is a beloved tradition…I can’t think of a better way for UNYTS to say thank you to our community than by giving back and stepping up to help this tradition continue. We’re honored and proud to be able to help.”
Tom Golisano, owner of the Buffalo Sabres states, “On behalf of the Buffalo Sabres Foundation, we are thrilled to know that our contribution to the downtown ball drop will ensure its success for another year. This is an annual event that has taken place for more than 20 years, and it’s important for us to continue these holiday traditions in Buffalo.”
About 40,000 people come to Downtown Buffalo every year for the annual celebration, while thousands more listen to the festivities on the radio, or watch the event live on television. Hosted by 97 Rock and Larry Norton, fireworks will go off at midnight to ring in the New Year, choreographed with music from 97 Rock and shown live on WKBW-TV Channel 7.
The host site for the annual is The Electric Tower building owned by Iskalo Development, with additional support provided by Buffalo Place, Inc.