We’ve all heard about, and may have even experienced first hand, Buffalo boosting events in others cities. Those events might revolve around food, sporting events, reunions, etc. Some cities have restaurants and bars dedicated to the city of Buffalo. For some, this is the only way to keep in touch with their hometown (other than media). Each year, in Washington, DC, an event is held that pretty much trumps other cities when it comes to expat patriotism. Richard Schrader is chairman of the Buffalo Nite in DC Committee. In an email, Richard spelled out just how far the Buffalo expats go to pay tribute to the city that pulls at their heartstrings. From Richard:
“Buffalo Nite is a non-partisan, non-profit, volunteer organization that holds an annual event on Capital Hill to honor Buffalo. The tradition started 35 years ago as a someone in Jack Kemp’s office brought some wings into the office. Hank Nowak and John LaFalce found out and they started a little office party. It grew into a hallway party and eventually became what is known in DC as the largest party of its kind. We have about 800 ex-Buffalonians who buy tickets and wait in line to get in the door. Strange as it may seem, we do get people who come in from Buffalo to be part of the celebration.
“The food and libations all come from donations from Buffalo businesses and Charlie the Butcher comes down to oversee the food preparation to ensure authenticity. Over the years many of the Common Council members show up as well as a Mayor or two. We get an official proclamation each year from the Mayor’s office and the governor’s office. We have a healthy rivalry between the college alumni associations with Canisius and UB usually meeting at the Dubliner for a post event gathering.
“Each year we honor someone who exemplifies the values of Buffalo with a nexus in DC. Former honorees include Tim Russert, Wolf Blitzer, Tom Toles, Don Will (donates 800 lbs of wings every year), and others.
“We distribute door prizes donated from Buffalo businesses including the Bills, Sabres, Bisons, several Buffalo area restaurants. Last year we gave out over 100 kazoos made in Buffalo.
“Why do Buffalo businesses donate to a party in DC? We have thousands of former Buffalonians living in the DC area. We all have family in Buffalo and many times the businesses are our life line back home. Gift certificates for restaurants and services are always used by families and that generates new business.”
This year Buffalo Nite will be celebrated on Wednesday September 25, 2013.
Please see the Buffalo Nite website: www.buffalonite.org for more information.