Explore & More today announced two major gifts totaling over $1 million in contributions to the Museum’s recently launched capital campaign for their new facility opening at Canalside in 2016.
Wegmans Food Markets, Inc. has donated $550,000 to the project, and with that, puts the Wegmans name on the From Farm To Fork educational play zone, as well as the Galley cooking area.
In addition, The Wegman Family Charitable Foundation has donated $500,000 to support the new museum’s rooftop garden.
“This partnership with Wegmans Food Markets fits our mission precisely, and we are so grateful for their financial support as well as their expert input for From Farm to Fork. It is a major investment on behalf of the children and families of Buffalo and Western New York,” said Explore & More Executive Director Barbara Leggett of this first major gift to the Museum’s capital campaign, which launched in December.
In a way that’s engaging and fun, From Farm to Fork will use Buffalo’s rich agricultural history to help children learn where food comes from. Children will have the chance to harvest on the farm, shop and sell at the produce market, and cook and create in the Galley.
“When we heard about Explore & More’s vision for this project, we knew it was a natural fit for us,” explained Mike Keating, Wegmans’ Senior Vice President of the Buffalo Division. “We are delighted to be part of a project that will mean so much to families in Buffalo, including our own employees and their children.”
Separately, the Rooftop Garden (below) will be funded by The Wegman Family Charitable Foundation. Looking out over the Buffalo Waterfront, Explore & More’s Rooftop Garden will offer a variety of outdoor activities for families. It will be a lively and whimsical space, transformative of the urban landscape in which it stands. Visitors young and old will get inspiration from the unparalleled views, delight in the musical garden, and have fun in the interactive art stations.
“Support for innovative approaches to learning and helping families to eat healthy are two focus areas for our foundation,” said Danny Wegman, president and chairman of the board of The Wegman Family Charitable Foundation. “This is an exciting project that will help to achieve both goals.”
Celebrating 20 years in operation, Explore & More Children’s Museum has hands-on, interactive exhibits and programs that inspire creativity, curiosity and imagination. The Museum has actively been planning for its expansion and move from the current East Aurora site to Buffalo’s Waterfront. Explore & More is set to open a 40,000 square foot museum at Canalside in 2016. Buffalo stories will connect interactive exhibits and programs to Canalside, offering unique, place-based play experiences for the whole family.
The Wegman Family Charitable Foundation (The Foundation), a charity headquartered in Rochester, New York, was created by Robert Wegman in 1991 and is funded by assets from his estate. The Foundation’s areas of focus are health care, education, workforce development and United Way. The Foundation does not accept grant applications.