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$3.9 million raised in local public-private partnership to construct new Seneca Babcock Community Center

WNY businessman, Roger Hungerford, matches one million dollar pledge

A team of business and community leaders have joined forces with The Seneca Babcock Community Association to build a new community center. The group includes former Buffalo Firefighter and current orthopedic surgeon Dr. Daniel Alexander, Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, and Congressman Brian Higgins, and now, Roger Hungerford, CEO and Founder of Talis Equity Partners.

Roger Hungerford, Talis Equity Partners

Last week, the group announced the donation of one million dollars from Hungerford who matched the million dollar donation from Dr. Daniel Alexander and his wife Gail towards building a new community center at the site of the former Buffalo Public School #26 at 82 Harrison Street in Buffalo, off Seneca Street in between Babcock and Bailey.

In addition to Hungerford’s donation and the million dollar donation from Dr. Daniel and Gail Alexander, is a $600,000 allocation from the City of Buffalo and $250,000 from the John R. Oishei foundation. The New York State Nonprofit Infrastructure Capital Investment Program (NICIP) has allocated $124,000 towards the project, along with $100,000 from the Penman Foundation and $50,000 from the Cullen Foundation. Project Manager Paul Ciminelli and other project vendors are providing $829,000 for “in-kind” services to build the physical structure. Bringing the total project investment to over $3.9 million.

Multiple large donors from both the public and private sectors are turning the dream of building a new Seneca Babcock Community Center a reality. A statement released by the Seneca Babcock Community Center reads,

The public-private partnership to strengthen the lives of children and their families in the Seneca-Babcock neighborhood of South Buffalo has been given a major boost by the donation of $1,000,000 by businessman Roger Hungerford, CEO of Talis Equity Partners and Chairman of the Board of Talis Clinical. Mr. Hungerford generously matched the $1,000,000 donation from Dr. Daniel Alexander and his wife Gail towards building a new community center at the site of the former Buffalo Public School #26 at 82 Harrison Street in Buffalo, off Seneca Street in between Babcock and Bailey. Under the leadership of Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, the City of Buffalo has also allocated $600,000 for demolition and site preparation costs.

“Growing a city of opportunity for all people in Buffalo requires the public and private sectors to work together to ensure that prosperity reaches all of our residents in every single neighborhood citywide. I thank Roger Hungerford for supporting Dr. Dan Alexander’s plan to build a much needed community center in our City’s Seneca Babcock neighborhood, by committing a major philanthropic donation of $1,000,000,” said Mayor Byron Brown.

“This $1,000,000 donation from Roger Hungerford is a game-changer. We expect this significant investment to trigger an avalanche of further support for this worthy endeavor. There is no cause nobler than improving the lives of the less fortunate,” said Dr. Daniel Alexander

“Growing up in poverty, just down the street from the Seneca Babcock Community Center, I know firsthand the importance of receiving a ‘hand-up’ to succeed. We are very fortunate that Roger Hungerford is joining our mission to give other families the tools to thrive and succeed. Our many partners stand strong together in giving those gifts to the less fortunate,” added Dr. Alexander.

The current Seneca Babcock Community Center, located at 1168 Seneca Street near the corner of Babcock, is cramped, landlocked and provides limited opportunity for physical growth or expansion. The new Seneca Babcock Community Center will be roughly twice the size, close to 26,000 square feet, and will offer a multitude of new social service and health programs geared towards serving the poor.

A new Seneca Babcock Community Center will provide children with a multi-purpose athletic field, indoor gymnasium, outdoor basketball courts and new playground. Families will be able to utilize many programs at the new center, which include a proposed health clinic, computer lab and kitchen.

The Seneca Babcok Community Center, 1168 Seneca St, Buffalo, New York
(716) 822-5094    

Written by Jessica Marinelli

Jessica Marinelli

Jessica Marinelli is an author, speaker, coach, marketer, and business development strategist. Her professional consulting company, MEMC handles all aspects of marketing and business development planning and implementation, assisting with strategic planning initiatives and the creation of marketing action plans, as well as planning and executing private and public events, including: the coaching of individuals, multi-day conferences, as well as other development initiatives. In addition to her work with MEMC, Jessica oversees the day-to-day operations and strategic marketing efforts at Local Matters, Inc. the parent company of Buffalo Rising.

She is active in her community and serves on several non-profit boards, such as WNY Heritage Magazine, O'Connell & Company Productions, and the Women's Business Center (WBC) Advisory Board. She is also a Democratic Committee Member in the Town of Tonawanda. Most recently, She has been asked to serve as the Marketing Consultant for the WBC's COVID Recovery Task Force.

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