27 months, 24 events, 2 original charity CDs, 100s of Ts, caps & stickers; 184 local musicians and family business sponsors, PLUS 3,600 hours of gratis professional services has generated $25K in donations made to the WESTERN NEW YORK VETERANS HOUSING COALITION (501c3, est. 1987), serving veterans in need of housing help and more.
“The vast majority of the $25K was reached $10 at a time,” stated Rick Suto at Buffalo Blues. “Event tickets, T Shirts, CDs, and Buffalo Blues Caps are all just $10, encouraging wide scale participation. That, plus a generous donation from the Buffalo Sabres Foundation, will drive us past $25K at a special city event in June.”
The small, step-by-step approach was born when promised funding collapsed just before the November 2016 launch. Discovering a willing benefactor and corralling a range of small family business sponsors rescued Buffalo Blues. Suto shares, “Not giving up taught us the classic lesson, that breakdowns can foster breakthroughs.”
Buffalo Blues is distinct from other arts groups, where they support non-arts community needs, like homelessness, shaped by producer Bob James’ mixed careers in mental health, education, and music.
James has used the music for social causes theme before, with Kids Escaping Drugs’ original musical telethon in 1988, the Student Voices “This Is It” charity CD series for safe schools, Music is Art’s seven year run of the NYS Education Department certified ‘Music in Action’ program, the “tunes4food” CDs and events to serve community food banks, and the launch of the Crisis Services Foundation.
Since Buffalo Blues launch, a 501c3 non-profit has been established, Power of Song, Inc. to ‘mentor career musicians on giving back’, using their talents to serve community needs around WNY.
Upcoming Buffalo Blues Events:
- May 6, 4PM @ Alibis, Camp Road, Hamburg
- May 28, Noon, Memorial Day @ Hamburg Brewing Company
- June 13, KEYBANK LIVE AT LARKIN – 5PM (surpassing $25K in donations)
- July 7, 7PM, Colden Lakes Resort (4th of July party)