Celebrating athletes, artists, and more
By Leah Rankin

BPAC photo by kc kratt; Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame logo courtesy of GBSHOF.
October is an interesting month. Aside from the defining fall leaves, candy apples, and Halloween, did you know that October is also National Roller Skating Month and National Chili Month? Along with this strange duo are chances to raise money and awareness for a variety of good causes in four Spree-sponsored events.

The fundraising begins on October 10 with a 5K race and two-mile walk sponsored by Gateway-Longview. This charitable organization has spent over 100 years in Buffalo enriching the lives of children and their families. With a belief that healthy children inspire healthy communities, Gateway-Longview has established creative programs that build self-esteem and confidence among Buffalo’s youngest citizens. The October race will be held on Main Street in Williamsville at 10:30 a.m. Members of Gateway-Longview will provide lunch after the race along with an awards ceremony. To find out more, visit www.gateway-longview.org.

The shiny new home of the Burchfield Penney Art Center has had a spectacularly successful first year, with record attendance for special exhibitions and a big jump in membership—not to mention national press coverage.

To celebrate that success, the BPAC is holding its annual gala on October 16 at the Hyatt Regency Buffalo (2 Fountain Plaza). The theme of the gala is “Paper,” since gallery namesake Charles E. Burchfield frequently kept journals of sketches and doodles (all of which are currently on display); he also executed his signature watercolors on paper. Resident WNY artists have been invited to use the medium to the best of their creative ability so that the celebration will commemorate Burchfield’s artistic vision. As a new endeavor for the gallery, the work displayed will be auctioned online at www.bpgala.org. In the past year the BPAC has exceeded expectations in many ways, including its status as the first local museum to officially “build green.” There is a lot to celebrate. Visit www.bpgala.org or call 878-3227 for details.

On October 19, some of the city’s best culinary talent will be rolling up their sleeves at the Signature Chefs Auction in support of the March of Dimes Foundation. The nationwide organization works to promote the health of babies by preventing premature births and birth defects. Millions of dollars have already been raised across the United States, and with participating Buffalo restaurants like Torches, the 31 Club, and the Chocolate Bar, who could say no? The mouthwatering event will take place at the Seneca Niagara Casino from 6 to 9 p.m. Call 691-3805 or see www.marchofdimes.com/newyork for more info.

Buffalo’s sports superstars have long been known for their charitable endeavors. Ten athletes and coaches will be officially inducted into the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame on October 29 at the Hyatt Regency Buffalo, and the public is invited. The celebration will include cocktails and dinner, with proceeds benefiting the Amateur Sports Development Fund. Jim Dombrowski, former New Orleans Saints offensive lineman and Williamsville native, will be the spokesman for this year’s class, which includes Dan Bazzani, basketball player and coach; gymnast Jackie Brummer; football player Willie Evans; George Killian, coach and athletic administrator; athlete and coach Joe Merlo; wrestler Lou Rosselli; and NBA legend Cliff Robinson.There will also be two posthumous awards given to former Sabres goalie Roger Crozier and pro-football quarterback Al Dekdebrun. To order tickets, call Melissa Gearhart at 855-4863 or email Melissa.gearhart@hyatt.com. More information on the inductees and a complete list of previously honored athletes can be found at www.gbshof.com.

Editorial intern Leah Rankin recently co-edited Spree's WNY Performing Arts Guide.


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