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Community Foundation Now Accepting Applications for 2020 Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Legacy Fund

The Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo is now accepting applications for the 2020 Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Legacy Funds competitive grant process. For more information click here.

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Grantee Spotlight- West Side Rowing

At Project Play Western New York, we are grateful for all of our partners in youth sports across the region. In each newsletter, we feature the important work of our grantees.

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First Community Conversation on Capacity Building

One of the focus areas for Project Play WNY is building the organizational capacity to support high-quality youth sports organizations.  This is done by strengthening the skills, processes and resources within organizations to enable them to be more effective and sustainable.

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Huddle Up November 2019: Let’s Give Thanks

Project Play WNY has spent the better part of 2019 highlighting the problem points of the 21st Century Youth Sports model. We have intentionally drawn attention to data and circumstances that indicate too many WNY kids are getting priced out, pushed out, or burnt out of youth sports.

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WNY Coaches Honored at Nov. 3 Bills Game

Before the kickoff at the Bills vs. Washington Redskins game at New Era Field on Nov. 3, hundreds of local youth sports coaches gathered in the stadium’s Business Class Suite to celebrate their successes.

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Dick Gallagher Receives 2019 Project Play WNY Thank You Coach Lifetime Service Award

Project Play WNY hosted its inaugural Thank You Coach event for over 100 local youth sports coaches at the Nov. 3 Buffalo Bills game. As part of the event, the first-ever Thank You Coach Lifetime Service Award was given to Dick Gallagher.

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Grantee Spotlight- Victory Sports Global Outreach, Inc.

At Project Play Western New York, we are thankful for all of our partners in youth sports across the region, and feature the important work of our grantees.Victory Sports Global Outreach, Inc. aims to help under-resourced schools, leagues, teams and kids obtain all the equipment they need to play a sport and compete.

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Summer Track Series & Free Play Days

Wow, what a summer it has been for Project Play WNY! Our Track and Field Strategies Group helped launch our Developmental Summer Track Series pilot in July. The free developmental track meets for kids ages 13 and under featured sprinting, jumping and throwing events, and gave kids the opportunity to sample a new sport.

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Talking Cities: Priced Out, Pushed Out, Stuck In/Burnt Out

Listen to our Director, Bridget Niland, discuss our initiative with Matt Enstice, President & CEO of Buffalo Niagara Medical Center.

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Huddle Up September 2019: A Message from Bridget Niland

In our day-to-day work, Project Play WNY is focused on expanding opportunities for kids of all backgrounds to be active through sport.  During our various volunteer committee and working group discussions, we brainstorm “how do we get the 84 percent of kids who are not moving enough during the week to be more active?”

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Detroit to Host the Aspen Institute’s Project Play Summit in September; First Speakers Announced

The fifth Project Play Summit will take place September 17-18 at the Renaissance Center in Detroit, MI, marking the first time the summit has been scheduled outside of Washington, DC. Former NBA star Chris Webber and NCAA champion gymnastics coach Valorie Kondos Field will be discussing the importance of youth sports and the state of play.

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Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo Announces Grant Awards Totaling $1.3 Million from Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Legacy Funds

The Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo announced that 57 Western New York organizations will receive a total of $1.3 million in grant awards from endowment funds created to carry on the legacy of Ralph C. Wilson, Jr.

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Huddle Up June 2019: A Message from Bridget Niland

In our day-to-day work, Project Play WNY is focused on expanding opportunities for kids of all backgrounds to be active through sport.  During our various volunteer committee and working group discussions, we brainstorm “how do we get the 84 percent of kids who are not moving enough during the week to be more active?”

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Hundreds Join Community Conversations

It has been a busy spring for Project Play WNY! The working groups developed some exciting pilot programs that were launched to gauge the interest within the Western New York youth sports community. Here is a play-by-play of the action!

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Grantee Spotlight- Rural Outreach Center

Project Play WNY is fortunate to partner with so many organizations in Western New York, and this month, we would like to feature the Rural Outreach Center (ROC).

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Free Play Challenge Event May 5

Please join us for the Project Play Western New York Free Play Challenge Event. Building off the success of the Project Play Western New York Community Conversations, this free event will take place on Sunday, May 5, 2019, from 1 to 4 p.m. at the ADPRO Fieldhouse, One Bills Drive in Orchard Park.

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Grantee Spotlight: Buffalo City Swim Racers

As Project Play WNY reaches its one year milestone, we feel fortunate to partner with so many longstanding youth sport organizations in Western New York, and would like to share the good work of these organizations. Up first are the Buffalo City Swim Racers.

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Project Play Western New York: 2019 Community Conversations

We are organizing events to bring together individuals and organizations throughout our region to address the calls for action in the State of Play WNY report.

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Huddle Up: A Message from Bridget Niland, Winter 2019

As 2019 moves into full swing, all of us at Project Play WNY are excited for what we will be launching and how it will serve as a reset on youth sports in our region.

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KaBOOM! and Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation Renew Partnership to Bring Play to More Communities in Need

Building upon the initial Built to Play Initiative, another $1 million is now available across Western New York and Southeast Michigan for creative ideas that incorporate play into everyday life in unexpected places

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Huddle Up: A Message from Bridget Niland, Fall 2018

For those of you who know me, to say that sports are in my blood is an understatement, and I was excited to hit the ground running in my new role as Director for Project Play WNY.

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$100 Million Investment in WNY

Did you hear? Oct. 17, 2018, was an incredible day for Western New Yorkers of all ages who want to get outside and play. In honor of what would have been Ralph C. Wilson, Jr.’s 100th birthday, the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation announced a $100 million investment in Western New York’s parks and recreation…

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Project Play Summit a Success

Project Play WNY had a strong showing of participants and honored guests at the national Project Play Summit in Washington, D.C., earlier this month. Hosted by the Aspen Institute’s Sports & Society Program, the annual Summit is the nation’s premier gathering of leaders in youth, sport and health.

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State of Play: WNY Youth Sports

Tom Farrey is executive director of the Sports & Society program at The Aspen Institute. Tom speaks during the presentation of State of Play: Western New York, a study on youth sports participation at the Holiday Valley Lodge in Ellicottville.

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State of Play, Part 2: Why making kids specialize in one sport is a mistake

Former pro football player Thurman Thomas and other experts explain why early sports specialization may not be a good idea for our youth. They tell how a multi-sport background and the availability of safe, high-quality play spaces can greatly benefit the development of young athletes.

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Wilson Foundation to fund nine new public play spaces in WNY

As part of their Built to Play initiative, the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation will be funding the development of nine innovative new play spaces. Made possible by KaBOOM! and their Play Everywhere Challenge, communities were given the opportunity to reimagine their public spaces to encourage play.

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Built To Play grants bringing new skateparks to WNY

To give kids more opportunities to engage in active play, the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation teamed up with the Tony Hawk Foundation to build skateparks in underserved communities of Western New York. Up to five new skateparks will be built with the first round of funding.

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Questions? Concerns? Ideas?

We want to hear from you. Email us at projectplaywny@cfgb.org or call us at 716-852-2857 ext. 222.