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Buffalo Sabres associates help build benches for Heritage Centers

BY: Kimberly Snickles, Cheektowaga Source | November 28, 2012

Their favorite team may be in a lockout but that didn’t stop Buffalo Sabres associates from showing all smiles Tuesday morning, as they built new benches for children with special needs.

“We’re just having a great time and we are happy to be able to come out and spend some time in the community as a staff. They deserve all the support they can get and if we can come out and lend a hand for a few hours then we should,” said Rich Jureller, Director of Community Relations for the Buffalo Sabres.

Twenty-three volunteers from the Buffalo Sabres administration offices donated and assembled garden benches for the Heritage Education Center, 777 Maryvale Drive, Cheektowaga. The center serves children and adults with disabilities and provides them with a place to learn and grow.

Heritage Education Programs recently purchased their building from Maryvale Schools and believe the benches, which are made of cedar, will be a nice way to spruce up the area and give students a place to sit and relax.

“We will be putting them on various parts of our campus. We have a large space here so we will have some in our entryway, as well as on our playground area for our students and staff to use,” said Kim Pope, Assistant Executive Director for Children’s Educational Services at Heritage Education Programs.

The organization helps about 3,000 individuals and their families achieve a better quality of life. The goal is to have all of the school age children educated in the building and keep them involved in the Cheektowaga community.

“It’s very important that our students get a chance to get integrated in a community center,” said Michael Gross, Executive Director of Heritage Centers. “Eventually we are going to go on a 6.1 million dollar capital campaign to completely renovate this building into a state of the art facility that will allow us to educate the most impaired children in the community.”

The plan is to build new therapy suites, classrooms that have the ability to handle children with disabilities, and renovate the outside to make it more accessible for the children.

“It’s a place where hearts help minds grow. When one understands that motto, one really gets what we are all about,” said Gross.

To learn more about Heritage Centers visit www.heritagecenters.org

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