Founded in 1981, the Buffalo Renaissance Foundation (BRF) is a non-profit, 501(c)3 organization dedicated to moving Buffalo forward, to help our future generations realize the best opportunities to enjoy a high quality of life in Western New York.

  Buffalo Renaissance Foundation        Winter 2019-2020


Modrzynski Named Incoming President

As I assume leadership of the Buffalo Renaissance Foundation, I am humbled by the history of the organization that began in 1981 and the vision of a small group of young business leaders to create a foundation with one goal: to help move our community forward.

Over the last 39 years, that group of leaders has grown to number 40 active directors and 35 sustaining directors. I would like to welcome our new members, Michael Dolan, Tim Domino, Dharshan Jayasinghe, and Charles Hunt. We all look forward to your energy, enthusiasm, and ideas in continuing the work of the Foundation.

That work has two primary thrusts. The first is raising funds through our annual luncheon, to be held on April 30, 2020, our annual golf outing in September, and through donations. The second is appropriating those funds to deserving community organizations and activities that are furthering the renaissance of Western New York. It should be noted that our Foundation is unique in that 100% of every dollar raised goes back into our community. I am proud to announce that the Foundation granted over $200,000 within our community over the last two years. The largest grant led to the completion of the sports facilities of Perkins Park and the Buffalo Renaissance Community Center on Buffalo’s East Side. Perkins Park has new basketball courts, a new playground, a youth football field and a platform hockey rink. The Community Center houses a gymnasium, basketball court, swimming pool, meeting rooms and educational spaces.

I am honored to have been chosen to lead the Buffalo Renaissance Foundation. I am grateful to Hugh Russ III, our outgoing President, for his leadership and counsel. I am committed, along with my fellow directors, to continue our mission of promoting positive thinking and positive change and to moving our community forward.

Very truly yours,





BRF Participates in Opening Ceremony of Perkins Park Project at the Buffalo Renaissance Foundation Community Center

The BRF participated in the May grand opening of Perkins Park at 325 East Ferry Street in Buffalo as the major donor providing the Resource Council of WNY (RCWNY) the final funding necessary for the site. The funding prepared the site for the development to complete the practice youth Heads Up flag football field on the East Side of Buffalo.

The site includes an outdoor ball hockey rink with a multi-purpose surface, in addition to the football field. The Buffalo Renaissance Foundation’s donation supplements funding previously provided by the Buffalo Sabres Foundation, the National Hockey League, and the Local Initiative Service Corp.

BRF Appropriations Chair Eugene G. Kershner said that the Buffalo Renaissance Foundation had been looking for a project of this nature for the past several years. “We are so happy that we were able to put the icing on the cake that prior donors had provided the foundation for the Park. It will provide the youth on the East Side a venue to play sports and be active for many years to come. As a Foundation, we continue to strive to move Buffalo forward, and this signature project is a prime example of that.”

The project was overseen by RCWNY, who also manages the community center on East Ferry Street and will manage the operations at Perkins Park. “The versatility and approach that the Renaissance Foundation took in completing the development will benefit this community for a long time. We had kids playing on the field as soon we opened it this past spring, thanks to the Buffalo Renaissance Foundation,” said RCWNY Director Rich Jureller.

The community center has been renamed the Buffalo Renaissance Foundation Community Center in support of the donation made to complete the project. Programs at the BRF Community Center offered in part through the Resource Council WNY include afterschool physical and academic programming, veteran and senior programming, instructional camps and clinics, rentals of all facilities, summer programs, and sports leagues.

The site now includes an outdoor ball hockey rink with a multi-purpose surface, in addition to the football field.





BRF President Hugh Russ with man of the year Jeffrey e. Gundlach and spring luncheon chairs john K.S. cleary and David schutte.

Spring Luncheon Features Businessman Jeffrey E. Gundlach as Man of the Year

In May, the BRF honored businessman and Albright-Knox benefactor Jeffrey E. Gundlach with our Man of the Year award. In 2016, Gundlach agreed to donate $42.5 million to the Abright-Knox Art Gallery as part of its capital campaign and expansion project. The gift represents the city’s largest cultural gift from an individual. The gallery will be renamed the Buffalo Albright-Knox-Gundlach Art Museum.

Dr. Janne Sirén, Executive Director of the Albright-Knox, provided the keynote address showing the sold-out audience in the Mary Seaton Room at Kleinhans the exciting new expansion plans at the art gallery.

dr. janne sirÉn shared the exciting new expansion plans of the buffalo albright-knox-gundlach art museum.




BRF director Maurice L. Naylon with 2019 scholarship recipient Mikayla Reynolds.

Annual Veterans Luncheon

Our 11th annual Veterans Luncheon, an event that continues to grow and support our local Veteran community, was held at The Buffalo Club in November and honored our 2019 scholarship recipient, Mikayla Reynolds. Mikayla is attending SUNY Fredonia.

Well over 100 people were entertained after the scholarship awards presentation with a speech by Kelly Sullivan Loughren, granddaughter of Albert Sullivan, one of the five Sullivan brothers killed during the sinking of the USS Juneau on November 13, 1942. Commanding Officer Jing Shi from the Nay Operational Support Center in Buffalo, NY, was also a speaker at the luncheon.

The purpose of the annual luncheon during Veterans Day week is to recognize Veterans, both in Active Duty and Reservists, who help to protect our country. In addition to honoring Veterans and those currently serving in the Military, the luncheon raises funds to provide scholarships to those who have served our country and are attending college.

Many thanks to our director co-chairs Maurice L. Naylon and Gary M. Stott for their leadership with respect to the event that serves as a gateway to the holidays every year.

Kelly Sullivan Loughren, granddaughter of Albert Sullivan, spoke to guests at the luncheon.






BRF Outreach Program

Our outreach program was busy during 2019, with three separate events during the calendar year.

In April, the BRF held its third annual Easter Egg Hunt on the west side of Buffalo at Front Park. In partnership with Rich Products Corp., over 6,000 eggs were hidden throughout the Park. Stuffed inside the eggs were prizes such as bicycles, chocolate rabbits, sports equipment, scooters and much more.

Buffalo Renaissance Foundation's Easter Egg Hunt held in April.

In August, BRF directors made the annual pilgrimage to The Miracle League for a day at Miracle Field in Grand Island to work with children with mental and physical challenges providing them an opportunity to play baseball on a specially designed field. The specialized rubber surface can accommodate wheelchairs, crutches, and walkers.

Buffalo Renaissance Foundation day at Miracle Field in Grand Island.

For the second straight year, our holiday outreach event was held at the BRF Community Center on W. Ferry Street on the East Side of Buffalo, where children from a nearby school were treated to lunch, a visit from Santa, and presents from the big guy.

Buffalo Renaissance Foundation supporting families in need during the holidays.

UB Athletics Scholarship

This year’s recipient of the UB Athletics scholarship award, a scholarship that was endowed from proceeds from the BRF’s first luncheon in 1991, is Troy Keller (Wrestling). Troy hails from North Tonawanda and is a senior who wrestles at the 165-weight class. He is the defending MAC champion at his weight class going into his 2019-20 year and was a 2018 JUCO National Champion at Niagara County Community College before transferring to UB.

Troy Keller, a wrestler from North Tonawanda, is this year's recipient of the BRF UB Athletics Scholarship.



Fall Golf Tourney at Wanakah

The annual Fall Classic transitioned to Wanakah Country Club in the southtowns in 2019. The Classic is the second oldest charitable tournament running in Western New York, the inaugural event being held in 1982 at Crag Burn. Event chair Dr. Gilbert chaperoned an awesome day of comradery at one of Western New York’s finest golf venues. 

Kudos to our event sponsors:
Cart Sponsor – Tim Horton’s
Flag Sponsors – Hoffman Hanifan, ADPRO Sports and Warm & Fuzzy Heating and Cooling
Putting Contest Sponsor – WNED Television
Lunch Sponsor – Uniland Development
Cocktail Hour Sponsor – Tzetzo Companies


2019 Buffalo Renaissance Foundation‘s Fall Classic Charity Golf Event Champions (from left) Matt Miller, David Schutte, Andrew Bennett and Jamie Miller.



Sculptural Art Initiative

Our Spirit of Buffalo Sculptural Art series is in the process of finalizing its fifth and final sculpture with a piece scheduled for the grounds of the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library being completed in concert with our partner, Just Buffalo Literary. The final sculpture, named the Spirit of Inspiration, will be the work of Okunola Jeyfous, a Nigerian-American neuroscientist and photography enthusiast based in Chicago. 

As well as finishing our fifth sculpture, we are embarking on a joint effort in partnership with the Junior League of Buffalo for a new sculptural initiative to be installed on the Burchfield Penney Art Center grounds. The proposed initiative will demonstrate the power of women and girls in our community.

The statue will embody the essence of female power, capturing the long history of women’s impact in Western New York. The installation will allow visitors and community members to experience the significance of the artwork and its message. As the “Fearless Girl” sculpture in New York City has demonstrated, this statue promises opportunities for discourse around the contributions of women in our community. The BRF is proud to be a significant contributor to this endeavor.


The Spirit of Inspiration, the fifth and final piece of the Spirit of Buffalo Sculptural Art initiative, by Okunola Jeyfous




Our Philosophy

Not many not-for-profit organizations can say that every dollar raised in their fundraising efforts goes 100% to charity or is put into their endowment for future charitable giving. Our director dues fund 100% of our administrative costs and director expenses, so every dollar raised ends up in the hands of charities or organizations that advance our mission.

Thank you for your support in the past and into the future. Hopefully, you find our work inspirational, engaging, and fun, as well as something you will continue to be a part of. Together, we can continue to move Buffalo, forward.

Find Us On Facebook

The BRF has a Facebook page to stay in touch with our benefactors, corporate sponsors and friends. Please "like" us on Facebook at our Foundation page.

Help Us Move Buffalo Forward

If you are interested in making a donation to the Buffalo Renaissance Foundation please visit our website and click the donate button:




Buffalo Renaissance
Foundation 2020
Board of Directors

Michael P. Modrzynski
Foundation President

A.J. Baynes, Jr.
David B. Beaton
Donald V. Boswell
Donald V. Brown, Jr.
Frank L. Ciminelli II
John K.S. Cleary
William S. Cleary
Robert J. Clerici
Michael B. Dolan
Timothy J. Domino
Matthew K. Enstice
Richard N. Gilbert, MD.
Shawn C. Glogowski
Scott T. Hoffman
Charles F. Hunt
James E. Iglewski
Dharshan Jayasinghe
Charles G. Jones, Jr.
Anthony G. Jordan
Eugene G. Kershner, CPA
Peter S. Marlette
Tod D. Martin
Daniel P. Mecca
Frederick J. Mertz
Michael J. Montante
Maurice L. Naylon III
Benjamin N. Obletz
Thomas S. Quealy
Hugh M. Russ III
C. Jacob Schneider
Zachary P. Schneider
David Schutte
John F. Somers
Nicholas B. Tzetzo, Esq.
Paul V. Vukelic
Arthur G. Wingerter
Daniel J. Zimmer

Executive Director
Scott McManigle



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Buffalo Renaissance Foundation · PO Box 322 · Buffalo, NY 14205 · USA