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 2013

GENE KershNer

DEAR FRIENDS, BENEFACTORS, SUPPORTERS AND FELLOW DIRECTORS, Happy Holidays from the Buffalo Renaissance Foundation! 

As the second and final year of my term as President of the Buffalo Renaissance Foundation (BRF) winds down, I can say that the Foundation is thriving and poised to continue to move Buffalo Forward. The past year's grant appropriation process was one of the most difficult in recent years, as we received over 40 grant requests for approximately $350,000 in funding.

We held record luncheon and golf events that will benefit Western New York charities in 2014 as a result of the tireless efforts by both committees. The Foundation focused on four core areas during 2013: education, cultural art and tourism, veterans and outreach. We continue striving to provide those organizations in need with funding to complete vital projects.

I’d like to take this time to thank all of our sponsors who supported our events in 2013, and ensure you that every dollar raised is re-circulated back into our Western New York community. Enjoy the holidays!


In Memoriam:
James A. Eaton, Jr.
(January 19, 1953 -
October 24, 2013)

The BRF lost its first director in 32 years of existence on October 24, when sustaining director and long-time director James A. "Scooter" Eaton, Jr. passed away after a bout with cancer. Scooter was a true Renaissance Man and could always be counted upon by his fellow directors. Scooter was inducted into the BRF in the fall of 1981 as part of the second group of six directors which also included Rob Miller, Horace Gioia, Randy Murphy, Dan Roblin and Gary Brost. Scooter will be dearly missed at the BRF.


For all of the recent news and events of the BRF, please like our Facebook page,

BRF Holds 31st Annual Golf Tournament

In September, the Buffalo Renaissance Foundation (BRF) held its 31st annual Golf Tournament at beautiful Niagara Falls Country Club. The event was held on a Thursday afternoon with 110 golfers that were challenged by the Porter Cup home track even though the rain gods stopped play after 12 holes. It was the first time in 31 years that we were unable to complete the round. That didn't stop our golfers from enjoying the wonderful raw bar and meal provided by our hosts at NFCC.

Chairmen Art Wingerter and Tom Quatroche reported at the October Board meeting that the event raised record revenues and will help benefit next year's Grant Appropriations by a significant amount. Thanks to our volunteers from Univera who once again manned our registration table and did a terrific job!

Thank you to our sponsors:

Tournament Sponsors: LPCiminelli and Ciminelli Real Estate
Cart Sponsor: New Era Cap
Flag Sponsors: Warm and Fuzzy Home Heating and Cooling, Dunn Tire
Lunch Sponsor: Chiampou Travis Besaw & Kershner LLP
Dinner Sponsor: Lawley Service
Scoreboard Sponsor: Schneider Design Architects, P.C.

Next year's tournament will return to Niagara Falls CC on Thursday, September 11, 2014, so please mark your calendars.

BRF held its 31st annual Golf Classic this September.


Sixth Annual Veterans Luncheon Honors D'Youville College Student

Keynote speaker Captain Jeffrey S. Bartkoski

On Friday November 8, the BRF held its sixth annual Veterans Luncheon in the Fireplace Room of The Buffalo Club. The luncheon provides proceeds to be used for college scholarships for returning veterans. The 2013 scholarship recipient was Mr. Ian Drullard, a student at D'Youville College. A Navy SEAL who participated in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom has transitioned back into the civilian world and plans to remain in the Buffalo area to raise his family. He is in the Physician Assistant (PA) program at D'Youville and hopes to work in an emergency or surgical hospital setting a as a PA.

From left to right: Morgan Woodson, Ian Drulland, Frank Grillo and Moe Naylon.

Ms. Morgan Woodson, a student at Medaille College, last year's recipient, and Mr. Frank Grillo, a Daemen College student and the 2011 recipient, were also recognized for their continued studies and both received scholarship funds from the BRF.

The luncheon keynote speaker was Captain Jeffrey S. Bartkoski, U.S. Navy Commanding Officer of the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps in Rochester. Capt. Bartkoski is also a Professor of Naval Science at the University of Rochester.

Once again directors Moe Naylon, David Pfalzgraf and Gary Stott and Executive Director Scott McManigle put together a quality event that will benefit future veterans' scholarship recipients.

BRF Grant Presentation Recognizes Eight Recipients

The BRF held its annual Grant Presentation on November 14 at the Burchfield-Penney Art Center where eight recipients received this year's annual grant monies. This year's recipients included Gateway-Longview, ECMC Lifeline, Heritage Centers, Women's and Children's Hospital Foundation of Buffalo, Amherst Police Foundation/Youth Court, Our Lady of Victory National Shrine and Basilica, Peacemakers of Buffalo and the BRF Downtown Buffalo Sculptural Art Initiative.

Many thanks to Appropriation Committee co-chairs, Michael Montante and John Polvino, in leading our grant efforts for 2013.

Appropriations Chair Michael Montante at the Annual Grant Presentation in November.



Amy Habib-Rittling (center) and Jim Finnerty (right) accept BRF grant on behalf of the Children's Hospital Foundation from Michael Montante.


BRF Awards Two Leadership Buffalo Scholarships to Local Students

Two local students, Samantha Dispenza and Timothy Burgess were awarded Buffalo Renaissance Foundation scholarships to the 2013-2014 Youth Leadership of Erie County program sponsored by Leadership Buffalo. This alliance is the first between Leadership Buffalo and the BRF and the process was shepherded by BRF Director Maurice Naylon. Students in the YLEC program undergo a monthly curriculum that includes a vast array of topics including diversity, economic development and history and governance.

Ms. Dispenza is a member of the Class of 2015 who has tremendous work ethic and has participated in various community volunteer work experiences and is an emerging leader at her school.

Mr. Burgess is a member of the Class of 2014 and was described by one of his teachers as "an excellent student and a mature gentlemen, who is already gifted with leadership skills; I am certain he will benefit greatly by developing these skills and sharing his gifts with the community."

Speaker Forum features Richardson Complex Executive Director Ms. Monica Pellegrino Faix

Monica Pellegrino Faix, Executive Director of the Richardson Complex Corporation

Ms. Pellegrino Faix's presentation included a pictorial rendering of the proposed Hotel project at the H.H. Richardson complex and a discussion on the various aspects the project that will increase cultural tourism in the Art district on Elmwood. Many thanks to BRF director Jake Schneider for lining up Ms. Pellegrino Faix to share her valuable time with our group and to the Burchfield-Penney Art Center for hosting the event.

Class of 2014 Directors Announced

The Board of Directors approved the Class of 2014, the 19th class of BRF directors. Our newest directors include Robert J. Clerici – VP of Sales and Marketing at Inergex, Inc.; David Kimelberg, Chief Executive Officer of Seneca Holdings and Nicholas B. Tzetzo, Esq., Tzetzo & Tzetzo PLLC, an attorney and real estate developer.

The Board of the BRF is looking forward to working with these three fine gentlemen as we move Forward in 2014. Thanks to nominating chair Hugh Russ and his committee for vetting this year's candidates and the outstanding selection of our three newest directors.


Buffalo Renaissance
Foundation 2013
Board of Directors

Eugene G. Kershner
Foundation President

Anthony P. Amigone
Donald V. Brown, Jr.
Frank L. Ciminelli II
John K. S. Cleary
William S. Cleary
Thomas J. Comer, Jr.
James F. Dentinger
Matthew K. Enstice
Andrew L. Fors
John T. Gavigan
Timothy J. Geiger
Richard N. Gilbert, MD
William H. Gurney
Scott T. Hoffman
James E. Iglewski
James F. Jerge, Jr.
Charles G. Jones, Jr.
Anthony G. Jordan
Eugene G. Kershner
Peter S. Marlette
Tod D. Martin
Michael P. Modrzynski
Michael J. Montante
Maurice L. Naylon III
Benjamin N. Obletz
David R. Pfalzgraf, Jr.
John A. Polvino
Bruce G. Popko, Jr.
Thomas J. Quatroche, Jr.
Thomas S. Quealy
Christopher D. Ross
Hugh M. Russ III
C. Jacob Schneider
James S. Segarra
John F. Somers
Paul V. Vukelic
Arthur G. Wingerter
Walter J. Zurowski, Jr.
Daniel J. Zimmer

Executive Director
Scott McManigle


2013 Holiday Outreach project set
for December

The BRF directors will once again focus our efforts on The Response to Love Center on the East Side of Buffalo, where we will put together over 400 care packages for those in need during the holidays in mid-December. If you would like to donate to this year's Outreach project, please see our donations page at the BRF website.