For immediate release: June 11, 2021

Southtown Audio Video has been a family affair since it opened its doors in 1984. Through its evolution of current owner, Heather Sidorowicz, it is growing the family footprint again.

In 2014 Heather Sidorowicz purchased the business from her father, Tom Laski. At the time SAV had just begun to break into the commercial audio-visual markets. Heather transformed the business into a woman owned and operated machine catering to the corporate, healthcare, immersive technologies, education and relationship-residential sectors. SAV grew 103% in 2015 and has seen continued growth every year since then.

Heather Sidorowicz commented, “SAV grew up in the residential market, so we knew how to take care of our clients. We under-estimated how much customer service was missing from the commercial sector and that was the reason for our explosive growth in 2015 and why we continue to grow today.”

Now SAV is growing again, this time adding Heather’s husband Bryan to the mix as well as hiring another employee, John Saunders and an administrative assistant Allison Gannon. Bryan comes to SAV with an extensive events and logistics background. He started his career at the University of Buffalo’s Center for the Arts where he rose to Production Director before taking over all events at the University. From there he went on to become the Director of Ride for Roswell and then Operations Director for Roswell’s alliance foundation. His events background coupled with his technical expertise has earned him the position of Director of Operations for Southtown Audio Video.

“Bryan’s logistics skills are a huge asset to SAV as we have been contracted for larger projects. While, I am technically his boss, we work in tandem, and both use our skills to help SAV be the best AV company in WNY and beyond.”

Mr. Saunders comes to SAV with a background in lighting design and live events. A carpenter at heart, he has helped SAV create custom pieces to improve the visual install on projects. His vast background means there is not much he has not seen, and he understands “the show must go on.”

Mrs. Gannon worked with SAV back in 2006 before she went on to have a family. “We are pleased to have Allison back and helping out. She is often our first line of defense and her organization skills and fearless attitude get us where we need to be,” commented Mrs. Sidorowicz.

Sav’s mission is to enhance life with technology in the places you work, live, and play. With customized solutions for whatever you need from home theater systems to large corporate build outs, SAV has the expertise and knowledge to not only make technology work for you, not the other way around, but also provides training and technical support for life. For more information, please visit their website at southtownav.com or call 716-648-6565.


Seniors and their Caregivers Deserve Support
by Val Nowak, CEO, Harmonia Collaborative Care

As our loved ones age or begin to need more care, many of us have assumed the role of caregiver for those we cherish. This job often involves assisting someone in their daily lives with cleaning, cooking, bathing, and medical care. Across the country, more than 34.2 million Americans currently provide informal care to an adult over the age of 50. While this role is often incredibly fulfilling and helps support those we love, it can sometimes lead to burnout and guilt no matter how much love and devotion is poured into this care.

It is not uncommon for those caring for others to feel unnecessary guilt and to believe they are not doing enough for their loved ones. This mental burden may make this role even more difficult on top of the stress of caring for another person. Although this role is courageous and provides necessary care for those in need, it can be accompanied by resentment for loss of personal time, comparing oneself to others, and emotional burnout, including depression, anxiety, and fear. While these feelings may lead to more guilt, please remember they are normal and expected in this situation and that there are ways to cope.

When caring for others, it is important to also care for yourself! Some ways to manage stress include:
● Accept help from others: this role can be incredibly challenging to do, especially when done alone. When others offer you their help, such as with cleaning, cooking, or chores, it can be helpful to your mental health to accept assistance.
● Allow yourself to take a break: regular breaks should be a part of your caregiver plan to allow you to relieve stress, focus on yourself, and take some moments to relax. Making time for self-care can help to minimize the feelings of burnout.
● Set boundaries: although it can be difficult, saying “no” to requests and obligations that are draining and stressful can help to minimize negative feelings. Your time, money, energy, and needs are just as important as anyone else’s and need to be prioritized.
● Accept your limitations: as much as we like to think we are not, we are all human and cannot do everything! Learning to accept and differentiate between things we can and cannot change can help to avoid dwelling on difficult situations. Instead, it can be helpful to focus on things that make you and the person(s) you are caring for happy and comfortable.
● Seek support from caregiver networks: sometimes in these situations, getting help from professionals or caregiver networks can provide much needed support! This can be especially helpful if your loved one has a specific condition, such as dementia, and you need more specific support.

If you are interested in getting help with caregiving, consider Harmonia Collaborative Care’s CarePanion Services. Harmonia’s trained CarePanions offer personalized, in-home support to seniors or other individuals in need. CarePanions help you or a loved one remain independent and safe at home with punctuality, empathy and hard work. A personal care plan is developed for each participant, matched to meet your specific needs and interests. Our CarePanions can provide help with homemaking, monitoring the safety of home, errands and grocery shopping, and companionship. CarePanion Coordinator Cami Kent says, “We work closely with families to notify them of safety concerns we see during visits, and we help ensure residents’ homes are designed to minimize the risk of falls and other hazards”. If you are interested in these services, call Harmonia at (716)947-5025 to set up a consultation.

To learn more, please follow Harmonia Collaborative Care on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and visit our website at www.harmonia-care.org.


Dennis DiPaolo of Ilio DiPaolo’s Restaurant and Jonathan Palmer of Lardon Construction Corporation are proud to announce their summer music schedule for Solé at Woodlawn Beach State Park located at 3580 Lake Shore Road in Blasdell, NY. Starting May 28, “Rock into the Weekend” every Friday from 5 to 8pm. Local promoter, Ross Catalino of Back to Back Entertainment Group, will be featuring events all summer and look forward to a rockin’ season. There will be themed nights including DJ Jickster’s company happy hour on Wednesdays, country music on Thursdays and bands throughout the week.

Woodlawn Beach State Park is a regional attraction which brings people from all over the Northeast and Canada to enjoy the Buffalo community. Solé will be this summer’s must-attend destination, “you can come up for a week-end, get a hotel, go to Canalside and do something downtown, stroll the Village of Hamburg and spend a day at the beach. It’s a little jewel in our own community” said DiPaolo. Hamburg and Blasdell have over a dozen hotels, including the walkable historic Village of Hamburg, award-winning restaurants, Our Lady of Victory Basilica, and the Botanical Gardens.

The Solé team has a full calendar of events for summer 2021 which includes a rugby beach ball tournament, bocce ball tournament, Buffalo cornhole leagues, recreational volleyball leagues, local bands, happy hours and more. Additionally, every Tuesday will be country music night in partnership with WYRK. Private events are available at Solé where guests can rent the lodge to host birthday parties, graduations, family reunions, and showers. The Solé staff can accommodate any function. Check out their website at soleatwoodlawnbeach.com to view their rental spaces or call 716-824-3500 to speak with their event coordinator. Follow Solé at Woodlawn Beach on Facebook and Instagram to keep up to date on their event schedule. The Solé team is looking forward to an exciting and fun-filled summer at the beach.

Ilio DiPaolo’s and Solé at Woodlawn Beach will continue to practice the most recent safety guidelines to ensure a safe experience for employees as well as customers. Solé’s goal is to provide a fun and safe summer for 2021.

Press Conference Tuesday, June 8, 2021 2:00pm
“Woodlawn Beach”
Food and Refreshments to be served


May 21, 2021 The newest trends in interior design are out!

By: Vicki Weixlmann, Owner Home Décor Consulting

I am Vicki Weixlmann and I created Home Décor Consulting LLC. It’s a passion I’ve had all my life but finally developed after retiring from my 32 year banking career. I am a Certified Interior Decorator now, and create stylish personalized creations for my clients throughout WNY; primarily in the south towns. Keeping my clients up to date with all the current trends is part of my 30-minute free consultation.

Here are four of the newest trends I am finding for 2021.

“Japani”-Japan and Scandinavian mix stemming from the minimalist style. This trend includes neutral color schemes and sleek lines. Very calming and Zen like with a focus on simplicity, natural elements, use of texture and comfort.

Grandmillennial Style– Millennials are looking to Grandma for comfort and serenity. Décor items like velvet pillows, needlepoint, and floral curtains just to name a few. Mix with bold colors and you’ve got  one of the latest trends.

Dividers and Doors– Moving away from the open floor plan, some homeowners are looking to use their space for multiple functions. With so many people working from home now, people are carving out work space and/or creative space as a necessity. Furniture is playing double duty, not only for beauty but also for function such as storage.

Environmental Focus– Construction professionals and Interior Designers alike are focusing on the environment.  Things like transparency and sustainability are two key goals. Designers are using smart lighting and furniture constructed from recycled materials in their designs just to name a few.

My goal is to offer my clients the “designer look without the designer price”. Giving clients a unique service of value, not widely offered.

My goal as a decorator is to reveal the beauty in each clients home and bring that to life. Helping clients come home to a comfortable, relaxing space that is all their own.

My services include full-service room design and color consultation, but also offer staging and seasonal decorating.

For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact Vicki at [email protected] or call 716-225-2913. Home Décor Consulting is your professional home and business decorator specializing in room design, one day and seasonal decorating, and styling and staging. Visit us on the web at homedecorconsulting.com.


RANDOLPH, N.Y.May 20, 2021 — Randolph Academy celebrated the induction of its very first students into the National Honor Society (NHS) this week, in a ceremony that included the district’s board of education and invited guests.

Five students comprised this inaugural class, representing the district’s Randolph and Hamburg campuses. They included Bradley Flagg, a senior from South Dayton, N.Y.; Ryan Hackford, a junior from Angola, N.Y.; Nathaniel Kaizer, a junior from Hamburg, N.Y.; Torei Paw Wah, a senior from Falconer, N.Y.; and Stefania Pujols, a junior from The Bronx, N.Y.

“The idea started from a student who was interested in starting a club in order to build his résumé,” said Shannon Wolf, the district’s NHS advisor and a Spanish/English as a New Language (ENL) and Special Education teacher at the Hamburg campus. “In the course of our research, we discovered that NHS allows any public school to create a chapter.”

After meeting with Superintendent Lori DeCarlo, who enthusiastically gave the idea a green light, Mrs. Wolf investigated which juniors and seniors across both campuses might meet the scholarship criteria of a grade point average of 93 or higher. Those who did were given application packets to review. After learning about the organization and realizing what an honor it would be to become an inductee, they were eager to participate.

NHS elevates a school’s commitment to the values of scholarship, service, leadership and character. These four pillars have been associated with membership in the organization since its inception in 1921, and they resonated with Randolph Academy’s students as well, as they shared during a celebratory lunch, created by Randolph Academy’s culinary students, where they were joined by invited staff.

“I go to school excited to learn and hopefully someday use the knowledge to teach others,” Mr. Hackford explained in speaking to the importance of scholarship, while Mr. Kaizer spoke to his “goal-oriented and hard-working” approach to learning.

“I have come a long way as a person,” Ms. Paw Wah added, regarding character. “I have become more understanding and patient to my peers and the people around me.”

In discussing leadership, Ms. Pujols said, “I cannot say that I am perfect, but what I do know is that people tend to gravitate to me and follow me.”

And speaking to community, Mr. Flagg, who is also a volunteer junior firefighter, added, “I like to help my community, and knowing that, as a firefighter, I can help to save someone or stop something from becoming worse means a lot.”

Adding an NHS chapter at Randolph Academy has been a source of pride to the teachers, staff and administrators across the district as well.

“I cannot overstate what a remarkable accomplishment this is for these students, or how proud I am of them and Mrs. Wolf for taking on this initiative,” Superintendent DeCarlo added. “Our students come to us during some very challenging times, as they deal with emotional and mental health issues. An honor such as this is likely unimaginable during their transition from their home districts to ours — but that just shows you how powerful a restorative justice system can be in reaching students who are struggling. It genuinely helps so many of them to get back on a path to success, and this is just the latest — but perhaps most resounding — example.”

Today, as NHS celebrates its 100th anniversary, it has more than one million students among its ranks. Its chapters are found in all 50 states, U.S. Territories, Canada, and around the world. Membership not only recognizes students for their accomplishments, but challenges them to develop further through active involvement in school activities and community service.

In other words, NHS students not only focus on academic achievement, but they also embrace community engagement. They volunteer in their communities at high rates and make connecting with and serving the community a priority.

Randolph Academy’s students and staff have already begun conceiving new service projects for the school to help current and future students to meet their service criteria. They are also engaging current sophomores so that they can begin considering and working toward the distinction of NHS induction.

 

About Randolph Academy

The Randolph Academy Union Free School District supports, empowers and educates children in grades K-12 who have a variety of emotional and mental health disabilities stemming from various causes and conditions. The nearly 200-student district is comprised of a residential campus, whose origins trace back to the 1860s in Randolph, N.Y. and serves students from throughout the state, and a day school in Hamburg, N.Y., which serves students from dozens of districts across Western New York.

With a flexible structure and non-traditional classrooms, it focuses on the power of relationships to help students achieve academic progress, with the goal of graduating high school and preparing for life as productive adults. Its staff are experts in Normative Culture, a sociological method using positive peer pressure to influence behavior rather than a system of rules, and Restorative Justice, an alternative to suspensions and other punitive approaches. To learn more, visit www.randolphacademy.org.

 


Hamburg, NY – The Erie County Agricultural Society is looking forward to being able to safely host the 2021 Erie County Fair, one of the premiere summer-time events in Western New York, scheduled for August 11-22, 2021.  According to CEO and Fair Manager Jessica Underberg, “we have already started working with the health department officials on appropriate measures for the event.  If you plan on attending the Erie County Fair, it may not look the same, but it will remain true to the values and traditions that are reminiscent of the annual event.”

In a press conference Thursday, Mrs. Underberg shared information regarding specifics for the Fair including health and safety protocols, admission pricing and policies, and plans for grandstand entertainment…

QUICK FACTS FOR REOPENING OF THE ERIE COUNTY FAIR

Admission and Entry – “Pick Your Day Online”

Guests will be required to purchase their tickets online and choose the day they want to come.  Tickets will not be sold at the gate.   There will be a limited number of tickets sold per day.  The price of admission for the 2021 Fair will be $13.50 which includes parking.  Kids 12 & under are free but will still need a ticket.

Health and Safety

We are following CDC guidelines and asking our guests to exercise personal responsibility.  Vaccination will not be required to come to the Fair, however, per CDC guidance at this time non vaccinated guests will need to wear a face covering.  Masks will be encouraged in indoor spaces.   Frequent hand washing and sanitizing will be recommended.  There will be an increased number of free-standing hand washing stations and hand sanitizing units placed throughout the grounds.  There will be frequent cleaning and sanitizing of commonly touched surfaces (picnic tables, bleachers, bathrooms etc).

Strates Shows Midway

The Midway will follow social distancing guidelines.  Game operators will practice social distancing and hand sanitizers will be available throughout the midway.  Protocols will be in place to disinfect rides regularly.

Buildings and Food Sales

Buildings will be reconfigured to allow for wider aisles ensuring social distancing.  Food stand layouts will be adjusted to create additional spacing and wider aisles.  Eating areas will be available in the parks to allow for adequate social distancing.

GUSTO Grandstand

Capacity limitations will be in place for Grandstand shows as set by NYS policies including socially distanced seating.  Tickets will only be sold online and will be available at a later date.   Those events confirmed to date include…

 

  • Jay & The Americans – August 11
  • Sawyer Brown – August 12
  • Styx – August 14
  • Jon Pardi – August 15
  • Mark Chestnutt – August 16
  • ATV Big Air Tour – August 17
  • For King & Country – August 18
  • Cooper Alan – August 19
  • Ultimate Night of Destruction – August 21
  • World’s Largest Demolition Derby – August 22

 

The Erie County Fair is anxious to provide families with the opportunity to create memories in person, get back to tradition, immerse themselves in a world of Summertopia with the traditional and crazy foods, cute animals, top notch competition, spinning rides and just plain fun entertainment.

Up to date information and details about the Erie County Fair will be available at www.ecfair.org, the all new mobile app and the Fair’s social channels.

 

About the Erie County Fair

The Erie County Agricultural Society is a private not-for-profit membership organization. Established in 1819, the Society is the oldest civic organization in Western New York. The mission of the Erie County Agricultural Society (ECAS), sponsors of the Erie County Fair, is to preserve and enhance, by educational endeavors, the agricultural and historical legacy of New York State. The Fair strives to fulfill appropriate aspects of the agricultural, educational, entertainment and recreational needs of Western New York. (www.ECFair.org)


HAMBURG, NY – Following the Governor’s recent announcement, The Erie County Agricultural Society Board of Directors and staff are excited to move forward with the 2021 edition of the Erie County Fair, scheduled for August 11-22, 2021.   We will review the pronouncement in its entirety and will provide more specific details on the Fair in the coming days.

About the Erie County Fair

The Erie County Agricultural Society is a private not-for-profit membership organization. Established in 1819, the Society is the oldest civic organization in Western New York. The mission of the Erie County Agricultural Society (ECAS), sponsors of the Erie County Fair, is to preserve and enhance, by educational endeavors, the agricultural and historical legacy of New York State. The Fair strives to fulfill appropriate aspects of the agricultural, educational, entertainment and recreational needs of Western New York. The 2021 Erie County Fair will be held August 11-22 (www.ECFair.org).


HAMBURG, NY.  May 6, 2021– RANE Property Management announced today that they will be holding a Grand Opening/Open House on May 15th & 16th at the much anticipated The Oaks at South Park, located at 5138 South Park Ave in Hamburg.

The weekend is full of events: Friday, May 14th The Oaks is hosting the Alumnae of Immaculata Academy for a Preview Open House with a very special presentation to the Sisters of Immaculata at 11:30am that shouldn’t be missed.  This will be followed by a public ribbon cutting hosted by the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce at noon.

The Grand Opening Open House will continue Saturday and Sunday for all to tour and see the amazing transformation of the former school. The fabulous “Town Center” Clubhouse that includes the original school gymnasium, auditorium turned into a grand party room, and backstage area that is now a relaxing and zen-ful yoga studio.

This stunning 152-unit community brings a new lifestyle choice to the South towns with carriage house style apartments that include private entrances and attached garages.  Residents will also enjoy and marvel over the Town Center Clubhouse which pays homage to the former school while offering modern amenities: a 24/7 fitness center, large entertainment space complete with at 50’ projection screen and a billiards table,  plus a gymnasium that is beyond what any other community has seen in WNY.

The public is invited to attend the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony on Friday, May 14th at noon.  Tours will be available following the ceremony. The Southtowns Regional Chamber of Commerce will be there to officiate the event.  The Open House will continue on Saturday from 11am-4pm and Sunday from 11am-3pm. Masks & Social Distancing will be in place during the event.

Construction of The Oaks at South Park began in 2020 under the watchful eye of PURE Construction Services. Immaculata Academy was built in 1952 as an all-girls school and proudly accepted students from 1954 until it’s closure in 2016. Many alumnae are still very attached to the former school to this day.

RANE Property Management develops and manages apartment communities throughout New York, Tennessee and Florida. RANE provides best in class lifestyle choices for its residents while producing maximum return for its owners. Learn more at http://www.ranemgmt.com.

If you would like more information about this event, please contact RaeAnn Plouffe, Operations & Marketing Director at 716-604-4998 or email at [email protected]


RANDOLPH, N.Y. — May 5, 2021 — After 36 years of serving the Randolph Academy Union Free School District, including 15 in the role of superintendent, Lori DeCarlo will retire from her post at the end of this school year. The Board of Education is currently reviewing applications and expects to appoint a new superintendent on or about June 1. The new individual will assume his or her duties on or about July 1.

Since 2006, Mrs. DeCarlo has led this 200-student, two-campus district which supports, empowers and educates children with emotional and mental health disabilities. During her tenure, Randolph Academy has assisted thousands of students from across the state, providing counseling, behavior management, a Regents diploma curriculum and vocational training to give students many options for rewarding careers and successful adult lives.

Randolph Academy was established as a Special Act Public School District by the New York State Legislature in 1985 — the same year DeCarlo joined its staff as a teacher. She steadily became more involved in administrative work, and was eventually chosen to lead the district 20 years later.

DeCarlo has since positioned the school as New York’s foremost expert in Restorative Justice (“RJ”) within the K-12 landscape. This sociological model focuses on building and strengthening relationships and community. It uses a process of regularly engaging students and educators in structured, open communication – called Circles – incorporated into the daily classroom routine to get students comfortable with talking about events and relationships inside and outside of school.

“I’ve always believed there were better ways of responding to students’ problem behaviors,” said DeCarlo. “The potentially devastating effects of even one out-of-school suspension, coupled with the school-to-prison pipeline that threatens many at-risk students, led me to research more proactive, positive responses to student behaviors and conflicts.”

DeCarlo dove deep into this approach, researching and developing the concept to its current form and culture. She convinced her board of education of its merits, then led her faculty and staff through a years-long transition to a Restorative Practice system in 2015, a process that requires a true paradigm shift across an entire organization.

DeCarlo has taken this expertise far beyond Randolph Academy’s walls. Since 2018, she’s been the lead trainer for the New York State Education Department’s RJ training initiatives, statewide. She also co-chairs Western New York’s Youth Justice Team and has presented at dozens of conferences, including those of the National School Boards Association, New York State School Boards Association, and New York State Council of School Superintendents. In addition, she’s encouraged her staff to share their expertise with anyone interested in adding restorative practices to their classrooms. Together, they’ve designed workshops and learning labs that have drawn dozens of state educators from hundreds of miles away to their two campuses. They also travel to other Western New York districts to help them learn and implement restorative practices into their cultures.

“Lori DeCarlo’s influence is evident in every corner of Randolph Academy,” said Board of Education Vice President Brad Sande. “Our modern school buildings, classrooms, technology, and recreation facilities; our students’ outstanding performance on state tests and Regents’ exams; the success of Restorative Justice and our stable fiscal condition are all the result of her leadership and vision for the potential of the Academy’s students and staff.”

DeCarlo has distinguished the district in many other ways, too. She was a driving force in its expansion, acquiring the former Hopevale UFSD in Hamburg in 2011 to create the current Randolph Academy footprint. She has also instilled a strong academic program which generates Regents exam scores that consistently exceed the state’s averages for students with disabilities.

Perhaps most importantly, she has steadily emphasized the importance of Randolph Academy students maintaining a visible presence in the community, so that neighbors and key influencers never saw them as dangerous or “bad kids.” Volunteer partnerships with organizations like the SPCA, Oishei Children’s Hospital, community centers and nursing homes have allowed students to put their vocational skills to great use in a service-learning capacity — and improve people’s lives in the process.

“Lori’s impact was most recently summed up eloquently by a parent of a former student,” added Board President Mary Myers. “Upon learning of her pending retirement, she said, ‘You have been there for so long — and always put our kids first.’ That sums up Lori’s character and approach perfectly, and we wish her decades of health and enjoyment in her well-earned retirement.”

An alumna of Buffalo State College (B.S., ’84, M.S. ’90), DeCarlo is a past president of the Western New York Educational Service Council (2016-18) and the New York Council of Administrators of Special Education (2014-16). She has also been named a U.S. Department of State Fulbright Specialist.

Following her retirement DeCarlo will continue her RJ work, as she joins the staff of the University of San Diego’s Center for Restorative Justice. There she will lead intensive training and certificate programs in RJ and Leadership, leveraging the expertise she has developed within the regional and national education landscape. She’s also looking forward to spending time traveling with her husband, Joe, and spending time with family and friends.

“It’s been a privilege to have a career which allows me to carry out my passion — to support, empower and educate our students, allowing them to discover their personal greatness and succeed,” DeCarlo added. “While I look forward to this new phase with excitement, serving Randolph Academy has been my highest professional honor. Its mission, my colleagues and our precious students will remain in my heart, always.”

About Randolph Academy
The Randolph Academy Union Free School District supports, empowers and educates children in grades K-12 who have a variety of emotional and mental health disabilities stemming from various causes and conditions. The nearly 200-student district is comprised of a residential campus, whose origins trace back to the 1860s in Randolph, N.Y. and serves students from throughout the state, and a day school in Hamburg, N.Y., which serves students from dozens of districts across Western New York.

With a flexible structure and non-traditional classrooms, it focuses on the power of relationships to help students achieve academic progress, with the goal of graduating high school and preparing for life as productive adults. Its staff are experts in Normative Culture, a sociological method using positive peer pressure to influence behavior rather than a system of rules, and Restorative Justice, an alternative to suspensions and other punitive approaches. To learn more, visit www.randolphacademy.org.


Buffalo, NY – Special Olympics New York has opened registration for the 2021 Sun Bowl, a 6-on-6 flag football tournament for the public to be held at Highmark Stadium June 26-27. Individuals and teams who wish to play can register at buffalosnowbowl.org.
In a promotional video to kick off registration, Defensive Tackle Harrison Phillips asks viewers, “Do you have it what it takes to play flag football at Bills Stadium?” and challenges the community to sign up and start fundraising for Special Olympics New York.
“The Buffalo Sun Bowl is an exciting, unique opportunity for fans to run out of the tunnel and play on the same field as the AFC East Champions,” said Special Olympics New York President & CEO Stacey Hengsterman. “This is one of the public events we missed most when it had to be canceled last year. We couldn’t be happier to be able to bring it back this summer.”
Participants can choose from the following adult divisions: Amateur (just for fun), Co-Ed (must have two females on the field at all times), First Responder, or Pro (most competitive). There are also slots available in the middle school and high school divisions.
Each team is guaranteed to play at least three games at Highmark Stadium. Teams may be comprised of up to 12 players.
Adult teams are asked to raise $1,200 and student teams are asked to raise $1,000 in order to participate. All proceeds from the event benefit Special Olympics New York athletes.
“The Erie County District Attorney’s office takes pride in participating in the annual Snow Bowl, this year re-named ‘Sun Bowl,'” said Meredith Mohun, co-captain of District Attorney’s team, which competes in the tournament annually. “We take pride in the dual competition that this event offers. The first is the ability to channel all of our inner AFC East Champions on the field, but more importantly the privilege to raise money and sponsor as many Special Olympics New York athletes as we can for their respective seasons.”
“We are honored to be a part of the Buffalo Sun Bowl,” said Mike Hefferon, captain of Seneca County Sheriff’s team. “We look forward to the event and the positive impact our fundraising efforts can make on the lives of Special Olympics New York athletes.”

About Special Olympics New York
Special Olympics New York is the largest state chapter in the country, serving more than 68,000 athletes across New York with year-round sports training, athletic competition, and health screenings. The organization also partners with about 250 schools statewide to offer Unified Sports, where students with and without disabilities compete as teammates. All Special Olympics New York programs are offered at no cost to athletes, their families or caregivers. The organization has earned the Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.com, making it one of the most trusted charities in the business nationally. For additional information about Special Olympics New York, to learn more about getting involved, or to make a donation, visit www.specialolympicsNY.org.