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Delaware North donates $1 million for new Canalside children's museum

Chris Caya/WBFO News

Buffalo-based Delaware North is giving Explore & More a big lift towards opening a new children's museum at Canalside. The company has made a $1 million commitment to the project's capital campaign. Explore & More's David McNamara says the donation is a significant next step in the momentum toward getting the museum built.

"Virtually every major or mid-major city in the United States has a children's museum. It is the cultural gap in our offerings at this point in time. What it means for the City of Buffalo is educational opportunity for children throughout the region," McNamara said in making the announcement Thursday morning.

McNamara says the Museum's play-to-learn methodology is important for early childhood learning. He says it will be a good neighbor and make a big impact at Canalside.

"This elevates the community in so many different ways from education to tourism to other economic activity around Canalside. It's just incredibly important for the region," he said.

Delaware North co-CEO Lou Jacobs says he has seen compelling evidence about the impact children's museums can have.

"We're familiar with the museum in its current location in East Aurora. The concept of the museum moving downtown for the accessibility for more segments of the community was very compelling to us because statistics show it really can be a game-changer," Jacobs said.

Construction, McNamara says, could start in about a year.