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Ralph Wilson Foundation makes new grants to WNY

Mike Desmond / WBFO News
Some kids and their parents review models of the future Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Centennial Park at a recent public meeting. new playground.

The Buffalo Urban Development Corporation has learned it is the recipient of a $5.97 million grant from the Ralph C. Wilson Junior Foundation for a new "signature" pedestrian bridge across the Niagara Thruway between the new Centennial Park and area neighborhoods.

The bridge is part of a larger redesign and reconstruction of LaSalle Park, being made possible through a $50 million grant previously announced by the foundation.

The bridge will create "a safe, attractive and more inviting entry to the newly transformed park," according to the BUDC. Centennial Park construction is scheduled to begin in 2022 and take two years to complete.

The Foundation has also donated another $1.5 million to the fight against the coronavirus. That brings its total commitment over the past four weeks to more than $6 million.

Thursday's allocation will be shared by frontline caregivers in acute care hospitals in southeast Michigan and Western New York. Locally, those hospitals include:

  • Brooks-TLC Hospital System
  • Catholic Health
  • Eastern Niagara Hospital
  • Great Lakes Health System of WNY (Erie County Medical Center/Kaleida Health)
  • Niagara Falls MemorialMedical Center
  • Rochester Regional Health
  • UPMC Chautauqua
  • University of Rochester Medical Center
  • VA Western New York Healthcare System
  • Wyoming County Community Health System

Previous donations included $1 million split among the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo and the United Way of Rochester and Chautauqua County, plus another $1 million for similar organizations in the Detroit area.

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