Over $4.1 million dollars has been put right back into the community of Western New York thanks to the Decorators’ Show House fundraisers. Dozens of non-profits have reaped the rewards of funds raised during this biennial event.
After the final amount of money that is determined a Show House has raised, that dollar figure is released to the public and organizations are invited to apply to receive the funds. Through a rigorous review process, a Junior League committee selects the final candidates to present to the whole of the Junior League. A vote then takes place to determine the proceeds recipient.
Westminster Economic Development Initiative, Inc. was selected by the Junior League of Buffalo membership to receive $215,000 raised from the 19th biennial Junior League of Buffalo/The Buffalo News Decorators’ Show House community fundraiser.
The significant expansion of WEDI’s West Side Bazaar will promote economic growth, job creation and retention and family income improvement. The Bazaar will increase from 3,200 square feet to 10,000 square feet and it will provide a tangible self-sustaining, food economies program that empowers low-income entrepreneurs to start and grow businesses. Ultimately these entrepreneurs will serve affordable, socially relevant cuisines to a surrounding community that is culturally rich, yet economically distressed.
“We are so grateful for the Junior League of Buffalo and The Buffalo News for their support of innovative projects that address significant challenges in our community and that they considered the West Side Bazaar Expansion worthy of their funds,” Benjamin Bissell, Executive Director at WEDI said. “Through these proceeds, WEDI will expand the impact of its West Side Bazaar to include more minority-, women-, and refugee-owned businesses, more tasty cuisines, deeper ties into our community food system, and a chance for residents to start and expand viable companies that create sustainable jobs and incomes. The Decorators’ Show House and the West Side Bazaar both demonstrate that we truly are a City of Good Neighbors.“
The Junior League of Buffalo received 46 applications from nonprofit organizations located throughout Western New York. Following an extensive interview process, two organizations emerged as finalists and were presented to the general membership on Tuesday, April 17 as they pitched their project’s impact and financial need.
“I am incredibly proud of the Junior League of Buffalo’s membership,” Rosanne Braxton, current board president said. “Since 1981, our members and our community partners have provided support and countless volunteer hours to help raise money for impactful projects like the West Side Bazaar Expansion
which will promote economic growth, innovation and equity in Buffalo through business creation and retention, and family income improvement.”
Neighborhood Legal Services was the other finalist for the Show House proceeds vote and presented a Medical Legal Mobile Unit to the Junior League membership.
In addition to the grants distributed from Show House proceeds, the Junior League of Buffalo also provides thousands of dollars in community assistance grants and scholarships annually.