Herd of Hope is a new take on the Herd About Buffalo public art project in 2000 that raised $1 million for Roswell Park. But rather than each Buffalo being individually decorated and auctioned off, Herd of Hope is giving the corporate community the opportunity to sponsor their own Herd of Hope blue buffalo statue to display at their places of business.
On a riser surrounded by dozens of bright blue buffaloes – many draped with an overlay featuring their sponsor’s logo – Roswell Park President & CEO Candace Johnson, PhD, announced that “the herd is back!”
Inspired by the vision of Roswell Park volunteer and fundraiser Bill Loecher, the Herd of Hope campaign aims to raise funds to advance research taking place at the institute.
“There is no shortage of brilliant ideas at Roswell Park that might someday lead to a cure of this horrible disease —ideas that are continually being developed in laboratories right here in Buffalo. It’s only the lack of funding that has kept many of these ideas still sitting on a researcher’s bench back in the lab,” said Loecher. “The thought that by raising the awareness of this need and the importance of raising funds so that these ideas can see the light of day and possibly lead to a cure was my inspiration for this campaign.”
Each metal buffalo is approximately 4-feet long by 3-feet tall and painted in the distinctive blue color from Roswell Park’s logo. There is only one sponsorship level of $5,000 per buffalo, and 33 businesses have already made their sponsorship commitment.
Many of the campaign’s early supporters attended this morning’s announcement, including Jim Stitt, Executive Chairman of CUTCO Corporation in Olean, New York, who credits Roswell Park with saving his life from cancer.
“When I received my diagnosis, I didn’t think twice about where I would go for treatment. And I often wonder what options I would have had and where I would be had I not been able to come to Roswell Park,” said Stitt. “I’d like to encourage other area business leaders to join us as part of the Herd of Hope. It is only through research that we can find a cure, and that can only be made possible with our support.”
The dollars raised through the campaign will be used to fund projects that bring together clinicians and researchers to focus on all three aspects of cancer research — prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer. As with all donor-funded grants, Roswell Park says these dollars will not be handed out freely.