Making A Difference

WNED | WBFO Buffalo-Toronto is proud to announce the premiere of our second “Making a Difference” television special and accompanying radio stories. This originally produced content is part of an initiative to recognize everyday citizens of Western New York who are committed to making a positive impact in their communities. “Making a Difference” was created to capture the stories of true champions who dedicate their time to worthy causes, emphasize the importance of volunteerism and encourage others to step in and lend a helping hand.

In early 2015, we asked the community to nominate individuals, and the response was overwhelming, as nearly 200 nominations were received for this recognition.

“Making a Difference” highlights nine very deserving individuals. Radio spotlights will also air throughout February on WBFO-FM 88.7. View the whole program here.

 

On a mission trip to Europe in the mid 1990’s, Amy had a life-changing experience - what she describes as a call from God to serve those in need. Always a person who works to give back, this trip was a pivotal and defining moment for her future purpose here in Western New York. Amy sold all her worldly possessions, and with her friend Norm Paolini, bought a church in one of the most crime rid and poor sections of Buffalo on the east side. Read more…

While using their skills and talents to address a need, neither Christine nor Robin would’ve taken this risk on their own. Instead, they combined their efforts and created Danceability, Inc. – a dance studio designed specifically to teach children and adults with special needs throughout Western New York. Together they wanted to create a place where dance and fitness would be open to all. Read more…

More than a decade ago, Joe DeMarco’s hobby as a pilot gave him the opportunity to help someone in need. All he knew at the time was that a family needed transportation. At the airport, he was greeted by a woman and her 2-year old son, Hans, who was battling cancer. Flying Hans for necessary medical treatment opened his eyes to the need so many families have. Suddenly, this self-proclaimed materialistic pilot, began to see the true value in helping others. Read more…

A few years back, Kwentin Foster began to see the world beyond himself, a lot like other children his age. He looked for ways to make a difference in his community, especially for other children. After quite a bit of thought, Kwentin decided he wanted to do something to help sick children feel better. Read more…

Jennifer is a small town girl with big ideas for her rural community of Gowanda, NY. It’s where she was born, has chosen to raise her children, and remains committed to giving back by serving as a leader in her community supporting the needs of children. “There are kids in our community, and I’m sure in every community, that may not have the guidance at home. If I can provide that, or my team can provide that - our positivity and our motivation can help guide those kids to, to want to be better for themselves and to be better for their community? That, for me, is the purpose.” Read more…

Andrew uses his professional skills as a landscape architect to give back to the community in his free time. It’s a love and appreciation for nature that inspires him to teach others, especially young people about how trees, shrubs, and plants are an important part of our environment. He spoke with us about passing that message on to the next generation. Read more…

Diann has two loves – the health and welfare of children, and her passion to serve the Lord. She lives by the notion that if she works to see a need, she’ll also find a way to fill it. Just a few years ago, the Center for Disease Control published a study that looked at rates of initiation and duration of breastfeeding mothers across races in America. The results showed an alarmingly low percentage of African American women were breastfeeding their children – almost half when compared to the numbers of Caucasian women. Read more…

For Hillary, it’s all about paying attention, and thinking outside the box to see how you might make a difference in the world. Watching her mother battle more than one kind of cancer, Hillary Ruchlin, also a former patient advocate in the health care system, saw a need amongst newly diagnosed cancer patients that wasn’t being fulfilled in Western New York. Yes, there are support groups for many different kinds of cancer, but her idea took support one step further. Read more…

Learn more about last year’s honorees and watch the full program.

 

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