Daemen College Associates 2012 Community Service Awards will Happen September 30
Daemen College Community Service Awards Honor Variety, The Children’s Charity of Buffalo & Western New York, Cheryl Bird, and the Reverend Brian Rotach
September 24, 2012
All Information: Martha McMahon
Daemen College Associates 2010
Community Service Awards
The Daemen College Associates 2012 Community Service Awards will honor Variety – The Children’s Charity of Buffalo & Western New York; Cheryl Bird, executive director of the Daemen College Center for Sustainable Communities and Civic Engagement; and the Reverend Brian Rotach, Sunday, September 30, 2012. Ceremonies will begin 11:00 a.m. at the Brookfield Country Club, 5120 Shimerville Road, Clarence, NY 14031, and include Fellowship and Brunch.
The Reverend Brian Rotach
The Reverend Brian Rotach grew up in Rochester, New York, where he attended city schools and church. A student of Jesus’ teachings, he was a activist against the Viet Nam War and for the oppressed and disenfranchised. After completing a Bachelor’s at Fredonia State and a year teaching in a high school, he entered seminary at American University, but completed his Master’s at Howard University. He served United Methodist Churches in the D.C. area for four years, East Aurora for five years, and Buffalo for 26 years.
For the past 18 of these, his assignment has been the Seneca Street Church, in the impoverished Seneca-Babcock neighborhood. In 1998, he recruited Daemen College Professor Karen Little to help staff a struggling after-school program and provide real world experience for her Social Work students. From this developed the Daemen College Seneca Babcock Partnership and then the Daemen College Center for Sustainable Communities and Civic Engagement.
Still passionate about several social issues, Brian strongly promotes LGBT rights and sings in the Buffalo Gay Men’s Chorus.
Brian’s greatest accomplishments include marrying Cheryl Bird, who directs the Center and him, and helping to raise Rachel Rotach, now a social worker at the Alzheimer’s Association. His mother, Joyce, who is also here, thinks of him as a work in progress.
Cheryl Bird is the Executive Director of the Center for Sustainable Communities and Civic Engagement at Daemen College. She has been in this position since 2004, after joining the Center in 2002 as Seneca Babcock Community Coordinator, and then serving as Director of Community Relations. The Center partners with three Buffalo neighborhoods, Seneca Babcock, the Fruit Belt and the West Side, to address educational, economic and environmental needs. The Center is also involved in many community-wide initiatives, including an annual “Environmental Summit,” and the recent launch of the “Income TAXi.”
Cheryl has over 20 years of experience in the business world, including management, consulting and legal positions, in Atlanta, Washington, D.C., and Buffalo.
She was recognized by the South Buffalo Chamber of Commerce with a Community Service Award for her work in the Seneca Babcock neighborhood, and also received the School/Community Partnership Award from United Neighborhoods CAO. Cheryl holds a Master of Science Degree in Executive Leadership and Change from Daemen College, and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science from State University of New York at Oswego.
Variety - The Children's Charity of Buffalo & Western New York, Tent 7 is a 76 year old tradition of caring for children on the Niagara Frontier. Tent 7, the Buffalo Chapter, chartered on May 12, 1934, generated funds in the early years to provide iron lungs for polio victims, wheelchairs, braces and other equipment for handicapped children. An electroencephalograph (at that time the only one located between New York City and Chicago) was purchased and incubators were provided for premature infants.
In 1962, Variety was approached by Dr. Robert Warner, who had a dream . . . . to create a rehabilitation center for children with birth defects and those afflicted due to trauma or disease. Variety agreed to support this endeavor and realized they needed expanded fund-raising efforts; the result was the 1st Annual Variety Club Telethon. The event raised over $80,000.00, and the Children's Rehabilitation Center, a department of Women & Children's Hospital of Buffalo, became a reality.
Through the 60's and 70's, the Rehab Center and other departments of Women & Children's Hospital were the main beneficiaries of Variety Club Telethon Funds. By 1980, not only did Variety expand its commitment to Children's, it also began to serve many other children's charities; The Skating Association for the Blind & Handicapped; Association for the Research of Childhood Cancer; St. Mary's School for the Deaf; Boys & Girls Clubs of Buffalo & Lancaster/Depew; Camp Good Days & Special Times; Variety Camping Fund; and many others.
Variety Kids Telethon 2010, raised over $1.2 million. The needs continue to grow; therefore the fund-raising efforts and corporate underwriting must grow to meet those needs and join with Variety in commitment and dedication to the children who are served. . . EVERYBODY'S CHILDREN.