Saturday, February 09, 2008

BonaResponds Buffalo (BIG Update)

From Laura Jean:

Hello BonaResponders! : )
Today I hosted my first meeting about the new BonaResponds Buffalo project. Very exciting. Shout out to Jim Mahar for inspiring me to be part of such an amazing organization. To briefly introduce myself, my name is Laura Jean Castelluzzo, yes I go by "Laura Jean", generally. ; ) Here's my web site: , that pretty much says it all. Okay, that was easy. Web sites are handy that way.
The meeting today took place at the Buffalo Wellness & Art Center, 640 Breckenridge St. in the heart of the Elmwood Village of Buffalo. It was a small but productive meeting. And then there were three... Dave Whalen, the President of the SBU Buffalo Alumni Chapter, Mindy Pilato, one of the VP's " ", and myself. I didn't realize it before setting the date for the meeting, but it turned out that the main purpose was for me (the leader of the BR Bflo project) to establish a relationship with the SBU Bflo alumni... as well as updating Dave and Mindy on what is set so far for March 29th... which is the following:
BonaResponds Buffalo Volunteer Day March 29th, 2008
9:30am Doors open for meeting at The Valley Center
People coming up from Olean will probably be showing up around 10am.
Work will begin at 10am. We will start wrapping up the work day around 3pm. After cleaning up, we'll head back to The Valley Center to have a celebration from 4-6pm with free food, music, and time to share about your experiences from the day. This event is alcohol and drug free (as I'm sure all BR events are). If you can not participate in the whole day, be there for as long as you can. We appreciate your presense for as much as you can give.
For the work day we will break up into groups, size depending on the site the group is going to, as some sites can use more people than others. We will be working with the following organizations:
- The Valley Center / The Valley Community Association, 93 Leddy St. Bflo NY 14210
- The Bob Lanier Center, 185 Lang Ave, Bflo NY 14210
- The Belle Center, 104 Maryland St. Bflo NY 14201
- PUSH Buffalo
- Buffalo Re-Use
Still waiting to hear back from Urban Roots , and Buffalo Blue Bicycle .

Also still open to more projects, but focusing more on getting volunteers at this point! Help us spread the word! : )
I don't have all the work details yet, but here's what I know... To quote Jim from yesterday, "One big project that we will be doing is a housing inventory/assessment for several areas in South Buffalo. This is being spearheaded by three council people, the Valley Center, and First Niagara who will be helping to sponsor the day." At the Bob Lanier Center, (where after school programs are held on the east side), Elaine Blyden (Executive Director) will have us doing renovations in the auditorium. That way the center will have another means of bringing in funds, by renting out the space. PUSH will have us painting a house, not sure where yet. Jack Norton (Program Development Executive Director) is coming up with some projects for us on the west side, possibly working w/ elderly or children?
Okay, that's more or less all I know about March 29th as of right now.
To continue about the meeting we had today... Dave Whalen and Mindy Pilato, are going to be responsible for getting info out to their lists of alumni in Buffalo. Dave says that he is going to make a flier, with all the info we have so far, and mail it to some key folks.. as well as sending out emails and making some phone calls. I, Laura Jean, will be responsible for getting the info to Dave and Mindy. All present agreed that it is a good idea to continue open communication with SBU buffalo alumni reps in order to keep alumni involved with BonaResponds... as well as doing our best to confirm dates for future events with alumni (specifically Dave Whalen) before posting events. - Speaking of which, heads up, we are in the process of planning our second BR Bflo event in May, on the Tuscarora Nation (Wheatfield, NY) at a community called Ehk-wheh-heh-weh. We will be finishing building a bathroom. Date tbd. -
Other than that... Lissa Piper, AC VISTA Director WNY Americorps, and Tiffany Turner, Hands on Greater Buffalo AC VISTA Coordinator WNY Americorps, are both on board. : ) Tiffany is the person who spearheaded the MLK Day of Service at The Bob Lanier Center.
Mike Tribuzzi, who has been previously involved with BR, and recently returned to Buffalo, is also on board. I had a phone meeting with him this evening, and we set a date for the next meeting (I know it's soon, but I'll be going out of town w/ BR to MS on Feb. 22 soooo). We will be meeting this Monday, Feb. 11, at noon. The purpose of this meeting is to discuss ways of recruiting volunteers, as well as other possible projects. At 1pm we will be going out to promote BR Buffalo... We intend to go to some high schools, and wherever else the wind takes us. Meeting place is to be determined. If interested in attending email by Sunday evening or call 716 465-7408 Monday morning. That's my contact info. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions or comments about this or future events. The meeting on Monday afternoon is also for those of you who would like to come who were not able to this afternoon. Also, our intention is to spread the word by mouth and flier before the BR trip to the gulf, and after the trip to the gulf, more fliers, word of mouth, and press releases to the papers. Oh yeah, which leads me to the next order of business : Jim, who ever you were referring to that usually makes fliers, could you please see if she could email me a flier by 11:30am Monday? I'll em you seperately about that. If not we'll figure something else out.
Last but not least, my personal intention with this project is to have an event about every 6 weeks, give or take. So, if you have any ideas for future projects, give em to me! : )
Thanks for the opportunity to make a difference!
Laura Jean Castelluzzo, LMT
founder of Buffalo Wellness & Art Center
leader of 'BonaResponds Buffalo'
716 465-7408

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