The Buffalo Sabres Alumni Association today announced a partnership with First Niagara, the Erie County Medical Center and WNY Breast Health to roll out the Breast Cancer Prevention and Education Bus. The organizations combined to purchase the $750,000 bus that will serve the Western New York Region in providing better resources to detect breast cancer among women. The bus represents the first time a professional sports team has been involved in a project of this nature.
“This is a first-of-its-kind project that will undoubtedly have a huge impact on our community,” said Larry Playfair, of the Buffalo Sabres Alumni Association. “We’ve placed a big focus on breast cancer awareness and prevention in the past with our Alumni Wine Nights and we’re thrilled that the proceeds from that event this year will go to such a great cause.”
The bus, which will have two mammography units on it, will be staffed with breast health professionals, and will have ample space for private changing areas and confidential discussions. The bus will travel to locations throughout the eight counties of WNY in urban and rural communities where mammography services are limited or non-existent.
“This is a great day for the women in our community who otherwise may have never had access to this lifesaving care”, said Jody Lomeo, the CEO of ECMC, “We are proud to take a leadership role with these great community organizations to fight breast cancer and save lives.”
A recent study by the Susan G. Komen Foundation found that more needs to be done when it comes to outreach with African American women in the City of Buffalo and identified transportation as a major issue for women needing screening in rural communities.
“We are so proud to be part of this unique and powerful project,” said John Koelmel, President and CEO of First Niagara. “We believe that life-saving screening is a must for everyone in the community, and this project will ensure that thousands of people living in urban and rural areas will be provided with exceptional heath care.”
It is the hope of all the partnering organizations that screening significantly increases in WNY, which will lead to early detection and treatment and save countless lives.
“We are very proud to be a part of this innovative approach to breast cancer prevention in WNY,” said Cliff Benson, the Sabres’ Chief Development Officer. “It says a lot about a community when so many different organizations –whether it’s a sports team, a bank or a hospital – can come together and launch something that will make a real difference for so many in the community.”
The Buffalo Sabres Alumni Association will host its annual Fall Wine Festival on Thursday, November 10 at First Niagara Center. Tickets are $75 each and are available at www.sabres.com and the First Niagara Center box office. All proceeds will benefit the Breast Cancer Prevention and Education Bus