Over $4.4 million dollars has been put right back into the community of Western New York thanks to the Decorators’ Show House fundraisers. Dozens of non-profits have reaped the rewards of funds raised during this biennial event.
After the final amount of money that is determined a Show House has raised, that dollar figure is released to the public, and organizations are invited to apply to receive the funds. Through a rigorous review process, a Junior League committee selects the final candidates to present to the entire Junior League of Buffalo membership. A vote then takes place to determine the proceeds recipient.
A Playground for All at Chestnut Ridge Park will be the only public inclusive and ADA accessible playground in WNY, allowing both children and adults with physical and mental challenges to enjoy a play space together. This playground will be a state-of-the-art example and catalyst for change for how future play spaces will be built in the WNY Community. This project will be constructed by volunteers guided by an on-site certified playground installer in the Spring of 2021.
The inclusive play space will address the deficits of the park’s current playgrounds (obsolete, unsafe and inaccessible) and create a unique outdoor play area where all children can engage together, no matter their differences.
“We are profoundly grateful for the Junior League of Buffalo’s commitment to the WNY Community by selecting A Playground for All as the recipient of the Junior League of Buffalo/The Buffalo News Decorators’ Show House funds. Building this playground brings inclusion and diversity into parks which belong to all of us. We are so deeply excited to be able to build A Playground for All at Chestnut Ridge Park in 2021.” Mary Simpson, Project Consultant for Chestnut Ridge Conservancy.
The Junior League of Buffalo received 21 applications from nonprofit organizations located throughout Western New York. Following an extensive interview process, two organizations emerged as finalists and were presented to the general membership on Tuesday, October 20, 2020 as they pitched their project’s impact and financial need.
“We are grateful to have the opportunity to further extend and enrich our community through the award of Show House proceeds funding,” said Cindi McEachon, President of Junior League of Buffalo. McEachon added that she was particularly excited by the opportunity for Junior League to provide assistance to the Chestnut Ridge Conservancy, stating, “We know how important it is for members of our community to have accessibility of our parks, and we hope that the successful implementation of our county’s first fully accessible and inclusive playground, will serve as a template for success that can be duplicated county-wide.”
Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens was the other finalist for the Show House proceeds vote and presented educational classrooms to the Junior League membership.
Since 1981, the Decorators’ Show House has raised more than $4.4 million for Western New York nonprofit organizations. In addition to the grants distributed from Show House proceeds, the Junior League of Buffalo also provides thousands of dollars in community assistance grants and scholarships annually.