Legislator Rath secures funding for number of community organizations in 2019 budget

Erie County Legislator Ed Rath is proud to announce he has secured funding for a number of community groups and organizations as part of the 2019 budget.

Funding was secured for the following groups:

  • Jewish Repertory Theatre - $12,503
  • Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village - $10,000
  • Newstead Historical Society - $5,000
  • Clarence History Museum - $5,000
  • Clarence Concert Association - $3,000
  • Akron Community Band - $3,000
  • Hearts and Hands - $60,000

Legislator Ed Rath said, “I’m proud to play a role in ensuring these outstanding organizations are offered funding from Erie County. I’ve worked with many of these groups and seen first-hand the ways in which they enhance our community. I look forward to offering my continued support!”

Kathleen Oczek, Executive Director of Hearts and Hands said, “Hearts and Hands is grateful to Erie County Legislator Edward Rath and the entire Legislative body for supporting the needs of our elderly and disabled neighbors in Erie County.  Nearly 200 volunteers provide transportation and other essential household assistance to nearly 500 frail and vulnerable seniors.  In some cases, our volunteers are the only people these folks see all week.  Whether it's helping an 87-year-old woman on oxygen make it to the doctor or to the grocery store, or a 93-year-old man with light housekeeping, it's a "neighbor helping neighbor" agency that is the lifeline for many.  It's wonderful to know this important work is valued by our Legislators, and particularly by Ed Rath, as he has been our strongest champion.  Every dollar granted to our organization serves to reduce the social isolation that often accompanies aging.  Volunteers lend a steadying arm, provide friendship, emotional support, and transportation in their personal vehicle. There is no charge for any service and it is only through selfless volunteers, fundraising and community support that the agency is able to continue operating.  This grant serves to address the tremendous need for these services, as evidenced by a 200+ waiting list.  We applaud our government officials for recognizing the plight of our older neighbors who are standing behind their words of support with the financial assistance necessary for the program to continue.  We were originally excluded from the 2019 budget, our $60,000 award is cause for celebration and heartfelt thanks.”

Glenn Richardson, Interim President of the Akron Community Band said, “Students and adults from many parts of Erie County have found a place to develop and share their musical talents in the “Akron Community Band,” and many towns in Erie County are also represented in those coming to enjoy a quality summer concert with no entrance or parking fees.  These funds help us meet the increasing pressures of transportation, music, insurance and other costs related to presenting these concerts.  We appreciate the work Legislator Edward Rath has done to obtain these funds, as well as the Erie County Legislature for recognizing the value of supporting this band which will begin its 97th season in 2019.  This funding is critical to our continued service to the community."

Richard Zakalik, Executive Director of the JCC said, “The generous support received from Erie County will enable the Jewish Community Center of Greater Buffalo to continue providing high quality arts programs that entertain, engage and educate members of many WNY communities. We are proud of the high quality programs we offer year round, including the Jewish Repertory Theatre, Buffalo International Jewish Film Festival, Book and Arts Fair, community art galleries and family music programs, many free of charge and all in a welcoming community center setting. Many thanks to Legislator Edward Rath III and the Erie County Legislature for recognizing the value these varied cultural programs provide in bringing communities together and enhancing quality of life. We look forward to continuing our mission of cultivating local talent, building and growing new audiences and enhancing quality of life for people of all ages and cultures.”

Legislator Rath


Phone: (716) 858-8676
Fax: (716) 858-8818

Legislator Edward A. Rath III - District 6
Old Erie County Hall
92 Franklin Street, 4th Floor
Buffalo, NY 14202