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Scrabble®Fest Party at Sportsmen’s Tavern

February 4th, 2014

February 20th event will benefit literacy programs and feature The Willie Schoellkopf Band

Literacy New York Buffalo-Niagara will host a special fundraising event at Sportsmen’s Tavern as part of the agency’s annual Scrabble®Fest season. The party will take place at 6:30pm on Thursday, February 20th and will feature live music from The Willie Schoellkopf Band. There will be a $3 cover charge at the door, and guests are encouraged to make a $15 donation to participate in the Scrabble® tournament.

The two-month Scrabble®Fest campaign raises funds to support programs which aim to combat illiteracy in Western New York. Dozens of word lovers enjoy friendly competition during Scrabble®Fest public and private parties which are held throughout Erie and Niagara Counties.

“This is our third year hosting a Scrabble®Fest party at Sportsmen’s Tavern, and it is one of my favorite events,” said Director of Marketing and Development Jennifer Westerholt. “With the help of Buffalo-booster and music aficionado Seamus Gallivan, Literacy New York Buffalo-Niagara is able to offer attendees a fun night out, for a good cause, with the added bonus of fantastic, live local music.”

The Scrabble®Fest tournament season continues through March, with parties taking place in people’s homes and in local restaurants and businesses. A winner from each event will be invited to compete in the Scrabble®Fest Finals at the Buffalo Central Library on Sunday March 9, when the Western New York Scrabble Champion will be crowned.

“We ask the community for its support of Scrabble®Fest, as proceeds directly support our adult and children’s literacy programs,” said Interim Operating Officer Susan Shaft. “One in five Western New York residents is functionally illiterate, and reversing that alarming trend is our critical goal.”

If you are interested in hosting a Scrabble®Fest party at your home or would like more information on scheduled Scrabble®Fest events, please call Director of Marketing and Development Jennifer Westerholt at Literacy New York Buffalo-Niagara at 876-8991.


Cocktails in Character: A Huge Success

November 20th, 2013

We would like to thank again everyone who supported Cocktails in Character 2013, presented by Atwal Eye Care, by attending, donating or sponsoring. The event was a HUGE success and the proceeds will go a long way towards supporting 300+ adult learners and school children.

Part of our event’s success is in part to the substantial exposure we received, including an article from the Buffalo Law Journal titled, A novel approach to fighting illiteracy in WNY.

Cocktails in Character was also covered by Forged in Buffalo, Enjoy Buffalo and who took excellent pictures at the event.

Here is a collection of articles covering our EPIC event. Thanks again and please join us next year for Cocktails in Character 2014.


Cocktails In Character: Ways You Can Help

September 9th, 2013



Gearing up for Cocktails In Character 2013

September 9th, 2013

Planning for our annual fundraiser, Cocktails In Character, is well under way, and all of us here at Literacy New York Buffalo-Niagara are excited about what is in store. The event, our fourth annual, is set for Wednesday October 30, 2013 and will be held at the Hotel Lafayette, a change of venue from previous years.

“We feel that the yearly celebration is evolving, so we are thrilled to have a number of new components to the event, including hosting it at the Hotel Lafayette, which is now a premiere destination for people in Western New York” said Director of Marketing and Development Jennifer Westerholt.

Cocktails In Character is the agency’s largest fundraiser, but it is also an opportunity for staff, the organization’s Board of Directors, and community members to acknowledge the dedication of our volunteer tutors.

“This organization would not exist without the extraordinary commitment of our volunteer tutors,” said Executive Director Christopher Gibas. “Cocktails In Character has always been an ideal time to thank and honor our tutors for their time and efforts to combat illiteracy in Erie and Niagara Counties.”

Literacy New York Buffalo-Niagara is pleased to announce that New York State Senator Timothy Kennedy will serve as Honorary Chairman of this year’s event. Senator Kennedy helped secure Adult Literacy Education funding from the New York State Department of Education this past spring.

Other highlights of the event include a one-hour VIP reception, from 5:30pm to 6:30pm in the Crystal Room, with passed hors d’oeuvres and premium open bar. Local author Timothy Bohen will sign complimentary copies of his historical Buffalo book Against the Grain for all VIP guests.

The Main Event, which will take place from 6pm-8:30pm in the Marquis Ballroom, will feature live entertainment from Jack Civiletto and the Pyramid Band, hors d’oeuvres, carving stations, and cash bar. Complimentary desserts will be provided by KupKate’s.

Patrons will be dazzled by a basket raffle and a spectacular silent auction, which will include a weekend stay in Las Vegas, original artwork, and an autographed Ryan Miller hockey stick, among other items.

The event will once again offer guests the opportunity to dress as their favorite literacy character and enter a costume contest, which will be judged by Buffalo City Court Judge Susan Eagan, Buffalo Common Council Member Christopher Scanlon, and Niagara Falls Council Member Kristen Grandinetti.

Tickets are on sale and may be purchased online by visiting the event website at VIP tickets are $100, Main Event tickets are $40 until October 11, and $50 from October 12th through October 30th.

Please call our office at 876-8991 for additional information.