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Taste of Buffalo presented by TOPS donates $5,000 to Local Office of National Center for Missing & Exploited Children

Mon, Oct 23rd 2017 10:45 am

Oct. 23, 2017, BUFFALO, N.Y. – The Taste of Buffalo presented by TOPS announced today that the organization donated $5,000 to the New York regional office of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC/NY). A check was presented at NCMEC/NY’s annual DISH IT OUT fundraising event on October 20 at Salvatore’s Italian Gardens. This donation was made possible thanks to purchases made by Taste festival-goers at the event last July, and it will help to fund critical services for families in Western New York.

Each year, the Taste allocates funds for the outgoing chair to support the local community through a donation to the charity of their choice and 2017 Taste of Buffalo Chair Ralph Basile selected NCMEC/NY. In addition to the chair’s donation, NCMEC/NY also partnered with the Taste to staff a beverage booth with volunteers at the 2017 event, an opportunity that the Taste offers to select charities and non-profit groups in exchange for a small stipend.

“The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children works to keep children safe and provides important assistance to victims and their families right here in our community. Their mission is close to my heart and I’m honored to support them through the Taste of Buffalo – another community-focused organization that means the world to me,” said Basile. “Being able to present this donation at DISH IT OUT, NCMEC/NY’s signature gourmet celebrity chef competition, is a perfect fit for the Taste and our passion for Buffalo’s amazing local food scene.”

With a satellite office in Buffalo, NCMEC/NY provides technical assistance to families, law enforcement, attorneys, and other professionals concerning missing and exploited children cases.

"Taste of Buffalo has been part of our community for over 30 years, and its family-friendly and socially responsible mission especially resonates with us," said Kathy Gust, program director for the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children's Buffalo office. "Our branch, which is 100 percent reliant on grants and private donations, will put Taste of Buffalo's generous gift toward underwriting the local education and outreach efforts that help us to find missing children, reduce child sexual exploitation, and prevent child victimization."

The Taste of Buffalo presented by Tops is the nation's largest two-day food festival, attracting more than 450,000 visitors each year. The 35th annual Taste will take place on July 7 and 8, 2018 along Delaware Avenue in downtown Buffalo. The Taste is a not-for-profit organization with more than 1,000 volunteers helping to put on the annual event. Approximately $390,000 has been raised at the festival for local charities in addition to five $1,000 scholarships awarded annually to local high school seniors pursuing a culinary or hospitality-related degree. For more information, visit tasteofbuffalo.com, and find us on Facebook Twitter and Instagram.

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