One of the SAM Foundation’s partners over the past few years has been the Buffalo Blues group and its veterans’ initiatives. For this month’s JAM, we decided to ask Bob James, founder of the non-profit, to fill us in on this summer’s activities. Here’s what he had to say:
After a late 2020 strong start, strangled by COVID shutdowns, the VA-recognized Buffalo Blues First Thursdays at the Cave is back and building momentum. Since 2016, the Buffalo Blues music campaign (aka “Blues4Vets”) has helped raise $102,000 donations going to 18 diverse Western New York non-profits serving veterans and military families.
Empowered by the findings of the recent “5-Year Study on WNY Veterans & Military Families” (executive summary available on request from firstname.lastname@example.org), we’re encouraging veterans services to work together, a new theme.
The independent “5-Year Study” found that Western New York is rich with services, but they’re fractured and hard to navigate for returning veterans needing help.
Given that inspired mission of increasing collaboration, here is the series’ plan for 2021 shows:
Buffalo Blues First Thursdays at the Cave:
June 3 – Building Bridges Between Veterans Services, for The Odyssey Project & Higher Ground, NY (for more details, check out this recent Buffalo Rising Article. Event link: https://www.facebook.com/events/523322338824863
July 1 – SAVE THE SULLIVANS event for the Buffalo & Erie County Naval Park. Event link: https://www.facebook.com/events/429043308129269
Aug. 5 – Fundraiser for “VetsPlayGuitars” sessions at West Falls Center for the Arts. Event link: https://www.facebook.com/events/569891043988663
Sept. 2 – Buffalo Blues comes together for 211Vets @ www.211wny.org.
Sept. 19 – Partner event with Veterans One Stop Center of WNY (the Cave, Sportsmens Tavern & Sportsmens Park)
Oct. 7 – Buffalo Music Vault CD release (band t.b.a.)
Nov. 4 – Fundraiser for “VetsPlayGuitars”
Dec. 2 – Buffalo Music Vault – “Saving Grace” CD release party.