2021 National Philanthropy Day Recipients

The 2021 Distinguished Honoree Program Recipients:

Iroquois Bar Corp.

Iroquois Bar Corp., founded in 1999 by owner Tom Saia, is a Native American owned and operated full-service construction company, providing redi-mix concrete supply, reinforcing steel installation and fabrication, general construction services, and trucking services. The company is certified as a Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) in New York State by various agencies and serves as a subcontractor and as a prime contractor on projects ranging from $100 to $350,000,000. Tom and his wife, Sue, have been enthusiastic and generous supporters of Buffalo State College and the Burchfield Penney Art Center for over a decade.
Nominating Organization: Buffalo State College

Kulback's, Inc.

It is FeedMore WNY’s privilege to recognize Kulback’s as our 2021 National Philanthropy Day Distinguished Honoree. The Kulback’s team is an incredible ambassador for our organization, rallying partners to join them in their support of Food2Families, our largest annual food drive of the holiday season. For the past 14 years, their philanthropic support, as well as support from their generous vendors and subcontractors, has been vital to the success of this event and has provided nearly 800,000 meals to the most vulnerable in Western New York.
Thank you for leading the charge in the fight against hunger, Kulback’s!
Nominating Organization: FeedMore WNY

Motion Project Foundation

In 2004, Natalie Barnhard was a 24-year-old physical therapy assistant at the beginning of the career she had always wanted when an accident at work instantly changed her life. One moment she was helping a patient, the next a piece of exercise equipment fell on her, crushing her neck.
Natalie began her rehabilitation at Erie County Medical Center and then moved to Atlanta for continued treatment at the Shepherd Center, a leading spinal cord injury recovery and rehabilitation facility.
Seven years later, Natalie moved back home to Western New York. By then she had beat the odds and could do much for herself.
She had also settled on a mission—to use her unique perspective to truly change the lives of anyone in Western New York and others with spinal cord injuries. She is the founder and president of the Motion Project Foundation.
A partnership was formed between the Motion Project Foundation and the University at Buffalo. Natalie made a personal investment pledge of $750,000.00 to create The Natalie Barnhard Center for Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation and Recovery.
Nominating Organization: University at Buffalo

Phil Silvestri

As the President of one of the most celebrated Architectural firms in WNY, Phil Silvestri knows how to leave his mark. However, his influence on WNY goes well beyond the physical landscape of our region, as he works tirelessly from behind the scenes to bolster our nonprofit community and touch the lives of Western New Yorkers through his immense generosity.
Peaceprints of WNY is just one of the many local organizations who have thrived under Mr. Silvestri’s stalwart support. He gives selflessly of his time, his resources, and his expertise to help realize a just Western New York in which all have equitable opportunity to thrive.
Nominating Organization: Peaceprints of WNY


United Healthcare

Thanks to a generous two-year grant from UnitedHealthcare's Empowering Health commitment to expand access to care and address social determinants of health for underserved communities and uninsured individuals, we have been able to launch the Food FARMacy. The Food FARMacy is a collaboration between Catholic Health, D’Youville College and FeedMore WNY site enabling primary care providers to link their high-risk patients to nutritional food, ongoing diet education, exercise, symptom management and the support needed to change behaviors and improve health outcomes. Dieticians will work with clients one-on-one and in group classes to help educate them on proper nutrition and to assess their ongoing health relative to desired outcomes. Proper nutrition is a cornerstone to the overall care for our patients as well as preventative care for those with food insecurities in our community.
The addition of the FARMacy at the D’Youville College Health Professions Hub provides a much needed resource that will better enable us to offer a holistic approach to care for patients and also their families. All of this is possible because of UnitedHealthcare's tremendous generosity.
Nominating Organization: The Foundations at Catholic Health

Zachary Schneider & FIFTEEN Marketing Firm

Sisters Hospital Foundation is proud to honor Zachary Schneider and his marketing team at FIFTEEN. In addition to previously serving as the Chair of our Foundation Board, Zachary has also extended his generosity throughout the years by providing in-kind marketing services towards the Foundation’s special events. This year Zachary went above and beyond by providing a full design and production team for the creation of the Foundation’s new signature event, Brunch in Bloom. This event was created as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the need to raise significant funds to support the programs and initiatives at Sisters Hospital – both main street and St. Joe’s Campus – while maintaining a safe and distanced environment for our guests. Zachary donated his team’s time and creativity in creating all design aspects and, most notably, a fully produced video honoring our event awardees. Thank you to Zachary Schneider and FIFTEEN marketing for all that you do for Sisters Hospital Foundation!
Nominating Organization: Sisters Hospital Foundation

The 2021 Outstanding Contributors: 

The Baird Foundation

Baird Foundation has been a long time supporter of Hauptman- Woodward Medical Research Instiitue. Last year in the height of the pandemic the Baird Foundation supported our Cryo-EM Microscope Camera campaign at a time when our research at HWI mattered the most.

The Baird Foundation has been a consistent supporter of Graycliff Conservancy since its inception in the late 1990s. We would not be the organization we are today without the generosity of the Baird Foundation.
Nominating Organizations: Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute & Graycliff Conservancy

Shirley Johnson

Kevin Guest House is tremendously grateful to the leadership from Shirley Johnson of Roswell Park, who during the pandemic collaborated with the infection control department to help develop our new operation plans to keep our patients & caregivers safe, connected us with outside support for 24-hour disinfecting, enlisted information technology volunteers to solicit donations to upgrade our aging technology & train staff on new systems, encouraged facility team members to develop new safety & emergency measures along with serving on our Board of Directors and as lead of our House Operations committee, recruiting a new board member & partner from Kaleida Health to join us as well. Shirley’s guidance through these changes has been invaluable to our mission to keep our doors open during the pandemic.
Nominating Organization: Kevin Guest House

Junior League of Buffalo

The Junior League of Buffalo (JLB) is dedicated to impacting and improving the lives of children and families in Western New York. For more than a century, the Junior League, today 500 women strong, has supported positive change through volunteer work, creating and supporting innovative initiatives from civic improvements to family needs. JLB remains committed to its founding mission: to promote voluntarism, develop the potential of women and improve the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers.
In 2020, JLB used the proceeds from the 2019 Decorator Showhouse to fund A Playground for All at Chestnut Ridge Park, the first totally inclusive play space in 10,000 acres of the Erie County parks system, an initiative of the Chestnut Ridge Conservancy. Not only did JLB provides funds, but they also volunteered to build the playground during Community Build Days, August 2021. The playground opened in October and has inspired a county commitment for five more in Erie County parks. In addition to Decorator Showhouse funds, which has raised more than $4 million for the community, JLB offers smaller grants, and of course, committed volunteers. Junior League of Buffalo initiated and supported positive change in our community since 1919.
Nominating Organization: Chestnut Ridge Conservancy

Michael Lawley

Nardin Academy is honored to recognize Michael Lawley for his outstanding commitment and dedication to our school and community. Mike is the proud father of three Nardin gradates and one current student, and has served on our Board of Trustees since 2015. Mike dedicates countless hours to Nardin through his role as co-chair of the Called to Connect Campaign, Nardin's historic $20 million capital campaign. Mike and his wife Kirsten, also a Nardin graduate, exemplify the Academy's values through their selfless service to our students and the greater Buffalo region. Nardin is truly blessed to have the Lawley family woven into our community.
Nominating Organization: Nardin Academy

Trudy Mollenberg

Trudy Mollenberg is the definition of generous. She is generous with her time, her many talents, and her treasure all in support of The Park School. After reengaging her involvement 8 years ago when her grandchildren started at the School, she has done everything in her power to support, promote, and strengthen Park. She served on the Board of Trustees and the Capital Campaign Committee simultaneously, and is now the President of the Park School Foundation Board. She is also a member of the Advancement Committee. She is a wonderful leader who gets the job done efficiently and with enthusiasm, and has been extremely effective in building relationships between donors and Park and raising funds for the School. Also important to note is that she has been a tremendous mentor to me and has taught me so much about fundraising and donor relations. She is truly wonderful!
Nominating Organization: The Park School

The Sisters Hospital Foundation Board

Sisters Hospital Foundation is proud to honor the members of our board. Each individual’s dedication and commitment to our mission has ensured the future our hospital’s prosperity and sustainability. Thank you to our board for leading the Foundation in our efforts to support, improve and promote the exemplary patient care and services provided by Sisters of Charity Hospital at both Main Street and St. Joe’s Campus. Without your leadership and guidance we would not be able to assist in delivering the best patient care practices to the Western New York community.
Nominating Organization: Sisters Hospital Foundation

The Sroka Family

Sisters Hospital Foundation is proud to honor its newest junior fundraiser, Jackson Sroka.
Jackson was so excited to meet his mom and dad that he decided to arrive early, really early. This little guy spent 100+ days in our NICU and fought like heck every single day. Sweet Jackson is small but mighty and loved by so many. In fact, his amazing parents along with friends and family set out to raise funds for the NICU as a way to express their gratitude for the care that he received in late 2020. In just a short few months, the grand total of gifts received is now over $20,350! Thanks to everyone who donated in honor of Jackson, but especially thank you to Jackson, Danielle and Rick Sroka. Miracles really do happen on Main Street!
Nominating Organization: Sisters Hospital Foundation

The Tourbaf Family

Sisters Hospital Foundation is proud to honor the Tourbaf family for their significant gift in memory of their late father and grandfather, Dr. Kamal Tourbaf. Dr. Tourbaf was born on February 25, 1932 in Azerbaijan and received his medical degree from Tehran University School of Medicine. He specialized in the fields of Hematology and Oncology. Dr. Tourbaf spent decades working at ECMC and the University at Buffalo School of Medicine and ended his nearly 50-year medical career working at Sisters of Charity Hospital, where he served for more than 25 years. He loved to teach and mentor medical residents and touched many people with his patient, kind and compassionate bedside manner and teaching style.
The family of the late Dr. Kamal Tourbaf gathered in Buffalo this year for a celebration of his life. As part of the weekend celebration, the family visited Sisters Hospital to make a significant gift to Sisters Hospital Foundation in memory of their father and grandfather. The $25,000 gift will be earmarked for the Resident Education Program, specifically to endow the training room that will house the simulation robot, 'Susie,' that was recently received from Canisius College. We are thankful to the Tourbaf family for their generosity that allows us the opportunity to house and facilitate the most up-to-date in teaching technologies. We are also grateful for our partnership with Canisius College and their interest in furthering the education and opportunities that we are able to offer to our residents.
Nominating Organization: Sisters Hospital Foundation

The Margaret L. Wendt Foundation

Earlier this year, the Margaret L. Wendt Foundation awarded $100,000 to The Summit Center for startup expenses associated with the Center for Autism Assessment and Treatment (CAAT). The CAAT will transform the landscape in Western New York for children with autism in crisis. This intensive out-patient facility will be opening in the summer of 2022 to help children cope with challenging behaviors. However, the state will not begin to reimburse The Summit Center for operational expenses until sometime in 2023. Thanks to this grant from the Margaret L. Wendt Foundation, we can start developing the treatment protocols and make other essential plans.
Nominating Organization: The Summit Center