Strength Of The Herd

Strength Of The Herd

Today, Bill Loecher is one of Roswell Park’s most active and passionate volunteers. But when he first visited 15 years ago with a loved one who was undergoing cancer treatment, he realized he didn’t know much about the place.

“Like most people, I knew Roswell Park is the place to go for cancer treatment,” said Bill. “But I didn’t immediately understand the importance of the research that happens there, too.”

Inspired by the care his family member received, Bill began volunteering with The Ride For Roswell a few years later. Through his volunteer work, he had the opportunity to meet some of Roswell Park’s research scientists and gain a better understanding of the landmark studies being led there every day.

He also learned how community donations to Roswell Park are used, as critically-needed grants that support the earliest stages of promising research. These grants, also known as seed funding, are awarded to the research projects led by Roswell Park scientists that have the most potential to find new, more effective ways to treat cancer.

“I saw how these funded projects were making such a great difference in our efforts to understand and treat cancer, and I knew that with more support, we could accelerate even more groundbreaking research,” said Bill. “I want Western New Yorkers to understand how important their donations are to that process. The research and clinical trials at Roswell Park are changing the way we treat cancer—around the world but also right here at home. That’s only possible because of the generosity of supporters in the community.”

That generosity was the inspiration behind Herd of Hope, the brand new fundraising effort that gives Buffalo businesses the chance to support this crucial research. Bill, who serves as chair of the campaign, wants to give every Western New York-based company the opportunity to take part.

“Time after time, Western New Yorkers rally around the causes they care about. Nobody does that like Buffalo,” said Bill. He sees the Herd of Hope as the chance for our corporate community—including businesses of all sizes—to come together in support of a cause that directly affects their friends, family, employees, customers and fellow citizens. “The idea behind this campaign is that together, we can have a greater impact.”

Companies that participate in Herd of Hope will receive a striking blue buffalo statue to display in their place of business. The statues will help raise awareness of this important cause and will show customers, employees and the public that these companies are dedicated supporters of Roswell Park’s mission.

The blue buffalo symbol connects the campaign to another popular community effort for Roswell Park: the Herd About Buffalo public art program, which took Western New York by storm in 2000 and again in 2010. Ultimately, though, Bill believes the campaign’s distinctive statue represents our community spirit—collaborative, generous and caring.

“I think of the herd of blue buffalo statues as a symbol of the pride, strength and compassion that Western New Yorkers are known for,” said Bill. “When you see the Herd of Hope buffalo at a local business, you’ll know right away what they stand for—making a difference in the fight against cancer.”
If you are interested in becoming a Herd of Hope partner, please email or call 716-845-HERD. You can also make your donation online.

© 2018 Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center

WGRZ Channel 2 is Proud to Join the Herd

Cancer touches and takes far too many lives in Western New York. That’s why, as the local ‘On Your Side’ television station advocating for the people of Western New York and celebrating the great things happening here, we are proud and honored to support Herd of Hope!

It’s not just a corporate initiative; it’s a personal one, too. Many of our employees and their loved ones have been affected by cancer, as have thousands of other people throughout the community. We tell these stories in our newscasts regularly.

These are not just stories of loss and heartache. These are also stories of victory and survival. And there are other stories we love share with our audiences — the stories of Roswell Park’s success and their continuing breakthroughs in the fight against cancer. To be able to showcase the achievements and the impact this world-renowned organization has made in the battle against cancer fills us with pride and BuffaLove!

We understand, appreciate and recognize the value that Roswell Park brings to this community and the hope they spread for those battling cancer. It’s why WGRZ has been a partner with Roswell Park and will continue to support the amazing work they do with such community events as The Ride for Roswell, The Tree of Hope and so much more. The Herd of Hope campaign is a perfect fit for us — and it’s just one more reason we are proud to support Roswell Park and to say, ‘This is Home!’

A Community of Survivors

NOCO Makes Supporting Roswell Park a Family Tradition

NOCO Energy Corporation has a long history of supporting cancer research and patient support programs at Roswell Park. Through sponsorship of events like The Ride For Roswell and as an active presence on the Roswell Park Alliance Foundation Board, NOCO’s leadership and employees have advocated on behalf of cancer patients in Western New York for many years.

NOCO, a family business headquartered in Tonawanda, recently stepped up again to support the Herd of Hope campaign.

“During their time leading the company, my father and uncle were consistent supporters of Roswell Park’s mission,” said Jim Newman, the company’s President. Jim and his brother Michael, who serves as Executive Vice President, are the third generation of their family to lead the business. “They understood that Roswell Park plays an important role in our community, and we’re proud to continue that tradition of support.”

When Jim became a trustee of the Roswell Park Alliance Foundation Board, he gained a greater understanding of the groundbreaking cancer research that takes place every day at Roswell Park.

“I have the chance to see firsthand how donations to Roswell Park have an impact on research,” said Jim. “Meeting some of Roswell Park’s scientists and learning about these remarkable studies really drove home how critical it is for us to do everything we can to support them.”

Then, in 2014, his father Donald was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. Donald had the opportunity to be part of an OmniSeq clinical trial at Roswell Park to evaluate an innovative diagnostic test that analyzes a patient’s genetic makeup to help find the most effective treatment method for their cancer. Jim credits the personalized treatment with prolonging his father’s life, giving him more time with their family.

Donald died approximately 18 months after he was diagnosed. For Jim, the devastating loss of his father deepened the meaning of his work on behalf of Roswell Park.

“We are so thankful for the extra time we had with my father thanks to his treatment and the OmniSeq program,” said Jim. “The OmniSeq test was supported in its early research stages with a grant from the Alliance Foundation—a grant that was awarded when I had recently joined the board. It was very meaningful to see the impact it was now having on patients like my father.”

The NOCO community has had other personal experiences with Roswell Park. Recently, the company’s chairman was diagnosed with cancer and treated there. Jim accompanied him to many of his appointments in the new Scott Bieler Clinical Sciences Center.

“It was amazing to see how bright, warm and welcoming the patient care areas are in the new building,” said Jim. “I want the community to know all the great, new things that are happening at Roswell Park today. Herd of Hope is another opportunity to spread that message and raise that awareness.”

What does NOCO’s support of Herd of Hope mean to their employees?

“Once you have your own experience with cancer, you start to notice just how many other people have been affected as well. After my father was diagnosed, I talked to many employees who had their own stories to share. Our company—like most companies—is really a community of survivors,” said Jim. “Our employees appreciate the chance to come together and support Roswell Park, a place that has an impact on all of us.”