Empire State Games Legacy Fund Presents Inaugural Scholarships
Article Date: July 19 2011
Related Document: Media-Release---Empire-State-Games-Legacy-Fund-Scholarship.pdf
BUFFALO, NY - July 19, 2011 - Today, the Empire State Games (ESG) Legacy Fund Scholarship Committee awarded $2,500 scholarships to a pair of student athletes: Rachel NeMoyer and Zachary Thomas.
Rachel NeMoyer is a graduate student at the State University of New York at Buffalo (UB). A native of Orchard Park, N.Y., NeMoyer has returned to Buffalo after completing her undergraduate degree at Penn State University. She won the gold medal in women's pole vault at the 2010 ESG and continued her success with the Penn State Division I track and field team. She is now studying medicine at UB and she expects to graduate in May 2014.
Zachary Thomas is a recent graduate of West Seneca West Senior High School. He was highly involved in extra-curricular activities, received high honors (97 average, ranked 16th in his class), and he participated at the 2010 ESG as a member of the Western Region Scholastic soccer team. This fall, he will be attending Canisius College to major in accounting.
In July 2010, Buffalo hosted the Empire State Games (ESG), an Olympic-style competition for New York State's top amateur athletes. Unprecedented private financial and in-kind support from First Niagara Financial Group ($500,000) and 17 other Western New York companies (which combined for and additional $600,000) allowed Buffalo to resurrect the games after they were cancelled in 2009.
The Buffalo games were so successful that they generated excess revenue, totaling $126,000, which is being reinvested in the community by the body that coordinated the games, the Empire State Games Local Organizing Committee (LOC). The largest portion of the funds ($110,000) was distributed to the Buffalo Niagara Sports Commission (BNSC), a subsidiary of Visit Buffalo Niagara. The BNSC will be using $50,000 of the funds for student scholarships. Beginning today and extending over the course of ten years, the BNSC will award annual college tuition scholarships of $2,500 to two Western New York ESG athletes (one male and one female).
"The Empire State Games Local Organizing Committee worked hard to make the games a success in Buffalo in 2010 and we are very grateful for the generosity of First Niagara Financial Group and the Western New York business community," said Ralph Galanti, chair of the Empire State Games Local Organizing Committee. "We're very excited to pass on this legacy to two outstanding young student athletes, and wish them the very best in the future."
"It was a privilege for the Buffalo Niagara Sports Commission to assist in hosting the 2010 Empire State Games. We had many gifted athletes come to our community to compete," said Jon Dandes, chair of the Buffalo Niagara Sports Commission. "Zachary and Rachel are tremendously deserving of the inaugural Empire State Games Legacy Scholarship - their excellence on the field and in the classroom truly embodies the spirit of the games."
To learn more about the scholarship and how to apply, go to www.visitbuffaloniagara.com/sports-commission.