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Sports Scholarship Program: Sports Scholarship Program
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Scholarship Program Application

ESG Legacy Fund logoIn 2010 Buffalo, New York hosted the 31st Empire State Games, an Olympic style competition for the top amateur athletes in New York State. After securing the event, the Buffalo Niagara Sports Commission selected Ralph Galanti to create and chair the local committee that would be responsible for organizing the games. After the games’ cancellation in 2009 due to fiscal instability, the Buffalo Local Organizing Committee, with assistance from Honorary Co-Chairmen Erie Community College President Jack Quinn and former University at Buffalo President Dr. John Simpson, forged an unprecedented partnership with First Niagara Financial Group and its CEO John Koelmel to ensure the success of the 2010 games. After a significant financial contribution to the games’ state agency, First Niagara also used its resources to assist the Local Organizing Committee in its fundraising endeavors. 17 local companies contributed an unprecedented $600,000 to support the games in Buffalo. The success of the Buffalo games generated excess revenue that has been reinvested into the community in the form of scholarships and grants for the purpose of further developing amateur sports in the Buffalo Niagara region.

The Legacy Fund awards two $2,500 scholarships annually to one male and one female who has participated in the Empire State Games and has demonstrated academic excellence and leadership in the community.

  1. Candidates must have participated in the Empire State Games as an Athlete, Coach, or Volunteer
  2. Candidates must be a full-time High School, College or Graduate Student
  3. Candidates must maintain at least 2.0 GPA or C average
  4. Scholarship is awarded upon completion of semester following award.

Application Checklist:
  • Completed online form
  • Two (2) reference letters (mailed)
  • Essay (mailed)
  • Transcripts (mailed)


Please include two (2) reference letters:

  • One (1) from a teacher or administrator employed at the school in which you are currently enrolled
  • One (1) from a person outside of the school in which you are currently enrolled

References should be non-family members who can speak to your work ethic, character and other assets that make you uniquely qualified for this scholarship.

 Please be sure to complete all sections of the application.  Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Please mail reference letters and transcripts to:

Empire State Games Legacy Fund
c/o Buffalo Niagara Sports Commission
617 Main St. Suite 200
Buffalo NY, 14203

Application deadline is 5:00pm EST May 30, 2014

Award Announcement is June 16, 2014. Contact us with questions.


General Information

Complete this section if you are a high school student

Complete this section if you are a college or graduate student

Awards & Honors

Please list any awards or honors you have received.

Extracurricular Activities

Please list any employment, activities, groups and/or organizations
you participate in and any positions you hold.


Please include a 300 – 500 word essay on what your participation in the Empire State Games has meant to you.

Red fields are required.

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