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Home > Leadership > Mayor > Archived Press Releases > 2009 Archives > December 2009 > Mayor Announces New Years Eve Ball Drop Sponsors

Mayor Announces New Years Eve Ball Drop Sponsors

Contact: Peter K. Cutler

Local Organizations Rally to Support Annual New Year’s Eve Celebration in Downtown Buffalo

BUFFALO – Mayor Byron W. Brown today announced that local organizations have stepped forward to fill the gap in funding that had threatened to cause the cancellation of this year’s New Year’s Eve celebration in Downtown Buffalo.

With the existing sponsorship of the Independent Health Foundation (which also sponsors the alcohol-free, family-oriented First Night activities from 5pm-10pm in the Convention Center), 97-Rock and the Buffalo Police Athletic League, with television coverage provide by WKBW-TV Channel 7, Upstate New York Transplant Services and the Buffalo Sabres Charitable Foundation have provided generous donations to help make the event happen this year.

“The  Buffalo Ball Drop & Fireworks display at the Electric Tower has become one of our city’s and region’s great annual traditions, beginning in 1988 as a gift to the City of Buffalo by 97-Rock,” said Mayor Brown. “These are challenging financial times for everyone, so we are extremely grateful to Upstate New York Transplant Services and the Buffalo Sabres Charitable Foundation for coming forward, along with the existing event sponsors, with their generous contributions that will ensure that this great holiday tradition continues in downtown.”

Several other area individuals, including Buffalo businessman Rick Snowden, and organizations contacted the Buffalo Police Athletic League to get involved and PAL will be talking to them about their future potential involvement in this annual tradition. 

“Each and every day throughout this year, thousands of people across WNY have truly been heroes by giving the Gift of Life through organ, eye, tissue and community blood donation, and thousands of lives have been saved because of their generosity and selfless gifts,” said Mark J. Simon, President & CEO of UNYTS. “Buffalo's New Year's Eve ball drop is a beloved tradition-it's how we celebrate the end of one year and the beginning of another. I can't think of a better way for UNYTS to say thank you to our community than by giving back and stepping up to help this tradition continue. We're honored and proud to be able to help.”

“On behalf of the Buffalo Sabres Foundation, we are thrilled to know that our contribution to the downtown ball drop will ensure its success for another year,” said Tom Golisano, owner of the Buffalo Sabres. “This is an annual event that has taken place for more than 20 years, and it’s important for us to continue these holiday traditions in Buffalo.”

About 40,000 people come to Downtown Buffalo every year for the annual Ball Drop celebration, while thousands more listen to the festivities on the radio or watch the event live on television. Hosted by 97 Rock and Larry Norton, fireworks will go off at midnight to ring in the New Year, choreographed with music from 97 Rock and shown live on WKBW-TV Channel 7.

The host site for the annual is The Electric Tower building owned by Iskalo Development and additional support is provided by Buffalo Place, Inc.