BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) – It’s Giving Season!
An outdoor holiday celebration on Genesee Street brings joy to the community.
The charity event shared boxes of food, toys and warmth items to community members this Christmas Eve.
“Bring some excitement and put a smile on someone’s face, if possible,” said Steven Butler, owner of restaurant Ike and BGS.
The joyful event is called “Joy on Genesee”.
“What is important here is to show the community that they are not left out. You are showing the community that someone loves them and that someone cares,” said Mary. Bonner, Recording Secretary of the African American Cultural Center.
The operation was a success: putting the community in the holiday spirit with a live DJ and performances, giveaways, chili and hot chocolate by Ike and the BGS restaurant on Genesee Street in Buffalo.
“It’s important to inspire the neighborhood and the community that we come from. I’m just trying to build it and uplift it and bring excitement, encouragement to the neighborhood during this difficult time of the pandemic, and especially when we see people in difficulty during the holiday season, ”explained Butler.
Butler’s father, the founder of Ike and BGS named Ike Gray, recently passed away.
He said this event is a great way to honor his father’s generous spirit in serving the community and rebuilding it amid a difficult second round in the era of the pandemic.
“He was always the person who gives back to this community. He did a lot of things, gave, cooked meals, whether it was Thanksgiving or Christmas. He gave up on cooked meals and everything else. ‘he could deliver to the community,’ said Butler. has explained. “He never did this as a formal event. He just did it year after year.”
Fillmore District Council member Mitch Nowakowski said, “I hope the neighbors realize that they know people care about them; their local officials, business owners. We want to make sure they have a wonderful time this Christmas and holiday event and make sure they know their neighborhood is there for them. “
The African American Cultural Center is one of the sponsors of this event. Bonner said that as guests in attendance indulge in the holiday spirit and camaraderie, she hopes the kindness shown today will continue to create a stronger buffalo.
“I hope what they get out of it is that it’s not just about taking, but also about giving. I want to see them do exactly what Ike, BGS and Miss Porsha have sponsored. I want them to see that people care and that people will give back if they see someone giving them, ”Bonner said.