At this 49th anniversary celebration we honor another Kevin. Together with dear wife Karen, Kevin Durawa performed a dozen years of board service including board chair (now President Emeritus), cooked & served guest meals, capital campaign leadership, plus hundreds of daily deeds on behalf of our guests. Kevin, your inspiration and work has secured our mission for another 50 years at Kevin Guest House … America’s first hospital hospitality house! – Tom Garvey, founding family member
INDIVIDUAL: Larry Gramlich
HEALTHCARE PARTNER: Carl Thomas
VOLUNTEER GROUP: The Gardeners who helped maintain a beautiful campus for our guests:
Nancy Biernat, Donna Doran, Betty Horrigan, Wendy Naylon, Margie Pawloski, Kathy Fassl, and Diane Smith
Larry has committed years of service to Kevin Guest House, lending his expertise in electrical contracting to lead projects critical to the infrastructure of our campus. Larry led the electrical work for our expansion at the Russell J. Salvatore Hospitality House and is a critical member of our Building & Grounds committee. Since retiring from Ferguson Electric, he remained dedicated to service throughout the pandemic by helping our Building & Grounds manager, Jeff, with improvement projects such as carpet replacement and renovation of our water-damaged garden apartment. You can often see Larry attending our events with former colleagues, friends and his wife Eileen.
Chief Organizational & Community Liaison, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center
Carl has made connections in the community that enhanced the safety, security and operations at Kevin Guest House. As one of our first and longest-standing volunteers, he has supported our guests for more than 40 years.
As Chief of Public Safety at Roswell Park, Carl created the agreement to shuttle our guests to and from the hospital, which is critical in our harsh Buffalo winters. He recently facilitated a partnership by introducing CIO, Tom Furlani, to KGH. Tom connected us with Dell Computers and CDW who donated new critical technology throughout our campus. Carl is helping to develop our new Emergency & Safety plan by recruiting a team of Roswell experts to give their time and evaluate our future needs. This past year, he developed an agreement with Roswell Park’s facilities team to improve our security with a new master key lock system. These are only a handful of connections Carl facilitated for our organization.
“At this 49th anniversary celebration we honor another Kevin. Together with dear wife Karen, Kevin Durawa performed 11 years of board service, including Board President for 6 years (now President Emeritus). Kevin cooked and served guest meals, lead our capital campaign, managed our IT support, plus hundreds of daily deeds on behalf of our guests.
Kevin, your inspiration and work has secured our mission for another 50 years at Kevin Guest House … America’s first hospital hospitality house!”
– Tom Garvey, founding family member
Nancy Biernat, Donna Doran, Betty Horrigan, Wendy Naylon, Margie Pawloski, Kathy Fassl, and Diane Smith.
The spectacular gardens on the Kevin Guest House campus are a labor of love for these dedicated volunteers. Their work makes our campus bright, cheery and welcoming. The Healing Garden is a sanctuary for patients and caregivers needing a safe, relaxing place nearby to enjoy some fresh air.
With the pandemic, our non-essential budget items were cut, and without these women our garden would not have flourished. From planting to trimming, these ladies have created an oasis in the downtown Buffalo. From knitting to sitting and enjoying coffee our guests are so thankful to have a beautiful outdoor space to enjoy while they are away from home. Thank you for creating a much-needed retreat for guests, especially in the last year when many needed to isolate due to the pandemic.
Thank you to our sponsors:
(Please note that this year’s event is invitation-only. Due to the immune compromised guest population at KGH, please arrive wearing your mask and health screenings conducted. Proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 test within 72 hrs is required. This intimate gathering celebrating our awardees will have pre-assigned seating tables of 10. Contact Marianne, email@example.com for more information.)
Amy Martis – Individual Volunteer Award Winner, Chair of Supper in the Street, our Adopt-A-Room challenge, Weekly front desk volunteer, dinner group family, and events volunteer.
Shirley Johnson – Healthcare Partner Award Winner, Chief Clinical Operations Officer and Senior Vice President at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, KGH board, Affaire of the Heart & House Operations committees, a vital resource in our COVID19 action plan, keeping KGH safe and operational throughout the pandemic.
Carol Horton – Healthcare Partner Award Winner, Vice President, Kaleida Health Foundation, longtime KGH supporter and advocate, facilitating a growing relationship with our healthcare partners in the Kaleida Health System.
Isabella Kimball – Youth Volunteer Award Winner, Amherst High School Student and member of the Trailblazers leadership team, planned and executed the first Spooktakular Skool Nite fundraiser, raising $1775+ for KGH.
Sam Frost – Youth Volunteer Award Winner, volunteered his time and skills to paint/patch ceilings and walls, and install a new floor in the laundry room of the Main House, providing a fresh, bright space for our guests and earning his Eagle Scout rank.
Buffalo Sunrise Rotary – Volunteer Group Award Winner, Regularly provides dinner for our guests, and awarded KGH a generous grant supporting the replacement of carpet in the first floor of the Main House, creating a clean, welcoming entrance to our campus and volunteering for install.
Kevyn, General Manager of Harborcenter, Director of Academy of Hockey, and President of the Buffalo Junior Sabres has been the host of our Celebrity Golf Classic and a dedicated volunteer at the event for more than 20 years! He has been instrumental in strengthening our relationship with the Buffalo Sabres and Pegula Sports and Entertainment and continues to recruit local celebrities for the cause.
His wonderful parents, Ken and Diane have been two of our most generous volunteers and supporters. Diane has volunteered at our front desk nearly every Tuesday for more than 20 years, and Ken has been a key member of our Celebrity Golf committee recruiting local celebrities and alumni for the event.
Thank you to the Adams family for your generosity and support of the KGH mission!
Kelly McEachon, Community Vocational Trainer for People, Inc.’s Young Adult Life Transitions Program, pictured with team members Michael Wojtan, Collin Hager, and Rebecca Lovenic represent just some of the amazing volunteers from People, Inc. that come daily to maintain our beautiful homes while learning life skills. Thank you for bringing joy and comfort to our guests!
Wegmans is a regional supermarket chain with 96 stores across New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland, and Massachusetts. It is one of the largest private companies in the U.S. Founded in 1916 by the Wegmans family, this Rochester, NY-based company is currently ranked #2 on FORTUNE magazine’s 2018 list of the 100 Best Companies to Work For. Wegmans has been on the list every year since it first ran in 1998, and ranked #1 in 2005. Wegmans raises the bar on the shopping experience: the best quality; a spectacular abundance of choice; restaurant-quality prepared foods; beautiful stores and displays; and a nearly telepathic level of customer service.
Images of Modern America: Kevin Guest House
Karen Bialkowski, Darlene Ellis, Michelle Peller-White, Barbara Reformat, Robert Reeder, Carol Schaper, and Mark Taylor
Sue Niver-Percy, Debi Scherer, Colleen Seminara, Maura Siebold, Rita Stevens, and Jeannine Yager-Aiello