Be part of something BiGGER

There comes a moment we all realize the world is much bigger than us. That moment happens a lot at Cradle Beach.

Here, children are introduced to new faces every day in a safe and nurturing setting. It's a special place that teaches them about diversity, teamwork and, most important, being themselves.

Parents and staff experience it, too. Seeing a child's face light up with joy when they're learning or laughing with friends makes everything else seem smaller somehow.

And it's in those small moments we realize that what happens at Cradle Beach is bigger than us.


Your gift is the BiGGEST way to support our children

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This form is for one time donations only. If you would like to make your contribution of $2,500 or more over a period of time, please contact us to make the arrangements.

Campaign Chair & CEO letter

It is our pleasure to invite you to make a difference in the lives of children who have great need and great potential by offering a generous gift to The Campaign for a Greater Cradle Beach.

As far back as 1888, the founders of Cradle Beach knew that assisting vulnerable children was directly linked to the generosity of donors who wanted to help. They would certainly be proud that their efforts created an organization that has provided live-changing opportunities to tens of thousands of children over the years.

Like early fundraising efforts, we know that gifts offered today will be so much "Bigger Than Us." Your generosity will provide bright futures for many of our most vulnerable children, while strengthening the fabric of our community for generations to come.

Our Camp and Campus Campaign has one objective: to provide children with disabilities and children with disadvantages the tools they need to fulfill their lifelong potential. Your kindness will change lives. Will you join us by making a gift today?


Jim Tilley
Campaign Chairman

Ann-Marie Orlowski

Camp and Campus priorities


There is a great need for summer camp experiences for youth. Our unique model of bringing together children with disabilities and children from disadvantaged backgrounds provides all of them with greater confidence, courage and the skills to reach their lifelong potential. Your gift makes these outcomes possible.

The demand for our Respite Care Program is also very high and growing. Donations to the campaign will help expand this program and reduce the waiting list for families that are eager to participate. Every day, underprivileged students across Buffalo are helped by our Project SOAR program. Project SOAR is a year-round initiative to improve school achievement and significantly increase graduation rates for low-income, at risk students. Your support will provide the funding needed to help these children strive for academic success.

bricks and mortar

Right now, there are nearly 32,000 children with developmental disabilities in Western New York, and that number is growing. Your generosity will help us renovate and expand our facilities, increasing our year-round capabilities and the number of children and families we can serve each year.


Your contribution will help endow our future to ensure that we will always be able to provide the programming that our campers, students and families deserve.

A BiG difference

Having a special needs child is never easy. It can be hard to find places and people you trust to care for your child, which makes the need for a place like Cradle Beach so important. Through the generosity of donors like you, Kelly, a camper with Down Syndrome, is able to feel like everyone else.

“The counselors are all so welcoming. They remember Kelly and the other kids from year to year and take a genuine interest in them,” said Kelly’s dad. “After her first summer at Cradle Beach camp, we could tell she grew up a little bit. And each year, she grows up a little more.”

The differences in Kelly’s self-confidence and independence weren’t hard to see. Her experiences at Cradle Beach—swimming, hiking and making friends—all allowed her to blossom and gave her parents a safe and supportive place for her to grow. It’s a place where kids can do everything—where being “different” is normal and kids are treated as “special” rather than “special needs.”

“It’s a big relief to know she’s in good hands,” said Kelly’s mom. “She gets to spend time with friends and has the opportunity to do something other typical kids do. We can’t thank donors enough for their generosity and for making this possible for her.”

Your generosity will:

  • Fund the construction of buildings to enhance Cradle Beach programs. A new lodge and a performing arts center were recently built and a special center for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) activities is being planned
  • Maintain quality camp facilities, including upgrades to existing buildings and cabins, new heating and cooling units, and equipment replacement

“They have confidence in themselves and their abilities.”

BiG promise for the future

Some students struggle in a typical classroom. But every student can learn to soar with your support. That’s exactly what 6th graders Keyion and Zyion were able to do through Cradle Beach’s Project SOAR program (Success, Opportunity, Achievement, Responsibility).

“Project SOAR has made both boys feel so encouraged and confident,” said their mom, Rita. “They have confidence in themselves and their abilities, and their social skills have really improved.”

For single parents like Rita, Project SOAR not only offers a much-needed support system, it also gives her children a place where they can feel engaged, gain independence and interact with other adults and children. It’s much more than a camp or a program—it’s an experience that allows children to build camaraderie with counselors and friends.

“It has been a real blessing for me. What donors are giving has really helped support families like mine, not just on a financial level, but a family level that helps us grow and connect.”

Your campaign gift will:

  • Increase our ability to provide more children with daily in-school tutoring, skill-building weekends and summer enrichment activities, including summer camp at Cradle Beach
  • Help us increase the rate of Buffalo Public School students who graduate

a BiGGER support system

Having a child with autism presents its share of challenges. Having four additional children to care for epitomizes the saying “it takes a village.” And that’s exactly what the Cradle Beach Respite Program represents for Cindy and her son, Marcus.

For children like Marcus, Cradle Beach offers a safe place to practice social and independence skills away from home, while giving his parents a much-needed reprieve from the daily tasks of care taking.

“We work so hard at home to break down skills so he can understand them, but the only way we can tell if there is any carry over is to have him practice them away from us. Marcus views Cradle Beach as a vacation, but I rely on Cradle Beach as a learning tool.”

The staff offer a family away from home, encouraging children to reach their full potential—potential that wouldn’t be possible without donors like you.

“Cradle Beach has a been a huge part of Marcus’ life. His four siblings go away to camp, do play dates and participate in social activities. Cradle Beach allows all those things for Marcus, too. The smile on his face when we picked him up was confirmation to his siblings: Marcus can do the same things they can.”

Our Goal is BiG
But your generosity is BiGGER

Support from the following donors is getting us closer to our goal, but your gift is needed now to serve the children and families in our community who need it most.

$500,000 & Above

  • New Era Cap Foundation and The Koch Family
  • New York State through Senator Chris Jacobs

$300,000 & above

  • Manson Fiske & Anne Surdam

$200,000 & above

  • Cullen Foundation
  • James H. Cummings Foundation

$100,000 & above

  • The Buffalo News
  • Garman Family Foundation
  • Grigg-Lewis Foundation
  • Norman E. Mack II Fund at the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo
  • MOOG
  • Ellsworth and Alice Statler Foundation
  • Peter & Elizabeth C. Tower Foundation
  • West Herr Automotive Group

$50,000 & above

  • Buffalo Bills Foundation
  • Children’s Guild Foundation

$25,000 & above

  • Bell Fund
  • D-B Trust
  • Empire Building Diagnostics
  • Ferguson Electric Construction Co., Inc.
  • Hanafin Foundation
  • Personal Touch Food Service, Inc.
  • Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Legacy Funds at the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo

Additional Donors

  • Anonymous (5)
  • Mr. & Mrs. Jack Anthony
  • Avanti USA
  • Barclay Damon
  • Ethel Bedford
  • The Baird Foundation
  • Mr. & Mrs. Louis Boss
  • Buffalo Sabres Foundation
  • Calpin Family Fund
  • Captiva Foundation
  • Mr. & Mrs. Bryan D. Carr
  • Mark & Jeannine Cassidy
  • Cazenovia Community Resource Center
  • Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo
  • Evans Bank
  • Stanley Evans
  • Robert J. & Martha B. Fierle Foundation
  • Lauren Floss
  • Darryl & Helen Gaiter
  • Dr. Joseph A. Gardella, Jr. & Carol A. Kizis
  • Daniel & Flavia Gernatt Family Foundation
  • Michael Giangreco
  • Kathryn & Joseph Giglia II
  • Josephine Goodyear Foundation
  • Peter Grogan & Christye S. Peterson
  • Dr. John Hartman
  • Greg & Marta Hiczewski
  • Philip H. Hubbell
  • Shelley & Edward Hulton
  • Scott Hunt
  • Tim & Diane Jones
  • Michael P. Kearns
  • Kelly For Kids
  • Kennedy Family Foundation
  • Key Bank
  • Edwine D. Kimberly
  • Kenneth L. and Katherine G. Koessler
  • Family Foundation Inc.
  • Mr. & Mrs. Joseph LaLonde
  • Lawley Insurance
  • Linton Foundation
  • Mr. Stephen T. LoVullo
  • Joseph J. Marusak, Esq.
  • The Martin Group
  • Peter & Cricket Martin
  • William & Jane Mathias
  • J. M. McDonald Foundation, Inc.
  • Joan Ellen McFee
  • Mr. & Mrs. Jim McMahon
  • John Meehan
  • Millington Lockwood Business Interiors
  • Bernadette Mussen
  • National Grid
  • Ann Hennig Nolan
  • Dr. Monica Peoples & Angelo Veanes
  • Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Petrella
  • Ms. Diana Rochford
  • Jack & Maritza Ruh
  • Mr. & Mrs. Russell J. Salvatore
  • The Savarino Companies
  • George G. & Elizabeth G. Smith Foundation
  • Thomasina R. Stenhouse, Ph.D.
  • John Sozanski
  • Mr. & Mrs. James Tilley
  • Bernie & Malinda Tolbert
  • Herb & Nadine (Dinnie) Tolbert
  • Mary Beth Vadnais
  • Richard & Margaret Viehe
  • Western New York Foundation
  • Donald E. Will
  • Jerry Woods
  • Jeff & Loraine Yates

“Our family is proud to be associated with Cradle Beach. It’s a place filled with hope, inspiration and comfort for many. The New Era Performing Arts Center will be a place that combines those feelings with the power of self-expression.”

Chris Koch CEO, New Era Cap

a story that is BiGGER with each passing day

Cradle Beach was founded in 1888 as a summer camp to serve underprivileged children at a time when diphtheria, cholera and typhoid were major killers of infants and children.

Today, Cradle Beach provides unparalleled year-round programming for children with disabilities and disadvantages from its campus on the shore of Lake Erie in Angola, New York and in schools throughout the city of Buffalo.

Your gift is the biggest way to support our children.

Contribute Today

“Cradle Beach is the way the world should be. Everyone is going to get fed and cared for, but more important, they’re going to be happy ...they’re rewarded with a feeling that they’re important,they’re contributing and making the world better.”

Jack Anthony, Former Camp Director

Cabinet Campaign

  • James Tilley, Chairman
  • Bryan D. Carr
  • Dana Kimberly
  • Charles F. Kreiner, Jr.
  • Peter J. Grogan
  • Joseph LaLonde
  • Thomasina R. Stenhouse, Ph.D.
  • Bernie Tolber

Campaign Advisors

  • Dottie Gallagher-Cohen
  • Jeannine Higgins
  • Michael Keating
  • Christye Peterson
  • Angelo Veanes

Board of Trustees

  • Joseph J. Marusak, Esq. Chairman
  • Norman Arminan
  • Louis R. Boss
  • Bryan D. Carr
  • Chris Colleary
  • John “JC” Conciardo
  • Randy C. Fahs, Esq.
  • Lauren Floss
  • Joseph A. Gardella, Jr., Ph.D.
  • Joseph Giglia
  • Marta Hiczewski


  • Rusty Hurst
  • Cricket Martin
  • Dana Kimberly
  • Michael P. Kearns
  • Charles F. Kreiner, Jr.
  • Stephen T. LoVullo
  • Carol McMahon
  • Monica Peoples, Ph.D.
  • Terry Petrella
  • Russell J. Salvatore
  • Elizabeth Sterns
  • Mark J. Traber