Awarded through the foundation's 2015 Transitional Legacy Grant Program, which is in the process of disbursing one-time grants totaling $60 million to causes that resonated with the late Buffalo Bills owner during his lifetime, the funds will establish three endowments totaling $5 million for organizations working in the areas of cancer care, community assets, and youth sports. A competitive grant application process in those areas, to be managed by the community foundation, will be launched in 2016.
The gifts also will create a $500,000 endowment for Hunter's Hope, which was started by former Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly and his wife, Jill, after their son, Hunter, was diagnosed with Krabbe Leukodystrophy; a $500,000 endowment for the Western New York Amateur Football Alliance, which works to create and sustain safe sporting environments characterized by fair play and sportsmanship; and a $1 million endowment to support the community foundation's leadership work.
"Mr. Wilson has been a huge blessing in my life and in the lives of so many others," said Jim Kelly, co-founder of Hunter's Hope Foundation. "I am deeply grateful that his legacy will be continued along with my son, Hunter's, through this generous donation to Hunter's Hope. Countless children affected by Leukodystrophies will have access to medically necessary items for years to come through the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Wish Gift program."