I have been writing a series of popular articles on successful billionaires, entrepreneurs, and business leaders who put their fortune to good use and support local organizations.
Today it is time to look at two people that are well known in Buffalo and what they are doing to support the Buffalo community.
The Buffalo billionaire
Terry Pegula made his fortune in gas and oil.
He founded his company, East Resources, in 1983 after borrowing $7500 from family and friends.
Pegula turned East Resources into a gas and oil giant and sold part of the business and its assets to Shell in 2010 for $4.7 billion. He sold the remainder to American Energy Partners for $1.75 billion in 2014.
With his fortune, he turned to sports forming the Pegula Sports and Entertainment Company.
He has since spent almost $2 billion purchasing the Buffalo Bills and the Buffalo Sabres, building HarborCenter, and renovating First Niagara Center.
"Terry and [his wife] Kim have invested heavily in Buffalo, both economically and psychologically. That makes for a very powerful combination.” Rep. Brian Higgins, D-Buffalo
Their NFL franchise has established the Buffalo Bills Foundation and the Buffalo Bills Social Justice Fund at the Community Foundation, supporting local organizations.
This week the Bills announced that a combined $200,000 would go to the Buffalo Together Community Response Fund to address topics including issues that have marginalized communities of color.
Other notable donations include:
- The Pegulas donated over $1.2 million at the start of the pandemic to COVID-19 relief efforts in Western New York. The Buffalo Bills also contributed $500,000 to ensure Buffalo Public School students would have the internet access they needed to attend school virtually.
- The Pegulas donated $12 million to Houghton College, from which Kim Pegula graduated from
- $88 million to Terry's former college, Penn State. He was recognized as Philanthropist of the Year in 2011 by Penn State.
“We should count our lucky stars that Terry and Kim are here. You have to admire what they have done, especially in a relatively short period of time.” Sen. Charles Schumer
Readers, do you think the Pegulas are doing enough in Buffalo? What other organizations in Buffalo do you think Terry Pegula should support?
Please leave your comments below.