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HSBC Bank donates $100,000 for ReLeaf

They were looking ahead to spring Monday at the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy, as HSBC Bank dropped off $100,000 for the Olmsted ReLeaf campaign.

At the onset of warm weather and soft ground, the nonprofit agency that governs the city's 1,200-acre Olmsted system will begin replacing trees devastated by October's surprise snowstorm.

Conservancy CEO Jonathan M. Holifield estimated it will take five years to "restore, rehabilitate and reforest" the parks and parkways, which lost 3,000 to 4,000 trees.

Two $50,000 checks, delivered by HSBC Executive Vice Presidents Brian Keating and Paulette Crooke at Parkside Lodge in Delaware Park, met the goal set by the ReLeaf campaign Nov. 29.

The bank, through its charitable foundation, pledged to match dollar for dollar donations totaling up to $50,000, including individual gifts of as much as $5,000. Every dollar contributed by HSBC employees was matched twice.

Still, reaching the campaign goal was only a first step. Holifield has said it will cost $1.05 million to $1.4 million to replace all the trees lost during the storm, based on a projected cost of $350 per tree.

With that in mind, the bank will continue to accept donations to the ReLeaf fund, said Kathleen Rizzo Young, president of the HSBC Foundation. Checks made out to the Olmsted ReLeaf Fund can be left with any of the bank's Western New York branches or mailed directly to the Conservancy, 84 Parkside Ave., Buffalo, NY 14214.


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