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Bieler’s stunning gift to Roswell Park will benefit the entire community

The solid foundation upon which good communities are built requires selfless citizens willing to give of their time and resources.

Scott Bieler fits that bill.

Because of that selflessness, Roswell Park Cancer Institute is naming its newest building for Bieler. The $50.5 million Scott Bieler Clinical Sciences Center is an 11-story, 142,000-square-foot structure that will offer patient clinical care services, research and support programs.

The designation marks the first time the Roswell Park Alliance Foundation has named an entire building on the hospital campus in a donor’s honor.

At his request, Roswell Park officials declined to reveal the amount of the substantial gift, which will go to the cancer center’s Priority Endowment Fund.

Those who know Bieler, or have been touched by his generosity, were not surprised at his humility epitomized by his statement: “When I look at this building, and you think that your name is going to be associated – not only with that building but what it means and what’s going to go on in there – how can you not feel honored? How can you not feel blessed beyond belief?”

Bieler is president and majority owner of the West Herr Automotive Group, one of the largest auto dealer groups in the nation. He started at West Herr more than 40 years ago as a salesman.

Lee C. Wortham, the foundation chairman, described Bieler’s history of volunteer work and philanthropy as a “pattern of service.”

Bieler served as co-chairman of a fundraising campaign for the Clinical Sciences Center. That effort brought in some $32 million. In addition, Bieler is among a “Circle of 10” families that each contributed $1 million toward the cost of the building. And he is a past winner of Roswell Park’s Katherine Anne Gioia Award for volunteer leadership.

Bieler, a 1974 ECC alumnus, committed $300,000 to Erie Community College toward the $30 million science and technology building planned for its North Campus. He has also participates in the Ford Friendship Express program, which donates vans to local non-profits.

The Buffalo News last year named him one of its Outstanding Citizens for his volunteerism, generosity and good works. The Canisius College Board of Regents bestowed upon him its 2015 Distinguished Citizens award.

A community does not thrive without people like Bieler. To him the community offers its sincerest thank you.