Explore & More rendering

The children's museum coming to Canalside moved $1 million closer to its fundraising goal Tuesday.

The New Era Cap Foundation, Buffalo Bills Foundation and Buffalo Sabres Foundation are giving a $1 million donation to Explore & More Children's Museum to help construct the Playing Together educational play zone, which will be a prime attraction when the new museum opens. The opening is scheduled for late 2018.

“At New Era, we’re best known for our partnerships with the major sports leagues. But equally as important is our desire to fuel a passion for sports in the next generation,” Chris Koch, president and CEO of New Era said at HarborCenter Tuesday.

“We’re proud to support this educational play zone at Explore & More Children’s Museum and to invest in our community’s children through a sports experience they can appreciate and learn from – whether they’re an athlete or a fan,” he said.

“The Explore & More project exemplifies the core mission of our One Buffalo initiative,” said Russ Brandon, managing partner and president of Pegula Sports and Entertainment.

"Explore & More will create a specialized destination that will further the resurgence of the Canalside district, appealing to children and families of all walks of life, through the importance of promoting learning and playing. The children's museum will be a tremendous asset to downtown Buffalo, and the Bills Foundation and Sabres Foundation are thrilled to be involved."

The gift comes on top of a previously announced $1 million contribution from Delaware North to fund an exhibit that will expand and enhance educational play experience, encouraging movement, exercise, and healthy living.

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