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Cattaraugus County charities will benefit from a holiday season partnership among the Buffalo Sabres, Cattaraugus County Industrial Development Agency, Chamber of Commerce of Olean and Vicinity Inc., and Salamanca Chamber of Commerce.

The Sabres this week made available 2,000 tickets to CCIDA, which is in turn selling them to local businesses, organizations and the two chambers at $5 apiece.

The tickets are for the Carolina Hurricanes game in Marine Midland Arena Dec. 19. Proceeds generated in the collaboration will benefit local charities, to be selected for funding by the Sabres and CCIDA.

"The IDA is going to the chambers and major businesses and selling them blocks of 50 to give to employees or vendors. The deal is these are $5 tickets to give to employees as bonus, to say thank you. The business pays the IDA for them," said CCIDA spokeswoman Cheryl L. Adams.

In addition, the two chambers are selling the tickets to individuals or small groups at the $5 rate, she said. The Olean chamber, which had reserved 300 seats by Thursday afternoon, is offering bus transportation for ticket holders at a cost of $15.

Mrs. Adams said each block of 50 tickets includes a mixture of seats, some in the "bowl" area near the ice, which are valued at $36, and others of lesser value in other sections of the arena.

As of Friday, the CCIDA had reserved 1,200 tickets for local businesses, she said. The Olean chamber will distribute 300 tickets and the Salamanca chamber hopes to sell 50. Both organizations are expected to place more orders in the coming weeks.

The Greater Olean Area Chamber of Commerce and the Ellicottville Chamber of Commerce both declined to take part in the effort.

Non-profit groups who wish to be considered in the distribution of proceeds should contact the CCIDA at 699-2005.

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