I was born and raised in Kenmore, attended St. Joe's and the University at Buffalo and moved to New York City in 1994 to pursue an acting career. I am now a performer on Broadway.
Last Saturday, I volunteered at the midtown Hard Rock Cafe, where the Red Cross has set up a satellite rescue/donation center. I found myself riding a truck filled with food, clothing and medical supplies to "Ground Zero," the World Trade Center. I spent time organizing and handing out donations to the rescue workers.
During a short break, I noticed a group of five firefighters with "Buffalo" inscribed on the back of their coats. I ran over to them and introduced myself. They were from Amherst. I wish I could remember their names, but during the course of the day, I was introduced to more than 100 people.
Besides, at that point, names are rather secondary. The fact that they were there was what I was impressed with.
I have always tried to take the civility that I learned in Buffalo with me to New York. Today, thinking that I was "alone" in a sea of New Yorkers at the site of the world's greatest tragedy, I found fellow Buffalonians. I have always held to the belief that Buffalonians are some of the kindest and most generous people in the country. That was clearly proven today.
These people are true heroes. Please know that the spirit of giving and selflessness that has always grown in abundance in Western New York is being sown here, where it is so desperately needed. Today, more than ever, I am proud to be a Buffalonian.
New York City