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Kids Day newspaper hawkers on streets for 32nd year

Hundreds of volunteers stationed at major intersections in the region came together in spirit this morning for a common cause – to sell Kids Day editions of The Buffalo News.

Proceeds from the sale of this $1 special edition are presented to Variety, the Children’s Charity, to benefit Women and Children’s Hospital, the Robert Warner MD Center for Children with Special Needs and other children’s charities in Western New York, including St. Mary’s School For The Deaf, Camp Good Days and Special Times, and Cradle Beach.

Fifteen years ago, Robert and Ellen Keller started selling the papers with a few friends at the corner of Hertel Avenue and Delaware Avenue. It was just something the couple wanted to do, a way to give back.

“We look forward to this day every year. It’s great to see the community come together. It’s a wonderful cause,” Robert said as he unbundled a stack of newspapers.

At the intersection of Sheridan Drive and Harlem Road in Amherst, a similar scene played out.

Teachers from the Smallwood Drive and Windemere Boulevard schools in the Amherst Central School District have made that busy stretch of road their territory – also for the past 15 years.

“We started back when we were all young and single. Now, we have families and children. We’ve seen the value of the fund-raising effort, especially Children’s Hospital, and how it brings people together, too,” said Jon Herzog, a fifth-grade teacher and the group leader.

Kids Day historically seems to coincide with challenging weather – rain or cold or high wind. But that wasn’t the case with today’s comfortable conditions.

This is the 32nd year of the Kids Day campaign. Since 1983, contributions to Kids Day have totaled more than $4.2 million, according to The Buffalo News.

It’s common for purchasers of the special edition to donate beyond $1, said Ellen Keller.

“Some people really respond,” she said. “Last year, we sold every one of our papers.”