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Don Vidler: ‘Buffalove’ is flowing as Vidler’s competes

Gratifying, heartwarming, but mostly humbling – these are some of the adjectives I could use to describe the outpouring of “Buffalove” our business has received over the past seven weeks.

In June, we entered a national contest sponsored by Intuit – the global company that provides software programs to small businesses. The grand-prize winner will receive a 30-second TV commercial in this season’s Super Bowl broadcast.

Much to our delight and surprise, we learned in September that out of more than 15,000 original entrants, we were a Top 10 finalist. This was based on our written entries and, in large part, the number of public votes we received. The Top 3 will be determined by a final round of online popular voting that started on Sept. 2 and runs through Nov. 3.

That’s where the Buffalove comes in. Certainly (and selfishly) we know it would be great for our business to get a spot during the Super Bowl. What we have found overwhelming is the support that we have received from the entire Western New York community during this voting stage.

Sure, we’re pretty certain that most of East Aurora is behind us, but if you can’t marshal the votes of your own hometown, you’re probably not starting off on a good note. What has amazed us even more over the past weeks are the daily “I’m voting for you!” and espousals we hear not just from our friends, neighbors and classmates, but from customers living in Amherst, Niagara Falls, Jamestown, Rochester and so many other towns and villages.

And not just in the store, but also via email, on our Facebook and Twitter pages and in the street. We and our employees have heard it when going to the bank, post office, other shops or a doctor’s office in other towns – Western New York is behind us.

It might be Vidler’s in the contest, but most people mention in the same breath that they’re not only voting for us but, by extension, for all of Western New York. The comment we hear the most is “this would be great for the entire area” – another chance to shine the national spotlight on all of the positive things happening throughout the region.

There has already been much media coverage locally and across the country about the resurgence in Buffalo via Canalside, Larkinville, HarborCenter, SolarCity, the medical corridor, the restaurants, restored architecture, micro-breweries – the list grows daily.

To have a small business from Western New York represented during the globally watched Super Bowl broadcast is one more opportunity to further dispel the “winter and wings” punch line we’ve carried for so long. (Don’t get me wrong. I love wings and I don’t mind the snow. But that’s a topic for another time.)

Our business is part of a wonderful community, and it’s mainly the proud people of Western New York who make this a great area in which to live, work and play. And that pride is again being demonstrated as everybody is stepping up to vote for us.

We’ll find out on Nov. 3 if we’re one of the Top 3, with the grand-prize winner announced a few weeks later. Even if we don’t make this final cut, we’re incredibly grateful to get to this point. It’s been a lot of fun. We appreciate the support; please keep voting!

Talkin’ proud and showing Buffalove – thank you, Western New York.