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Delaware North donates $1 million to Explore & More Museum

A $1 million gift from Delaware North to Explore & More Children’s Museum now puts the museum closer to meeting its fundraising goal.

The privately owned and locally based hospitality and food service company will sponsor the museum’s Being Good Neighbors educational play zone when the museum opens at Canalside, expected in late 2018.

“Being good neighbors, celebrating our diversity and investing in the future of Buffalo’s children are shared missions of both Explore & More and Delaware North,” said Lou Jacobs, co-CEO of Delaware North, which recently moved into its new headquarters at Delaware Avenue and Chippewa Street.

“Like our investment in Say Yes, we are happy to be a part of this project that will have such a profound impact on the lives of children and families here for years to come.”

Delaware North’s contribution brings the museum’s fundraising total to $7.3 million, as it pursues its $18 million goal. Rising construction costs, plus the need to move Explore & More into a standalone building, increased the project’s cost from $18 million to $27 million.

Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp. will pay $9 million – up from $8 million – toward the building’s shell.

The museum, which initially didn’t have to pay for the exterior, is now responsible for $4.1 million of the cost.

“Explore & More at Canalside will be a good neighbor, making an impact on the region economically, socially and educationally, bringing creative hands-on learning experiences to children and families, and helping to move the needle on school readiness,” said David McNamara, chairman of the capital campaign.

McNamara praised Delaware North for its commitment to the museum and to serving children.

A request for proposals for construction and design has been issued.