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Editorial: Bits and pieces from the news

Another reminder that major weather events also affect non-humans came in the news that the SPCA Serving Erie County plans to care for 21 dogs from an animal shelter in Florida, hit hard by Hurricane Irma.

They were to be among 180 dogs getting first-class treatment aboard a Wings of Rescue flight. Some had been separated from their human families and will be cared for at shelters in New York and Pennsylvania until they can be reunited. Others are in need of permanent homes, which gives canine-less and under-canined families the chance to help themselves and man’s best friend.

Speaking of best friends, who would have guessed that the District Parent Coordinating Council and the Buffalo Parent-Teacher Organization are finally getting along? It’s been in the works for some time, but now it’s official: These two groups, once at odds with each other, are coming together to speak with a united voice on education issues. They even have a fitting name: Parent Congress.

They will still maintain their separate identities, but the vibe is a lot more inclusive. And that’s good for the organizations and especially for schoolkids.

Relations certainly have come a long way since the bad old days when, as the DPCC’s Samuel L. Radford III recalled: “We just perceived them to be a puppet of the union.”

Good that all that’s in the past.

The Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation scored a winning goal with its generous $650,000 gift to Soccer for Success, a program that runs 12 weeks each spring and fall for kids in kindergarten through the eighth grade. Run by the Buffalo Soccer Club and a longtime signature initiative of the Independent Health Foundation, the program is a smash hit with kids.

The program serves 1,750 youngsters now, with plans to grow to 2,250 players next year and 3,000 in the following year. It is all possible with the latest Wilson Foundation gift, which brings its total contributions to $1.4 million.

The free program goes to neighborhood parks and schools across the city and serves as a vital physical outlet for kids who might otherwise lack the recommended one hour of daily exercise. It gives kids a safe environment to enjoy one of the world’s most popular sports.

The foundation is committed to making hundreds of millions of dollars in philanthropic contributions to a variety of causes around Western New York over the next 20 years, drawn from the proceeds of the sale of the Buffalo Bills.

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