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KeyBank, M&T and Pegula Sports and Entertainment team up for $540,000 donation

KeyBank and M&T Bank usually compete head to head.

But the two banks are teaming up with each other, and with Pegula Sports and Entertainment, to donate $540,000 to the fight against Covid-19. The funds will go to Kaleida Health, Erie County Medical Center and Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center.

KeyBank is making its contribution in partnership with the First Niagara Foundation. PSE oversees the business interests of Kim and Terry Pegula, including the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres franchises.

Key has a relationship with the Sabres through KeyBank Center. M&T has its own sponsorship deal with the Bills.

Key was talking with PSE about how to donate to contribute to the fight against Covid-19, and it turned out M&T was having similar conversations with PSE, said Elizabeth Gurney, head of the KeyBank Foundation and the First Niagara Foundation.

The three parties decided to do something jointly, to have a greater impact and send a message about collaboration, Gurney said.

"We compete obviously for banking business but we cannot compete for community needs," Gurney said of the relationship of the two banks.

The specific amounts donated by each of the three parties was not disclosed.

“In these unpredictable and unsettling times, we must come together to support each other and especially those working on the front lines,” said Shelley Drake, president of the M&T Charitable Foundation and the bank's Western New York regional president.

“KeyBank and M&T Bank are both great partners of ours," said Kim Pegula, PSE's president and CEO. "Today our partners look beyond individual goals and join together with us for a much more important cause, as we provide brave front line workers with supplies they need to combat Covid-19 in our community.”

PSE last week announced that 21 people were laid off, 104 were being furloughed and more than three dozen would take a temporary tiered percentage pay cut.

The funds will go toward needs including personal protective equipment and other needed equipment, meals for front-line workers and caregivers, employee and patient hardship support, and hotel rooms for front-line workers worried about exposing their families at home to Covid-19.

The donation will also go toward computer tablets to allow for interaction between patients and loved ones. Once the crisis is over, those tablets will be donated to local schools.

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