Buffalo Philharmonic delivers toys to Women & Children’s Hospital; Toy collection part of ongoing Healing Arts initiative

BUFFALO, NY – The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra is providing cheer for the young patients at Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo (WCHOB).

Hundreds of building block sets and toys were collected at the BPO Fantasy Camp event this summer, which saw doctors and other adult amateur musicians from around the world come to Buffalo to spend a week rehearsing with the orchestra under JoAnn Falletta. Close to 2,000 BPO donors and subscribers attended the concert and were asked to bring a building block set or a toy to help distract and entertain sick children at the Hospital.

The collection is part of the Oishei Children’s Hospital Healing Arts initiative. The BPO and WCHOB are collaborating to better provide a physical, mental and emotional healing space for patients and their families. Bringing music into the new Oishei Children’s Hospital to help create a calming environment is a significant goal for the hospital. BPO Music Director JoAnn Falletta has been a passionate advocate for this initiative.

“In partnership with the BPO, our goal in the new hospital will be to further incorporate music and arts to support patients and families in healing,” said Allegra C. Jaros, MBA, President, Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo. “To have things patients can do and see artistically is a great way to engage their senses, distract them from their surroundings and pass the time.”

Two years ago, the BPO hosted the Doctors of the World for a concert at Kleinhans Music Hall. More than 40 doctor-musicians from all over the world came to Buffalo to perform a concert which raised $15,000 to support the initiative. Many of these doctors returned for the 2016 event. WCHOB and the BPO have also collaborated on BPO Kids for Exceptional Kids, which offers accommodations for children with special needs at BlueCross BlueShield BPO Kids concerts. The program, which is sponsored by Wegmans, had a successful debut last season, and will return this season.


On Thursday, Sept. 22 at 4:15 p.m., the BPO will deliver these toys to WCHOB. Several patients will be on hand to receive them, as well as their doctors, their families, and members of the Buffalo Philharmonic’s leadership. The media is invited to attend and learn more about the collaboration between the hospital and the orchestra. The presentation of the toys will take place in the Board Room at WCHOB.

The vision of the John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital, scheduled to open in November 2017, is to be recognized as the innovator, highest-quality, highest value provider and partner, and the regional referral center for women and children’s health care for Western New York and beyond.