Three years ago we set out to do something different. We wanted to share stories, celebrate Buffalo by bringing people together at events, showcase small businesses and help those in need in our community.
What a ride it has been!!
What is Totally Buffalo?
It’s a crazy leap of faith, a labor of love. Truly. After being a part of the Buffalo media for 20 years – I left to be a mommy. It wasn’t a tough decision because I followed my heart. That’s usually my gauge – not money, not status, not anything other than my heart. Oh, it’s gotten me into plenty of trouble in my life – but that is for another blog. 🙂
I had been working with a few charities and writing for The Buffalo News/Gusto for a while, but I needed something more. Something mine. And, as good ideas usually do – it started in a very organic way. It started with my husband and I talking about going to the Wing Fest. We love Wing Fest! We talked about how cool it would be to have a festival with all ‘Buffalo Stuff’. We brainstormed and put it on the back burner. I found myself continuously bringing it up. To my girls. My niece. My sister. I even called our buddy Drew Cerza (Wing King) to get his thoughts. He loved the idea and gave us some amazing advice. I thought about it a bunch and then thought about making it more. A festival. Some merchandise. And then, a website. Seemed to make sense.
Yep. We knew we wanted to celebrate Buffalo and we went back and forth on many names. Truthfully, it was my then 4-year old daughter, Emma who came up with the name. Ya see, when she is serious about something – she sticks the word totally in there. Like, “Mom, we should totally buy that Barbie Doll.” or “We should totally go to the park today.” So, I figured if we were serious about this – it should be Totally Buffalo.
SO we went for it. Now – we’ve had three years worth of stories – millions of viewers log on to totallybuffalo.com millions of times! We have had 11 festivals, raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for those in need, brought awareness to many important causes and had an awful lot of fun doing it!
We loved the helping others part so much that we started a charity of our own. A registered 501c3 non-profit called Totally Buffalo’s Hope for the Holidays! My husband, my sister and I started the charity in memory of my dad, Phil Friona. It’s truly something we love doing and we have an incredible board of directors helping us with this mission. We feel very blessed!
We’ve done so much – but we know that we could NOT do this without you. Your story ideas, your messages, your sharing, your donations, your kind words, your thoughts, your businesses and on and on and on!!!!
SO thank YOU! Thank you for three years of fulfillment. We hope to go on for a long time to come!!!!
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