Landmarks lit up for People Inc. anniversary

Aug 15, 2020

Niagara Falls was lit up in blue last night to commemorate the 50th anniversary of People Inc. starting in the Buffalo region.
Credit Roxane Albond-Buchner / People Inc.

A local non-profit is celebrating a special milestone.

People Inc. is an organization that provides programming and services to thousands with intellectual and developmental disabilities, as well as their families and older adults throughout Western New York.

The organization is celebrating its 50th anniversary here in the Buffalo region. To commemorate the occasion, several regional landmarks were lit up in blue yesterday.

Rhonda Frederick, the group's president, said that People Inc.'s mission is just as important now as it was 50 years ago, when a group of parents sought to create more services for individuals with disabilties in the Buffalo region.

"We just are able to help such a variety of people," she said. "We help people with disabiltiies, we provide health care services to the general community, we provide affordable housing, we provide services to older adults and the need is there."

She said things have been challenging for the pandemic, but she praised her staff for keeping things going.

"We have almost 4,000 employees who always have done fantastic work but over the last five months they are absolute angels, heroes," she said. "We had almost 140 group homes in quarantine, staff were there providing every service you could think of, so I'd just really like to thank them."

Niagara Falls was lit up for 15 minutes, Buffalo City Hall was lit up through the Buffalo Landmark Illumination Team initiative, and the Downtown Buffalo New York Electric Tower building was illuminated at night.

Due to the pandemic, there will be no in-person events celebrating the organization's anniversary in the short-term. But over the next year there will be celebrations marking the milestone. The group says it will share information on those events in its e-newslettter, social media and website.