Nearly twenty years after a larger herd of bison statues popped up around town to raise cancer research funds, a herd of blue buffalo figures are being unleashed in a new campaign known as Herd of Hope. The campaign launched on Monday to coincide with "716 Day."
The blue buffalo figures are sponsored by numerous businesses and other interests and will be displayed on their respective premises for an indefinite period of time. Proceeds from the sponsored buffalo will go toward research projects at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Bill Loecher, a board member with the Alliance Foundation and Roswell Park volunteer, hopes participants will leave them up for many years to come.
"As we get towards the middle or the end of this cycle, and we have an idea of what the funding is, we're going to announce those initiatives and we believe that will get others to want to be part of what we're doing and understand the importance of what we're doing," Loecher said.
He told WBFO there will be a continuous need for funding to continue cancer research and get some studies off the ground. He also noted that like flu strains that evolve and resist known vaccines, cancer also evolves, thus the need for continued research will exist.
"The reality is, there are more ideas sitting not just at Roswell but at every other institution in the country, sitting on a researcher's bench today that may never see the light of day, only because of funding," Loecher said. "You ask yourself 'what if?' What if that next one would have been the one?"