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City of Light

The B Team throws the switch on the Old First Ward

Whether the winter produces a stereotypical Buffalo snow-piled wonderland or a mucky, frosted but bare ground, you can be sure to see houses strewn with lights, wreaths, inflated snowmen, and perhaps even an animatronic reindeer.

To keep this tradition alive, the nonprofit organization the B Team has been choosing a neighborhood in Buffalo to transform with decorations, gifts, and holiday cheer for the past five years. The B Team—led by young professionals—describes themselves as “dedicated to promoting a lasting sense of civic pride in the Greater Buffalo area. The B Team creates high-impact signature projects and assists other organizations with the development and execution of volunteer-driven events. We aim to inspire community engagement that translates into ongoing change.”

Their mission is to enhance Western New York through partnerships, exemplary leadership, and civic engagement. Their holiday project, City of Light, will take place in Buffalo’s Old First Ward on Saturday, December 8, 9am-6pm. Thanks to sponsorships and volunteers, the B Team will decorate large sections of streets, serve meals to residents, host a winter carnival, and provide neighborhood children with gifts, games, and crafts. At the end of the day they will gather residents and volunteers together for a holiday celebration, tree-lighting ceremony, candlelit caroling, and dinner. This spring, B Team Buffalo worked with the Old First Ward Community Center (62 Republic Street) to build and install garden beds for neighborhood use. The project transformed an abandoned lot into a thriving, colorful community space.

“We organized over 20 volunteers and had a really great event. This is our second year working with a neighborhood on both a spring and winter event, and the dedication to their community these neighbors have shown us is inspiring,” said B Team chairman Elizabeth Callahan.

If you are interested in being a part of this holiday project or learning more, please visit or contact Callahan at 984-7660 or To make a donation, please visit

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