Just Buffalo Donors

Just Buffalo Literary Center could not survive without the support of donors. Thanks to the generosity of the following, Just Buffalo has risen to the top, earning national recognition as one of the leading literary centers in the nation. Our deepest gratitude is extended to everyone listed here.

Donor Spotlight: Dr. Olga Karman

Writer. Lover. Grandmother.

Olga Karman was born in Havana, Cuba and left in 1960, two years after the triumph of the Revolution and just months after the night she and a handful of fellow students had stopped Fidel Castro’s car on a remote country bridge to plead that he not close their University. Olga attended Connecticut College and Harvard University, where she earned her Ph.D. in Latin American literature. After moving to Buffalo in 1976, she taught at Nichols School before joining the D’Youville College faculty, where she taught for almost 3 decades. During those years she became a Hispanic community activist.

“Just Buffalo opened doors for me. I was among the first to be given the opportunity to read poetry at the Allentown Community Center, where Just Buffalo was based in the 1970s. It was my first time to have an audience, my first time to tell others—and others were responding! I was filled with energy and the desire to write more. I felt my writing had value and was appreciated. I owe my beginnings in poetry to Just Buffalo, and I am very grateful.”

One of Olga’s favorite experiences at Just Buffalo was volunteering at the Just Buffalo table at The Elmwood Arts Festival. “Just Buffalo had a tent, a table, and I was given the opportunity to talk about Just Buffalo to whoever wanted to listen. I felt I was spreading the good news . . . all kinds of people . . . a beautiful, sunny day.”

Richard Blanco’s BABEL appearance was another highlight. “I met Richard Blanco at the Breadloaf Writers’ Conference 15 years ago. We hit it off right away and decided to do an impromptu reading. Just the two of us. When I learned Richard was coming to BABEL, I just about fainted. It was a wonderful reunion and a uniquely “Cuban-American-Just Buffalo” experience!”

In 2014, Olga helped develop the Stadnitski Gardens Senior Writing Club. “For years, I’ve served on boards of directors (including Just Buffalo). I sat in rooms and helped make decisions. I wanted something additional now. I wanted to get out there physically—to be doing work in a community. [This program] three of us JB board members created was a dream opportunity. Seniors deserve to have their voices heard. [Our work together] built incredible trust and opened the floodgates. ‘Just write,’ we tell them! And isn’t this a part of Just Buffalo’s credo? ‘Just Read, Just Write, Just Dream, Just Buffalo.’”

“I will give even after the day I die [referencing the Creeley Society and her commitment to Just Buffalo in her estate plans]. I believe in Just Buffalo’s mission. 100%! When I saw BABEL outgrowing the auditorium at Babeville, I fell in love with Buffalo all over again. Not only do I believe in our mission, but our community believes in it. I want to continue to be a part of Just Buffalo and to contribute in any way I can.”

Read more about Olga on www.olgakarman.net.

Literary Leadership Circle

Gifts Over 3 Years (As of June 30, 2015)

President’s Circle ($30,000+)
  • Baumgart Family*
Platinum ($22,500)
  • Paul A. Battaglia*^
  • Corinne and Victor Rice^
  • Anne and Dave Taylor*
Gold ($15,000)
  • Melissa and Allan Baumgart*
  • Mark Chason and Mariana Botero Chason*
  • Adele and George DeTitta*
Silver ($10,000)
  • Dianne Bennett and William Graebner*^
  • Miriam and Peter Dow*
  • Mary E. Farallo*^
  • Friends of Just Buffalo*
  • Patrick Long and Sandra Block, M.D.*
$7,500
  • Richard Schroeder, CFP®*
$5,000
  • Michael C. Angelucci*
  • Anonymous*
  • Jean Doerr and Dr. Robert Kaplan
  • Susan A. Mann Dolce and Frank Dolce
  • Geri Grossman and Jimmie Gilliam*
  • Thomas and Sharon Hewner*
  • Jeffrey and Shelley Hirshberg
  • Kevin and Janet O’Leary
  • Maria Scrivani and John Lipsitz*
  • Timothy Vukelic and Shelby Deck*

2014 Calendar Year Contributors

$25,000+
  • Art Works/National Endowment for the Arts
  • Buffalo News (In-Kind Media Sponsorship)
  • Erie County Cultural Funding
  • New York State Council on the Arts
  • The John R. Oishei Foundation*
  • The Western New York Foundation*
  • WNY Regional Economic Development Council*
$10,000–$24,999
  • Buffalo & Erie County Public Library
  • The Library Foundation of Buffalo & Erie County
  • Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo
  • Robert J. & Martha B. Fierle Foundation*
$5,000–$9,999
  • Adelman Research Group (In-Kind)
  • Arts Services Initiative of Western New York
  • The Baird Foundation
  • Buffalo Spree (In-Kind)
  • The Cameron & Jane Baird Foundation
  • City of Buffalo
  • The Conable Family Foundation
  • Garman Family Foundation
  • The M&T Charitable Foundation
  • Gillian M. McCain
$2,500–$4,999
  • Children’s Foundation of Erie County
  • Eastern Hills Sunrise Rotary Foundation
  • Hodgson Russ LLP
  • Elsie P. & Lucius B. McCowan Private Charitable Foundation
  • Julian R. & Varue W. Oishei Foundation*
  • The Park School
  • UB Department of English
  • UB Humanities Institute
$1,000–$2,499
  • AAA Western & Central New York
  • Dr. Arjang A. Assad*
  • James and Pamela Bachwitz*
  • John Bace and Melissa Balbach
  • Balbach Family Foundation
  • Judy and Tom Beecher*
  • Bryant & Stratton College
  • Robert & Patricia Colby Foundation
  • embraceWNY Board of Directors
  • Francis Felser and David Shaver
  • Caterine and Robert Gatewood
  • Lucy Kogler*
  • Janet Kaye and Dan Kushel*^
  • Richard and Rita Lipsitz*^
  • Sam Magavern and Monica Angle
  • Nichols School
  • Rigidized Metals Corporation
  • riverrun
  • Sean Sullivan
$500–$999
  • Connie Arena
  • Buffalo Seminary
  • Michael J. Collins
  • Michele and Jeffrey Goldfarb
  • Mr. and Mrs. James Gribbins
  • Bill Hites
  • Paul and Barbara Hogan
  • Bruce Jackson and Diane Christian
  • Alice and Jeremy Jacobs, Jr.
  • Kenneth L. and Katherine G. Koessler Family Foundation
  • Bharti and Jean Legros
  • Elizabeth Pascal*
  • Michelle Parrish
  • Hal D. Payne, Ph.D.
  • Penelope Prentice and James Grunebaum
  • Rand & Jones Enterprises Co., Inc.
  • Drs. Caren and Stuart Shapiro
  • Ten Thousand Villages
  • Villa Maria College — Creative Writing & Literature Program
$250–$499


  • Cindy Abbott Letro and Francis Letro
  • John Abromeit and Deirdre Bishop
  • Drs. Amy and Julio Alvarez-Perez
  • Thomas G. Aurelio*
  • Maren Boot
  • Lauren Breen
  • Harvey and Deborah Breverman
  • Kastle Brill and Sue Weidemann
  • Candace Broman
  • Mary Brummer and Elena Delgado
  • Bill Burke and Maryann Jumper
  • Revds. Sarah Buxton-Smith and Stephen J. S. Smith
  • Mr. and Mrs. G. Alexander Cole
  • JoAnn Doerr
  • Judy and Alan Duchan
  • Gayle and James Eagan*
  • Diane E. Elze, Ph.D.
  • Dr. Julie Gavin
  • Susan and Andrew Gianiodis
  • Dr. Kim Griswold
  • Dan and Barbara Hart
  • Edwin P. Hart*
  • Donald and Deborah Houck
  • Mary Jean Jakubowski
  • Renee Joffe
  • Dr. and Mrs. Stephen T. Joyce
  • Dr. Olga Karman*^
  • Ms. Kathleen Kelkenberg
  • Drs. Gunilla and Daniel Kester
  • Mary Ann Kresse
  • Mr. and Mrs. Michael Kuettel
  • David W. Landrey
  • Susan B. Lee
  • Andree and Joel Lippes
  • Sally Marks
  • Lynn Morgan
  • James Nietopski
  • Grace and Hugh O’Donnell
  • Kathy A. O’Donnell
  • Donald and Jane Ogilvie
  • Catherine L. Olsen
  • Kay Patterson and Susan Clements
  • Kimberly Phelan
  • Wendy Pierce
  • Robert D. Pohl
  • Christine Polek
  • Sherry Robbins and Tom Hammond
  • Bryan Roland*
  • Simple Gifts Fund
  • Dr. Nancy J. Smyth
  • Robert and Susan Stephenson
  • Susan Bring Tobe and Richard Tobe
  • Liana Vardi
  • Jeffrey Weisbeck
Memberships of $125 or More


  • Richard and Joan Baer
  • Shirley G. Berglund
  • Charles and Amy Case
  • Trudy Cusella
  • Deborah A. DiMatteo
  • Arthur Efron and Ruth Kirstein
  • Edwin P. Hart*
  • George and Barbara Hole
  • Jane and John Kearns
  • Janet Kaye and Dan Kushel*^
  • Jordan and Holly Levy
  • Andree and Joel Lippes
  • Barbara A. Mathewson
  • John McClester
  • Profs. Cristianne Miller and Jerold Frakes
  • Deborah Osborne
  • Robert D. Pohl
  • Tamar Rothaus
  • Maria Scrivani and John Lipsitz*
  • Angela Stockman
  • Susan Bring Tobe and Richard Tobe
  • Angeline Webb
  • Edward G. Wright

* JB40 Donor (Learn more »)
^ Creeley Society Member
Literary Leadership Circle Member

Donor Spotlight: Olga Karman

"When I saw BABEL outgrowing the auditorium at Babeville, I fell in love with Buffalo all over again."

Read more about Olga and view the complete list of our donors.

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