Brown launches donation program
Silver Creek graduate, Salamanca native and newly-minted Buffalo Bandit Frank Brown is certainly getting into the holiday spirit.
Looking around at the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, with Christmas fast approaching, Brown recently launched the first Cousin Brownie Holiday Give Back as a way to help his community.
A combination raffle and donation drive, the Give Back was created in order to help Seneca families in the Allegany and Cattaraugus Territories through a partnership with Seneca Nation Child and Family Services.
“This was a bit of a spur-of-the-moment thing. I think we started planning it a little under a week ago,” Brown said on Tuesday evening. “I’ve got a good network of people who are of the same mindset that goes with running an event like this. I feel very fortunate, you know? I think I have a platform that allows me to do good. With hard times and difficult circumstances falling on everyone, I think it would be a shame if I didn’t put that platform to good use.”
After finishing with 317 points for the Black Knights, Brown took his lacrosse career to Hobart College in Geneva, where he was a two-time William H. Dobbin Memorial Award winner as the team’s best offensive player.
During the summer of 2018, Brown made his Major League Lacrosse debut for the Ohio Machine before signing a two-year contract with the Bandits this summer.
Now, the lacrosse community is helping Brown give back during a time of need.
For every $10 spent on toys and donations, one entry will be granted into a raffle that includes gear, apparel and jerseys from professional lacrosse players and organizations.
“What we are doing as an incentive for donations is a raffle. The raffle includes items received from professional lacrosse players, professional lacrosse organizations and leagues all around the country,” Brown said. “It was super easy. There is no shortage of guys willing to help out. I don’t think I really needed to say much more than, ‘Hey I’m doing this toy drive for my community, are you willing to help?’ Everyone was willing to support us just like that.”
Looking for inspiration for the event, Brown turned to the holiday classic movie “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” as well as Seneca culture.
“As the great Clark Griswold said, ‘This isn’t charity, it’s family,'” Brown says on the Give Back website. “Cousin Brownie was inspired by that same sentiment – the love of family and what it means within our communities. The true meaning of the Christmas spirit! In Seneca we say, ‘O’tgononyo,’ which can loosely translate to, ‘I thank you, I give my respect/love.'”
Those interested in helping the cause can visit cousinbrownie.org, where one will find an Amazon list of goods that can be donated as well as additional information.