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Buffalo Sabres star Alex Tuch visits Upstate Golisano Center for Special Needs with $120,000 gift to support multisensory room

Buffalo Sabres forward and Syracuse native Alex Tuch presented a check for $120,000 to the Upstate Golisano Center for Special Needs Aug. 19 during a visit to the center, which located on the third floor of the Madison Irving Medical Center.

The funds were raised by Tuch’s AT Foundation. (Eighty-nine is the number he wears on the Sabres.)

Tuch served as honorary co-chair of the Upstate Foundation’s campaign for the Golisano Center for Special Needs, which has raised more than $6.5 million.

In presenting his gift, Tuch said: “To see the whole world pinned against them and come in each and every day with a big smile on their face, really showed me to take every day in stride and focus on the positives in life. No matter what’s going on and to see how much happier they made me, I wanted to in turn help them as much as possible.”

Julie Simms of the Upstate Foundation, applauded Tuch’s beneficence. “On behalf of the children and families who are treated here, at the Golisano Center for Special Needs, we thank you and your foundation’s commitment to our children. Your support benefits so many.”

Among those on hand to greet Tuch were Upstate President Mantosh Dewan, MD; Pediatrics Chair Gregory Connors, MD, MPH, MBA; Henry Roane, PhD, director of the Golisano Center for Special Needs; Dr William Sullivan, Jessica Giannino and Simms.

The center, which opened in February 2021, provides comprehensive, coordinated and scientifically based medical and behavioral care for children and adolescents with many types of intellectual and developmental disabilities. The center acts as the umbrella, creating a framework to increase collaboration resulting in better patient care. It helps centralize programs and services available to this population.

The center serves children and families from all across Central New York.

In addition to an expansive location at Madison-Irving Medical Center, the campaign has provided funding to

—support an array of medical staff to address the needs of children with intellectual and developmental disabilities; 

—support scholarships for people interested in pursuing advanced study in behavior analysis studies to address the huge personnel gap in this area; 

—fund research exploring the root genetic causes of disabling conditions and pioneering new ways to treat challenging behaviors; 

—create a Patient Assistance Fund that supports families with limited financial resources, such as expenses incurred by families who travel a distance to the center; 

—support programs that inspire inclusion and community-building, especially promoting understanding and inclusion of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, enhance existing partnerships, foster collaborations and address unmet needs for children with co-morbidities.

Gathering for the check presentation from Alex Tuch, second from left, are (from left) Dr William Sullivan, Tuch, Dr. Henry Roane, Jessica Giannino, Julie Simms and Dr Mantosh Dewan. Sullivan, Roane and Giannino are with the Golisano Center for Special Needs.