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KeyBank Reaffirms Commitment to Western New York with Grants of More Than $1.7 Million to Lift Low- to Moderate-Income Communities

BUFFALO, N.Y., May 11, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- KeyBank today reaffirmed its commitment to helping communities thrive in Western New York with several major philanthropic announcements for Buffalo. KeyCorp Chairman and CEO Beth Mooney said today's announcements are further examples of KeyBank's investment in New York as part of the pending merger with First Niagara Financial Group.

This morning, KeyBank Foundation announced a $1,000,000 grant to Say Yes Buffalo. During a pep rally at the Buffalo Academy for Visual and Performing Arts, KeyBank officials said the grant supports the mission of Say Yes Buffalo to increase high school and postsecondary completion rates. This grant reflects the single largest philanthropic investment ever made by KeyBank Foundation outside of Key's Cleveland, Ohio headquarters.

Established in 2011 by a diverse group of community leaders, the goal of Say Yes Buffalo is to strengthen the Western New York economy by investing in the education of Buffalo's future workforce. "KeyBank has been operating in New York for 190 years and 170 years in Buffalo," added Mooney. "To us, this gift is about honoring that legacy but, more important, building the future. It is about creating opportunities for students in Western New York to thrive on their own terms and to reinvest their successes with their families, friends and communities."

"We are enormously grateful to KeyBank for this gift which is not only significant in size but also significant in what it says about the company's belief in the Say Yes Buffalo partnership," said Alphonso O'Neil-White, Chair of the Say Yes Buffalo Scholarship Board. "KeyBank made its first gift to our fund in 2012 - that they have come back to the table to not only make another commitment but to increase it to $1 million says a lot about their faith in our approach toward strengthening the regional economy by investing in Buffalo's public school students."

Also announced this morning is a grant from the KeyBank Foundation of $500,000 to the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo to establish a fund dedicated to building an inclusive economy in Buffalo and Western New York. The Building an Inclusive Economy fund will be established by January 1, 2017, and will directly align with the KeyBank Foundation's "Neighbors" strategic priority, focusing on the stabilization and revitalization of urban neighborhoods and rural communities.

"The Building an Inclusive Economy fund will work with community-based organizations to create prosperity in Buffalo neighborhoods. We look forward to...