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by Staff Writer / Buffalo Sabres
On November 3 at Kleinhans Music Hall, EPIC – Every Person Influences Children – will celebrate its 30th year of helping families, schools and communities raise children to become responsible and capable adults. As part of the Anniversary Celebration, EPIC will honor four individuals that embody the values of Home, School, and Community. Awardees include:

Lindy Ruff – Mr. Lindy Ruff, Head Coach of the Buffalo Sabres, is being honored with the EPIC COMMUNITY AWARD created to honor an individual in our community who exudes the values of EPIC in both his personal and professional life. As a former player and the longest-tenured head coach in the NHL, Mr. Ruff has become one of the most popular and recognizable public figures in Western New York’s history. During his 14-year career behind the bench, Mr. Ruff has accumulated some of the highest honors in the sport. During that time, Mr. Ruff has also set the tone in the locker room to his players that family always comes first. Despite the demands that come with his job, Mr. Ruff provides an extraordinary example to everyone by remaining dedicated to his wife and four children, Brett, Eryn, and twins Brian and Madeline.

Robert M. Greene – Mr. Greene, a partner with Phillips, Lytle LLP, is being honored with the ROBERT L. WILSON award presented in the spirit of the founder of EPIC who dedicated his life to improving the lives of children. Mr. Greene is being recognized for his lifelong commitment to strengthening families both locally and internationally through his work with families in Haiti before and after the 2010 earthquake. His selfless work has spanned a decade and has included several personal and family visits to the impoverished nation ranging from fundraising to distributing medication.

Eugene Meeks – Mr. Meeks, President of Child and Family Services, is being honored with the EPIC HOME AWARD created to honor individuals that are committed to the strengthening of the home environment for children. Mr. Meeks has worked for nearly 30 years in the human service arena, particularly in the family service field. Mr. Meeks’ steadfast belief in strengthening families in the home and promotion of the well-being of children through prevention, intervention, education and advocacy has improved the lives of hundreds of thousands of children.

Karen Mapp, Ph.D. – Dr. Mapp, Director of the Education Policy and Management Program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, is being honored with the EPIC SCHOOL AWARD created to honor an individual whose work enriches school by engaging families in the education of children. Dr. Mapp is an internationally renowned expert in the areas of educational leadership and educational partnerships among schools, families, and the community which has led to major shifts in local, state, and national education policy. Her expertise has been utilized by the Department of Education who has assigned her the role of Special Consultant to Secretary Arne Duncan. She is often recognized for her work as a co-author of the most acknowledged book on family engagement in education, Beyond the Bakesale.

In addition, Dr. Mapp is a tremendous advocate for the work of EPIC as they elevate their priority to support systematic change in education through more comprehensive and effective school outreach to engage families as partners in education.

To present these awards and thank the many friends that have played a key role in helping EPIC achieve its mission and provide an insight into what EPIC has in store for the next 30 years, EPIC will be holding its 30th Anniversary Celebration at Kleinhans Music Hall in the Mary Seaton Room on November 3. Tickets are available for $125 per person by calling Julie Marzolf at 716-332-4159 or by ordering online at
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