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Climbing toward diversity: local gym raising money to make rock climbing more accessible

Central Rock Gym Buffalo wants everyone to feel welcome
Posted at 1:01 PM, Jul 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-07 13:07:47-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Rock climbing is set to make its Olympic debut this summer. With that exposure, climbing gyms are expecting to see more new faces coming through their doors.

"We want them to feel welcome and comfortable," said Jennifer Queeno, Assistant Manager at Central Rock Gym Buffalo.

They're hosting a "Diversity Donation Day" on Friday, July 9 to raise money for 5 programs they work with:

  1. Brown Girls Climb
  2. Melanin Base Camp
  3. Waypoint Adventure
  4. Climbing for Change
  5. Diversify Outdoors

It's free, but donations are encouraged.

The ultimate goal is to invite communities of color and different abilities inside and expand their reach. Queeno says it's easy to come together when rock climbing.

"That type of communication starts there and friendships are formed. I can walk up to any of our members and just like have a full conversation of like 'Oh, how was your vacation?', it's a very welcoming community," said Queeno.

Money donated will help buy gear, supplies and more for these groups. They will have crate stacking and a party in the parking lot where you can learn more about these groups.

CRG Buffalo is near a bus stop and on a bike path, which they hope helps get people climbing.

They also offer kids programs, their summer program starts next week. Click here for more info on how to sign up.

Friday's event schedule:

  • When: July 9, 3pm-10pm
  • Where:CRG Buffalo’s parking lot (The back parking lot of 55 Chicago St.)
  • 6:00am – Gym opens 50/50 raffle ticket sales begin
  • 3:00pm – 8pm – Crate stacking: Test your climbing and balance skills! Stack crates one at a time while climbing up to see how high you can get. A $5 or more donation will reserve your one hour time slot.
    • Reservations required, click here, limited to 6 people per hour
  • 7:00pm-9pm – Party in the parking lot
    • Live music, Lawn games, Vendors, 50/50 raffle sales
  • 8pm – 9pm – Resurgence beer trailer
  • 9:30pm – Reel Rock 15 : Four Great Films in one screening

For more information and to make a donation, click here.