It is with great sadness we share that longtime friend of Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village, Dolores Attea Sapienza, passed away on May 16. We extend our deepest condolences to her family and many friends.
Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village would not exist without Dolores. As a founding member of the Amherst Museum, she was integral in securing the Shaw Building, which serves as our exhibit and collections building. Since the museum’s founding, Dolores never stopped working tirelessly to ensure Amherst’s legacy. She held many positions at BNHV, including Trustee Emeritus on the BNHV Board of Trustees and founder and Co-Chair of the Amherst Women’s Interclub Council, which hosts the annual Kentucky Derby Luncheon. In recognition of her efforts, time, and dedication, BNHV was proud to honor Dolores as a founder and designate the Dolores Attea Sapienza Ballroom. BNHV will always remember Dolores for her generous heart, which was on full display every time she visited the museum, and often took the form of bringing enough food to each of her meetings to ensure she also fed every staff member and volunteer. In many ways, big and small, she made sure to take care of every person with whom she came into contact.
Dolores was the definition of a community leader, and never stopped working to make the world, especially Amherst, a better place. Her numerous community activities ranged from founding the Amherst Youth Board, Amherst Youth Center, and the local Brownies Program. Dolores received numerous awards from the Town of Amherst, Erie County, and the State of New York for her tireless efforts to support youth, education, heritage, and community, and BNHV is forever grateful for her passion, dedication, and support through the years. While we will feel her loss deeply, her legacy will live on in every child, neighbor, and member of our community whose life was made better through her care.