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Doctor helps break ground on upgraded center he says changed his life: "This was a safe place to go'

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - It's a big day for the Lovejoy District in Buffalo. Work began Tuesday on the new Seneca Babcock Community Center, on Harrison Street. And construction on this new facility is, largely in part, due to a local doctor's donation of time and money. 

"All that is not given is lost." 

That's what Dr. Daniel Alexander, an orthopedic surgeon, now lives by. But he didn't always have a lot to give. Dr. Alexander grew up in one of Buffalo's poorest neighborhoods, and tells News 4, the Seneca Babcock Community Center changed his life.

"We went from being very poor on the East side of Buffalo, to being a successful doctor, with a successful practice," Dr. Alexander said.

So now, he's giving back. Dr. Alexander has given $1 million plus to build the new center, which helps at-risk kids, families and seniors.

"This was a safe place to go when we were kids," he said. 

He tells News 4, it was a place for him and others to stay off the streets, and away from drugs, alcohol, and other trouble. To this day, it continues to be a safe haven for so many others in the area. 

And in the next 8 to 12 months, kids and families will have another space to hang out. 

The new 12,600 ft. center will feature a new gym, that we're told is bigger than the current center all-together. 

"This facility that we're building will have a computer lab, classrooms, gymnasium, locker rooms and a learning environment for our kids," Brian Pilarski said, the executive director of the Seneca Babcock Center. 

Pilarski said he used to go the center as well. 

"I come from a working, poor family there's six of us," he said. "Unfortunately my one brother went in a different direction, (and) unfortunately he's addicted to pain killers. Without the community center, I would've probably been down the same path."

News 4 is told the current center will stay open. This new center is very close: off Seneca Street, between Babcock and Bailey.  


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