Working For A Happy, Healthy WNY

A legislative column from Assemblyman Ray Walter (R,C,I-Amherst)
July 30, 2012

“…Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” These are the inalienable rights afforded to every man, woman and child as defined by the Declaration of Independence. These rights are achieved and protected on many different fronts, from those on a large, national scale to the smaller tasks that take place in our homes and communities. As a husband and father, I know that you cannot have a happy family unless you have a healthy family. Over the course of this summer, Western New Yorkers have taken part in a number of programs and events to aid in the pursuit of happy, healthy lifestyles, with more events yet to come.

This weekend, on Saturday, August 4, I will be joining Senator Michael Ranzenhofer, Assemblywoman Jane Corwin and Kaleida Health to sponsor a family health fair from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. at the Amherst Senior Center, 370 JJ Audubon Parkway in Amherst. This event, which is free of admission, will feature a number of fun and educational displays and exhibits, as well as health screenings to help Western New Yorkers detect health problems and stamp them out before they become serious. Preventive screenings are among the most effective ways to combat illness and provide the opportunity to take a proactive approach to preserve good health. With the wide range of participating organizations offering a myriad of services and demonstrations, there is truly something of interest for people of all ages. I encourage those who are able to bring their whole family to the Amherst Senior Center and check out what Western New York’s healthcare professionals have to offer.

Throughout the summer months, I’ve been working hard to promote health and happiness across Western New York. In late July, my office held a free car seat safety check at the Eggertsville Hose Company. While many parents, grandparents and caretakers understand the importance of placing our small children in car seats while on the road, it is critical that the seats are properly installed and secured. Car seats that lock into their proper positioning have the ability to save lives, and I hope that all of the families who attended the safety check left with a greater peace of mind, knowing that their children are as safe as possible while riding in the car.

In addition, we recently concluded our Christmas in July Holiday Toy Drive with a holiday party at Kaleida Health’s Women and Children’s Hospital. Over the course of the last several months, families, businesses and organizations across Western New York donated new toys to bring smiles to the faces of the young patients at the Children’s Hospital. I joined Assemblyman Kevin Smardz, who also sponsored the drive, along with members of the Buffalo Jills and Santa Claus himself to deliver the toys, bringing joy to a number of courageous local children battling serious illness. I cannot thank everyone who participated enough for their overwhelming generosity, which made the toy drive such a great success.

While many Western New Yorkers commit to the diet and exercise it takes to ensure good health for themselves and their families, it is important to remember that, as always, we achieve more success by working together for the benefit of our entire community. If you have any questions on programs ensuring happy and healthy lifestyles for Western New Yorkers, or any issue regarding state government, please contact my office at 634-1895, or email me at