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The Herd 10 19 2000
Fall, 2000
The public art display, Herd About Buffalo, was championed by Patricia Capstraw Wilkins.  Born in Utica, NY, in 1945, Patty was a graduate of Rosary Hill College and did postgraduate work in literature at Trinity College in Dublin.  After Ireland, she moved to Paris, and ultimately returned to Buffalo to take up a career as a teacher and later a paralegal, working also for the Buffalo Urban League, as well as a volunteer at Roswell Park.
 
It was she, who after a visit to Chicago in 1999, conceived the idea of the “Buffalo Herd.” The program brought over 150 life-sized fiberglass buffalo statues to "roam" the streets of Buffalo, and quite a few of them could be found along Metro's rail line on Main Street.  
 
There was a great deal of publicity surrounding the “stampede” in the city.  What was not revealed was that Patricia herself was a victim of cancer.  Her personal struggle was the fuel that drove her to turn this delightful city-wide art exhibit into research dollars for the nation’s first cancer hospital where she had cared for so many, and where she herself would succumb to the disease for which she fought so hard to find a cure.
 
She died on August 23, 2000 at the age of 55, never knowing just how successful the Buffalo Herd Project would ultimately become. Many of the statues were offered to bidders at auction to help raise funds for cancer research and patient care at Roswell Park Cancer Institute.   For more about her legacy, take a look here - The inspirational story of Patricia Capstraw Wilkins. 
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Patty Buffalo Herd
Patricia Capstraw Wilkins