Contact: Janine Kava, Press Office
New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services/Crime Victims Board
(518) 457-8906 or (518) 275-5508 – cell
janine.kava@dcjs.ny.gov

For immediate release: Thursday, April 1, 2010

Buffalo Sabres partner with New York State Crime Victims Board to raise awareness of victims’ assistance, advocacy and compensation programs

30-second public service announcement to air during home games

Buffalo Sabres Defenseman Steve Montador is featured in a new, 30-second public service announcement designed to raise awareness of the New York State Crime Victims Board (CVB) and the assistance it provides.

Produced for the board by the Sabres, the PSA began airing on the high-definition video board at the 18,690-seat HSBC Arena last weekend. View the PSA.

The script is as follows; at the end of the spot, the board’s toll-free telephone number and website (www.ovs.ny.gov) appear on the screen.

“After the horn sounds, the game is over, a memory. But a crime haunts its victim forever. I’m Steve Montador of the Buffalo Sabres, here to talk to you about the New York State Crime Victims Board. The board pays medical bills, provides emergency help, funds programs to help victims across the state and more. If you have been hurt by crime, the state Crime Victims Board can help you. Call 1-800-247-8035 or visit the website.”

The PSA will run on the video board at the HSBC Arena through the balance of the Sabres’ season. The regular season ends on Sunday, April 11, but the team, which sits atop the Northeast Division, has already secured a first-round playoff berth, which will extend the season into mid-April, at the very least.

Buffalo is home to one of the Crime Victims Board’s three offices. Long-time CVB employee – and Sabres fan – Robert Coogan knew the team had a strong track record of community involvement, so he took a shot and contacted the team about the possibility of having a player “star” in a PSA. He scored.

"I’m proud to support the CVB and the victims they serve,” Steve Montador said. “Hopefully through this promotion, more victims will have a greater understanding and awareness of the services that are available to them."

Added CVB Chairwoman Tina M. Stanford: “We are so grateful to the Sabres and Defenseman Steve Montador for their willingness to partner with us. The board and its entire staff are committed to providing eligible victims of crime with assistance, but we also know that many crime victims may not realize that help is available.”

“This new PSA will allow us to reach more men, women and children who can benefit from the assistance that the board – and the victims’ assistance programs that it funds across the state – can provide during a very difficult time in their lives,” Chairwoman Stanford added.

In addition to being shown during Sabres’ games, the PSA will hit the airwaves on Buffalo’s Channel 7 (WKBW) during Crime Victims’ Rights Week (April 18 -24). The PSA will be made available to other stations if they are interested in airing it as well.

Established in 1966, the Crime Victims Board provides direct compensation to eligible crime victims and funds a network of victims’ assistance programs across the state. Funding for crime victims’ compensation and victim assistance programs is generated by fines, mandatory surcharges, and crime victim assistance fees that certain offenders pay after conviction in either state or federal court.

During the 2008-09 fiscal year, the Crime Victims Board provided more than $27.3 million to crime victims and their families, including payment of medical and funeral expenses, compensation for lost wages and reimbursement for essential personal property. The board also will provide another $98 million over the next three years to fund a network of 189 victims’ assistance programs across the state.  Those programs provide services that range from crisis intervention and counseling to legal assistance and transportation.

In addition to its Buffalo office, the board has offices in Albany and Brooklyn.