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The Rob Esche “Save of the Day” Foundation, Inc., is committed to enhancing the lives of children and families throughout the Mohawk Valley and partnering with other charitable organizations to directly impact the quality of life in our community. The Foundation is devoted to raising funds annually through special events, a partnership with the Utica Comets and Utica City FC organizations, and direct fundraising activities to benefit the Mohawk Valley community.

Since its inception, the Rob Esche “Save of the Day” Foundation, Inc., has raised over two million dollars to support children and families in the Mohawk Valley! The goal is twofold: first, the Foundation is committed to providing financial assistance to children who are facing life threatening conditions.  Secondly, knowing that children’s lives can be affected in other ways, the Foundation expanded its support to area non-profit organizations whose work addresses critical issues in our community that impact families.    


Fundraising efforts include the 50/50 Raffle Program at both Utica Comets and Utica City FC games, specialty Utica Comets and UCFC game nights, an anniversary gala, and community wide raffles. In addition, as more people in the community realize the far-reaching impact of the Save of the Day Foundation, other organizations and individuals have stepped forward to offer their support. In the fall of 2019, the men’s and women’s basketball teams at SUNY Polytechnic held a golf tournament that raised over $4,000 for the programs of the Foundation. A family in the community also chose the Save of the Day Foundation as a beneficiary for a “Return to Good Health Celebration” honoring a family member who had been battling cancer, raising $4,000 for the Save of the Day Foundation. 


The Save of the Day Foundation is a non-administrative nonprofit. This means that no money is used to administrative/personnel costs. The Utica Comets cover the salary of the CEO of the Foundation as their donation to the efforts of the Foundation. Thus, all monies raised are in turn, donated back to the community in the form of grants to children in need or nonprofit organizations. 

All grants from the Save of the Day Foundation are decided by a Board of Directors following a comprehensive review.  Since its founding, the Foundation has donated to 115 individual children who were facing life threatening illnesses. The arrival of the Comets and Utica City FC also presented new opportunities to make a difference for children in need by providing in-game experiences, starting an adaptive skating program for children experiencing developmental delays, as well as game opportunities for families faced with a crisis. For children and families in crisis, sometimes it is just an opportunity to get away from the daily challenges and enjoy an evening of fun with one of our teams.


The Foundation began its support for nonprofit organizations to address critical issues facing families today. The Board of Directors identified three pillars of support: child health and wellness; local military and law enforcement initiatives, and education. In the past five years, over 40 organizations have benefitted from financial support from the Save of the Day Foundation. 



During the 2022-23 season the following organizations received grants from the Foundation:

  • AFCEA International Erie Chapter

  • American Heart Association

  • Bank of Utica

  • Boy Scouts of America Longhouse Council 373

  • CNY Chapter 490

  • CNY Memorial Stair Climb

  • CNY Veteran's Outreach Center

  • Cure Sanfilippo Foundation

  • Evelyn’s House

  • Freedom Guide Dogs

  • Guardians of Freedom Memorial

  • Hospice & Palliative Care

  • ICAN

  • Kevin Bing Crossley Memorial Foundation

  • Masonic Medical Research Institute (MMRI)

  • Munson

  • Oneida County Soil & Water Conservation District

  • Paws of War

  • The House of the Good Shepherd

  • United Way of the Mohawk Valley

  • Upstate Foundation

  • Utica Children’s Museum

Robert Esche




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