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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 millions of 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, Save of the Day fundraising events, 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.


The Save of the Day Foundation is a non-administrative non-profit organization. This means that no money is used for 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. 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, an adaptive skating program for children experiencing developmental delays, as well as game opportunities for families faced with a dilemma. 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 non-profit 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. To date, over 150 organizations and over 215 children facing life-threatening illnesses have benefitted from financial support from the Save of the Day Foundation.

During the 2023-24 season, the following organizations received grants from the Foundation:


Anita's Stevens Swan Humane Society

Catholic Charities

Children’s Dyslexia Center

CNY Chapter 490 Military Order of the Purple Heart

CNY Veteran's Outreach Center

Cure Sanfilippo Foundation

Evelyn’s House

Hope in Action

Hospice & Palliative Care


Masonic Medical Research Institute (MMRI)

Mohawk Valley Crime Stoppers

Mother Marianne’s Westside Kitchen Boutique

Municipal Housing Authority of the City of Utica

Oneida County Soil & Water Conservation District

Rescue Mission of Utica

Rotary Club of Utica

The Center

The Kelberman Center

Tunnel to Towers Foundation

Utica Children’s Museum

YMCA of the Greater Tri-Valley

YWCA Mohawk Valley

Robert Esche




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