Shannon demonstrates a strong passion for helping others, especially children. Shannon is a volunteer Big Sister with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Erie County (BBBSEC). Shannon has been matched with her Little Sister, Christina, since May of 2014. She spends a lot of time with her Little Sister doing fun new activities, while providing support and general guidance on life. They enjoy cooking, swimming and doing crafts. Shannon also is instilling in Christina the importance of giving back. This past summer they participated in “Walk Off Hunger” to benefit the Food Bank of WNY. Shannon loves being Christina’s Big Sister and seeing what a difference she’s making in her life! Additionally, Shannon has helped raise awareness and funds for BBBSEC the past two years through the organization’s Big Give online fundraiser.
Shannon is also a volunteer teacher for Junior Achievement of WNY, where she teaches elementary-aged and middle school kids about entrepreneurship, financial literacy, and work readiness, using her real life experiences in the business world. She has taught several 6-week long programs.
For many years, Shannon has also been a coach for a youth girls’ basketball team, the Lakers, at Blessed Sacrament Parish in Tonawanda. These 3rd – 6th graders are typically new to the game of basketball, and eager to learn. Shannon dedicates her time weekly to help the girls improve not only their basketball skills, but increase their confidence, teamwork, unselfishness, perseverance, and passion. Shannon believes that there are many life lessons to be learned from the game, and many doors that can be opened if you are a hard-working female athlete. She enjoys sharing with the girls her love of basketball and her experiences being a collegiate athlete.
Shannon is a member of the Alzheimer’s Association Blondes vs. Brunettes (BvB) fundraiser in Western New York. This is a volunteer-driven, active event for women that bring the passion and spirit of young community leaders together to support the Alzheimer’s Association. She attends events to help promote the Game Day fundraiser, and throughout the year raises awareness of the disease, as well as raises funds that go towards the care, support and research efforts of the Alzheimer’s Association. She also enjoys participating in fundraising races of other charities including the Susan G. Komen WNY Race for the Cure for many years, as that is a cause that means a great deal to her!
As an Underwriter and Claims Analyst at Lawley, Shannon also gives back through her workplace. She loves working for Lawley because they are a huge supporter of community service and initiate many Lawley-sponsored community outings which Shannon is always the first to volunteer. Through Lawley, Shannon has helped box up food for the hungry at the Food Bank of WNY, build a house through Habitat for Humanity, donate blood at Roswell Park consistently throughout the year, fundraise for events to benefit various community organizations, and donate to the United Way of Buffalo and Erie County.
Shannon was born and raised in the Town of Tonawanda, where she currently lives with her husband, Jon Sommer. She attended St. John Fisher College in Rochester, where she played basketball and golf, and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics. She enjoys sports, being outside, traveling, and exploring all of the great new restaurants and attractions that are popping up in Buffalo. She truly loves the city of Buffalo and hopes she is helping to make it a better place!