Erin Ruffino working on her piano.

Event Sponsor

Big L Windows & Doors

BigL logo

Big L Windows & Doors is proud to sponsor the second year of the Fredonia Street Piano Project.

Bill Horbett Sr., president of Big L, and Tom Walker, marketing director for Big L, both attended Fredonia in the early 70’s, and were members of the Theater Department.

Bill Horbett Sr. ('73) pursued a theater career in New York City for a few years before joining his father at Big L in 1976, “to help out for the summer.”  In reality, Bill made Big L his career and is still actively involved as president of the company. Big L sells and installs high quality windows and doors and employ over 50 people.  With his late wife, Christine, Bill has 3 children, Bill Jr. (works in the company), Ellen (registered nurse), and the late James (musician and composer), who died in August 2019.

Tom Walker left Fredonia in 1976, before graduating, to join the acting company of Andre’ Gregory, in New York City. Tom later founded an Academic publishing company, Boyd & Fraser, and lived and worked in Boston, Massachusetts.  Tom joined Big L as marketing director in 2014. Tom has three children, Ian, Tess, and Isabella. Tom’s wife, film actress, Diane Gaidry, died in January, 2019.

Although we ended up pursuing business careers, we never lost our passion for the arts, and as luck would have it, we both ended up with talented individuals in our families, and tragically, we lost both of them in the same year. We want to dedicate our sponsorship to the memory of James and Diane, who both were extraordinary artists:

James Horbett. Jim was a beautiful guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter comfortable with numerous styles such as jazz, country, bluegrass, and old time. He was an active and popular participant in the Seattle music community where he lived from 2012 through 2018. Jim was a founding member of the Rain City Ramblers, arranging and writing many of the songs on their debut album, “Hateful Ways.” James returned to Buffalo in 2018, and continued to compose and perform, until he lost his battle with cancer in August, 2019.

Diane Gaidry, a Buffalo native, is best known for the character, Simone, in “Loving Annabelle” and also starred in  “The Dogwalker,” directed by Jacques Thelemaque. She also supported and forwarded film as co-creator and executive director of the independent filmmaker collective, Filmmakers Alliance. Diane died on January 30, 2019 after a courageous battle with breast cancer.

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