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The Golden Age Games slated for Buffalo and canceled last month by the Department of Veterans Affairs are back on.

Sen. Charles E. Schumer and Rep. Brian Higgins announced the VA’s reversal during an afternoon press conference at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center, paving the way for close to 1,000 veterans 55 and over to descend on Buffalo from May 30 to June 4.

Schumer said the change came following his and Higgins’ efforts to personally convince VA Secretary Eric Shinsheki of the importance not only of the scheduled competition, but also of an event expected to pump about $2.2 million into the local economy.

“We explained the magnitude of how bad this was and how unnecessary this was,” he said. “I don’t think this had bubbled up to the highest levels.”

The VA announced last month it would “postpone” the games, prompting an outcry from veterans already registered for the event who made travel arrangements and who had been training for months. Local organizers and Western New York businesses planning to host the games, also said the decision would be devastating to the region economically.

email: rmccarthy@buffnews.com