Blogs > Saratoga County Neighbors

News and upcoming events from your neighbors and non-profits across Saratoga County. Unless otherwise noted, all posts are press releases provided by the organization. Have something to share? Email Curated by Community Content Coordinator Aubree Cutkomp.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Saratogian joins Pinterest

The Saratogian has officially joined Pinterest!  

Have you joined in on all the pinning action yet?  Pinterest, a pinboard-style social photo sharing website allows users to create and manage theme-based image collections such as events, interests, hobbies and more. Users can browse other pinboards for inspiration, 're-pin' images to their own collections and/or like pins they see.

The Saratogian has officially joined Pinterest and we've discovered that it's the perfect platform to share with you all that we do. You'll be able to access articles, pictures and news through following us, and most importantly, we want YOU to be a part of it. Share your photos of people, places and things around town. Pin your images to our Saratoga Through YOUR Eyes board and please, share with us what else you would like to see on our page.

We've cracked open Saratoga's time capsule and have pictures of Saratoga's past (courtesy of the Saratoga Springs Historical Museum's George Bolster collection). There's historic front pages (like after the Titanic sank) and more to come.

We'll give you a look inside our newsroom and much, much more. Let's get pinning!

Check us out:

After The Fire Cleans Up

After The Fire has adopted the Assemblyman Jim Tedisco Fitness Trail in Ballston Spa for litter control since 2006.  Members recently made their first clean-up trip of the season, and will continue to maintain the area until winter. 
Thanks for all you do!
(L) After The Fire VP Kathy Hedgeman (R) member Chris Casertino

 *After The Fire helps residents of Saratoga County who have suffered a loss due to fire.  They are a non-profit organization that exists entirely on donations and is comprised totally of volunteers, which are always needed.  After being paged by Fire Control at the request of the Fire Chief on scene, volunteers go to the fire scene to meet with the family, providing them with gift cards, clothing, personal care items, Red Cross referral, informational material, emotional support - whatever is needed to help the family through a terrible situation.  Anyone interested in helping their neighbors in need may attend a meeting, the next one being April 24 at 7 PM at the Halfmoon Town Hall on Harris Rd. in Halfmoon.  For additional information, you may leave a message at 435-45781 or visit

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Pet Appreciation Week events

Pet Appreciation Week
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Impressions of Saratoga (368 Broadway) is holding a week of events from April 28 to May 6 for pet lovers to celebrate their furry friends.
Events include:

Coloring Contest   Prizes for ages 4 & under, 5-6, 7-8, 9-12
Entries for coloring are available at the Impressions, Dawgdom, Gaffney’s
            Deadline for Entries is April 24th, 2012, by 6:00 pm
Guest judges    - Dr. Beverly Blinn Knapp, DVM & Dr. Mary Jane Sakos, DVM
                            Dan Butler-The Animal Shelter
                             Dave Ganim-Dawgdom                  
            Winners will be announced on Saturday, April 28th at 11 am!

Count the Biscuits Contest   Prizes for the closest guesses!

Battle of the Biscuits - Dog Treat Tasting Saturday April 28th– 11am till 3pm
Let your pup help us decide which of our treats is the favorite!

Pet Photos by Tracey Buyce – Saturday April 28th – 11am-4pm
A donation will be made for each photo taken to The Saratoga County Animal Shelter and Candi (

H.O.P.E. Spring Walk for Animals-Saturday April 28th
From Congress Park along Broadway, up to Skidmore and then back.  There will be a Window Scavenger Hunt with treats and prizes.  Registration begins at 10 am and the walk begins at 11 am (

The Safe Pet Partnership Program At Impressions
A project of the Domestic Violence & Rape Crisis Services of Saratoga County. Their mission is “to assist victims of domestic violence who won’t leave their abusive environment because they don’t want to leave their pets behind.”  The organization provides safe, temporary placement for pets until everyone can be safely reunited.

Pet Food & Supply Drive to benefit The Saratoga County Animal Shelter-Receive Bailey Barker’s Bucks for donations of pet food, new or gently used towels, and leashes.

Mobile Adoption Van-The Saratoga County Animal Shelter will be at Impressions on Saturday, April 28th with their mobile adoption van filled with animals to be adopted

Lunch and Libations on Gaffney’s Patio for you and your 4 legged friend!
Special lunch menu for your pup including Chihuahua Stew and The Chuckwagon

Friday, April 20, 2012

Storybook Academy Pre-schoolers Hop to a Good Cause...

Students at Storybook Academy Pre-school in Ballston Spa participated in the annual Hop-a-Thon for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
The MDA Hop-a-Thon Program is an educational special event for preschool through second-grade children at day care centers, preschools and elementary schools. The program offers a weeklong disability awareness lesson plan; hands-on activities for the children with books and a video; and other free educational materials.
The hop coincided with the school's curriculum on disability awareness and the hoppers earned $500 to benefit MDA.
Kudos to the kids at Storybook Academy!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Something to Celebrate: 10th Annual Spirit of Preservation Celebration

May is Preservation Month and each May the Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation honors individuals, who through their vision and dedication, fostered historic preservation in Saratoga Springs.  This year, on Friday, May 11, the Preservation Foundation will honor locals Barbara Glaser, Nick Palmetto and Randy Martin for making Saratoga a better place.  

The Saratoga Automobile Museum will host the 10th Annual Spirit of Preservation Celebration, with the museum's current exhibit "Porsche: 60 Years of Speed and Style," as the backdrop for the cocktail party and reception. 

Barbara Glaser, a founding member of Saratoga PLAN (formerly Open Space Project) and Linell Land Trust will be recognized for her efforts in keeping Saratoga vibrant. Glaser transformed the Spring Street chapel building into the Spring Street Gallery and School No. 4 into office buildings that are now home to the foundation among numerous other nonprofits.

Nick Palmetto and Randy Martin will be honored for their 30-year business partnership. Together Palmetto and Martin have restored numerous buildings around town, from the stabilization and restoration of the Community Theatre Building on Broadway, (a building that is on the National Register of Historic Places) to the adaptive re-use of the Blackmer & Son Building, which now houses Saratoga Economic Development Corporation and the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce. The two are also credited for giving The Children’s Museum of Saratoga its original home in their Downtown Marketplace building back in 1993.

The night will honor these individuals and you can too- by joining the Spirit of Preservation Celebration's Honorary Committee or by becoming a corporate sponsor. 

Those who join this year’s Honorary Committee or become a corporate sponsor will have their names and/or logos listed in the event invitation and program. The deadline for inclusion in the invitation and program is March 16, or May 1 for inclusion in the program only. To become an Honorary Committee member or an event corporate sponsor, call 587-5030 or email

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Opera Saratoga announced last month that the art based fundraising company Original Works has been supporting their company as a Season Sponsor of their Opera to Go Education Program.

Original Works, located in Stillwater, began transforming children's artwork into products, (anything from t-shirts, mousepads, notecards and now even iPhone covers) in 1989, making them the first company to develop such a school fundraising program.

Always one to support the arts, the partnership between to the two makes sense. Together, Orignal Works and Opera Saratoga are inspring a new generation of artists. Opera to Go brings staged, fully costumed operatic performances to more tha fifty schools throughout the greater Capital Region. In 2012 Opera to Go will be presenting "Little Red's Most Unsual Day," an adaption by John Davis set to the music of Jacques Offenbach and Gioacchino Rossini. The Opera to Go school-visiting program ended April 5, but they will continue to make the arts more accessible for seasons to come!

Successful "Saratoga Day" Down in Florida

The 33rd Annual Saratoga Day was held last month at Tampa Downs in Florida. The occasion was held for the 13th time by chairs Andy and Carol Lopreato of Clearwater, Florida and gathered with 69 participants, 19 of which were attending for the first time.

A delicious buffet was served in the party suite on the top floor of the clubhouse with the party's own cash bar and betting window.

The 4th race of the day was named for Saratoga Day celebration and was won by Nomoremrniceguy and jockey Ricardo Feliciano. Sounds like a great day down south!

The Oklahoma Training Track opened last Tuesday (April 10) reminding us that Track Season isn't too far away!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Division Street Elementary's Career Fair / What Were Your Childhood Aspirations?

Move over super heroes, ballerinas and princesses! The students of Division Street Elementary School have their sights set on higher callings-- like scientists, mathematicians and engineers.

At the school's Career Fair last month, students were thinking ahead, about what they wanted to be when they grew up with visitors like John Meany, an Operations Manager/Radio Announcer, Saratoga National Bank CEO Ray O'Conner, firefighter Neil Emanatian and Bill Barile, a Water Treatment Officer.

John Meany talking to 4th graders

Ray O'Conner with 3rd graders

Neil Emanatian wowing the Kindergarten class

Bill Barile enlightening 2nd graders

Forbes did a study a few years ago about kids' dream jobs, and the results weren't exactly surprising. Occupations that topped the list included astronaut, athlete, dancer, movie star, lawyer and doctor.

I actually came across an article from my local newspaper, written 15 years ago, interviewing a then 3rd grade me. I was working after-school on our newspaper and I was quoted saying, "It's lots of fun -- I like the writing and thinking about what I'm going to work on next, I might want to be a journalist. This is practice.''    Kids say the darnedest things, and here I thought I had movie star aspirations when I was younger...

Tell me- what did YOU want to be?

Monday, April 9, 2012

Unbridled Horse Knowledge at The Regional Horse Bowl

Saratoga County 4-H Teams Excel at Regional Horse Bowl Contest

Hippology, although its name might allude, is not the study of hippos, but of horses. 

Saratoga County 4-H members have been practicing their hippology for months, from equine first-aid, to how to clean, organize and set up the tack station for the Regional Horse Bowl Contest, held last month (March 17) at Guilderland High School.

The Horse Bowl is a knowledge contest where regional 4-H teams compete in a "Round Robin" format.

In the senior (age 14-18) division, teams from Saratoga, Fulton, Montgomery, Schoharie, Albany, Columbia, and Rensselaer counties vied for top honors with Saratoga taking first place, thanks to team members Jesse EmerichGabriella Rao, Lyndsey Wanits, and Elizabeth Pompa.
Saratoga County 4-H Horse Bowl Team (Back, L-R) Elizabeth Pompa, Lyndsey Wanits, Coach Jennifer Stevens, Jesse Emerich, Gabriella Rao (Front) Assistant Coach Connor Bryant

In the top ten individual point standings, Gabriella placed 2nd overall and qualified to be a member of the regional senior team which will compete at the NYS Horse Bowl on April 21st. Also in the top ten, Lyndsey placed 9th and Elizabeth in 10th.

Saratoga County also had a Novice team participating. The team, made up of children under the age of 14 who have not previously competed) placed third. Members were Emma Benson, Katie Evans, Kailey Jensen, and Michala Toma. The team competed against teams from Albany, Schoharie, and Columbia Counties. In the top ten individual standings Emma placed 5th and Katie placed 10th.

Congratulations to all team members and good luck at States!

Making Lemonade out of KONY 2012

It's been about a month since the KONY 2012 video went viral, achieving over 100 million views, becoming the fastest growing video campaign in online history. 

While all the "liking" on Facebook brought much needed attention to the cause, as the internet meme will attest, "One does not simply destabilize a Ugandan warlord by liking a status."

With more than a click of a button, Maple Ave. students Lydia Pleasants and Kirsten Spero sold lemonade last week to raise awareness of the crisis in Uganda.

Nice job Lydia and Kirsten!

The Skate Crusade Continues...

Charlie Samuels, the photographer, filmmaker and skateboarding extraordinaire locally known as the man who saved the East Side Rec's skatebowl, met with city officials last week to discuss future plans and needs for the Saratoga Skatepark and skateboarding community.

(L to R) Charlie Samuels, City Commissioner of Finace Michele Madigan and Benji Gleeksman at Saratoga Coffee Traders  
 More to come...

Jaimie Delaney's Super Sweet Sixteen

Spa Catholic student Jaimie Delaney had a sweeter sixteen than most teens her age...

At her birthday party last month she had friends donate children's toys in lieu of birthday gifts.

Jaimie didn't mind sacrificing for less fortunate children, and her friends had a great time choosing their favorite toys from when they were kids. "They were really into it! And it was a lot more fun than trying to come up with a gift for me," she said.

Kudos to Jaimie and friends!

Speaking of children's toys.... What was YOUR favorite toy growing up?

I'm going to go home and search for my Skip It!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Happy 69th Wedding Anniversary Marjorie and Jackson Reynolds!

Just look at the love in their faces!
For all of you out there that don't believe in love anymore, take a look at Marjorie and Jackson Reynolds. The two Wesley Community Woodlawn Commons residents celebrated their 69th wedding anniversary March 27.

Marjorie and Jackson were married on March 27, 1943 in Newtonville, MA and moved to Schenectady shortly thereafter. They have resided at the Woodlawn Commons since the fall of 2011 and were honored with this celebration by Woodlawn's staff, its residents, and their daughter, [Susan Hannon of Charlton, NY]. Marjorie and Jackson's friend's Millie and Bunny Pedone, Armand Bianchi and Gerry and Eleanor Pierce were also in attendance.

Follow Up: The National Museum of Dance's Contemporary Collective

On Saturday March 24, 2012 the National Museum of Dance held Contemporary Collective, an arts event coordinated by the Museum's New Action Committee. Thirty-three Capital Region artists participated in the show, showcasing all types of media including photography, painting, sculpture, sound art, video, performance art, installation art, mosaic, collage, and dance.
The usually formal museum was transformed into a hip arts lounge for the night, with soulful beats from DJ Dragonette, beverages sponsored by Harpoon Brewery and Albany-based Orapello's Wood Fired Pizza

Guests looking through artwork
by Michael Carmen Gentile

Upon entering the foyer visitors were met with over one hundred pieces of art work, all of which were chosen by the New Action Committee through a jury process.  The event's curatorial statement called for work that was contemporary in nature and would work together with other pieces to create something bigger than itself.
The show was wildly successful, bringing to light all the avant-garde, the unusual, the up-and-coming and the most creative work of the area. Claire Tallon, New Action Committee Member and NMD volunteer, described the group’s experience of organizing the event, “when we started this project, we knew there was an empty niche for contemporary shows in this area. We weren’t sure what to expect when we released the open call for art, but the entire committee was blown away by the quality of work that arrived. We definitely want to keep working with these artists and connect with more on future programs.” Plans are already in the works to welcome the Contemporary Collective back next year, with 200 guests already lined up.
Congratulations to the 34 artists/Saratoga county neighbors who made it all possible. You guys rock!
(Anthony Aquino, Anna Bergin, Colin Bergin, Kristin Bodden, Teresa Boyd, Thomas Cannizzo Jr., Ginny Casey, Milt Connors, Francelise Dawkins, Sandra D. Dwileski, Dennis P.R. Fougere, Alicia Freuhulfer, Michael C. Gentile II, John Gill, Benj Gleeksman, Juliana Haliti, Patrick Picou Harrington, Daesha Devón Harris, Sherylrose Iledan, Morgan Lansing, Kimberly Leahey, Nicolaos Lemieux, Libertina Dance Company, Zack Lobdell, Rebecca Locci, Jenny McShan, Max Newman-Plotnick, Claire E. B. Pitts, Bradlea Raga-Barone, Kevin Robinson, Jeremy Schoonmaker, Rose Silberman-Gorn, Stephen Tyson and Ryen Van Ha)

Hi There Saratoga! (And Neighbors...)

My name is Aubree Cutkomp and I am new to the Saratogian team —I will be your Community Content Coordinator. If it's happening in Saratoga and surrounding areas, I'm there...or at least telling you all about it. I've only been in the Spa City for a little over a year but it already feels like home.

This is your home and your blog too-- feel free to share any local news, info and events at

Age This Way

We age everyday, but when it comes to old-age, how will you fare? How do you want to fare?

The Saratoga Vital Aging Network (SVAN) and the Sociology Department of Skidmore College invite seniors, their families, students and any interested community members to participate in an intergenerational conversation on how lively, engaging people find creative ways to make their aging meaningful and manageable while maintaining their autonomy.
The half-day conference from 9am until 1pm, "Vital Aging Our Way" will held on Saturday April 28 at Skidmore College's Murray-Aikens Hall (2nd Floor). Registration begins at 8:30am.

The day will feature speaker Meika Loe, author of the aptly titled Aging Our Way. In her book she explores how elders navigate the challengers of living as independently as possible, while staying healthy and happy.
The SVAN knows that aging presents challenges as well as exciting opportunities. The day will provide a forum for participants to hear how others have navigated the aging process while still keeping it uniquely their own. Participants are encouraged to join in on the discussions.

Coffee, tea and snacks will be included with the $15 registration fee.

For more information on the conference and SVAN visit

“Stepping out on Broadway in Saratoga Springs” - (L to R) Claire Olds, John Nelson and Laura Chodos

“Keeping Fit at the Roosevelt Baths” -(L to R) Laura Chodos, Rosie and Larry Zinn, Ann Palamountain, Rhoda Nemsker, Margaret Eddy and Charles Morrison Saratoga Springs residents.

        Looking svelte SVAN!

Adirondack Folk School Receives Grant from the Stewart's Foundation

Congratulations to the Adirondack Folk School in Lake Luzerne. They recently received a grant from Stewart's Holiday Match to use towards the Art, Craft, and Culture of the Adirondacks.

The Adirondack Folk School is the only school of its kind in the country dedicated to teaching the arts, crafts and culture of it's unique location. The school is situated in the southern Adirondack Park surrounded by over six million acres of the protected land. Nature truly is their classroom.

Through the generosity of the Stewart's Foundation, the students will now be able to continue to experience the traditional arts and crafts and culture as a part of their Art-in-Education initiative.

Nominate Your [Capital Region] Mother for Mother of the Year

The City of Albany and Saint Peter's Health Partners are proud to announce the 14th Annual Mother of the Year Contest, celebrating Capital Region mothers who have demonstrated a tremendous commitment to their family and who have made a positive impact on their children and loved ones.

My mother lives in Connecticut, so luckily for all you out there, she does not qualify. You can fill out a nomination form at and they will be accepted until April 22nd.

Five finalists will be met by Albany Mayor Jerry Jennings and Joe Condon of B95.5 at this Year's Tulip Festival. All four finalists will recieve a gift basket of prizes and flowers, and the chosen mom will be a Tresor Paris bracelet from Northeastern Fine Jewelers, dinner at Angelo's Tavolo, flowers from Ambiance Floral and Design and gift certificates from Price Chopper and Dunkin Donuts.

And now everything else you were looking to get mom this year is just not going to cut it...