Thursday, 13 June 2019 15:02

Hikers Step Up for Addiction Medicine

The first Above & Beyond Challenge hikers of the summer enjoyed a spectacular view on Pinnacle Mountain on Sunday, June 2. Front row, from left: Katie LaFreniere, Dr. Renée Rodriguez-Goodemote, Vivian & Paul von Schenk. Back row, from left: Addiction medicine nurse Margaret Lane,  Rick Schmidt, Holly Marek, Ronald Rodriquez, Edward Lenz, John Murphy, Earl Mikoloski, and Carolyn, Lydia and Stephen von Schenk. Photo provided. The first Above & Beyond Challenge hikers of the summer enjoyed a spectacular view on Pinnacle Mountain on Sunday, June 2. Front row, from left: Katie LaFreniere, Dr. Renée Rodriguez-Goodemote, Vivian & Paul von Schenk. Back row, from left: Addiction medicine nurse Margaret Lane, Rick Schmidt, Holly Marek, Ronald Rodriquez, Edward Lenz, John Murphy, Earl Mikoloski, and Carolyn, Lydia and Stephen von Schenk. Photo provided.

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Registration is open for the Above & Beyond Challenge, presented by The Adirondack Trust Company, which kicks off this month for the second year. Hikers will help raise awareness and generate funds to support the Saratoga Community Health Center’s Addiction Medicine Program as it meets rapidly emerging needs. Nearly 18,000 children and adults in Saratoga County have been estimated to be struggling with substance use disorders and addiction.

The Challenge is the brainchild of Stephan von Schenk, president and CEO of The Adirondack Trust Company and former chair of the Saratoga Foundation Board, who is an avid hiker and outdoorsman.

“We’ve all been touched by the addiction crisis in some way,” von Schenk said, “and we are grateful to the numerous hikers and sponsors who stepped up last year to show their support. We’re confident there will be even more hikers this year, beginners and experts alike. Together, we can all do our part to help local families overcome their struggles with addiction.”

Last year, the inaugural Above & Beyond Challenge featured 36 hikes with more than 100 participants and 31 sponsors raising over $61,000 for the Addiction Medicine Program at Saratoga Community Health Center. The physician-led program launched in March 2017 and is fully integrated into the Center’s primary care and behavioral health services.

The Above & Beyond Challenge provides sponsors and participants an opportunity to support these vital efforts, but it also encourages businesses and individuals to take advantage of the scenic geography and fresh air of Upstate New York. In respect to that natural beauty and protection of the trails, the Challenge does require that hikers adhere to responsible hiking principles.

Hikes will take place June through September and are open to individuals, patients, and groups of all experience levels. Donations are encouraged, but the hikes are free and registration is required. Upon completing online registration for a hike at aboveandbeyondchallenge.org, a peer-to-peer fundraising page is generated. Should the hiker choose to activate it, he/she can share the link with friends and family, asking for donations to support the Challenge. Donations of $100 will receive a long-sleeved T-shirt sponsored by Roohan Realty.

For more information about becoming a sponsor, call Courtney Manning at Saratoga Hospital Foundation at 518-583-8663. To learn more about the Above & Beyond Challenge or to register for a hike, visit aboveandbeyondchallenge.org. 

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