BALLSTON SPA — Students from Malta Avenue Elementary School had the opportunity to participate in a SPAC Dance Residency program again this year. For the first time, the students performed “Sensational Soul,” which featured music by Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, and many others. The students also performed a choral arrangement of “Respect” by Aretha Franklin, and danced to “Your Love Keeps Lifting Me Higher and Higher” recorded by Jackie Wilson.
As part of the program, the SPAC teaching artists also collaborated with the school’s music and art departments, allowing students to create drawings based on the soul music icons studied throughout the residency. Selected designs were incorporated into the students’ performance shirts and the Dance Recital official program.
In January, the students began working with dance professionals and former Broadway actors to learn dances during their Physical Education courses. The lessons were designed around teaching Broadway-style soul dance inspired by the music and choreography of the 1960s
Fifty-five 5th grade students from the school received instruction from SPAC’s Senior Director of Education, Dennis Moench, alongside Broadway star Alicia Albright, currently in the musical Frozen, and SPAC teaching artists Nathan Braim, Cristiane Santos, and J. Michael Zygo. Brian Melick and Alan Thomson also provided live musical accompaniment for
The program ended on February 10, 2020 with an exuberant performance for students and parents at Malta Avenue Elementary School.
SARATOGA COUNTY — Beginning on February 17 until March 31, Tark’s Indoor Golf will be hosting Cabin Fever Classic Golf Fore a Cause to benefit Operation Adopt A Soldier. Four player groups are encouraged and it is $100 per golfer to play, paid golfers will also attend the awards banquet at Saratoga National and the silent auction for free. This is a multi-day tournament in scramble format.
“What is unique about event, versus other golf tournaments, is that it is the six-week format. So, if you’re busy this Tuesday, you can play Wednesday, if you’re busy during the day you can play at night. That’s great because Tark’s is open seven days a week. It makes it easy for people to participate,” said Gerry Magoolaghan, one of two originators of the event.
“Maureen [Ginter-Grabowski] and Gerry came up with this great idea and followed up with me a week later and it’s gotten bigger as the years rolled on,” explained Kent Tarkleson, owner of Tark’s.
Ginter-Grabowski and Magoolaghan were visiting at Tark’s bar a few years ago and came up with the idea.
“Kent looked at us like we were crazy,” Magoolaghan laughed.
“This is our 8th annual event that we’ve hosted at Tark’s and it’s just nice to know that we’re supporting a local charity and that all of the money is going directly to help out and support the troops. it makes me happy to know that we’re giving back a little,” Tarkleson said.
Operation Adopt A Soldier suffered a devastating fire to their building last August; they lost all of their supplies and building. They are strictly volunteer and profit nothing, everything they get goes to the soldiers overseas and to helping those families at home.
“We just thought this was a great way to help them rebuild,” Ginter-Grabowski said.
“Money is like water to us, we go through it so quickly,” Cliff Seguin, founder of Operation Adopt A Soldier explained. “Last week we paid four-thousand alone in postage,” he continued.
All proceeds from Golf Fore a Cause goes toward Operation Adopt a Soldier.
“This time of the year, things are slow with us so with this event it is really going to help us get through to the summer. We are adding on another 2,500 soldiers on our list so the need is there,” Seguin stated.
The presenting sponsor is Homestead Funding, of which Ginter-Grabowski is a branch manager and licensed loan originator, and the honorary chair this year is Matt Chauvin, attorney at Ianniello Anderson.
The flexibility of this event allows groups to register for tee-times that fit their schedules.
For more information and to participate in Gold Fore a Cause, call Tark’s at 518-450-7002.
For more information about Operation Adopt a Soldier and to learn how you can help further, visit www.operationadoptasoldier.org or call 518-260-9922.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — “How good can we expect to be if our best player is not our best teammate,” said Brad Stevens, head coach of the Boston Celtics.
Brian McCarthy started playing basketball within leagues such as Jr. NBA and then got serious about the sport in seventh grade.
“I started playing in the YMCA league in the summer because I had been doing a lot of pick up at the YMCA and I saw some flyers for it so I decided to do the league with a couple of friends. That led into me doing the winter league,” McCarthy explained.
McCarthy played for his school, Saratoga Springs, his freshman year and did not try out this year due to wanting to hone his game before attempting varsity next year, his senior year.
“I’m doing a travel league and the YMCA league right now so I thought it would be best to work on my game this year and try to be the best I can be for next year,” he reasoned.
McCarthy plays on the Saratoga CYO travel league as well as the youth league at the Saratoga YMCA.
“The travel league is definitely my main league; it has some really good competition. I really like to compete in it and get other people involved. It’s kind of in-between Y ball and school ball, as far as the competition goes. I score a lot of points in the YMCA league and I try to get other people involved. I’ve been trying to do the same in my travel league,” McCarthy explained.
McCarthy loves the dedication of the players that he sees on both his travel league and YMCA team.
He is on the Spa Café team, coached by Dallas Wells.
“Actually, the first time I played against Dallas was in the summer, I had 48 points against his team, and he ended up taking me for the winter league,” he laughed.
On the court, McCarthy possesses a natural shooting and scoring ability, but he is still pushing himself to work on his other skills to be better overall in the future.
“I usually play shooting guard because there are some people that are better handling the ball and I like to get ready to shoot the ball, I’m usually a 3-point shooter so I usually play the wing and try to create shots for myself and other people,” McCarthy explained.
McCarthy is known as a leader on the court and takes pride in that.
“I love being the person that people look up to and look to when there’s a shot that needs to be made. I like trying to get other people involved. I think everybody deserves an opportunity,” he said.
Off the court, McCarthy takes great pride in his schoolwork, he is on the high honor roll, and enjoys spending time with his friends. He also likes to play pickup basketball with his younger brother Matt.
“He’s actually a really good shooter too,” he said.
He cites his parents, Paige and Peter, as his biggest supporters.
“I try to make the best of my opportunities because why wouldn’t I try to do the best that I can to set myself up for the future,” McCarthy said definitively.
BALLSTON SPA — The Ballston Spa Middle School recently welcomed the Rensselaer Engineering Ambassadors into the school to share research topics that they have studied at RPI and to inspire the students about the role of engineering and technology in society. Over 600 Middle School students participated in the science and engineering program during their science or technology classes. The college aged ambassadors taught the younger students an engineering lesson and provided a demonstration or a hands-on design activity.
The Rensselaer Engineering Ambassadors are a group of RPI engineering students devoted to inspiring younger students with what they are doing in their chosen major, the newest technological breakthroughs in their field, and the obstacles yet to be overcome. This year’s topics that were presented to the different classes included Humanitarian Logistics, Designing an Athlete, Getting Into Orbit, Drag Force, and Safe Roller Coasters.
Ballston Spa Middle School invites the Rensselaer Engineering Ambassadors to visit each year to allow students to identify careers they can pursue as well as for them to learn what they will need to do over the next several years to achieve their goals. The Ambassadors provide invaluable perspectives and serve as great role models for the students.
The Ambassadors offer these hands-on demonstrations and short presentations at no cost to school districts due to the generosity of Rensselaer Schools of Engineering and Science and corporate sponsors such as United Technology Corporation, Rise High, Stewart’s Holiday Match Fund and The Bender Family Foundation. For additional information, please visit the RPI Engineering Ambassadors program website at engineeringambassadors.union.rpi.edu.
BSBPA Scholarship Offered to Ballston Spa Senior
BALLSTON SPA — The Ballston Spa Business & Professional Association (BSBPA) is once again offering a $500 scholarship to a Ballston Spa High School graduating senior.
High school students who hold jobs in the community, while maintaining good standards in their schoolwork and deportment, should be recognized for their diligence and responsibility. The Ballston Spa Business and Professional Association Scholarship shall be awarded to a graduating senior who has demonstrated professionalism in his/her place of employment and responsibility in their school community.
Students can pick up the application information sheet at the Ballston Spa High School guidance office. A printable version is also available on the BSBPA website, www.ballston.org. All completed applications must be submitted to the guidance office by Friday, March 13, 2020. The applications will be reviewed by the BSBPA scholarship committee and the recipient will be announced at Ballston Spa High School’s Senior Awards Night in the spring.
If you are a Ballston Spa area business that has a BSHS senior working for you who fits the bill, please encourage them to apply for the scholarship.
The Ballston Spa Business and Professional Association, established in 1983, is a non-profit organization committed to making the Village of Ballston Spa a great place to live, work and visit. To learn more, visit at www.ballston.org.
Saratoga Springs Lions Club Announces 2020 Scholarship Opportunities
SARATOGA SPRINGS — The Saratoga Springs Lions Club is proud to announce that scholarship applications for over $32,000 in awards are now available. These awards are available to graduating students from Saratoga Springs High School, Saratoga Central Catholic School, The Waldorf School as well as home instructed students pursuing post high school academic and vocational programs.
The range and number of scholarship offerings has been expanded and will be awarded based on the applicant field. The scholarship categories include both two- and four-year Academic Programs and a vocational/technical post high school program.
The Saratoga Springs Lions Club Foundation-Berkowitz Memorial Scholarship is a new $10,000 scholarship this year. This scholarship is in memory of Lion Jack Berkowitz. The award will be given to the top scoring applicant in the 4-year Academic Program category. Additionally, Academic Program scholarships are also available in the amounts of $5,000 for four-year college programs and $2500 for two-year college programs. Students enrolling in a Vocational/Technical or licensed post-high school program are invited to apply for a $2500 scholarship.
Finally, Leo Club seniors who have been members of the club for a minimum of 2 years are eligible to apply for a $2500 Leo Award Scholarship.
Application forms are available at saratogaspringslions.com/scholarships and at each eligible school’s Guidance Office. Applications must be completed and submitted to respective guidance offices or they may be mailed to: Saratoga Springs Lions Club, Attn. Scholarship, PO Box 166, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 and postmarked by March 15.
Saratoga Builders Association Offering Two $1000 Student Scholarship Awards
SARATOGA SPRINGS —The Saratoga Builders Association, Inc. is proud to announce their continued monetary commitment to education and will be awarding two $1000 student scholarship in 2020. One is the SBA Scholarship award and the second is the “Bob Best” Memorial Scholarship award. The organization makes these cash scholarships available annually to students who are planning to pursue a construction industry education.
These scholarships are open to any high school senior or college undergraduate in Saratoga County who is planning to pursue a construction education at a 2 or 4-year accredited college or university or to students who would like to purchase tools and/or equipment for employment/career or to start a business in the construction industry. Students must have a GPA of 3.0 or higher. They must demonstrate current or past involvement in the construction field, including classes taken in high school or college, to be eligible for these awards. Each applicant must also submit a high school or college transcript or list of construction classes taken plus a short essay describing why they are interested in a construction industry career and what events led to this decision.
The Hawley Foundation for Children Offering Community Grants and Camp Awards: Over $100,000 Available
SARATOGA SPRINGS — The Hawley Foundation for Children is now accepting funding requests from local organizations that serve the needs and improve the lives of children in Saratoga County, to receive Community Grants and Camp Awards totaling over $100,000.00.
In 2019, The Hawley Foundation awarded a total of $101,225.00, broken down into $43,725.00 in Community Grants and $57,500.00 in Camp Awards, to the following organizations for programs that best realized The Hawley Foundation’s mission: AIM Services, Ballston Area Community Center, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Capital Region, CAPTAIN Community Human Services, Catholic Charities Mentoring Program, Camp Saradac – Saratoga Springs Recreation Department, The Community Hospice Foundation, CREATE Community Studios, Dance Alliance, Double H - Hole in the Woods Ranch, The Fast Break Fund, Franklin Community Center, Glens Falls Area Youth Center, Mechanicville Area Community Services Center, Racetrack Chaplaincy of America, Rebuilding Together Saratoga County, The Salvation Army, Saratoga Center for the Family, Saratoga County Economic Opportunity Council, Town of Wilton Recreation Department, and Wellspring.
The Hawley Foundation for Children assists disadvantaged youth in our community. In 1888, Augusta P. Wiggins began caring for a few children who were from families with limited income, not well-cared for at home or orphaned. She enticed several Saratogians to support her project and in 1891, the institution was incorporated, electing Rev. Bostwick Hawley their first President. In 1904, the Hawley Home opened its doors on Ludlow Street -- eventually housing 34 children from Saratoga and Warren Counties. It operated for 61 years until 1965, when increasingly complex state regulations forced its closure. The home was sold, an endowment was created, and The Hawley Foundation for Children was established. Since then, the mission has been to promote the health, welfare and education of children in Saratoga County. The dedicated Board of Directors carries on this tradition to this day.
SARATOGA COUNTY — Saratoga Youth Hockey (SYH) is offering the opportunity of a lifetime for anyone interested in ice hockey… Two programs that allow anyone with an interest to test the sport out for free.
“Our goal of these programs to is to grow the hockey community in Saratoga and the surrounding areas and also making it much more affordable to get involved with hockey,” said Travis Higbee, board of director member and Learn to Skate Learn to Play coordinator.
These programs involve a partnership with the New York Rangers, which was announced in November 2019.
The first, Learn to Skate Learn to Play, is a 10-week program (that began on January 4, 2020) that runs until March 21 for one hour in the morning. Due to the partnership with the New York Rangers, any child who signs up for a 10-week session receives free hockey equipment to keep.
Half of the kids who are actively participating in this program come from the second program: Try Hockey for Free.
This event will take place on February 22 and the goal is to “get kids on the ice with little or no skating/hockey experience. The New York Rangers coaching staff is onsite and provides all the equipment to borrow for the day,” explains the website.
“This is a Grassroots experience for Saratoga. This time last year at Learn to Skate we had about 30 kids signed up and now we have 65,” Higbee explained.
Currently, 50 kids are signed up for the Try Hockey for Free program, but Higbee is adamant that there are plenty of spaces left.
“The goal is to take kids with zero or very little experience and in skating and/or hockey and get them to Try Hockey for Free. Step two is to get them engaged in the ten-week Learn to Skate Learn to Play program, where they actually get to participate. Then we look to convert them into our Saratoga Youth Hockey programs,” Higbee said.
SYH has age-appropriate programs for all kids who are interested. Mite is for ages fives to 8, Squirt is for 9-and 10-year-olds; Pee Wee is for 11-and 12-year-olds; Bantam is for 13- and 14-year-olds; and Midget is for 15 to 18-year-olds.
“The nice thing about the Rangers having done this in multiple locations in the past, 80% of the kids who did Try Hockey for Free signed up for Learn to Skate Learn to Play. 80% of those kids then convert to either the Mites or the Squirts. It’s great participation and great continuance that they stick with hockey,” Higbee explained.
“It’s literally taking a kid who never potentially played hockey or skated and then getting them into it and eliminating the burden of needing all of the equipment,” he said.
These programs are time friendly and affordable.
For more information, visit these links: www.syhi.org, juniorrangers.leagueapps.com/events/1483549-try-hockey-for-free-at-weibel-arenas-w-saratoga-youth-hockey, and learntoplay.nhl.com/rangers/6257.
Blue Streaks Hockey
SARATOGA SPRINGS — On Tuesday, January 21, the Blue Streaks had a massive win over the Mohawks, 9-0. It truly was a team effort with eight players scoring goals: Joe Amodio had two; Andrew Blanchard, Will Detora, Grady Frasier, Sam Jacob, Mack Ogden, Luke Shapiro, and Jax Todorovic each had one goal. Goalie Brad Blake had nine saves.
On Friday, January 24, the Blue Streaks played a closer match against La Salle. Saratoga took the win, 8-5. Joe Amodio and Will Detora each had two goals; Sam Jacob, Charlie Leary, Riley Lefebvre, and Griffin Sarver each had one goal. Goalie Brad Blake had 10 saves and other goalie Jesse Bradley had seven saves.
On Wednesday, January 29, the Blue Streaks played The Storm, winning 6-0. Joe Amodio and Andrew Blanchard each had two goals; Charlie Leary, Ryan McCoskey, and Michael Montague each had one goal. Goalie Brad Blake had 12 saves.
SRYMCA/Saratoga Honda Youth Basketball Scores
Cudney’s v. Blend Realty
Cudney’s-41: Ben Van Valkinburg-15, Marcus Vary-10
Blend-15: Jacob Alexander-6, Finn Kelly-3
PBA v. Olsen’s Associates
PBA-39: Stephon Lindsay-9 , Bryant Savage-9
Olsen’s-29: Colin MacGregor-9, Xavier Rusico-7
Vahanian & Associates Financial Planning v. Village Photo
Village Photo-54: Josh L-15, Jacob Krygruski-9, Patrick Deshane-9
Vahanian-32: Tommy Maurer-9, Paul Steves-7
Pashley Construction v. Spa Cafe
Spa Café- 49: Brian McCarthy-12, AJ Covota-10
Pashley’s-47: Quin Frank- 15, Raymond Garcia-10
Teams for Dreams Basketball Tournament to Support Local Scholarships
SARATOGA SPRINGS — The inaugural Teams for Dreams three-on-three basketball tournament will be held April 4 to support local scholarships.
The Saratoga Springs Rotary Education Foundation has partnered with Saratoga Financial Services to sponsor the event, which will be held at Saratoga Springs High School.
The tournament will feature men’s, women’s or coed teams of three or four players competing in various youth and adult brackets. All skill levels are welcome. Build a team and support a good cause. For pricing and to register, visit SaratogaSpringsScholarships.org. Registration closes March 1.
The Saratoga Springs Rotary Education Foundation invests in students’ potential because everyone deserves the opportunity for a brighter future. Each year, the foundation awards about $70,000 in scholarships to local high school students to further their dreams. Visit saratogaspringsscholarships.org to learn more.
NATIONWIDE — Speaking to What's Your 99?, the kindness you bring every day to others, Coach Rich Johns presented the importance of understanding yourself and that respect and kindness begins and ends with you, the individual.
By stressing the word empathy and its meaning, one can have a more fulfilling life. You need to be 'looking' to see empathy in everyone you meet.
If one is empathic and kind your, 99 will shine through.
Addressing mental health is a key component to AWRA and The Visible Project stresses the importance of always being kind. The kinder you are the more visible you become.
"When you give kindness, it comes back to refresh your own daily mental health," Coach Johns stated.
I want everyone to have a Solid 5 to go to. What is a Solid 5? They are the people who you can go to anytime, anyplace for physical and emotional support without judgement.
“I always stress that I am a Solid 5 for each person in my presentation,” Johns said.
Coach Johns traveled to Duke University recently and presented to about 200 freshmen student-athletes who are a part of the Duke Freshmen Action Program. He traveled with three Saratoga Springs CSD students: Kelsey, Emily, and Conner McFadden, who traveled with their father Dennis, to help Coach Johns with his presentation.
For more information, visit www.actwithrespectalways.com.
Photos by Lydia Huibregtse.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Nacre Dance Group is pleased to announce the second annual Empire State Youth Dance Ensemble (ESYDE) performance at the Spa Little Theater on February 29 at 2:30 and 7 p.m.
Nacre Dance Group's mission is to elevate dance through education, performance and opportunity. This program of Nacre Dance Group provides pre-professional training and performance opportunities in classical and contemporary modern dance to a select group of talented teenage dancers in the capital region.
The performances slated for February 29 (2:30 and 7 p.m.) at the Spa Little Theater in Saratoga Springs will showcase dancers from three area dance studios: Dance Force in Schenectady; Dance with Ginny Martin in Glenville; Isabelle’s School of Dance in East Greenbush; as well as additional area dance students selected through an open audition process.
Each studio will represent a piece of choreography that transports the audience through the early years of modern dance to current contemporary work.The program includes modern dance classics Air for the G-String (1928) by Doris Humphrey and Floor Plastique by Ted Shawn. For the 2020 season, Nacre has been working with the American Dance Legacy Initiative’s Repertory Etude Project (Rhode Island) to present “Rooms Etude” and “Battleworks Etude.” Etudes are short dances based on signature works of American choreographers. The Rooms Etude (arranged by Lorry May) is based on Anna Sokolow's masterpiece, Rooms. This piece is a study in character and intention and provides dancers with many of the tools of the actor. Battleworks Etude (Choreography by Robert Battle, arranged by Erika Pujič) is a powerful tour de force that includes movement elements from four of Robert Battle’s signature works--Flock, Jewel Lost, The Hunt, and Rush Hour—representing the early years of Battleworks Dance Company (2002-2010).
Nacre Dance Group builds new traditions in dance by showcasing contemporary choreographers of today. Students have been working with choreographers Anthony Alterio and Na’Keisha Barber on new choreography that bring a neo-classic style to the stage. Anthony Alterio holds an M.F.A in Dance from University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI and is Assistant Professor of Dance at SUNY Fredonia. Na’Keisha Barber attended Slippery Rock College, PA and is an independent choreographer based in NYC.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — “There's been a lot of talk of me being a one-man show but that's simply not the case. We win games when I score 40 points and we've won when I score 10.” - Kobe Bryant
Charlie DiDonato is a 16-year-old sophomore from Saratoga Springs who plays on the 9-12 grade youth league team at the Saratoga YMCA. He is known on the court for his point scoring ability as a power forward.
"I've lost track of how many points so far this season," he laughed. “The first game I had 28 points and then after that I just stopped counting,” he explained.
He discovered the Y program by practicing there for his try-outs at the school in 8th grade. He saw a flyer and his mom suggested he sign up.
"Basketball is something I picked up around six years old. I played through a recreation league first and then I just liked it from there,” DiDonato explained.
DiDonato played on the high school team his freshmen year and then tried out this year and got cut so he's unsure if he'll retry for that team next year or not.
“It’s a more laidback atmosphere at the YMCA, I’m able to have more fun instead of playing intensely like I would on the high school team,” he said.
He is on the Spa Cafe Team, coached by Dallas Wells, who has coached him for a few seasons. DiDonato requests to be on his team because he’s used to his coaching style, which he feels propels him to success.
“Coach Wells is laid back for the most part. Sometimes he'll get on you, he motivates me a lot. When he needs you to play a certain way, he'll tell you,” DiDonato explained.
“Dallas is one of the best coaches I’ve ever had,” he raved.
DiDonato says shooting is his most valuable basketball skill but acknowledges he needs to work on his ball handling.
"When I was younger, I used to be taller than everyone else because I had my growth spurts before them. I was always a center and now as I get older, I’m not going to be taller than everybody so I just need to adapt to that.”
So far, the Spa City Cafe team is having a great season. “We’ve had a pretty good season so far. We've lost one game only, we're pretty good. We have good chemistry, I'm good friends with most of the kids on the team through school and stuff so that helps,” he said.
Still, he acknowledges that sometimes you don’t always have the best game. "When you put in all of that dedication and you don't have the best game, it's like dang, but you keep your head up and push through,” he said.
DiDonato also plays summer league and is coached by Wells then as well.
His best basketball moment to date occurred last summer: “I had 27 points and I made the two game winning free throws in a really tight game. It was an amazing moment. It was pretty intense.”
DiDonato is 100% dedicated to basketball and does not play any other sports; he puts his whole heart into the game. His favorite team is the Knicks and he was in the middle of a game when he heard the news about Kobe Bryant.
“I was really surprised, it's heartbreaking,” he said.
In his spare time, he enjoys hanging out with his friends and is looking for a part-time job. He is also a high honor roll student.
He credits his parents, Gina and Charles, as his biggest supporters.
His advice to the younger kids at the YMCA youth league is this: "Just know that it takes time and work to get to where you want to be, it doesn't happen overnight."
Warning: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable in /home/sarapubl/public_html/components/com_k2/templates/saratogatoday/user.php on line 260