SARATOGA COUNTY — The Saratoga County Fair announced that up to ten $1,000 scholarships will be awarded to current New York State high school seniors and also students enrolled in college. The New York State Association of Agricultural Fairs and the New York State Showpeople’s Association sponsor the scholarships. The qualifying students must be active at the Saratoga County Fair or the New York State Showpeople’s Association. All applicants from Saratoga County must submit their applications through the Saratoga County Fair or NYSSA no later than Friday, April 3, 2020. Information is available at the Saratoga County Fair office, 162 Prospect St., Ballston Spa, through Cornell Cooperative Extension Saratoga County and local high school offices. Applications must be printed and completed from the web at www.nyfairs.org. For more information, contact the Saratoga County Fair office at 518-885-9701.
SOUTH GLENS FALLS — The South Glens Falls High School South High Marathon Dance (SHMD) is a student driven event that raises money for individuals, families, and organizations in need of financial assistance. With over 80% of the high school’s population participating in this two-day event, the students are trying to break last year’s record of $837,859! This event has grown into a celebration that brings the entire community together like nothing else, with activities taking place year-round. In its 42-year history, the Marathon Dance has raised over 8.1 million dollars for more than 530 beneficiaries - not just within South Glens Falls, but many surrounding communities as well. After reviewing roughly 180 applications, the student committee has selected the following as beneficiaries of SHMD 2020:
The families of...
Charles Aiken, Ryan Alger, Jennifer Annis, Lillian Baker, Janet Baker Pratt, David Bennett, Alice Charette, Esme Clark, Connie Himes, Nolan Jacox, Isabella Lauzon, Milana Lefebvre, Joshua McCane, Kelsey Murphy, Robert Murray, Robin Neumann, Nick Clark, Stephanie Rosa, Jennifer Ryan, Danita Shortte, Linda Tucker, Royce Younes.
Adopt A Soldier Alzheimer’s Association, Angel Names Association, Buddies Blankets and Bears CAPTAIN Community Human Svc Dysautonomia International, Food for Thought, Gateway House of Peace, Habitat for Humanity, Kelly’s Angels, Inc., Moreau Community Center, Rebuilding Together Saratoga Co., The Open Door Mission, Upstate NY Autism Alliance, Veterans and Community Housing.
The Marathon Dance Event, Supported Throughout the School Community
The 2020 Marathon Dance will be held March 6 and 7 at the South Glens Falls Senior High School. Opening ceremonies will begin at 7 p.m. Friday evening. Community members can donate to the dance in a variety of ways. Each of the 800+ students signed up to participate is required to collect a minimum of $150. You can choose to donate to an individual student’s total online, or the Marathon Dance in general, through the “Donate” tab on the website at www.shmd.org. The District’s middle and elementary schools also conduct Marathon Dance fundraising activities, including Ballard Elementary Cupcake Challenge, Harrison Avenue Mini-Marathon, Moreau Elementary Glow Dance, and Tanglewood Elementary Walk-A- Thon. Additionally, Oliver W. Winch Middle School is holding their annual basket raffle through March 3, with drawings March 6. Fifth graders and certain middle schoolers even have their own time slot to participate at SHMD!
Donating Goods and Services to SHMD
Community Fundraising Events
• Glens Falls National Bank through March 5
• Massie’s: February 3
• Josten’s: February 6 and 7
• Wicks from the Sticks: February 7, 22 and 27
• Fitzgerald’s: February 8 and 27
• Pretty Hot Mess: February 8
• Johnny Rocket’s: February 10 - 14
• Coach’s Corner: February 10
• Craft on 9: February 11
Activities and Fundraising at the Dance
• Downtown Social DMB Night: February 15
• Southy’s Soft Serve: February 21 and 22
• Kingpin’s Alley: February 22
• Common Roots: February 22
• Eagles Club: February 22
• Talk of the Town: February 24
• Southy’s Pizzeria: February 26
• Pizza Jerks: February 28
• St. Michael’s Breakfast: March 1
Many fundraising activities are conducted at the dance itself. Activities include the annual cut-a-thon which will take place throughout the weekend, as well as the sale of Marathon Dance apparel, photos, hair wraps, face painting, ice cream and more. The annual 50/50 raffle provides an opportunity to be one of the many to win a $500 prize. The concession stand provides a variety of food and beverage options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The live and silent auctions will also take place during the dance. The silent auction begins Friday evening and ends early Saturday evening, followed by the live auction which begins at 6 p.m.
Visiting the Marathon Dance March 6 and 7
This event is open to the public from 7 to 10:30 p.m. on Friday, March 6, and any time after 7 a.m. on Saturday, March 7. Only registered participants, and others as indicated in the official schedule, are permitted on the gym floor. Additionally, seating is limited in the main Bulldog gym where the dance takes place; spectators may be directed to alternate viewing areas. Information regarding parking and shuttle buses is available on the website and Facebook page. Please visit the website at www.shmd.org, and follow SHMD on social media for additional information and to view the Marathon Dance live the weekend of the event!
Student Chair Committee
Natalie Barden, Hunter Clark, Jaime DeSimone, Jenna Farrell, Jillian Harrington, Savannah Kreppein, Bryce Law, Isabella Osborn, Austin Peltier, Aidan Taylor, Brooke Terry.
Dan Albert, Tom Myott, and Jody Sheldon.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — “Gymnastics has made me strong. I feel like it broke me down to my lowest point, but at the same time, it has given me the greatest strength anyone could ask for.” – Olympian Shawn Johnson.
Ava Dallas is a record-breaking 17-year-old junior at Saratoga Springs High School with a passion for gymnastics that she pursues, regardless of the injuries or other things she sacrifices to succeed.
“I started when I was really little, around two years old, and I stopped for a while but then I started to get serious about it when I was 10,” she explained.
“Just watching college gymnastics on TV and the summer Olympics, I got really inspired and then I started taking classes at the Y and then I joined the team there.”
Dallas then switched to a club team which was more serious and eventually made the choice to join the school’s team full time. She was with Stepping Star for three years and then switched to the high school team because she wanted something more team oriented and with less hours in the gym. From November to the end of February, the gym is where you can find her.
"Right after the season is over, we have about a month and a half off and then we go back to practicing on Sundays and then when it gets into the summer, we practice twice a week,” Dallas specified.
Dallas currently holds the Section II record for vaulting, which is 9.475.
"My freshmen year on the team, I broke the record for the first time and then last year I broke it once in the beginning of the year and then once again at the end of the year at the state meet,” she explained.
However, she is still recovering from a stress fracture in her back from over the summer.
“It was very hard for me to do anything because it was so painful. When I went to the doctor, he advised that I slow down and possibly stop to prevent any further injury. I didn't want to do that and compromise my junior season so I modified my routines to do skills that didn't hurt me and now I’m building back all of my skills and all of my routines to get back to where I want to be,” Dallas said.
Dallas also coaches the little girls the basics of gymnastics at the Wilton YMCA.
"Coaching the little girls definitely provides a different perspective on the sport. As a coach, you have to think about putting the skill into words that the little kids would understand and sometimes it takes multiple times to explain things so it really makes you think about every single little part of each skill that you do. Also, to see them enjoy it as much as they do, it really brings a new enjoyment for me,” she mused.
Her family supports one another tremendously. Her sister cheers at Syracuse and the family goes to watch her games whenever they can.
She cites her father as her biggest fan: "it means a lot, I can always look over and see him cheering for me… He's like my number one fan," she laughed.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — On Friday, January 24, Saratoga Springs high school celebrated their six senior boys on the varsity basketball team; Aidan Holmes, Bryce Emery, Garrett Myers, Grayson Dumortier, Dan Spillane, and Aidan Dagostino. The team is coached by Matt Usher and assistant coached by Geoff Loiacono.
The team played Bethlehem in a rematch from last year’s Sectional Championship, which the Blue Streaks won.
“It was a tight game to the end. Blue Streaks were down 58-56 with 7 seconds left when Luke Britton hit a 3-point shot on a pass from Aidan Holmes for the win,” Alicia Holmes, a booster club member, explained.
The final score was 59-58.
Holmes scored 11 points; Emery had five points; Myers had four points; Dumortier had three points; Spillane and Dagostino each had two points. Luke Britton, junior, had a team high of 19 points.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Skidmore College will host Be Instrumental — a musical instrument drive to benefit elementary school students in the North Country, including Ticonderoga Elementary School band program students. The drive will accept gently used brass, woodwind and percussion band instruments. The drive began Wednesday, Jan. 22 and concludes Saturday, Feb. 8.
In tandem, Skidmore students hosted “Band-Aid” — a benefit concert on Jan. 25 at Lively Lucy’s in Falstaff’s Pavilion on the Skidmore College Campus. The event price of admission was an instrument or a monetary donation of any amount. All proceeds went toward the Be Instrumental drive.
When Evan Mack’s 10-year-old son came home from band practice and told him that some of his classmates were playing plastic instruments or instruments held together by tape, the senior teaching professor of music at Skidmore College was stunned. He also learned that many students could not afford to rent musical instruments.
Mack, an accomplished composer and pianist, teamed up with Michelle Hubbs, director of the Office of Community Service, as well as Skidmore students Madison Pappas ’22 and Neil Mellstrom ’20 to create Be Instrumental — an instrument drive aimed at giving the gift of music to children in Ticonderoga Schools.
“Learning to play on a quality, working instrument is so important. When you give children a functional instrument, what you’re really giving them is the opportunity to explore what they’re capable of and to fall in love with music,” says Mack.
Skidmore students have been asked to bring gently used instruments that they no longer use back to campus when they return from winter break for the drive. “So many of our students have played an instrument at one point, in high school or even college, but no longer use that instrument,” says Mack. “These same instruments can now inspire a new generation of students.”
Several local businesses and organizations in the Saratoga region will help spread the word and encourage participation. Esperanto, Smashburger and Kru Coffee are offering incentives to those who support the drive. Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) will provide a special classical music package to whoever donates the most instruments. Cole’s Woodwind Shop and Saratoga Guitar & Music Center have volunteered to clean and prepare donated instruments before they are distributed to schools.
Ticonderoga Elementary school will be the primary beneficiary, but all surplus instruments will be distributed to other area schools.
Blue Streaks Hockey
SARATOGA SPRINGS — On Wednesday, Jan. 15 the Blue Streaks took a big win, 6-1, over the CD Jets. Assistant Captain Joe Amodio had three goals and two assists; Assistant Captain Will Detora scored one goal with three assists; Michael Montague had one goal and two assists; and Griffin Sarver had one goal. Goalie Jesse Bradley had nine saves. On Friday, Jan. 17 the Blue Streaks played a close game against Ithaca, Saratoga took the win, 4-2. Joe Amodio, Charlie Leary, Ryan McCoskey, and Devon Wormley each scored one goal. Goalie Brad Blake had 18 saves.
SRYMCA/Saratoga Honda Youth Basketball Scores
Blend Realty v. Olsen Associates
Blend Realty-26: Jacob Alexander-15, Robert Tucker-3
Olsen Associates-17: Jacob Hernandez-4, Chris Perera-4, Xavier Rusio-4
PBA v. Cudney’s
PBA-39: Bryant Savage-17, Isaac Ryan-9
Cudney’s-35: Ben Van Valkenberg-12, John Gerardi-12
Village Photo v. Spa Café
Spa Café-52: Everett Smith-14, Joe Reynolds-13
Village Photo-40: Jacob Krygowski-16, Josh L. -9
Pashley Construction v. Vahanian & Associates Financial Planning
Vahanian’s-45: Michael Torani-15, Thomas Mauer-12
Pashley’s-34: Ziyair White-13, Nate Siewert-12
SRYMCA Over 50 Basketball League Scores
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 15
Lazy Dog Cookie Company v. Nemer Chryslers
Lazy Dog-68: Scott Clark -34, Todd Mcshane-16
Nemer-54: Steve Brown-33, Frank Pascuito-10
West Side v. Turning Point Chiropractic
Turning Point-76: Bob Hanson-42, Mike Scanlon-14
West Side-48: Dave Wolf-28, Tom Welch-10
Walton’s Sport Shop v. Mama Mia’s Restaurant
Walton’s-56 : Alex Marin-20, Mike Bentley-16
Mama Mia’s-49: Philip Fitrzpatrick-22, Lamont Williams-16
D’Andrea’s Pizza Shop v. Stephen’s Chryslers Jeep Dodge of Greenwich
D’Andrea’s-59: Mike McMorris-19, Scott Waterhouse-12
Stephen’s-48: Paul Gross-22, Jerry Hefferman-22
SARATOGA SPRINGS — The Saratoga Gymnastics team is a force of gymnasts to reckon with. They are already having a fabulous season and show no signs of stopping. Gymnast Ava Dallas is ranked 1st all-around.
Saratoga Gymnastics moved to 4-0 on the season by defeating Guilderland 170.85 – 163.25 on Thursday, January 16 at the Wilton YMCA. The team score was the highest of the season for the Blue Streaks. Saratoga secured the top 3 all-around spots led by Ava Dallas (1st all-around; 37.15) followed by Sophia Damiano (2nd all-around; 36.25) and Carly Ruschak (3rd all-around; 33.70). Guilderland’s top all-around performer was Alison Rem (4th all-around; 33.40). Saratoga gymnasts captured the top spot in each of the four individual events with Ava Dallas winning the bars (9.35), the beam (9.60), and the floor (9.20). Sophia Damiano captured the vault (9.45).
Junior Ava Dallas scored a 9.6 on beam Thursday night for the Saratoga Springs High School gymnastics team breaking the school record of 9.575 set by Kaitlin Dewey in 2005. In addition to winning the beam, Dallas also placed first on the floor (9.2), the bars (9.35) and the all-around (37.15) in leading Saratoga to a dual meet win over Guilderland 170.85 – 163.25.
“My beam routine is really starting to come together as I add back in some of my higher level skills,” commented Dallas.
“Honestly, I’m just happy to be able to compete after being sidelined for a few weeks at the beginning of the season with a stress fracture in my back. The doctor suggested that I shut it down for the season, but this sport and this team mean too much to me to miss my junior year.”
Dallas was able to modify her routines and eliminate skills that caused her discomfort.
“My back won’t be fully healed for several more months but right now everything feels good and I’m looking forward to Sectionals and States.”
In addition to the beam record, Dallas also owns the school (and Section 2) record on the vault of 9.475 she set last year at the New York State Gymnastics Championship Meet. Dallas was the Section 2 all-around runner-up in 2019 and was the Section 2 all-around champion in 2018.
Saratoga Springs Gymnastics moved to 5-0 on the season by defeating previously unbeaten Bethlehem 170.75 – 166.35 on Monday, January 20 at the Wilton YMCA. Although the Bethlehem team score broke a school record, the Blue Streaks were too much as they secured 3 of the top 4 all-around spots led by Sophia Damiano (1st all-around; 36.55) followed by Ava Dallas (2nd all-around; 36.10) and Carly Ruschak (4th all-around; 33.85). Bethlehem’s top all-around performer was Alison Gray (3rd all-around; 34.25). Saratoga gymnasts captured the top spot in each of the four individual events with Ava Dallas winning the bars (9.10), the beam (9.15), and the floor (9.10). Sophia Damiano captured the vault (9.25).
Bethlehem has one more shot at ruining Saratoga Springs Gymnastics perfect dual meet season as the Blue Streaks travel to Bethlehem on Thursday, January 30 (6 p.m. start time). Both teams come into the meet with a 4-0 dual meet record. Saratoga Gymnastics has won 18 consecutive Section 2 Gymnastics titles.
CAPITAL REGION — The Adirondack Thunder, the Capital Region’s professional hockey team, will raise funds for a critical healthcare organization while honoring those impacted by cancer during the second annual “Stick it to Cancer Weekend,” presented by Glens Falls Hospital, on Friday, February 7 and Saturday, February 8.
The annual event will coincide with the Thunder’s games against ECHL North Division rivals the Newfoundland Growlers at the Cool Insuring Arena in downtown Glens Falls. Faceoff for both games is at 7 p.m. The Thunder will wear specially-designed purple cancer awareness jerseys during the games.
The two-day event will have special meaning to the Thunder as they recognize two players affected by cancer: retired forward Shane Conacher, who was diagnosed at age 24; and current defenseman Jake Linhart. Both underwent treatment for testicular cancer and have been deemed cancer-free.
“We’re proud to once again offer Thunder fans this special opportunity to honor their loved ones impacted by cancer while supporting the C.R. Wood Cancer Center, which provides such vital care and services for so many people in our region,” said Adirondack Thunder President Jeff Mead.
“Cancer has hit close to home for our team during the past two seasons and our players stand with Shane, Jake and the greater Glens Falls community in the ongoing fight against the disease.”
“Stick it to Cancer Weekend” will kick off on Friday night when fans are invited onto the ice following the game for Paint the Ice Night, presented by Colorize. Fans who donate $10 to the C.R. Wood Cancer Center at Glens Falls Hospital will be eligible to paint a message on the ice to a loved one affected by cancer. Donations will be accepted at the Glens Falls Hospital table in the main lobby (cash only).
The messages will be iced over on Friday night and the Thunder and Growlers will skate on the painted ice during Saturday evening’s game, which will commence with a ceremonial puck drop by U.S Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, who represents New York’s 21st District.
After the completion of Saturday’s contest, fans will have the opportunity to take home one of the Thunder’s purple cancer awareness jerseys during a live auction on the ice rink. All proceeds from the auction will benefit the C.R. Wood Cancer Center. Fans interested in bidding should report to Section C following the game’s conclusion.
A special “Paint Pack” ticket package is available for both “Stick it to Cancer Weekend” games at ECHLthunder.com/stickit. The $40 package includes one ticket each to the Friday and Saturday games; one Paint the Ice voucher; and a commemorative Stick it to Cancer puck.
Individual tickets for either Stick it to Cancer Weekend game or future games can be purchased at the Cool Insuring Arena Box Office or online at ECHLthunder.com.
The Adirondack Thunder is a proud affiliate of the New Jersey Devils. For all the latest Thunder news, follow the team on all social media @ECHLThunder.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Alex Lowe, a famous rock climber, once said: “There are two kinds of climbers, those who climb because their heart sings when they’re in the mountains, and all the rest.”
Speaking with Saratoga Springs senior Vincent Sablich, you can immediately tell which type of climber he is.
“As a kid, I was always wanting to travel the world, enjoy different cultures, see new places, and I became really obsessed with the Himalayas and Mount Everest. I mean, climbing Everest I’d consider to be a whole other sport, but that's where my heart started for this type of passion. Eventually, I just kept begging my parents to let me climb mountains and they became overwhelmed and ended up signing me up for the Rock Sport summer camp. And that's how I found rock climbing,” Sablich explained.
Sablich is sponsored by Beta Labs Athlete, a chalk bag company.
"I competed with the owner's son,” he explained.
He reps their gear and products at competitions and at the gym. Sablich has competed all over the world: he is an 8-time USA Climbing Youth Nationals Competitor; a 3-time USA Climbing Sport Youth Nationals Finalist; Junior Psicobloc Champion in Montreal, Canada; USA Climbing Sport and Speed Youth Regional Champion; and Team USA Competitor, Youth World Climbing in Moscow, Russia.
"Moscow was probably one of the greatest experiences of my life. It was incredible to be able to go overseas to a very foreign and unique country and be able to represent my own nation amongst the top climbers in the world,” he reminisced.
"The main thing I got out of it was personal growth in terms of learning a lot about myself through climbing and where I see myself in the future,” he said.
Sablich also spends time assistant coaching at Rocksport Indoor Climbing Facility and Outdoor Guiding Service; he is also a routesetter there. As an assistant coach, he designs training workouts and activities and gives private lessons. As a routesetter, he designs and installs boulder problems and sport routes on climbing walls.
“Ever since I stepped foot in there for that very first day of summer camp, I became obsessed. I joined the climbing team there and after that, it just took off,” he explained.
Sablich is also the founder of Jessica’s Hollow Haunted Trail Charity Event. They have raised $10,000 for Cindy’s Comfort Camp. He designs and builds the annual haunted trail where he manages 40 volunteers. He is Vice President of National Honor Society, on the high honor roll, and secretary for the Club for Advanced Historical International Studies. He also traveled with Education First in 2019 to Italy.
His parents, Sherry and DJ, are his biggest supporters.
“They've been through everything for me. Climbing isn't a sport that they can go and drop me off, it's somewhere they have to drive 30 mins and back three times a week. When I get off the wall on a bad day, they're the ones who are there to comfort me. My parents have always pretty much been my coach,” he said.
Sablich has qualified for Nationals in June, taking place in Oregon. He plans to pursue rock climbing in college.
NATIONWIDE — January 26 – February 1 will be National School Choice Week; this special week offers families around the country a look at all of their children’s options for education.
Several options in New York State exist and they are: Traditional public schools, which is free for all children; Charter public schools, these are also free to attend, they provide traditional education with freedom to innovate; Magnet schools, also free to attend and they tend to focus on specific themes such as performing arts or mathematics; Online public schools, not free and parents considering this option would have to go through a private institution; Private schools are rarely free to attend but some offer scholarships, they may be faith-based; Homeschooling is permitted in all 50 states and does not cost anything.
There will be 2,300 statewide events happening during National School Choice Week to highlight each education option.
For more information visit www.schoolchoiceweek.com for a list of events in the area.
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