Friday, 15 March 2019 11:15

April Fools’ Walk and Run is for Real!

By Todd Shimkus, President of the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce | Business

I believe April 1, 2012, was a Sunday. Sometime that morning, my cell phone began to buzz and vibrate. I was attempting to enjoy a day off so I initially ignored the calls.

But let me remind you, it WAS April Fools’ Day. And I was about to learn this is a special day for Susan Halstead.

Susan Halstead is the owner of Family Vision Care. At that time, she was also the volunteer Chair of the Chamber’s Board of Directors.

To “fool” the members of the Chamber’s executive board, she cooked up a conspiracy theory in which I was the guilty party. 

She called each volunteer to describe my transgression and to ask them to stay tuned.

Not one of them picked up on the fact that it was April Fools’ Day.

 Some of them called me either to get my side of the story. But remember, I didn’t pick up the phone.

Later that morning, Susan called them to invite them to the emergency board meeting later that day and suggested they take a close look at what day it was. April Fools!

You can say that Susan Halstead and I have been “Frenemies” ever since.

I got even with Susan on Saturday, April 1, 2017. 

Susan was in New York City on business that day.

At 5 a.m. while it was still dark, I drove around the City placing lawn signs in the yards of her friends that stated in pink: “Halstead for Mayor – Vision for the Future!”

During the day as her friends awoke, they posted photos of these signs on their lawns on social media. Now Susan’s cell phone began ringing. April Fools! 

In a couple of weeks, it will be April 1, 2019.

This year, Susan Halstead and I are teaming up. 

We’re co-hosting the first-ever April Fools’ Walk, Run and Meet Up at the Gideon Putnam Hotel, in the Saratoga Spa State Park.

We’ll have food, water, a cash bar, running shirts, and some great networking. We will have a Start and Finish Line with a few suggested routes ranging from 1 mile to a 5k. 

Everyone that wants to walk or run will start at the same time but this is NOT a timed event.

This means — in the spirit of April Fools’ Day — that every participant will have an opportunity to post whatever distance and time they want to say they ran or walked. 

We’ll have a trophy stand that you and your friends can use to take a photo so that you can claim to have won the race. 

Registration and networking will start at 4 p.m. The official walk and run start time is 5:30 p.m. The proceeds from this event will help support our Healthy Saratoga movement that is working to ensure Saratoga is one of the healthiest places to live.

And best of all for friends of Susan and I, we promise that everyone who registers will NOT be a target of our April Fools’ Day pranks this year. 

Visit for more information and details!

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