Displaying items by tag: saratoga springs
QUEENSBURY — A drive-up novel coronavirus public testing site opened in Queensbury April 9 providing the availability of COVID-19 tests for residents of Warren, Washington, Saratoga, Hamilton and Essex counties, according to Warren County Public Health Services.
The mobile site is the second in the region, a new state-run drive-up test site opened on the University at Albany campus on April 6.
Glens Falls Hospital and Warren County Public Health Services worked together to open the most recent public testing site on the Warren County Municipal Center campus.
According to a statement, the site will be open for drive-up public testing only for those who have obtained medical authorization. Anyone who believes they should be tested should contact their medical provider. Those wishing to have a test performed will need to get an order from their health provider, who will then contact Warren County Public Health Services to arrange a time for the test. The site will be staffed by Glens Falls Hospital personnel in personal protective equipment.
Testing site staff will be able to handle 50 or so tests per day between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m., Monday through Friday. Results through a state laboratory will take 3 to 5 days.
The Municipal Center is located off Route 9 in Queensbury, near Exit 20 of the Northway. Those who have doctors’ orders for a test will follow electronic signs on Route 9 that will direct them to the testing location at the rear of the county complex. They will be asked to enter the Municipal Center through Glen Lake Road.
WILTON — H.O.P.E.’s 17th annual Spring Walk for the Animals has gone “virtual.”
This April 25, help us continue to save local homeless and abandoned animals by taking a walk at any time of the day with your dogs, family, children or just you while knowing you’re contributing to our life saving work in our community and beyond.
Your registration donation of ANY amount via our website or by check to our new Wilton Mall address will ensure that you’ll be a part of this new and exciting virtual fundraiser! Be sure to notate that your donation is your “walk registration fee.”
• Best Doggy Smile
• Best Wagging Tail
• Best Pet/Owner Look Alike
• Best Dressed Pet
• Best Trick
We’d love to see your fun walk videos. Thank you for your continued support of our mission for animals. We would not exist without you and the love we share for pets and all they bring into our lives.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — FLAG Saratoga announced in just one week they have raised more than $22,000 to help feed the front line workers during the Covid-19 pandemic while also keeping Saratoga-area restaurants in business.
To kick off their efforts, staff members at Saratoga Hospital were treated to a delicious Easter Dinner on Sunday from Panzas Restaurant. To date, there have been more than 500 "FLAG" meals arranged and delivered to the front line workers at Saratoga Hospital, Wilton Medical Arts and Malta Medical Care.
FLAG Saratoga was organized by four Saratoga residents: Nadine Burke, Becky Kern, Andrea Macy and Lisa Munter. It was inspired by an organization that had started in New Jersey and has grown into a national movement with local chapters in 21 states and growing.
Working along with the Saratoga Hospital Foundation as well as the Saratoga Chamber of Commerce. So far, more than a dozen restaurants and eateries have signed up including: Panzas, Putnam Market, Saratoga Broadway Deli, the Palette Café and more.
The Saratoga Hospital Foundation will work directly with the restaurants in ordering, delivering and distributing meals based on the needs of the staff. There will also be break-room snacks and grab-and-go boxes also provided.
“We are overwhelmed by the outpouring of support that we have received from the entire community,” said co-founder, Nadine Burke. “I knew that Saratoga would be the perfect place to organize a local Flag group. Our area is filled with so many generous and resilient people who are always willing to give back and help each other.”
Jim Thornton glanced across his living space filled with a variety of office furniture first seen on TV. There are side-desks and tables. There is an alien cryo-pod chamber that climbs six-feet high. “It’s all in our house,” said the man behind an extensive collection of X-Files props, memorabilia, and commercial pieces. “We have no room.”
When asked what initially drew him to the show, Thornton’s response was simple: “It was a creepy show. I’m a horror fan.” But it’s evidently clear how deep this rings true when he lifts up his paint-covered t-shirt to reveal an arm full of horror movie inspired tattoos.
His collection of X-Files goods began in stages, going from commercial, mass-produced items like trading cards, to promotional pieces and then to gifts crew members received. His first official prop was a camera battery.
“When I got a binder of trading cards, it felt like I owned part of the show,” he says. “From there, I just had to have more. The battery, it was the same feeling — but a little different. It felt more like the real deal, like this was touched by an actor, by a camera guy.”
It’s safe to say Thornton, and his wife Kelly Anthony, have moved far beyond a single camera battery. In fact, most of their house is dominated by the props. This includes an alien cryo-pod chamber from the Fight the Future film, which is about six and a half feet tall, four and a half feet wide. He also owns a good handful of office furniture from the show, like side desks and tables.
This past year the couple rented a moving truck, piled much of their collection in, and drove to Chicago for X-Fest, an X-Files convention. Once they arrived and set up, fans were blown away — and so were the stars. It was here that people encouraged the couple to open a museum.
Since then, Karen Connavol, who acted in a few episodes, has contributed to the couple’s museum fund-raiser. Frank Spotnitz, an executive producer, made a donation of his own personal merchandise. And on Feb. 27, TMZ mentioned that a Saratoga couple is looking for a museum and that they caught up with David Duchovny who gave his blessings.
And now, Thornton feels a sort of responsibility to put this into motion. Although, he does hesitate to use the term “museum,” for its connotations of stuffy, classical art that visitors look at but don’t interact with.
“I have to put a spin on it,” he says. “You can call it a museum, but it’s pop-culture. It’s got to be more hands-on, more visual.”
The plan is to bring back what Thornton refers to as “old-school stuff.” He wants to have Windows 95 computers available for visitors to play X-Files computer games, and have original PS1 games as well. Everywhere in the room, of course, will be televisions screening episodes.
As of right now, they are looking for a space in Saratoga. Despite finding the rent to be extremely high, they are adamant to stay in this area because “One, it’s Saratoga. You have the track, you have SPAC, you have the tourists.”
The point for the museum — and the reason why Thornton and Anthony find it so important — is so “[The fans] have a space where they can all get together and enjoy the show they all love. They’re going to see props from their favorite episodes that everyone thought would be gone.”
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Healthcare workers are national heroes right now as they battle this scary thing called COVID-19, but life doesn’t stop for them, not even wedding planning.
Fine Affairs, a wedding and event planning company, has teamed up with several local companies to give one healthcare hero the wedding they deserve through their Wedding Relief Package.
“Our team was brainstorming about how we can offer our support to local front line healthcare workers and Laura, myself, and Geriann were on a call last Friday just going back and forth about what we could do and what ways we could help. We thought well why not give a package to a bride or groom who is fighting every day and could use a little light. Then we asked a few other vendors what their thoughts were and if they would be interested in contributing in any way and they all jumped in and said yes absolutely,” described Rachel from Fine Affairs.
THE PACKAGE INCLUDES:
• Decor & Rental Items from Fine Affairs
• Floral Credit from Surroundings Floral Studio
• Ceremony and Cocktail Hour Live Acoustic Music by Jay Yager
• Wedding Coordination Services fromWendy Lawrence Weddings & Events
• Bridal Hair & Makeup by Blush518
Total value of over $7,500!
This giveaway works on a nomination system: @FineAffairsInc and on Instagram @FineAffairs and tag your hero in the comments. The hero with the most tags is the winner, which will be announced on May 1st.
"We have all been surrounded by the wedding industry for a long time so we know that it's super stressful planning a wedding in general. As we were brainstorming, we couldn't imagine what one of these healthcare heroes is going through while their day to day is what it is right now and the wedding is not only on the back burner, but is still hanging over them in the planning process,” said project manager Laura Simiele from Communicate Differently.
All other partners in this endeavor are happy to provide their services:
"This is such an amazing opportunity to give back to our frontline workers. I am honored to be a part of this project and look forward to helping the couple plan the wedding of their dreams,” said Wendy from Wendy Lawrence Wedding and Events.
"The Surroundings Team would like to express our gratitude to our local health care heroes for putting your lives on the line to save lives in this very challenging time,” said the Surrounding Florals team.
"This is the very least we can do for some people who are always doing the most they can do. I couldn't be more honored to be part of the project,” Jay Yager stated.
"It's an honor and privilege to give back to the health care community that has tirelessly cared for the rest of us,” Gwen from Blush518 said.
Since the launch of this campaign, several other local businesses have expressed an interest in providing their services to the lucky Healthcare Hero.
Go to Facebook @FineAffairsInc and on Instagram @FineAffairs and nominate your #HealthcareHero today!
Tips and Tricks for Yard Work
by Opal Jessica Bogdan
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Taking the opportunity to venture outside and do yard work is a great way to split up monotony and allows everyone to enjoy the spring weather.
Not only does yard work double as a great exercise, but parents with children at home can use it as a learning opportunity. Mike Devine, landscape designer at Branches Landscape, recommended starting a compost bin or pile.
“People are stuck home, unfortunately, and looking to make the most of their time. A lot of us are homeschooling our children as well, so compost can have two purposes: to have a nice activity and to get the kids involved with some science,” Devine said.
To create a compost pile, Devine said a little space in the corner of a backyard is all that is needed.
The two major components of a compost pile are carbon and nitrogen. Devine said the ratio is three to one, carbon to nitrogen. A plethora of items have carbon in them, but leaves are the biggest things most people have an abundance of. Other items such as kitchen scraps can be used in the compost, such as coffee grounds, eggshells and any leftover vegetables.
Devine said there are varying degrees to a compost pile, ranging from a corner in the backyard to barrels or bins holding it. Placing the compost pile in a bin can help rotate the compost easier. Rotating helps drain any water pockets.
“If you do it correctly and don’t throw any ‘garbage’ into the compost, wild animals are never an issue,” Devine said.
Another tip Devine mentioned included cleaning areas that are normally skipped over, such a wood lines. He said going through and picking up fallen branches and raking leaves is a great way to reclaim that area as part of the landscape.
Branches Landscape is currently open. Devine said a small part of their business, property maintenance management, has been considered essential. Anything outside of spring cleanups and mowing lawn has been closed.
Creating a garden is another way to help spend time outside. Devine said gardens can be as little as 9-square-foot area on the patio of back deck. If this is the first garden, Devine recommended peas as an easy growing crop.
“Peas are a cool season crop that you could get the seeds at any hardware store. You can actually plant them now and not have to wait until Memorial Day for other more popular crops like tomatoes and what not. They need a little bit of cultivated ground and some sort of vertical support for them to grow up on. Watch out they grow quick,” Devine said.
Indoor gardening is another learning opportunity for children at home. Devine said starting squash, although they can grow large in size later on, can keep kids entertained as they watch their plant grow.
“Stick them in a window or under a grow light. Experiment and play around,” Devine said.
Drive-Through Garden Center
by Opal Jessica Bogdan
Saratoga Hewitt’s Garden Center. Photo by Jaclyn Cotter-Older.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Hewitt’s Garden Center will now offer a drive-through during COVID-19 for homeowner’s lawn and garden needs.
This past weekend, Hewitts in Saratoga opened their drive-through to offer customers a different way to purchase all their lawn care and garden products.
“It was really great, Jaclyn Cotter-Older, manager, said. “We are one of the only garden centers open in the area, so everyone was excited to get their flowers and their plants.”
The drive through will be opened weather permitting. Cotter-Older said once a car arrives for the drive-through, they bring out a menu to your car. While waiting in the pickup line, customers can pick out what products they want and pull through the drive-through to pickup the items. Cotter-Older said most of the menu consists of flowers, vegetables and the nursery stock the store offers up-front.
“We want to do this because we are hoping to have the business as last year, if not better. But with COVID- 19 we can’t have that many people in the store,” Cotter-Older said.
Amid COVID-19 restrictions, the store only allows a maximum of 20 people in their greenhouse. The garden center also offers curbside pickup.
“The curb side pickup is mostly for lawn care and fertilizers,” Cotter-Older said.
She added their website has every product listed, so customers can get an idea about what products they want before arriving to the garden center. Customers can order and pay online or through the phone.
“It’s just another option to still get what you want and not have to leave the comfort of your car,” Cotter-Older said.
All seven of Hewitt’s Garden Center locations will offer the drive-through weather permitting. The store also offers a lifetime guarantee on purchased trees and plants.
by Lorraine Hopes
Photo courtesy of Lorraine Hopes.
Self-distancing becomes difficult when produce runs out at home and a trip to the grocery store must be made. However, multiple trips as often as once a week is not recommended during COVID-19. Home growing vegetables is a great way to avoid travelling during this time once the fresh produce runs out at home.
Why buy lettuce when you can grow your own?
There are many advantages to growing your own lettuce. Growing lettuce is easy and can also be a great science project to do with your kids. Not only will it give you something fun to do while we are stuck home, in a month or so you will be blessed with a multitude of healthy fresh lettuce leaves, and have the satisfaction that you grew them yourself. No more trips to the grocery store for lettuce.
Here are some tips on growing your own lettuce:
Getting seeds, pot/container, spray bottle, and soil. - If you do not have the necessary planting items there are still seeds and planting supplies out there. Do a Google search for lettuce seeds and see what seed stores come up to order from. You can order online so you do not have to go out.
Any leaf lettuce varieties are good like black seeded simpson, grand rapids, mesclun, salad bowl mixes, and micro-greens.
Once you gather the materials, fill your clean pot/container with new soil and water. The soil needs to be moist. Sprinkle lettuce seeds on soil and cover with 1/8” to 1/4” soil, do not tamp down. Cover pot/container with plastic wrap and place in a south-facing window.
Check your soil everyday. Use a spray bottle to mist/water every morning or whenever the soil looks dry.
Your lettuce should sprout in 7 to 14 days, remove plastic wrap then and continue to water. Most lettuces will reach maturity in 45 to 55 days but you can pick them when they are small too.
To keep your lettuce growing all the time you can plant another container a week or two after the first has sprouted.
Have fun and bon appétit!
Dawn Oesch of the Saratoga Candy Co is making deliveries all over town!
She’ll be delivering Easter Candy through Saturday afternoon!
Free local delivery within 15 miles of Broadway!
Order through www.SaratogaSweets.com/Easter
Core training has become an extremely popular phrase lately but I’m not sure people truly understand what the actual function of the core is. So when I ask people what they feel they need the most work on, I will typically get the response that they have a weak core and need to strengthen it. And if I was to ask that same person how they would strengthen their core, they usually say something like sit-ups (which drives me crazy!). Now I’m not saying that sit-ups won’t get you stronger or work your core, but I will say that I don’t believe that it is the best way to train the core, because it isn’t how our core is designed to function.
From a functional standpoint, the joints in our body are either designed to be mobile or stable. If it is mobile (think hips and ankles), then we want to move it freely through different ranges of motion. If it is stable (think knees and lower back/core), then we want to limit movement in that joint as much as possible. So when we think about the core and our lower back, we want to limit the movement, so doing endless amounts of sit-ups (think flexing the low back) and crunches might not be the optimal exercises for functionally strengthening the core.
The ANTI approach has become a very popular concept (and for good reason) in the health and fitness industry. This approach towards core training is to make people more aware of how the core truly functions by making people look at the core as anti-movement muscles. So we want to do exercises that challenge us to not move those muscles such as planks and avoid exercises where we do move them such as sit-ups.
Alright everyone, now that I told you how the core actually works, I am going to give you some of our favorite core exercises that we perform at Gunning Elite Training on a regular basis. These exercises follow the principles of the ANTI approach in different planes of motion. I think it is so important to train our bodies the way they are designed to work rather than against, so we can live a long and healthy life. Stay strong and keep GET’n after it!
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Hospitals have become the epicenter of COVID-19 around the world, and while most feelings concerning COVID-19 include fear and anxiety with the unknown, two women at the center of it all boiled their experience thus far with COVID-19 down to one word: heartwarming.
Dr. Jacqueline Smith, hospitalist, is a member of Saratoga Hospital Medical Group – Inpatient Medicine at Saratoga Hospital. She works with Clinical Coordinator Christina (Chrissy) Citarella, BSN, RN. Citarella is a Certified Medical-Surgical Registered Nurse working with inpatients. Both women have worked countless hours since COVID-19 hit the community in early March.
On January 20, 2020 a 35-year-old man returned to his home in Washington state after recently travelling to Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak. That date marks the first recorded case of the virus in the United States. News across the states travelled fast, and Citarella said the first change she noticed in her usual daily routine was the unknown surrounding the virus at the time.
“Initially, when we started hearing about the COVID patients—that the hospital would potentially be seeing these patients—we had a lot of questions, a lot of uncertainty, and the staff just wanting to know what was our plan, what are we doing here,” Citarella said.
Both Citarella and Smith said they started self-isolation early on due to their jobs in the healthcare industry. Citarella said she wanted to keep herself, family, and co-workers safe and took to extreme social distancing as the best approach.
In her own personal life, Smith said she experienced the same initial changes the rest of the world had, and started to self-isolate weeks before the rest of the community on principle, because she was working in the hospital.
“I considered myself high risk and took every precaution possible to avoid being with other people,” Smith said.
In her professional life, Smith said COVID-19 is a daily-changing thing. Since beginning to work with patients who had the disease, everything changed in the way they practiced. Daily conversations involving personal protective equipment (PPE) have happened regularly since.
“We have constant conversations about PPE and how to keep ourselves safe. We’ve seen a ton of innovation, which is so heartwarming, in terms of different ideas for PPE. It’s been very useful. So every day is a brand new experience, really,” Smith said.
Angelo Calbone, President and CEO of Saratoga Hospital, shared his perspective concerning the hospital and how the institution has worked as a collective with other hospitals. Calbone said they coordinate through an early morning call with all the institutions throughout the region as a daily check-in. During that call, they compare notes, share approaches and learnings, and get a sense of what each institution is experiencing and how they’re managing it.
“For the first time in my career, the entire region is functioning, in some ways, as a single health system and not really as competitors. It’s been a satisfying, but unique, experience that I think is helping prepare all the institutions, including Saratoga, really to be in the best position,” Calbone said. “As a collective, we have discussed and implemented changes, such as checking temperatures at all of our doors and timing the curtailment of visitors…we did that in somewhat of a coordinated fashion. We shared how we’re each using our protective equipment for our staff, testing the science and keeping an eye toward what makes our staff safest.”
While the virus forces the community apart, Smith said she was profoundly struck by the mixed emotions COVID-19 brought with it. She said working with a disease that is known as scary—and not yet over—creates questions concerning the unknowns of the virus. However, along with that feeling of fear and sadness the virus creates, Smith countered, “People truly need us, so that is rewarding.”
Calbone has seen that rewarding sense reflected in hospital workers. He couldn’t think of an adjective strong enough to describe the extent to which Saratoga Hospital staff have invested their commitment to patients. He said the time and energy spent in having good plans in place appears to be paying off well, and the staff has left him in awe.
“Their focus, calmness, and ability to take this work on while keeping their heads up has just been…we always knew we had a great staff but really seeing them work through this has been just impressive,” Calbone said.
Smith reflected the same ideas as she mentioned her own amazement with not only the nursing staff, but with other staff, such as the kitchen and cleaning crews. She described everyone as being high quality, caring, and willing to help with whatever anyone needs, creating an amazing atmosphere at work.
A key part in that atmosphere is the interaction both Smith and Citarella have with patients. Smith described her interactions as heartwarming, stating patients appreciate them in return and feel concerned about the staff, which she said is highly unusual.
“It’s a comfort to me. As much as we care, they’re caring as well,” Citarella said.
Smith said, “It also feels very heartwarming to me, caring about those patients. I want to cheer when someone leaves the hospital—I’m just so happy for them.”
Saratoga County reported its first COVID-19 case on March 7, 2020. On March 27, 2020, Saratoga County reported its first COVID-19 death. Despite the span of increasing reported cases over the last month, Calbone said social distancing is key to helping stop the spread. As of April 7, 2020, the Saratoga County Office of Emergency Services reported 167 confirmed cases in the county.
“Social distancing and staying at home are the very best things the public can do right now. Our impression is that it’s working and having a positive impact. It hasn’t stopped this, but we do think we are seeing signs that the rate of growth is slowing, which allows all the regional hospitals to better manage the influx. We appreciate what the community is doing, we can tell, and we think it’s working,” Calbone said.
THE UNKNOWN & THE UNCERTAINTY
After reporting the county’s first case one month ago, both Smith and Citarella noticed fear isn’t playing a large part in the virus anymore. They said they no longer see fear in patient’s or co-worker’s eyes as they work with the virus.
“This is very scary, but I have to say, the staff has done an absolutely phenomenal job being extremely professional and calm. I don’t see fear in people’s eyes. I think everyone just wants to help and that is pretty amazing,” Citarella said.
Both women said they feel very safe while working at the hospital, but that feeling changes as soon as they step out of that environment. Citarella is living at her home with her husband, practicing social distancing even inside the home. Besides an occasional trip to the grocery store, Citarella said she keeps to herself.
“I feel very safe [at work]. Being out in the grocery store—it’s the unknown and the uncertainty there,” Citarella said.
Smith said she currently lives by herself, so while it’s easy to self-isolate, the biggest challenge she faces is venturing out to get groceries.
“I have not been to a grocery store in probably a month, and I’ve managed to order things online, but I can’t do that anymore. They’re just not available. I’m going to have to go to a grocery store. I’ve put it off for three weeks now,” Smith said. “I’m becoming a really creative cook,” Smith finished with a laugh.
But it’s no laughing matter for those who travel to the grocery store. From being exposed safely to COVID-19 on a daily basis, Smith doesn’t feel that she should be in a grocery store but simply has no other choice. To keep the safe feeling they have inside the hospital when they are out in public places, such as grocery stores, both women said social distancing is key in uncontrolled environments.
“What influences people to do the right thing? [By not social distancing] people are not choosing the right thing. Why do they do that…I don’t know,” Smith said.
Calbone reflected those same feelings about the safe environment the hospital generates. He said a combination of limited building access, proper hand washing hygiene, and masking has all contributed to create that protected environment.
“We have long-established protocols and products here on how we disinfect and isolate areas. The public can’t access this building anymore. General visitors can’t come anymore. Other businesses and locations can’t necessarily make that work. If they don’t want the public accessing their space, they can’t do business. Whereas, we can keep our staff here taking care of patients, restrict a lot of traffic, and still do what we need to do,” Calbone said.
Calbone encouraged the public to continue proper social distancing and recommended masks should be used as well in public places. He said the masks provide more protection when it’s on someone who is sick. If everyone in public spaces uses masks, it can create a more comfortable sense, similar to the atmosphere the hospital holds.
At the end of the day, Calbone said personal health comes first. While practicing social distancing, proper hand washing, and self-isolating all contribute toward limiting the spread of COVID-19, people still need to pay attention to their health.
“If people need healthcare, they should not be afraid to access healthcare. The emergency room is open; we can still manage almost any case here in the organization. We would hate for people who need care to be staying away, allowing their conditions to worsen because they somehow think they shouldn’t or can’t access the hospital. We know that perception probably exists, but that really isn’t the case,” Calbone said.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — The idea came to him, as good ideas sometimes do, while otherwise engaged in the seeming mundanities of everyday life.
Jacob Hopper and Dempsey, a yellow Lab, were out walking through Saratoga Springs. Hopper had started up the Evander and Louise lifestyle and travel brand, just as everything else around him began locking down. March 1 was a heckuva time to launch a new business.
“Horrible timing,” Hopper admits. A lot of the work is centered on the partnerships he created with 17 different local restaurants.
“We know eating-out and taking-out can be a luxury for some people. And a lot of us are on limited incomes right now, watching the budget, but it’s really important that we support our small local businesses as much as we can. I think the more we can support them, the better we will be when we come out of this,” Hopper says.
“Well, we launched and then this all happened. I started thinking: what can I do?” The answer came to him while out walking with Dempsey. “Tag Your Take Out. It just popped into my head. I thought it might be a good way to promote these restaurants who really need help.”
The way the campaign works is this: people going out for take-out food snap a photo or capture a video of their excursion and post it to Instagram, tagging Evander and Louise at @e.l.saratoga and using the hashtag #tagyourtakeout.
In addition to the photos making the rounds of social media and adding to a sense of community, Hopper’s E&L selects four winners every week from the posts. Each of the four receive a $50 gift card redeemable at one the group’s 17 restaurants. A $10 gratuity will also be provided to the restaurant, and for each $50 gift card given away, a $50 donation will be made to Franklin Community Center.
“We’re buying the gift cards. I didn’t want to ask the restaurants to give us gift cards because they’re already hurting enough, and we’re also including a $10 gratuity to the business because I think it’s important to remember that there are still people working. They might not be coming to your table like they usually do, but they are putting themselves at risk,” Hopper says.
“With each gift card we give away, we’re also giving a $50 donation to Franklin Community Center as well – because the whole concept from the beginning was: support our local restaurants and support families who are in need, because the families can have other basic needs,” he says. “We’ve got 22 giveaways funded, so currently that’s $1,100 in gift cards and $1,100 to Franklin Community Center.”
Franklin Community Center – which is located on Franklin Street – is a non-profit organization providing basic necessities and services to less fortunate individuals and families in Saratoga.
“Anybody can tag their take-out at any locally-owned restaurants, and we’re certainly encouraging people to have fun with it,” says Hopper, adding that the support of sponsors, such American Natural Gas, help make the gift-card drawing possible. “It’s focused on Saratoga, but we’ve gotten some who have tagged in Ballston Spa, and we’ve gotten some from Albany. Post a photo of it, tag us and tag the restaurant and you can be entered in the drawing.”
Each week on Wednesday afternoon four winners are picked, and Hopper says he anticipates staging the drawings and gift card winners for at least the next couple of weeks.
“We want people to go and support local restaurants. The restaurants – obviously they’re all hurting and the feedback they’ve given me is they’re doing what they can to stay afloat and to keep their staff as much as is possible.”
For more information about the Evander and Louise #tagyourtakeout initiative, and a list of the Saratoga eateries where the winning gift cards are redeemable, go to: evanderandlouise.com/tag-your-takeout.