Stewart’s benefits from gift to trooper

The woman who anonymously gave $1,000 to a state trooper she often sees in her neighborhood has shif

The woman who anonymously gave $1,000 to a state trooper she often sees in her neighborhood has shifted those funds to the annual Stewart’s Holiday Match, which gives money to local children’s charities.

Stewart’s will double her contribution, as it does with all individual donations.

State police asked for the public’s help after Trooper Christopher Maniscalco got the holiday card containing ten $100 bills on Dec. 2 as he was heading to a call in Guilderland.

State police cannot accept donations from the public, and police wanted to return the funds to the woman so she could donate them elsewhere if she wished. Otherwise, the money would be considered unclaimed property and after a certain amount of time be returned to the state’s general fund.

The woman did come forward Tuesday to get the money back and chose to continue to remain anonymous, state police said. Maniscalco identified her as the woman who had given him the card.

She had approached him the evening of Dec. 2, telling him she sees him around the area a lot and wanted to thank him and wish him a merry Christmas. Maniscalco patrols Guilderland, Westerlo, Rensselaer, Knox, New Scotland and Altamont.

He took the envelope, she drove away and he responded to his call. It wasn’t until after his shift that he remembered the card and opened it. Inside the thank-you card was a religious quote and the cash.

“I was shocked,” he said last week when discussing the incident. “Never in a million years would I have expected” it.

After he got the money, Maniscalco said he wanted to talk to the woman again.

“I really didn’t have time to say an appropriate thank you,” he said last week.

Stewart’s is pleased to get the donation, which was given on Tuesday to the Guilderland Stewart’s Shop, said spokesman Tom Mailey. He did not know whether the woman brought it into the store herself.

“It’s exciting. We’re down a little bit this year so far,” he said. The company has seen an uptick in donations the last few days and still hopes to get more before Christmas. It starts collecting money on Thanksgiving. “This is good on two fronts,” Mailey said. Not only does it give the Malta-based convenience store chain another $1,000 to match, but “it also lets people know that our drive is under way.”

Last year, Stewart’s collected a record $700,000 from customers and doubled it to $1.4 million. The company spread that amount over 1,400 local charities.

The company does not match business or group donations, but is happy to pass on those monies to the charities as well.

The program has given more than $16 million to children’s charities since 1986.

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