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Car raffle to help SPAC pay for ballet

Car raffle to help SPAC pay for ballet

Saratoga Performing Arts Center officials hope to motor ahead with raising money for the New York Ci

Saratoga Performing Arts Center officials hope to motor ahead with raising money for the New York City Ballet residency with a new benefit.

A new car will be raffled off next month to help SPAC raise money to pay the ballet. New Country Toyota is donating the Prius, for which a free, two-year lease will be given away, with two years of service included.

The benefit is part of a fundraiser by Hattie’s Restaurant, which each year chooses a cause to receive money from the restaurant’s Mardi Gras celebration. SPAC, and specifically the ballet, is this year’s recipient.

Amy Cantanucci, whose husband is vice president of New Country, is a member of the committee that puts together the Mardi Gras fundraiser, and the business decided to donate a car, said Shane Williams-Ness, SPAC’s director of marketing and development.

“It was something that the committee started talking about early on,” she said. “It took us a while to have it come to pass” because of applying for required permits and filling out paperwork.

Next year’s New York City Ballet season at SPAC was shortened from two weeks to one because SPAC officials said the price to put on the ballet had risen to a level that the arts center could not support. Officials have said they are working to bring back a two-week residency in 2014, and raising more money is part of that effort.

The ballet residency started in the 1960s as four weeks in the summer, was whittled down to three weeks and then two. To make up for the shorter season in 2013, SPAC officials are bringing in two other ballet companies next summer — the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet and the National Ballet of Canada.

Raffle tickets for the Prius are $20 each and can be purchased at or by calling SPAC at 584-9330, ext. 122. They’ll be sold up until the night of the party, which takes place Jan. 19 at the Canfield Casino. The winner doesn’t need to be present at the drawing.

Tickets to the Mardi Gras party are $100 and are available by calling Linda Passaretti at SPAC at 584-9330, ext. 122.

It’s the first time a car has been raffled to benefit SPAC.

“It’s a very big deal for SPAC to have this type of gift from New Country,” Williams-Ness said.

Marcia White, SPAC president and executive director, said the tickets can be purchased as holiday gifts.

“A raffle ticket for the chance to win a new car is the ultimate stocking stuffer this holiday,” she said in a statement. “Your purchase will not only enter you in the raffle, but help SPAC sustain its treasured NYCB season.”

The organization is grateful for any contributions, Williams-Ness said, but even so, the cost of the ballet is high. “The irony is even if we raise $50,000, that’ll pay for a quarter of one night,” she said.

It costs between $164,000 and $170,000 to stage a ballet each night, so that amount would pay for between a quarter and a third. Ticket sales cover about a third, as well, Williams-Ness said.

People who enter the raffle must be at least 18 and are responsible for getting auto insurance.

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