High Notes is a new weekly feature of The Gazette Opinion section designed to spotlight the good work of individuals and groups in our community. We hope their efforts will inspire others. To submit a suggestion for High Notes, send an email to Editorial Page Editor Mark Mahoney at email@example.com.
In the Adirondacks, Burnt Hills native Catherine Zarnofsky and boyfriend Kolby Ziemendorf of Rochester are seeking to raise at least $10,000 for suicide prevention by climbing all 46 Adirondack High Peaks in one week during National Suicide Awareness and Prevention Week (Sept. 8-14). The two Clarkson University grads, with assistance from the college's Outing Club, said their effort is designed to "symbolize the struggle and the conquering of depression and suicide." Both say they've personally seen the effects that suicide and depression can have on individuals and the people who care about them. That's why they've undertaken the endeavor, for which they've been training for months. As of Friday, they were nearly halfway toward their fund-raising goal. For more information and to donate, visit www.46climbs.com.
In Schenectady, the Schenectady County Public Library just completed another successful summer of programs to encourage reading among all age groups. The program featured "Fizz, Boom, Read," a program for pre-schoolers. It also featured a Children's Reading Club, a Teen Reading Club and an Adult Summer Reading Club, the last two of which included participants writing summaries or reviews of what they read. To encourage participation and make it more fun, the library held drawings and awarded prizes to participants.
In Albany, students and faculty paid tribute to 335 people who had donated their bodies to Albany Medical College for study. The anatomical gifts allow medical students to get a better understanding of the human body through dissection. To honor those who've given this gift after life, the students, instructors and family members of the donors gathered at Albany Rural Cemetery last week for a funeral service that included people placing flowers on a symbolic casket. It was a fitting way to honor those who have continued to give of themselves after death and to raise awareness of the need for such donations. Visit www.amc.edu for more information.
In Saratoga, a Clifton Park family has raised about $80,000 to help search for a cure for a young family member's affliction with Niemann-Pick disease, a rare, lethal degenerative disease that usually affects young children. So far, it has no cure. As part of the fund-raising effort, the family set up a booth at a recent concert by the band Chicago at SPAC, selling raffle tickets and items signed by the band. A group of family members and other NP sufferers later got a chance to go backstage and meet the band in person.