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High Notes

High Notes

Spotlighting the good being done in our communities

In Saratoga Springs, 2,500 people turned out for the 18th annual Tour de Cure bike race to raise money for the fight against diabetes, including 200 red riders who themselves have type-1 or type-2 diabetes. The event raised more than $1 million. Red rider Mark Griffin said that the event reminds him that he is not alone in his fight against the disease.

In Albany, the New York State Library announced its summer reading program to encourage students to continue reading during the summer. The program will be spearheaded by the state library, which will work with all 23 library systems in New York to encourage more children to read. The theme for the program will be "Every Hero Has a Story," and will attempt to heighten children’s interest in the history of New York state. “Summer means that school stops, but it doesn’t mean reading and learning should stop,” said state Assemblyman Tom Abinanti.

In Niskayuna, Garrett Whitley realized his dream to play professional baseball when he was drafted by the Tampa Bay Rays as the 13th pick of the 2015 MLB draft in Secaucus, N.J. Whitely has been described by his teammates as a true team player and someone who is undaunted by pressure. He will join just three other Capital Region players to be selected in the first round, and he is the only one to be drafted out of high school. Whitley will graduate from Niskayuna High School on June 24, at which time he is free to sign with Tampa Bay. If he does sign, a signing bonus could be worth as much as $2.96 million.

In Mohonasen, Mohonasen High School students received a small dose of reality regarding the consequences of drinking and driving. The lesson came in the form of a mock DWI crash, with students in makeup playing badly injured victims. The Rotterdam Fire Department was on hand to demonstrate how a victim is removed from a wrecked vehicle. The demonstration came in the midst of prom season, a time when incidents of DWI are known to increase. With any luck, this will be as close as any student at Mohonasen will get to a drunk driving accident.

In Scotia, 150 students from Schenectady City School district gathered for the second annual Boys Day Out teen conference. The event, which is targeted at students who are deemed to be at risk for academic or behavioral reasons, aims to positively inspire seventh grade boys. The event includes workshops in drumming, writing and boxing that allow students to expand their views of themselves and their peers. The program is entirely staffed by volunteers. The program is voluntary, but one of the event's founders, Ebony Belmar, explained that they work hard to encourage certain students to attend. “Anyone who presents behavioral or academic challenges, we go out of our way to make sure they are here today,” said Belmar.

High Notes is a feature of The Gazette Opinion section that appears every Monday to spotlight the many good works being done by individuals and organizations in our communities. If you have a suggestion for High Notes, please send it to Joseph Tingley at [email protected]

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