In Saratoga Springs, after five years, a fallen soldier is still making a difference. Taylor Miller was killed in a suicide bomb attack in Afghanistan when he was 19. Taylor’s mother, Leslie Miller, still sees her son in the kids who participate in the Taylor’s Heroes fitness course at the Saratoga YMCA. Taylor, she said, struggled with his weight as a child. His mother started the free fitness program to help other children like Taylor control their weight. She said that when Taylor began to lose weight, she noticed an increase in his confidence. She says she aims to see this from all the kids who pass through the program. “Part of what I hadn’t really anticipated was that kind of growth in that confidence level that I saw in Taylor, so I feel good that even if they haven’t accomplished all of their weight loss and fitness goals, I feel like they have accomplished maybe something more lasting that will carry on beyond whatever else they’re doing here,” said Leslie.
In Duanesburg, third-, fourth- and fifth-grade students from Duanesburg Elementary School took part in a educational journey to commemorate the town's 250th anniversary. The journey took the students to historic sites all over the town, where they received a taste of their local history. The students visited sites such as an 1809 Quaker meeting house and the historic Christ Episcopal church.
In Niskayuna, the Capital District Soap Box Derby will be getting an new injection of funds thanks to Thomas Haberbush. Haberbush died on May 29 at the age of 83 and asked that in lieu of flowers that donations be made to the Capital District Soap Box Derby. “My entire life, my dad would tell us stories of his childhood Soap Box Derby experience,” said Thomas Haberbush’s daughter, Addy. The derby was having trouble finding corporate sponsorships for its annual race in Albany this year. With the help of Haberbush’s contribution, the race went off just as scheduled. Haberbush grew up in Schenectady and attended Mont Pleasant High School. After graduating, he enlisted in the Navy and served through the Korean War. His daughter said that his fondest memories were of growing up in Schenectady. She said that he had been delighted to see life returning to the city in recent years.
In Clifton Park, twin brothers are getting a chance to play the game of baseball. Here’s the twist, neither can see. Tyler Bailey and his twin Trevor were born three months premature. Trevor has some vision in one eye, but he can only make out shapes. Tyler is completely blind. With the help of a tee, some beeping baseballs and the dedicated volunteers at Hi-5 Sports, both brothers have gotten a chance to feel the exhilaration of that unique feeling of bat on ball contact. At their last game, Tyler was having trouble hitting the ball cleanly off the tee. After some work with the volunteers, and with an 0-2 count, Tyler hit the ball cleanly toward the pitcher's mound. All he could hear were the cheers.
In Albany, Ed Zimmerman, 94, threw out the first pitch before June 12 Albany Dutchman game. Zimmerman was an accomplished high school baseball player at Duanesburg High School when World War II interrupted his fledgling career. He served at Gen. MacArthur’s headquarters in Japan, and said he didn’t see a baseball until he returned home after the war. The 94-year-old, father, grandfather and great grandfather, who hadn’t pitched since 1952, through the first strike of the evening, right down the middle.
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]