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High notes: Jan. 2, 2017

High notes: Jan. 2, 2017

Hats off to those doing good work in our community!
High notes: Jan. 2, 2017
Evelia Echandy, a second grade student at Glencliff Elementary, gives toys to other kids at the holidays.
Photographer: Indiana Nash

In Amsterdam, the local American Legion Post 701, with the help of the Sons of the Legion the American Legion Auxiliary and many volunteers from the community, hosted its 35th annual Christmas dinner for the residents of the Amsterdam area. The annual event, begun in 1982, included 300 meals serve at the legion post and another 1,000 meals delivered to people's homes, including the homes of ma ny local seniors who couldn't attend the annual gathering. This year, the meal included turkey, ham and all the fix'ns.

In the Capital Region, the Stewart's convenience store chain helped raised nearly $2 million dollars for local children's charities in the 31-county region, raising the company's 30-year total to more than $24 million. The annual Holiday Match program invites customers to make donations, which the company matches penny for penny. No administrative costs are removed, and 100 percent of the proceeds go to the charities. This year, the match program raised a reord $926,000 from customers. Combined wit the $926,000 matched by the company, the total donation this year topped $1.85 million. The exact charities receiving money from the fund haven't been determined, but last year, more than 1,500 charities benefitted.

In Rexford, second-grader Evelia Echandy is showing you're never too young to begin the gift of giving. Evelia uses proceeds from a summer lemonade stand and bake sale, as well as proceeds from the sale of donated used toys, to purchase toys for the Toys for Tots program. This year, she was able to raise enough money to donate 18 toys to the Marine Corps Reserve's collection bin at Glencliff Elementary School. The annual program provides new toys to children in need at Christmastime.

In Niskayuna, a foundation founded 22 years ago to provide education and treatment options for vascular birthmarks served its 100,000th patient this year and has embarked on a new campaign to raise $100,000 for further treatment and diagnosis. The Vascular Birthmark Foundation was founded by Niskayuna resident Linda Rozelll-Shannon after her daughter was born with the birthmarks, which can include port-wine stains and abnormal, potentially disfiguring growths called hemangiomas. For more information and to make a donation, visit the foundation's website, birthmark.org.

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 Editorial Page Editor Mark Mahoney at mmahoney@dailygazette.net.

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