Michael Castellana, president and CEO of SEFCU, holds up a backpack Tuesday. (Peter R. Barber)
In Schenectady, a program that helps provide students in the city school district with backpacks of food so they can have nutritious meals when they’re not in school will be able to expand to other schools in Schenectady County, thanks to a $50,000 state grant. The Weekend Backpack Partnership program is an initiative of several area organizations, including the Schenectady Foundation, the City Mission, Golub Corp., SEFCU and MVP Healthcare that support and organize the backpack program. The backpacks are currently distributed to about 1,000 Schenectady elementary school children. They supplement the meals students ordinarily get in school, so they have nutritious food at other times, such as weekends, school vacations and holidays. With the additional state money, the program hopes to expand to help needy children in other school districts in the county.
Runners at the finish line of the SPAC Rock & Run on May 21, 2017. (Erica Miller)
In Saratoga Springs, more than 1,300 runners helped raise about $32,000 to provide art education for children in need. The Saratoga Performing Arts Center’s Rock & Run - which included a half marathon, 5K race, 10K race, a children’s run and a party at SPAC - supports the Vivienne Andersen Arts Education Program, an arts education initiative that serves about 300 children each summer and includes the opportunity to experience a live matinée performance of the New York City Ballet. Many of the children in the program come from disadvantaged backgrounds.
In Saratoga Springs, hundreds of people took on the challenge of an obstacle course to benefit substance abuse treatment programs in Saratoga County. The 6th Annual TUFF eNUFF 5K obstacle course challenge, held Saturday at the BOCES career center, is a fund-raiser for the Alcohol and Substance Abuse Prevention Council of Saratoga County, a nonprofit organization that provides information and support for people suffering from all kinds of substance abuse, from cigarettes to harder drugs. Organizers of the event had hoped to raise about $25,000.
In Albany, six area nurses were recently recognized with Albany Medical Center’s highest award for their excellence in patient care and leadership through their extra care and commitment to patients. The Pillars of Nursing recognized nurses Andrea Hanlon, and RN in the Emergency Department; Sally Skinkle Kaminsky, a STAT Nursing RN; Daureen Shoemaker, an RN in Vascular Interventional Radiology; Larry Tana an RN in Neurology; Rachael Tanner an RN in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit; and Kristin VanAlphen and RN SCRN in Neurology.
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 [email protected].