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High Notes: Helping disabled kids, a soldier's mission, hurricane help, fire relief

High Notes: Helping disabled kids, a soldier's mission, hurricane help, fire relief

Spotlighting the good being done in our communities

In Saratoga Springs, the Dake Foundation for Children in Saratoga held its annual Child’s Play event at The Hall of Springs to help raise money for the foundation’s charitable activities helping children with disabilities. Through sponsorships and ticket sales, organizers raised more than $50,000 that will go directly towards funding its grants for the rest of the year. The May 10 event featured food, music, body tattoos, photo booth selfies, silent auctions and raffles. The Dake Foundation provides grants for adaptive equipment and therapies for children with disabilities up to the age of 21 within 80 miles of Saratoga. So far, it’s granted more than $23,000 to numerous individuals to help them further their independence and socialize in the community. Items funded by the grants have included adaptive trikes, iPads and adaptive strollers or seats. For more information on the Dake Foundation, to donate or to apply for a grant, visit www.dakefoundation.org.

In the Capital District, Air Force veteran Jeremy Mattas, a Saratoga Springs native, ran more than 100 miles through three local counties in silence last week to raise awareness of the issue of veteran suicides. Mattas, who is stationed in California, ran from Clifton Park to Broadalbin last week to observe the 22 veterans who take their lives on average every day in this country. At each hour of the 22-hour run, he stopped to place white and purple carnations wrapped in teal ribbon alongside the road. The colors represent suicide prevention and awareness. Mattas, 26, grew up in Amsterdam and graduated high school in Burnt Hills, and has served in Afghanistan and the African country of Djibouti. Mattas wanted to remind people throughout his run about the threat of post-traumatic stress disorder and mental illness that often follows military veterans home from their deployments. The journey ended at the Saratoga-Fulton County line about 9 p.m. Wednesday.

In Albany, 30 student volunteers from UAlbany are preparing to travel to Puerto Rico next month to help rebuild homes and perform other services in the wake of last year’s devastating hurricane. The students are part of a service/learning project developed by the college’s College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity in conjunction with SUNY Maritime College. The students will work with the group All Hands and Hearts volunteers on various rebuilding projects in the U.S. territory ravaged by Hurricane Maria last September. The college’s alumni association is attempting to raise the $55,000 cost of sending the students. As of Thursday evening, the UAlbany Fund effort had collected about $50,400 toward the goal. To contribute to the fund, visit https://www.alumni.albany.edu/s/1642/02-alumni/giving/index.aspx?sid=1642&gid=2&pgid=2156.

In Ballston Lake, members of the community came together to help a local family whose home was destroyed by fire earlier this month. The Broadbent home at 11 Woodshire Court in the Country Knolls neighborhood was destroyed by fire that started in the garage the night of May 2. One of the family’s 10 adopted children, Eric Edwards, died in the fire, and father Glen Broadbent suffered severe burns that left him in critical condition. Other family members also suffered burns or smoke inhalation. As of Thursday evening, a GoFundMe page set up by neighbor Catherine D’Avella Opela had raised more than $30,600 toward a $100,000 goal. To contribute to the GoFundMe page, visit: https://www.gofundme.com/the-broadbents. Supporters of the family have also set up a Facebook page announcing opportunities to donate and fund-raising events, which have included a lemonade stand and a dog-wash event. Visit the Broadbent Family Fire Relief page at www.facebook.com/broadbentfamilyfirerelief.

High Notes is a feature of The Gazette Opinion section that appears every Monday to spotlight the good being done in our communities by individuals, organizations and businesses. Reader submissions to High Notes are welcome. Send suggestions to Editorial Page Editor Mark Mahoney at mmahoney@dailygazette.net.

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