HIGH NOTES: Food donation milestone, masks for charity, healthy swim, backpacks for kids


In Schenectady, TrustCo Bank recently announced it was donating 450 backpacks filled with school supplies, lunch bags, face masks and sanitizer for the students of Pleasant Valley Elementary School. The banking company also donated $2,500 to the school for extracurricular activities, a donation that is sure to be appreciated due to the financial strain on school budgets created by the covid crisis. 

In Saratoga Springs, the New York Racing Association, in concert with the city of Saratoga Springs, recently donated $20,000 raised through the sale of specially designed reusable cloth Saratoga face masks, money that will be given to local nonprofits to help serve the community. The money is being divided among four local organizations: AIM Services, Inc.; Franklin Community Center; Shelters of Saratoga and the SNACpack Program (Saratoga Nutrition Assistance for Children). These organizations provide food, shelter and other resources to those in need, which has increased during the pandemic. A portion of the sale of the masks went toward the groups. 

In Lake George, a group of eight menopausal women recently swam the length of Lake George to call attention to the importance of exercise for good health and the benefits of exercise for healthy aging and an aging brain. The effort, led by retired Glens Falls OB-GYN Kate O’Keeffe, featured eight women age 55-71 swimming the length of the 32-mile lake over two days.

In Albany, Catholic Charities reached a milestone earlier this month by distributing its 1 millionth pound of food to local food pantries in the region. The organization called the milestone “unprecedented and sad” because it illustrates the high need for nutrition during the covid pandemic. So far this year, the organization has served more than 50,000 people. Catholic Charities teams up with the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York and other groups to collect and distribute food. The next local food distribution will be Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. at Centro Civico in Amsterdam.

High Notes is a Monday feature of The Gazette Opinion section spotlighting the good being done in our communities by individuals, organizations, schools and colleges, and businesses. If you know of anyone who should be celebrated, send your suggestions for High Notes to Editorial Page Editor Mark Mahoney at [email protected]


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