Saratoga Casino and Raceway’s eighth annual
Make a Difference event held in December
marked the donation of $100,000 to 26 local
Those donations contributed to an overall
$250,000 provided for community support by the
casino in 2012, company officials said. More than
150 people attended the event at the casino’s
Vapor Night Club.
Since its official inception in 2006, the annual Make a Difference event has presented $715,000 to local organizations, and over $2 million in monetary, sponsorship and in-kind donations have been made by Saratoga Casino and Raceway since opening in 2004, according to the company.
“We understand the importance of continued support for local organizations that make a difference in our community, ” said Jamie Hartman, executive vice president and chief operating officer. “Our contributions ensure that the programs provided by these organizations can continue to benefit our employees, families, friends and neighbors. We look forward to continuing the Make a Difference tradition.”
“In this economy, it is increasingly more difficult to obtain the monetary support that so many non-profit agencies need to reach their bottom line,” said Skip Carlson, vice president of external affairs at Saratoga Casino and Raceway.
“This event serves as a reinforcement of the belief that these organizations must never give up on their mission.”
The host, Benita Zahn, of News Channel 13, read a proclamation from Saratoga Springs Mayor Scott Johnson that expressed appreciation for the ongoing support.
Zahn then began presenting the checks. The selected host each year is given the opportunity to allocate $2,500 for the organization(s) of their choice. Zahn’s selections for 2012 were Building on Love and the YWCA of the Greater Capital Region, each receiving $1,250.
Other recipients for Make a Difference were: Saratoga County Economic Opportunity Council Inc., and Saratoga Hospital Foundation, $10,000.
Donation of $5,000 went to; Capital District Community Gardens; Franklin Community Center, Inc.; Nathan Littauer Foundation; Rebuilding Together, Saratoga County, Inc.; Ronald Mc- Donald House Charities of the Capital Region, Inc.; Saratoga P.L.A.N. ; Shelters of Saratoga; The Wesley Foundation; To Life!.
Donations of $2,500 went to: American Red Cross – Adirondack Saratoga Chapter – Local Disaster Relief Fund; Cornell University Cooperative Extension – CCE Equine, Saratoga County; Domestic Violence and Rape Crisis Services of Saratoga County; Jake’s Help From Heaven; National Center for Missing & Exploited Children; Operation Adopt A Soldier, Inc.; Saratoga Bridges; Saratoga Center for The Family; Saratoga Sponsor-A-Scholar; Schenectady Community Action Program, Inc.; Schoharie Area Long Term (SALT); The Prevention Council; Wildwood Foundation, Inc.
“This brings to $20,000 the amount of money Saratoga Casino and Raceway has donated to this vital new service that will provide primary, mental and dental health care to those people who reside in our community who are uninsured, or underinsured,” said Terry Lee, executive director of the Saratoga Hospital Foundation.
“They understand the frustration and fear people carry with them when they know they can’t afford to take one of their children to a doctor because they don’t have the money.”
Jim LaVigne, executive director of the Saratoga Sponsor-a-Scholar program said, “We are in our fifth year and currently have 48 young scholars on board, 28 of whom have graduated high school and are attending college. When fully implemented we will be positively influencing 70 young lives at any point in time who belong to this community and who will at some point give back to the fabric of this community.
We only are able to provide this great program through the generosity of those like the Saratoga Casino and Raceway and we are eternally grateful to them.”