By Andrea Harwood Palmer
The Adirondack Trust Co. Community Fund has created a Monopoly board game, specific to Saratoga Springs, is being sold to benefit nonprofits in the area.
The game—based on the classic board game played by millions over decades—is currently for sale in hotels and retail locations throughout Saratoga.
“This was primarily an effort on the part of our own community outreach managers, Leah Ferrone and Caroline Putnam, who work with the Community Fund; Rob Ward, who recently retired, and the board members of the Community Fund,” said Celia Vincek, digital marketing assistant at the Adirondack Trust Co.
“Caroline has been down in the trenches with Leah and Rob, working on this project. Brian Straughter (Community Fund chair) has been a huge advocate for this project as well,” she said.
Putnam was chair of the Community Fund at the time of project implementation. She is now the board treasurer.
“It started with the Cooley Advertising Firm reaching out to the Chamber of Commerce. Kathleen Fyfe was smart enough to know it would be a heavy lift. The project was brought to Adirondack Trust, in the marketing department, and made its way to Rob Ward and Leah Ferrone, who brought it before the Community Fund,” said Putnam.
Jeana Nicotera of the Cooley Group was the brainchild of this whole project, said Putnam.
“I immediately thought, ‘Wow, I think this is a great idea. I have no idea what’s involved, but I think this would be so much fun, to put the town of Saratoga on a board,’” said Putnam. “We were all very excited about it. We went to the bank to get their blessing, and they gave it completely.”
Nicotera has done this project before in other cities. She worked with Hasbro, the game publisher (the original Parker Brothers company was absorbed by Hasbro in 1991) to put the city of Utica on a Monopoly board as a fundraiser. She did the same with Syracuse.
There were 39 “sellable” local spots on the board, money and cards. Adirondack Trust sponsored the photo appearing on the game’s box top. The photo was taken by SaratogaPhotographer.com’s Tom Stock of Stock Studios Photography in Saratoga Springs. The interior board game photo was taken by Randall Perry of Randall Perry Photography, an architectural photographer in Saratoga Springs.
“Every piece of the game has a lot of nice touches. Everyone saw things a little differently, and made it a little better. It really was like a family working together. It was a great time,” said Putnam.
To create the game, Adirondack Trust matched last year’s donations of $77,000, which will be added to the proceeds of the board game sales. The bank also sponsored advertising costs and paid for all employee time involved with the project.
“It’s really been a fantastic project. We’ve been chomping at the bit for 18 months to share everything. With only 39 spots, we tried to get places on the board that would make people want to buy the game, because it’s an important fundraiser,” said Putnam.
“Personally, I love it,” said Straughter. “I’ve been a Monopoly fan from childhood. It’s such an iconic game that people remember from growing up.”
“The fact that we had many businesses and nonprofits in Saratoga who wanted to support the game, and wanted to be on the game board—It’s something that brought the community together and is raising important money for the Community Fund,” he said.
“It’s an amazing game,” said Vincek. “Anyone with a tie to Saratoga is going to love this game.”
By Andrea Harwood Palmer