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Displaying items by tag: John M Mysliwiec

Thursday, 30 July 2015 14:17

Swing of Fire Lights Up Gala

SARATOGA SPRINGS –With the top auction items priced at $55,000 and $35,000, this year’s auction at Saratoga Hospital’s 33rd Annual Summer Gala features items with a higher value than any year prior. All proceeds benefit the services and programs at the Saratoga Community Health Center. The theme for this year’s gala is “Caddyshack” and it will be held Wednesday, August 5 at 6 p.m. at Polo Meadow at the Saratoga Casino and Raceway.

Jim Sasko at Teakwood Builders has teamed up with six other companies to construct the Swing of Fire, a $35,000 outdoor space. It features three swinging benches surrounding a gas fire pit donated by Mohawk Heating Company. The Swing of Fire was designed by Balzer and Tuck, timber was donated by Legacy Limber and Frames with finishes by Winslow Painting. After installation, New Dimensions Outdoor Services makes sure the backyard is exquisitely landscaped . The Swing of Fire will be installed by a massive crane the Monday before the gala so it can be on display that night. The organizations collaborated in a concentrated effort to make the Swing of Fire an amazing backyard spectacle.

“We knew we wanted to build something that was going to be creative and mobile. It has to be able to be assembled on site and reassembled in new location. It’s been a lot of fun,” said Jim Sasko, of Teakwood Builders. “Putting it together is going great, it’s really cool. I hope it goes to a nice home where someone can enjoy it.”  

A $55,000 Kentucky Derby experience also tops the auction list. Donated by Marylou Whitney and her husband John, six guests will be flown in a private jet to Louisville for the 2016 Kentucky Derby where they will sit in the famous Whitney Box on the finish line. Guests will also receive VIP transportation from the airport to Churchill Downs. Dinner and champagne will be served on the ride home.

The gala starts at 6 p.m. with the auction beginning at 7 p.m. For dinner, guests will enjoy locally grown food prepared by Executive Chef Steve Nash, signature cocktails and open bar, plus dessert. 

 

For tickets please visit http://saratogahospital.org/services/events/the-summer-gala-2/

Published in News
Friday, 01 May 2015 14:32

Saddle Up for Dogs, Divas & Dudes!

Details Announced for Second Annual Glamor Western Gala

SARATOGA SPRINGS – When you pull off a great, fun event, the challenge for the second time around is to keep it fresh and exciting, while still remaining faithful to the concepts that made it successful in the first place. This has been accomplished, and then some, as the details for the Second Annual Dogs, Divas & Dudes Gala were discussed with Gala Chairwoman Michele Riggi, who knows a few things about throwing a great party. 

 

“The thing that makes this event distinctive,” Ms. Riggi said, “is that we have a season of galas, so many events to choose from. But this is the one where you can be casual: Just pull on your jeans, throw on your boots, grab a cowboy (or cowgirl) hat and you are good to go! Not to mention, you can bring your dog to our party—we even have complimentary dog sitting for when you need to get up and participate in all the things we have planned.” She said. 

 

The short course is that the Second Annual Dogs, Divas & Dudes Gala will occur on Thursday, June 11, at 6 p.m. Saratoga National Golf Club. Many of the elements that made this event so distinctive are back in place, but with several enhancements to assure that you’ll be thoroughly entertained. Tickets and sponsorships are available now – and the proceeds will once again go to Cornell University Veterinary Specialty’s Department of Oncology. 

 

A $500 admission ticket gets you cocktails, dinner and a preferred seat for the featured entertainment that evening, plus a meet and greet with the featured artist. Other sponsorship packages, ranging from $1,000-$10,000, are available for those wanting to buy admissions for you and your posse (or company), with upgraded seating and other enhanced perks.  

 

One incredibly noteworthy enhancement is this year’s celebrity headlining guest performer – Country music star, Warner Music Nashville singer/songwriter Chris Janson, who will be coming to Saratoga Springs in between gigs in Missouri and Colorado. Janson is sporting a major hit single “Buy Me A Boat” that reached #1 on the iTunes country charts. It was announced earlier this month that cable network CMT will actually be financing and producing the music video for this original song. This is significant because it will be the first time the network has undertaken this type of project. 

 

Another feature of this year’s gala is that you can buy a “show only” ticket for $100, which includes a balcony seat, hors d’oeuvres and a meet and greet. 

 

Speaking of CMT, appearing and returning as special Honorary Chairpersons for the gala are Doug and Beth Chapman – the stars of the hit TV series Dog & Beth: On The Hunt. Dr. Margaret McEntee from Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine also returns as an honored guest. 

 

There also will be a small but select live auction, with unique items available, including a dog home for your best friend custom-built by Bella Builders and a one-of-kind wall clock commissioned by Ms. Riggi herself.

 

But perhaps it’s the overall ambiance of the event that makes Dogs, Divas & Dudes so easy to recommend. The entire atmosphere of a transformed Saratoga National into a big rhinestone-studded county hoedown – from trick roping demonstrations to mechanical bull riding to barbeque to music and just plain fun (all with your dog, no less!) and benefitting a great cause…. Well, pardner, it all adds up to make the date of June 11 worth circling on your calendar, and reserving your place ASAP so you don’t get left out when something really unique comes to town again. 

 

For more information or to purchase tickets to Dogs, Divas & Dudes, contact Michele Riggi at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone (518) 583-4935. 

 

Published in News
Friday, 13 March 2015 12:13

The Real People Behind Homelessness

Shelters of Saratoga Gala’s Exhibit Shows the Humanity of Struggle, Hope and Success

SARATOGA SPRINGS – For it’s fifth annual gala, Shelters of Saratoga (SOS) will be adding an extra, dramatic dimension – a showcase of the individuals impacted by homelessness through a series of intimate portraits and their stories that go beyond the stereotypes – and are the most powerful reasons why you should consider attending.

 

The gala is next Thursday, Mar. 19 from 6-9 p.m. at Longfellows Restaurant. Admission is $100; visit sheltersofsaratoga.com/events/shelters-of-saratoga-gala-2015 for more information and reservations. At the event there will be a series of 60 live and silent auction items available, a cocktail reception and live music by Jeff Brisbin. 

 

But it is the people themselves – people whose lives have been positively impacted by the work of the shelter, and their stories, that will be front and center for gala attendees. Included are a series of powerful images from the lens of Mark McCarty showing SOS clients and houseguests in a way that cuts through the stereotypes and allow you to view the full spectrum of humanity of the people who have been helped by SOS. 

 

And stories. “I became homeless when I lost my home due to foreclosure,” says Stanley Peters, SOS houseguest. “Living in a motel used what little money I had and there was no one that I could stay with locally. A friend suggested that I call SOS.” 

 

“People who are homeless are stereotyped as panhandlers bumming spare change or pushing around a shopping cart filled with everything they own,” says Peters. “That’s not who I am. I’m married, have children and two jobs. I like art, reading, sculpting and metalwork. When I leave SOS, I hope to have a place to bring my children to visit me that I can proudly say is mine.”

 

In 2014, SOS helped over 400 men and women through their sheltering program and had over 1,500 face-to-face contacts through their Mobile Outreach unit with youth, adults and families.

 

Real people receiving real help. Like Hial Hall, another SOS houseguest. 

 

“I almost didn’t go to SOS because of the way that homeless shelters are portrayed. However, I have found this to be an atmosphere that’s more like a family. We help one another get back on track. I’ve had nothing but good fortune since coming here.”

 

Hall has been sober since July 2008 and noted that his other accomplishments include finding and maintaining work and accepting staff’s help to find the resources that have gotten him back on his feet. Hall currently works two jobs and has recently moved into one of SOS’ affordable housing apartments.

 

When asked to what he attributes his success, Hall stated, “You can’t stay in the past, you have to keep looking forward.”

 

The Honorary Committee Chair for the Gala is Laura Chodos. Title sponsors for the event include Vince, Patty, Ron and Michele Riggi and Saratoga Casino and Raceway. Saratoga TODAY Publisher Chad Beatty will oversee the live auction, with items available such as Saratoga Race Course Track Box seats, VIP tickets to Electric City Couture Fashion Show and after-party, tickets to Les Miserables on Broadway and many other items. 

 

“I am very pleased to celebrate the good work of Shelters of Saratoga and the support we provide to those who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness in our community,” says Michael Finocchi, SOS executive director.

 

For more information, visit sheltersofsaratoga.org

Published in News