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Friday, 14 February 2014 14:36

Junior Committee Fuels SPAC’s Engine

Fourth Winter Ball Set For February 22

 

SARATOGA SPRINGS— Fresh eyes bring new perspectives and fresh ideas. 

 

Believe it or not, The Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) will shortly be celebrating its 50th Anniversary in 2016. It will reach this milestone because it became, and continues to be, relevant: faithful to its core past, but always looking forward and reaching out for new ways to reach new audiences. 

 

This is true for SPAC’s programming, but just as true for what is at its core: people. A central institution in our region, it was some forward thinking in 2010 that led the leadership at SPAC to develop an auxiliary arm, which has brought new excitement and ideas that make a major contribution to both the “buzz” and the bottom line. 

 

SPAC’s Junior Committee, according to Marcia J. White, President and Executive Director “…was modeled after the Carnegie Hall Notables and New York Public Library Young Lions as an initiative to encourage a younger demographic and ensure the vitality of SPAC and the performing arts. Since its inception in 2010, it has become a highly credible business-networking group, planning terrific parties and events, and serving as ambassadors for SPAC.”

 

Meredith Von Schenk and Ryan Bouchey are members of SPAC’s Junior Committee, as well as co-chairs of SPAC’s fourth annual Winter Ball, which will descend upon the Hall of Springs on Saturday, February 22. 

 

Both are well on their way to making their mark in the local business community (Ms. Von Schenk is Marketing Manager for Roohan Realty and Mr. Bouchey is Vice President and CFO at Bouchey Financial Group) and developing their own families, but still recognize the importance of giving time to a organization that enriches the life of their community.

 

Meredith came to the Junior Committee at the recommendation of her friend (and fellow committee member) Laura Palkovich when she and her husband returned to Saratoga Springs in 2010. She worked on last years Winter Ball committee (a Dallas TV show theme) and became co-chair this year. “It’s a wonderful way to meet new people and support Saratoga Springs. We are so lucky to have a venue like SPAC in our backyard.”

 

Ryan’s experience was similar. When he returned to the area a few years ago, a recommendation from committee member Murray Massry got him on board. “Being on this committee has been a great experience,” he noted. “Our liaisons at SPAC (Kristy Godette and Mary Jane Sweetland) are very encouraging to us.”

 

Marcia White confirms how important the Annual Winter Ball has been to SPAC: “The Winter Ball developed from the realization that a large demographic of young professionals in the region would support a winter social and fundraising event if it had fun themes, great food and drink, an affordable ticket price and benefited a worthwhile organization”  

 

“That was four years ago. Since then, the event has become one of the regions’ most popular winter fundraisers, selling out each year. It is definitely a ‘can’t miss’ event and an important part of the committee’s fundraising efforts.”

 

Previous themes, such as ‘Mad Men’ and ‘Dallas’ have been timely, topical and lively—not to mention great opportunities to dress up and ‘vogue’ for the cameras.  

 

For the fourth year, they have outdone themselves. The confluence of the winter’s Sochi Olympics and the 2014 debut of the Bolshoi Ballet at SPAC made a Russian theme a perfect fit. 

 

Both Ryan and Meredith expressed gratitude for the efforts of the two-dozen people on the 2014 Winter Ball Committee, whose efforts are equally divided among marketing, fundraising and decorating for the event. The Junior Committee itself has about 50 members and they are always looking for more members to join their ranks. If interested, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

The Fourth Annual Winter Ball will have over 400 people attending this year, but Meredith and Ryan assured me that they have saved a place for you – but only if you hurry! 

 

 

For more information about The Winter Ball, visit spac.org or contact Kristy Godette at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (518) 584-9330 ext. 109. 

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