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Displaying items by tag: Saratoga County Young Professionals
SARATOGA SPRINGS – The Saratoga Regional YMCA (SRY) has a goal: to make sure that everyone who wants to go to the Y is able to. Through their Annual Scholarship Campaign program, SRY has provided countless memberships over the years to those who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford it. This year, the Scholarship Campaign is called Mission 443, and represents the goal of the 443 memberships SRYMCA hopes to provide in 2016.
Mark Ventra has been going to the YMCA Saratoga Springs Branch for over five years, sometimes going five days a week. As a traveling salesman, the Y staff was sometimes the only people he would see on a regular basis besides his family, and he loved how welcoming and caring they all were. However, if it wasn’t for the Y’s Scholarship Campaign last year, Ventra would have had to stop going.
“A year ago, I was diagnosed with a form of leukemia. At the same time, my job was going through financial difficulties and couldn’t afford to pay me any longer, so I was let go,” explained Ventra.
When Ventra approached John Higgins, Director of the Saratoga Springs Branch, and explained to him how he wasn’t going to be able to afford to renew his membership, Higgins simply told him, “We’ll take care of it.”
“I never thought I’d need a scholarship,” said Ventra. “I always thought the scholarships were for people that weren’t as well off as I had been. I used to never give it a second thought about volunteering or giving $100 to the scholarship fund, and now, I couldn’t even pay for my own membership. I wasn’t looking for a handout, but they helped me anyway, no questions asked.”
Swimmer Caroline Conboy Concludes Banner Year – In and Out of the Pool!
GENEVA – Saratoga Springs High School graduate Caroline Conboy, now a junior at William Smith College, has been named a Division III All-American off her performances at the NCAA Division III Swimming and Diving Championships, which took place on March 18 - 20 in Greensboro, North Carolina.
“I was completely surprised that I made it to the top eight finishers,” said Conboy, referring to her performance in the 100-yard breaststroke final. “My goal going in was to place in the top 16.” The eighth-place finish clinched her All-American status, and came off a preliminary in which she bested her own school and Liberty League record by over a half-second. Conboy also reached the consolation finals in the 200-yard breaststroke event, finishing sixteenth in her last event of the year.
One person who was very enthusiastic, but not at all surprised by Caroline’s performance was her High School Coach, Josh Muldner.
“Caroline is an all-around outstanding individual that deserves any praise or recognition that comes her way. She was our record holder, a state finalist two years in a row, our team MVP three years in a row, and our team captain as a senior.” Coach Muldner said.
“And that extends to life out of the pool. While at Saratoga, Caroline was selected by her peers to be the Homecoming Queen and she was the Student Government President. Just a great, great, great individual!”
For her part, Conboy, who is a psychology major / education minor and currently obtaining her teaching certificate, had nothing but fond memories about her high school. “Coach Muldner is the reason why I’m accomplishing so much today. He instilled in me a very positive spirit in addition to refining my technique,” she said.
“I’m so proud of Saratoga Springs swimmers and divers and what they’ve been able to continue to achieve,” she added. “I’m also thankful for the support I have received from home. So many people reached out (after the NCAA tournament), it’s very gratifying.” She also has a William Smith teammate from home – senior CeCe Carsky-Bush – to keep her motivated.
Caroline, who comes from an athletic family (brother Tom recently finished as a State champion in pole vault – See Saratoga TODAY March 11, 2016), had also played softball while a Blue Streak, but now concentrates on swimming and academics.
Looking to her senior year, “I’m going to stick to my goals,” Conboy said, “I hope to make the Nationals again, while making improvements in my times. If I’m successful in doing that, the awards and recognition will take care of themselves.”