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Displaying items by tag: vets

Thursday, 08 November 2018 15:37

3rd Annual Veteran's Ball

Photos by SuperSource Media, LLC.

SARATOGA SPRINGS —The Veterans and Community Housing Coalition (VCHC) recently hosted its Third Annual Veterans Ball at the Hall of Springs on Sunday, Nov. 4. Over 300 attendees came in support of VCHC’s mission to serve local Veterans and their families with affordable housing and support services while they transition to independent living. The evening’s highlights included Honorary Chair Ray O’Conor, LaSalle Institute’s JROTC Cadets, live music by The Joey Thomas Big Band, Saratoga Photobooth, champagne provided by DeCrescente Distributing Co., chocolate fountain provided by We Do Fondue, décor provided by Fine Affairs, elaborate food stations and a fabulous silent auction.

A memorable highlight of the evening was a special tribute to area WWII Veterans who were each ceremoniously honored and presented with quilts tenderly made by The Sunday Sewing Sisters. 


Allan Atwell - 
United States Army 1943 to 1945

Edward F. Deyoe - 
United States Army 1943 to 1945

Charles “Chuck” Dunham - 
United States Navy 1943 to 1945

Samuel “Sid” Gordon - 
United States Army 1946 to 1948

John “Jack” Harrigan - 
United States Army 1943 to 1945

“EJ” Knapik - 
United States Navy 1945 to 1947

Corporal Henry Rowland - 
United States Army 1944 to 1946

Dennis Treanor - 
United States Army 1946-1947

A special feature of the evening was a tribute to local
Veterans who served in different Branches and Conflicts.
The list of Honored Veterans included:

Gene Ratigliano - 
United States Navy 1965-1991

Joe Pennell - 
United States Army 1982-1986

David Kieserman - 
United States Air Force 1960-1966

Dave Lockhart - 
United States Army 1981-1984

Bob Dyer - 
United States Army 1962-1968

Heather Martin - 
United States Air Force 2001-2005

A very touching tribute was made by Veterans and Community Housing Coalition’s Executive Director, Cheryl Hage-Perez, to SSG Derek J. Farley, United States Army 2004-2010 as a Fallen Hero who died in combat in Western Afghanistan in 2010 at the age of 24. The evening also included a special tribute to the Veterans Business Council for their continued service in going above and beyond to help the homeless Veterans served at VCHC.

Published in Families Today
Thursday, 25 September 2014 12:33

S e p a r a t e d

America’s First DivorceHotel Opens In Saratoga Springs

By Arthur Gonick

Saratoga TODAY 


SARATOGA SPRINGS – Divorce is a fact of life in modern society. In many cases the act of a couple uncoupling is thought to be, by its nature, adversarial, messy and expensive.  


Yet, for some time now a movement has existed in which mediation – finding shared goals and common ground between couples whose life circumstances have caused them to grow apart, has taken a larger role in proceedings.


This past Wednesday, September 24, a beachhead for a new school of that thought arrived on America’s shores. The historic Gideon Putnam Hotel inside the Spa State Park is now the first U.S. site where some progressive negotiating techniques are being brought to bear to the cause of civilized separation. 


Behold, America’s first DivorceHotel. Established in the Netherlands in 2011 (ironically on Valentine’s Day) by Jim Halfens, it has spread to six sites on the European continent and became the subject of international publicity, culminating in becoming the subject of a highly rated prime time reality series on Netherland’s RTL Network. 


At the center of the effort to bring the DivorceHotel concept to America is Saratoga Springs native / resident Michele M. Martin. Ms. Martin is a divorce mediator and certified divorce financial analyst for her own firm Divorce Agree (see DivorceAgree.com). She has been named the U.S. Manager for DivorceHotel, while continuing her local practice.


Ms. Martin took time to juggle the arrival of the first couple whose divorce would be mediated in a period of three days (they arrived from the Denver, Colorado area on Wednesday and had a finished agreement in hand on the day this issue is published), as well as being shadowed by cameras from ABC News programs Nightline and Good Morning America (look for segments to air on each next week) to discuss the evolution of her commitment to mediation and the DivorceHotel concept.


“I’m living proof that mediation works,” she said, referring to her own amicable divorce about 10 years ago. “I get together with my ex, his new wife and our children for meals and the like. It’s not an unusual occurrence.”


Ms. Martin had a career as a general financial analyst at that time. Two years ago, she modified her orientation to divorce mediation and related financial planning. About that time, an article in the Wall Street Journal about DivorceHotel peaked her interest. 


“I got on the phone, literally with the article in my hand” she said, “and asked Jim Halfens ‘How do we bring this here?’” At the time, the Netherlands-based firm was not ready to expand, but Michele stayed in touch – all the time becoming a mini-chamber of commerce – touting the virtues of Saratoga Springs as a perfect site for an American DivorceHotel.


“It’s important that people get away, to a relaxed setting, so they can focus on their mission.” She said. “The Gideon Putnam is the perfect locale for this. They were open and receptive to the idea. They said that they welcome all kinds of groups and this was just another one.” The strategic location of Saratoga Springs in the center of several northeast cities made it ideal as well. 


The process itself is something that naturally draws a lot of curiosity. For a fee of around $5,000 per couple (plus airfare and eventual filing fees) the two parties stay in separate rooms during their stay. While there are some joint activities and meals planned as part of the stay (the Denver couple are road bike enthusiasts and will do that together), it’s mostly some long days of mediating with Ms. Martin, as well as solitary time to study preliminary agreements, etc. 


At the end of the process, the former couple will emerge with a signed separation agreement, which then can be filed officially in their state of residence.


Obviously, this sort of thing is not relevant for couples that are coming to the end of their marriage acrimoniously.


Before arriving at the DivorceHotel, or even to a final mediation session, a lot of prep work and screening has to be done by Michele Martin and her colleagues. The couple from Denver has four children, therefore they have many issues related to them, as well as general financial ones to settle. 


So a commitment is essential. The parties involved have to believe that they will be better off in the end.


In that connection, it is hard not to be impressed with the enthusiasm and drive that Ms. Martin brings to her profession. 


“I always say: smart people mediate.” She said.


The world is about to see if the U.S. is ready for DivorceHotel. And it’s happening right here.


For more information, visit DivorceAgree.com 

Published in News

Much of my work is helping newly divorced individuals navigate their way through the end of a marriage and creating a new vision for a healthy relationship and life in general. There are certain patterns I have come to identify that all of us go through at the end of a significant relationship.

Published in News


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