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Friday, 09 January 2015 10:41

Gym Restoration Project Receives Generous Donation

By | Education

Mohawk Honda Gives More Than $11K to Saratoga Central Catholic

SARATOGA SPRINGS – The well-loved gym at Saratoga Central Catholic High School received a face-lift over the holiday break, thanks to a generous donation from Mohawk Honda – a Scotia-based Honda dealership. 

Steve Haraden, vice president of Mohawk Honda, presented a check in the amount of $11,500 to the private school, which covered the replacement of backboards, baskets, nets and rigging among other things – equipment that had not been updated since the school first opened in 1958.

“Mohawk Honda started in 1971 and my family has been in business since 1919,” said Haraden. “When you have a business in the community, you want to be able to give back and we’re very fortunate to be able to give back. We’ve certainly seen success throughout the years and giving back is great.”

Mohawk Honda’s donation comes at the perfect time, according to school administrators. Discussions of whether or not a gym renovation would fit into the budget didn’t fare well and school leaders were worried they wouldn’t be able to achieve everything on the list.

“As far as a single corporation donating as much money as [Haraden] did, is a huge thing for his business, let alone our school as well,” said Sandra Tarkleson, director of development. “That chunk of money is a big part of our budget that we could not have absorbed.”

With a significant number of students involved in athletics, the gymnasium and the equipment are used often. Lombard says the student-athletes are grateful for the replacement of six manual cranes, updated cabling and safety straps, four new fiberglass backboards and rims, and new padding.

“We have a lot of students involved in athletics,” said Lombard. “We recently awarded 56 varsity athletes with scholar athlete pins, which meant that they have a 90 or higher GPA throughout the fall sports calendar.”

A banner dedicated to Mohawk Honda was hung in the gymnasium and Haraden says he’s touched by how much Mohawk Honda’s support means to the Saratoga Central Catholic and its students. He personally has close ties with the school.

“My two boys go here [Saratoga Central Catholic] and they absolutely love it,” said Haraden. “Small schools like this need the community’s support and that’s something that needs to be said. We’re looking forward to doing more as the years go on. We’d love to do more and we will do more.”

The newly updated gym marks yet another upgrade for Saratoga Central Catholic. The school completed nearly $200,000 worth of renovations last fall for infrastructure repairs and technology upgrades thanks to its 2012 Capital Campaign. The campaign supported a variety of projects from building and property aesthetics, to the installation of a new security/video intercom entry system and the installation of a wireless internet connection.

“The whole reason for the success of our Capital Campaign was because of people like Steve Haraden in the community who have a relationship with our school and want to help,” said Lombard. “Not only is the school like a family, but the building is like a home. We take ownership of this building and the kids do, too.”

Just because Saratoga Central Catholic has had completed various projects this academic year, the work still isn’t done. School leaders envision more projects and upgrades in the future and encourage business and community members interested in helping the school to tour the facility.

For more information on donating, volunteer opportunities or to schedule a tour of the school, contact Sandra Tarkleson at 587-7070. 

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