Displaying items by tag: Franklin Community Center

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Brightly colored snow pants and children’s winter coats cling to rows of metal racks against a far wall. Bundles of bedding and kids’ comforters, stacks of young reader’s books and an assortment of toy trucks and stuffed dolls sprawl across the tabletops. 

Nearly one year to the day since securing a building on the city’s west side to help its growing programs, Franklin Community Center has officially opened the doors of its newest facility, located at the intersection of Franklin and Washington streets. 

The organization’s new building provides more than 10,000 square feet of expanded space, features individual offices, common areas, large meeting rooms, and stands a few yards from its 10 Franklin St. building, which remains active. 

By relocating the non-profit human service agency’s administrative offices from 10 Franklin St. to Washington Street, it provides space to back-stock donations and goods distributed through its meal assistance programs and allows the organization’s food pantry to grow triple its previous size. 

“Food insecurity is not going away,” says Mary Beth McGarrahan, development director at Franklin Community Center, which serves hundreds of individuals at its food pantry every week. “It gives us the space to continue to grow the food pantry.” 

Franklin Community Center has served as a social service hub for the less fortunate in and around Saratoga since 1983. The Center’s programs include the food pantry, a free after-school prevention program for local students and affordable housing for low-income individuals, as well as assisting with furniture and clothing and household needs, among others. 

FCC’s newest building had previously served as a cutting-edge center of 21st century global technology under the guidance of Elliott and Cathy Masie. The couple built the Masie Center just over 20 years ago. 

Aiming to build an addition to one of its existing buildings to create more space, FCC raised about $1 million toward its goal of raising $2.5 million when the coronavirus started making its way across the globe, slowing fundraising efforts, even as the need for the services the center offers increased exponentially. Meanwhile, the nearby Masie building was listed for sale at $2.6 million. When the Michael and Stacie Arpey Family stepped forward to donate $1 million toward FCC’s purchase of the building, and the Masies agreed to lower their original asking price, a deal was struck. Today, a plaque that hangs outside the building reads: The Franklin Community Center/Michael and Stacie Arpey Family Community Center.

Through the month of December, the new building also houses goods for its Holiday Assistance Program.

“This is our giving program where you ‘adopt’ children, you ‘adopt’ a family,” McGarrahan explains. “Holiday assistance - It can be toys, clothes, bedding, electronics. Fun things for a girl or boy. It might be hygiene products that they may not normally get in their shopping trips, or winter clothes, books, musical instruments,” she says. “It could be anything their family is not able to purchase on their own.” 

Families contact the center and fill out an application which lists the needs and desires of the child. Those needs are then matched up against a list of donors who have offered their support for the holiday program by “adopting” a family. 

Folks either seeking aid via the Holiday Assistance Program or are interested in “adopting” a family may reach out to Franklin Community Center by phone at: 518-587-9826, or via email at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. and their inquiry will be forwarded to the appropriate place. As for donation, the Center says monetary donations are the most-needed ways to help support Franklin. 

Looking forward, Franklin Community Center’s next focus will be on its Project Lift Summer Camp Assistance program.

“We do summer camp scholarships for all our Project Lift kids, so if anybody is looking to support a child and send them to a camp for a week or two, they can support that with our scholarship fund,” McGarrahan said.

For more information about Franklin Community Center and its programs, go to: www.franklincommunitycenter.org

Published in News

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Franklin Community Center, a Saratoga Springs-based organization that provides basic necessities and services to individuals and families, received a charitable contribution of $10,000 from the Jennifer Crimi Sunshine Donor Advised Fund of The Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region. This grant will support Project Lift, an after-school prevention program for youth that operates within the Saratoga Springs City School District elementary and middle schools. 

“Support from partners like Dennis and Lynne Crimi and the Jennifer Crimi Sunshine Donor Advised Fund is critical to the continued success of our program. We are grateful for their generosity,” said Colleen O’Connor Potter, Project Lift Program Director. “Thanks to their support, we will be able to send approximately 60 children to over 250 weeks of summer camp. These kids will get to experience much-needed fun and exciting programs in safe and healthy environments.”

Dennis and Lynne Crimi established the Jennifer Crimi Sunshine Fund as a way to honor the memory of their daughter. Since 2005, the fund has given hundreds of children in need the opportunity to spend summer at various camps and other outdoor adventures. 

Franklin Community Center operates Project Lift in all Saratoga Springs Central School District elementary schools and middle school. The unique and comprehensive program has been in operation for over 30 years and places strong emphasis on positive youth development. The after-school program is free to the enrolled students and provides access to Franklin Community Center’s ancillary services, such as holiday assistance, school supplies, food, clothing, summer camp and other services as needed.

For more information regarding the program and services of Franklin Community Center, visit franklincommunitycenter.org. 

Published in Neighborhood Buzz

SARATOGA SPRINGS — In honor of their 10th anniversary in April, local agency SIX Marketing has launched a “Share What You CAN” Can Drive to benefit the Franklin Community Center. 

Tin or aluminum is the traditional 10th anniversary gift, so Saratoga Springs-based SIX Marketing decided their 10th birthday would be the perfect time to hold a can drive.

SIX will donate all canned goods collected to the Franklin Community Center in recognition of the non-profit’s continued dedication to supporting local families both prior to and during COVID-19. 

To collect canned goods, SIX and two community partners will set up drop-off boxes outside their locations throughout the Spa City. Members of the community can donate canned food items at the following locations through April 30. Those locations are: SIX Marketing (445 Broadway), Battleground Fitness (426 Maple Ave.) and Spoken Boutique (27 Church St.).

To help spread the word about SIX’s “Share What You CAN” Can Drive, participants are encouraged to share a photo of themselves dropping off their donations on social media with the hashtag #sharewhatyouCAN. 

SIX Marketing has long been dedicated to humanizing their approach to marketing and helping others grow. The company began in 2011 as a marketing and PR firm, but over the years it has evolved into a growth agency. For more information about SIX, go to: SIX.marketing 

Published in Neighborhood Buzz

SARATOGA SPRINGS — A cutting-edge center of 21st century global technology and a venue honoring the traditional offerings of helping those in need met at the intersection of Franklin and Washington streets this week in a collaborative effort for the betterment of the local community, and all points beyond. 

Elliott and Cathy Masie built the Masie Center on the east side of Saratoga Springs 20 years ago. This week, Franklin Community Center – which serves thousands of people every year locally - has purchased the Masie building and will be expanding their services. The new building, to be renamed the Michael & Stacie Arpey Family Community Center, will allow the Franklin the space it has needed to grow their programs.   

Franklin Community Center has served as a social service hub for the less fortunate in and around Saratoga since 1983.

The Center's programs include a food pantry, a free after-school prevention program for local students and affordable housing for low-income individuals, as well as assisting with furniture, clothing and household needs, among others. 

“At the beginning of 2019, our board really committed to obtaining more space,” explains FCC Executive Director Kari Cushing.  “We were at a point where the space didn’t provide confidentiality for the people we serve.” A fundraising campaign was initiated with the idea of building an addition to an existing building to create more space. 

“We were in the middle of it and had raised about $1 million toward our $2.5 million goal when the world stopped and COVID happened,” Cushing says. “We were no longer able to use our volunteers, so we repurposed all of our staff and since March we’ve been filling grocery bags, unloading trucks, delivering supplies and just doing what needs to get done.”    

At the same time, she says, the need for services increased exponentially. 

“The numbers have just gone through the roof. The need usually ebbs and flows and goes with the economy, but right now people are in dire need of just basic services. Since the start of the pandemic, just the food pantry has served 2,300 families – and of those 588 of them were brand new, they’d never been to a food pantry before. Those numbers are staggering,” she said. 

“In September. I looked across the street and saw a For Sale out in front of the Masie building. It seemed way too good to be true, but we had to at least explore our options.” The building was listed at $2.6 million, and members of the board visited the location. 

“When I tell you it’s perfect, that’s an understatement. It’s wide open and we could do whatever we need to do with the interior space, but we were still too far from our fundraising goal. We only had $1 million raised and being a non-profit we’re not comfortable taking out a loan for more than a million dollars. Our Steering Committee met to go over our options and that’s when Stacie Arpey, who’s on our board stepped up to increase her pledge from $100,0000 to $1 million and make it a reality for us. The Masies lowered their original asking price, and a deal was struck. “Between the two of them, it became possible.” 

The Masie Center has served for a generation as an international Learning LAB working with global organizations.

“We’ve probably had tens of thousands of executives come from around the world. We helped launch E-Learning there. When the pandemic hit, I looked at my staff and said, ‘OK, go home.’ I gave them computers and lights and screens and after a couple of months predicted, well, we’re not going to go back to regular work soon. We looked at each other and said: maybe this is the time to sell the building. 

“After we put the building up for sale, Franklin Community Center was intrigued and one of their board members, Stacie Arpey, and her husband Michael decided they really wanted them to have it and gave them a million dollar donation to get to the price, and Cathy and I lowered (the asking price) by many hundreds of thousands of dollars because we couldn’t think of a better buyer for it than Franklin,” Masie says. 

“What I like about Franklin is that they service people who have deep and continuing needs as well as people who have newly arrived at the point of need,” Masie says. “I think we need to be quick to respond to people when they enter that and help put them on a pathway to becoming more self-sustaining. And Franklin does that. The other thing is they work a lot with kids.” 

For Masie, the present world continues via video, having conducted keynotes for tens of thousands of people during the pandemic, right from his piano room at home in Saratoga Springs. 

“They do so much in that cramped building they’re in now – to have that 10,000 square feet of space, it’s going to be exciting to see what they can do,” said Masie, who conducted a walk-through with FCC staff this week.

“This new home for FCC will help ensure that families in Saratoga Springs having an inviting place to receive the resources of FCC for years to come,” Stacie Arpey said in a statement.

The transition will happen gradually allowing FCC to ensure there are no disruptions to the services provided. The plan is to maintain the current venues and begin adapting some of the organization’s programs into the new venue. “In the beginning of 2021 our goal as a Board will be to really delve into that and see how we can be more efficient and make things easier to access for the folks who use our services. We want to make sure that we make things better for Franklin and for the entire community,” says Cushing, who has been with FCC for 18 years. 

“COVID has obviously turned everything upside down and has disrupted all of our lives, but we have a unique perspective: we get to see the other side of it, and I have to tell you how heart-warming it has been to see our community come together to make sure that nobody has to go without,” Cushing says. “We were scared to death when it started and we saw our numbers going through the roof. We didn’t even know if we would be able to serve everyone that came to us. 

“Every day we would post our biggest needs on social media and we have a contactless drop-off in the front of our building and every day when we would come in, it would be overflowing with the things we had asked for. We never had to turn anybody away, because people were so generous. This community is absolutely amazing. I think Stacie and Mike embody everything hat our community is and Cathy and Elliott – everybody made it possible, it’s such a group effort and it’s wonderful to see.” 

The Michael and Stacie Arpey Family Community Center /Franklin Community Center is in fundraising mode and need just under $1 million to complete their expansion campaign which would include costs for moving and potential renovations to the space.  For more information or to contribute to the campaign go to:   www.franklincommunitycenter.org.

Published in News

Franklin Community Center is thrilled to announce that Fingerpaint and local philanthropists Ed and Lisa Mitzen have donated $250,000 to support the Center. Fingerpaint and the Mitzen family are well-known throughout the community for their significant contributions to social service agencies.

“The compassion Lisa and Ed and the Fingerpaint staff continually show our community is truly remarkable. Their donation will be used to help with an expansion campaign we are planning for Franklin,” stated executive director, Kari Cushing. The growing need for services has prompted the Center to expand its physical space.

Jason Lynch, the president of Franklin’s board of directors, said, “Our goal at the center is to meet the needs as they exist in our community, and those needs have grown exponentially over the years.”

“Knowing how much the need for services has increased over the years, we wanted to do our part to help the center grow to meet those needs. It’s an honor for me and Lisa and our entire staff at Fingerpaint to support the mission and expansion. We can’t wait to see it come together and have such a big impact on our community.”

The center plans to announce their expansion campaign in 2020 and is excited to share the details with the community. “We are honored to have the support of Fingerpaint and Ed and Lisa behind us. Their continued commitment to our less fortunate community members is evident in the multiple agencies they lend support to,” said Cushing. “We couldn’t ask for a better partner.”

Published in Business
Thursday, 19 December 2019 10:38

Prestwick Chase Donates to Franklin Community Center

Prestwick Chase resident Candi Johnson presented Franklin Community Center with a check for $3,070 and nonperishable food items. Candi and other residents hosted a craft fair and donated all the proceeds from their event.

Published in Neighborhood Buzz

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Franklin Community Center has received a $50,000 donation from Cathy and Elliott Masie to support the programs and services of the Center. 

“In the 18 years that The Masie Center has been located on the West Side, we have been continuously impressed with the service, spirit, communication and collaboration of Franklin Community Center, as it has served a wide range of the low-income individuals and families in Saratoga Springs.  Their food pantry, affordable housing units and Project LIFT are key resources for residents in our community,” said Cathy Masie.

The Center serves as a social service hub for the less fortunate neighbors in and around Saratoga.  The programs include, but are not limited to, a food pantry, a free after school prevention program for City School District children, affordable housing for low-income individuals, and assistance with furniture, clothing, household needs, school supplies and holiday assistance.  With continued support from the community, Franklin’s goal is to continue raising awareness of the social and economic problems faced by Saratoga area residents. 

The mission of Franklin Community Center is to work collaboratively with individuals and other agencies to provide services that will improve the quality of life and foster a sense of community and family for all people. “The partnership with the Masie’s truly emphasizes how neighbors can work together to make a difference in the community,” says Board of Directors member Zachary Manz. “We are honored to have them walking with us on our path to help others.”

Published in Neighborhood Buzz

Photos provided.

ALBANY — CAP COM Federal Credit Union and its charitable giving arm, the CAP COM Cares Foundation, have once again completed their annual backpack program. Each year the Foundation aims to deliver hundreds of backpacks to school-aged children in need. This year the program has delivered 743 backpacks, which have been donated to 26 organizations and schools in the Capital Region community. New backpacks were filled with school supplies including notebooks, folders, pencils, crayons, rulers, glue sticks, and more. Thirty-two CAP COM employees volunteered their time to assemble, pack, and deliver the backpacks over a week’s time. Backpacks were delivered the week of July 30 – August 3 to youth at the following organizations: Capital District YMCA, Centro Civico, Commission on Economic Opportunity, Equinox Youth Shelter, Franklin Community Center, Girls Inc., Joseph’s House and Shelter, Marillac Family Shelter, Shelters of Saratoga, St. Catherine’s Center for Children, St. Paul’s Center, and 10 schools associated with CAP COM’s School Banking program.

“We believe it doesn’t take much, but it does take us all. With the help of our volunteers, we were able to supply hundreds of backpacks to local children,” stated Paige Rueckert, Community and Youth Advocate at CAP COM.

“These children are our future, and we hope that through this program we empower them to embrace education and learning all year long,” Rueckert continued.

Published in Education
Thursday, 13 June 2013 16:29

These Boots are Made for Winning

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Saratoga Springs was at Radio City Music Hall on Sunday night—well, not literally, but the Spa City was represented by local resident Elliott Masie whose Masie Productions’ “Kinky Boots and “The Trip to Bountiful” were the big winners at the Tony Awards taking away six awards for Boots and Best Actress for Bountiful.

Published in News

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