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SARATOGA SPRINGS – It was a new beginning for little league baseball in Saratoga Springs last weekend.
Saratoga Wilton Youth Baseball, a new organization formed from a merger of Saratoga American Little League and Wilton Youth Baseball, held its inaugural Opening Day on April 29 at Gavin Park with an event that was as much a party as it was a little league meet. The day began at 8:30 a.m. with an “MLB Pitch, Hit, and Run” event on the softball field, which repeated at 12:30 a.m. From there, the young players in attendance gathered for a “player parade” at 11:00 a.m. Following a barbeque lunch courtesy of The 99 Restaurant, games finally began at 1:00 p.m. The league currently has over 500 players, ages 4-16, registered to play.
This merger leaves Saratoga Springs with two little leagues: Saratoga Wilton Youth Baseball, and Saratoga Little League, formerly known as Saratoga National Little League. Saratoga Wilton will play its games at both Gavin Park in Wilton and East Side Recreation on Lake Avenue in Saratoga Springs.
All photos by www.photoandgraphic.com.
WILTON – Closing out its most recent “Share the Love” charity campaign, New Country Subaru on Route 50 presented a check for $7,388 to local anti-bullying organization, “Act with Respect Always” (AWRA). Headed by former Saratoga Spring tennis coach Rich Johns, AWRA visits schools and encourages students to understand what their peers may be going through and to treat them with respect. This is New Country’s ninth year participating in Subaru’s nationwide Share the Love campaign. In 2013, local dealerships were allowed to choose charities within their own communities to raise money for, alongside other nationally recognized organizations. This year, the other charities included the ASPCA, Meals on Wheels, the Make-a-Wish foundation, and the National Park Foundation.
This marks the first year that New Country Subaru chose to raise money for AWRA. Annie Robillard-Esposito, regional representative for Subaru, said that it is up to the specific retailer whether or not they work with a charity again for future Share the Love campaigns.
“It’s not just to sell cars, and do it for business,” Robillard-Esposito said. “It’s actually to do the right thing for the community.”
The Share the Love event raises money by allowing every customer to choose a charity they wish to donate to, and for each car sold, Subaru of America donates $250. Customers are able to choose multiple charities, so the amount often ends up split however many ways for each charity chosen. This most recent campaign lasted from Nov. 17 to Jan. 3.
As part of his work with AWRA, Johns tells people to accept the “1-percent” of others, meaning their outward differences such as appearance and class, and to get to know their “99-percent,” meaning the inner workings of a person that define them far deeper than tangible traits.
“I’m working hard to take away those labels on the 1-percent,” Johns said. “That we should all be accepted for who we are, what we look like, where we live… you are driving a different automobile, but I want to know what’s inside you, and that’s the 99-percent.”
All photos by Thomas Kika.
WILTON – The Saratoga Regional YMCA’s “Springettes” jumped, spun, and balanced their way past the competition at a recent home meet, landing several first place wins over the visiting teams.
The competition was held in the Wilton Branch’s gymnastics center from March 18-19, and saw the Saratoga Regional YMCA’s competitive girls gymnastics team – or, the Springettes – face off against both the Glens Falls and Oneonta YMCA gymnastics teams. Gymnasts age 6-17 competed in four events: vault, uneven bars, balance beam, and floor exercise. Overall, 116 young athletes competed at the event, ranging from levels 2-9, according to gymnastics director Kim Hewitt.
“The Saratoga Y did very well,” Hewitt said. “We had 13 athletes come in first place in the all-around competitions in their levels and age divisions. We also had 46 1st place medals on individual events during the meet. We have really been consistently improving throughout the year.”
According to Hewitt, a number of Springettes gave standout performances at the event. The two level 9 competitors, Sophie Hrebenach and Marissa Verro, competing in their last home meet before graduation, both put in strong work. Hrebenach placed 2nd all-around for level 9, and placed 1st on the vault with a well-executed Tsukahara flip. She also placed 2nd in floor exercise with 9.425 points, a season high for her. Verro, meanwhile, placed 3rd overall for level 9, and was 2nd on the vault with two front-front vaults. This was all the more impressive for Verro because, as Hewitt noted, the front-front vault was a new maneuver for her.
Beyond Hrebenach and Verro, a handful of other Springettes placed first at different levels and in different events. These individuals are as follows: Abby Moller, level 8, all ages; Jordan Toma, level 7, ages 16 and up; Kaitlyn Kidder, level 7, ages 14-15; Alina Williams, level 6, masters division; Brynne Wright, level 6, ages 13-15; Morgan Thompson, level 5, ages 12 and up; Leah Torres, level 5, ages 9-11; Lauren Closson, level 4, ages 12 and up; Erika Sudigala, level 4, age 11; Erin Ward, level 3, age 11; Addison Furze, level 2, age 9A; Lola Ferrillo, level 2, age 8; and, Amelia McBain, level 2, ages 11 and up.
From here, the Springettes will be focused on the upcoming championship meets, beginning with the League Championships in Watertown, which will take place from April 1-2. Following that, there will also be the State YMCA Gymnastics Championships at SUNY Oneonta and the Regional YMCA Championships in Redfield, ME. The team also has 19 girls attending the National Championships in Savannah, GA, which will run from June 29-July 2.
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