Monday, 17 June 2013 10:46

RSVP: Gutterball Bash Spares No Fun

By Trina Lucas | Entertainment
Michele and Ron Riggi with Jim LaVigne and Mary Gavin. Michele and Ron Riggi with Jim LaVigne and Mary Gavin.

Fifth Annual Event Strikes Success for Saratoga Sponsor-A-Scholar

Saratoga Sponsor-A-Scholar hosted the 5th Annual Bowling-for-Scholars on Saturday, June 8, followed by another outstanding Gutterball Bash at Saratoga Strike Zone.

Led by SSAS Volunteer Executive Director Jim LaVigne and his wife Mary Gavin, the events raised over $108,000 thanks to dozens of supporters, including lead underwriters River Farm America Foundation and the Edward P. Swyer Foundation. 

More than 110 bowlers, including many SSAS students and mentors, skipped Saratoga’s Flag Day Parade to take advantage of half-price bowling at the lanes. And while they enjoyed the discount, the Strike Zone passed the remaining half on to SSAS, doubling the fun and the benefit! Whether hitting the gutter or straight strikes, attendees were supporting the cause.

That evening, guests at the Bash had a ball dining on food donated by Hattie’s as FreePlay added live music to the fun. The silent auction encouraged some friendly, competitive bidding too. John Snow, a SSAS board member, snagged four VIP Diamond seat tickets for a Baltimore Orioles game, with on-field access for private batting practice, donated by Margaret Valentine and John Angelos. Tom and Tamara Valentine donated two authentic seats from the old Yankees Stadium, circa 1976. Rich Ligouri was the lucky winner of those treasures, and Mike Hoffman closed as high bidder on a golf-for-four package at Saratoga National Golf Club. 

The crowd included Bob and Heidi West, Greg and Suzanne Grande, Skip and Colleen Carlson, Mayor Scott Johnson and his wife Julie, SSAS board member Kristie Roohan and her husband Tom, Michael and Margie Rotchford, Barry and Cindy Potoker, Harvey and Cassie Fox, Rod and Amy Sutton and Sam Palazzole. 

“The board and volunteers of Sponsor-A-Scholar are thrilled, and frankly a bit humbled, that our event raised $108,000,” remarked Jim LaVigne. “That’s enough money to provide for one class of ten students for the full seven years they are in our program. We are fortunate to live in a community that gives so generously. And we are grateful.”

Additional event sponsors included Lew and Pat Titterton, Fidelity National Title Insurance, Ron and Michele Riggi, Gary and Nancy DiCresce, Skidmore College and The Adirondack Trust Company. 

Saratoga Sponsor-A-Scholar is a non-profit organization helping economically eligible students in the Saratoga Springs School District graduate from high school and achieve their dream to attend college. Last June, the first SSAS class of eight students graduated; all were accepted to college, with two receiving full four-year scholarships. Currently, SSAS has 38 students enrolled. Bowling-for-Scholars and the Gutterball Bash raise funds to support the organization’s mission through tutoring, mentoring and college preparation. 

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