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Displaying items by tag: family
SARATOGA SPRINGS – This Saturday, June 3, will bring the sixth annual TUFF eNUFF obstacle course challenge to Saratoga Springs, providing local families and fitness enthusiasts with a day of high-energy, muddy fun on the reconstituted fields near the F. Donald Myers Education Center. Prior to the big day, the course itself has to be planned and constructed, and for the last six years these tasks have fallen into the hands of local BOCES students who learn their crafts at the Henning Road campus.
Each September, The Prevention Council gets in touch with Greg Hammond and Ken Brooks, instructors at the Henning Road BOCES in the Heavy Equipment Program, to work out a date for the following year’s TUFF eNUFF challenge. From there, according to Hammond, the instructors and their students will begin the process of putting together the course about three weeks in advance, beginning first with the planning stages. The actual construction portion of the build takes up the last week or so before the event takes place. Every BOCES student in the Heavy Equipment program works on the project, which Hammond estimates to be around 80 students in a given year.
According to some of the students who have worked on this year’s course, the equipment used to prepare the TUFF eNUFF course are the typical vehicles that one would expect on a construction site: excavators, backhoes, bulldozers, wheel loaders, and more.
“A little bit of everything,” Hammond said.
This equipment is used to create the primary facets of the TUFF eNUFF course, including trenches to be filled with muddy water, and giant mounds of dirt to be scaled by runners. After these elements are in place, Hammond says that a number of other elements are brought in to spice things up, including logs, tires, ropes, and a number of other things to make the course more challenging.
Aaron Lohaus, a student in the Heavy Equipment program, also noted the importance of safety in designing and constructing the course. He said that different considerations have to be made for the children’s course versus the normal course, including the depth of the trenches, to avoid potential drowning hazards for the smaller competitors. Furthermore, safety checks for the whole project are needed to ensure that nothing is left in place that might be too sharp or that might trip up participants in a bad way.
All the tasks that go into creating these courses tie back into the lessons the students learn in the Heavy Equipment program. Unsurprisingly, proper operation techniques are an important part of the program, but the students also learn how perform maintenance on the various vehicles and pieces of equipment they work with. Additionally, as Lohaus highlighted, safety is a major part of what they learn about, especially when it comes to being aware of their fellow workers on the project site.
In recent years, the Prevention Council has also brought in students from other BOCES programs to improve the overall TUFF eNUFF experience. This includes students from the culinary program, who help put together a barbeque for the event, as well as student from the criminal justice program, who help to police the course and direct the flow of participants on the course.
The Sixth Annual TUFF eNUFF challenge will take place at the Henning Road BOCES on June 3. The Kids 1 Mile Run will begin at 8:30 a.m., followed by the Teens/Adults 5K at 9:15 a.m. Anyone interested can register at www.finishright.com, and more information can be found by calling 518-581-1230.
SARATOGA SPRINGS –Mother’s Day: a holiday dedicated to celebrating motherhood and the unconditional love (and life) our mothers gave to us. It’s a joy when we are able to spend the day with our mothers, allowing us to show them how much they are cherished and appreciated.
For Joan Hoeft, she feels the Mother’s Day love three-fold. Hoeft, who lives in Woodlawn Commons at the Wesley Community, gets to spend her special day with her daughter, Kris Mikeska, granddaughter, Meg Porto, and great-granddaughter, Lucia, who is just nine-months old.
“It’s a huge blessing,” said Porto, who just became a mom last summer. “Family is everything to us.”
This four generation family is incredibly close and stays busy by spending a lot of time together. Though Mikeska and Porto live further north, they make the drive down to Wesley at least three times a week to visit and do all their favorite things – from enjoying meals together to shopping on Broadway.
“It’s pretty cute when we go out – Mom has her walker and Lucia’s with her stroller,” said Mikeska. “We always have people stop and say how special it is that we’re all together.”
Over the years, Hoeft has taught Mikeska and Porto a lot about what it means to be a mom, handing down traditions and values her own mother taught her.
“My father died when I was just a baby,” said Hoeft. “My mother had to take care of me on her own. It was hard on her. She rented out all of our house but three rooms, which is where we lived.”
Hoeft helped her mom a lot when she was a kid, for example going grocery shopping on her bicycle because they didn’t have a vehicle. Through her mom, Hoesk learned the meaning of hard work and sacrificing for your child.
“They depended on each other,” added Mikeska. “They worked as a team. A mother-daughter team.”
Unlike her mom, Hoeft had the opportunity to be a stay-at-home mom, and Mikeska and Porto followed in her footsteps, making motherhood their full-time career.
“I’ve definitely learned my values from them,” said Mikeska about her mom and her grandmother. “Values like honesty and always being there for each other. Family traditions are huge for us. It’s all about being together.”
Porto feels the same way, knowing that if she has a question about being a new mom, she can always rely on her mom and grandmother for help.
“It’s very reassuring that if I don’t have the answer, one of them will,” said Porto. “From day one, I have always felt so supported. All of their advice is something I truly take to heart. It’s not always spoken either; I’ve learned so much by their example.”
This will be Porto’s first Mother’s Day with her daughter Lucia in the family; it will be a true celebration of a family’s growing legacy.
“Mother’s Day just makes you feel good – it’s a celebration of having children,” said Hoesk, looking lovingly at her great-granddaughter cooing in her granddaughter’s lap. “The most rewarding part is when they keep growing up, then they get married, then they have babies of their own, and you just feel a part of it all. I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Fingerpaint’s Parking for a Purpose program still has dates available for charitable organizations looking to utilize the company’s parking lot on Division Street for fundraising.