Your Community

Your Community 05.18.23

Sand Lake’s Memorial Day Parade And Ceremony Is Getting Organized And Invites You To Join In

Plans for the 2023 Sand Lake Memorial Day Parade and Ceremony are underway. To attract more participation and attendance this year, we encourage all interested civic organizations, businesses, churches, community and youth groups and individuals to participate in this year’s parade. 

This year’s Sand Lake Memorial Day Parade will be Monday, May 29, at 10:00 am. The Parade route is from Averill Ave. in Westfall Village to the Sand Lake Veteran’s Memorial Park on NYS Route 43. Ceremonies will begin at about 10:30 in the Veterans Park. 

Our honored speaker will be Colonel Lenny Kness, USA, Ret. He hails from Chadwick, Ill.

He has served with the 2nd Infantry Division in Korea and was deployed in support of Operation Desert Shield, Operation Desert Storm, Operation Sea Signal and three tours in support of Operation Iraq Freedom. He also served as the Chief of Staff – 1st Theater Sustainment Command (Fort Bragg, NC), XO to The Army Inspector General (DC) and Logistics Division Chief – Human Resources Command (Fort Knox, KY) where he retired on March 1st, 2018.

Colonel Kness is married to Colonel Heather Kness, USA, Ret. They have beautiful twin girls, Lily Anne, and Ivy Jo, born on the Fourth of July 2018. The Kness family recently settled down in Averill Park following her retirement after 30 years of active service. His wife also served for over 30 years in the Army.

Come and honor “Those Common Men And Women Who Proudly Served Our Country With Uncommon Valor.”

Those interested in participating should contact, Bill Glasser at or call or text (518) 322-9583. Scott Gallerie at or call or text (518) 766-6575.

Two conservation groups, Rensselaer Plateau Alliance and Rensselaer Land Trust, begin steps to merge

Two nationally accredited land trusts in Rensselaer County, NY, the Rensselaer Plateau Alliance (RPA) and Rensselaer Land Trust (RLT) have begun taking steps to merge. 

After years of parallel and collaborative conservation work, the boards of directors of both organizations voted in March 2023 to take this step to advance their mutual goal of conservation in Rensselaer County. 

“This merger will allow us to make greater strides in land and water conservation at a time when that’s more important than ever,” said RPA Executive Director Jim Bonesteel. 

All conserved natural areas managed by the two land trusts will remain protected in perpetuity. The community programs, volunteer committees, events, and partnerships of both organizations will continue to serve people of all ages in the Capital Region. 

Rensselaer Land Trust’s Board President Bob Crowley said, “The founders and volunteers behind RLT have brought us this far. This merger ensures the good work continues.” 

The Rensselaer Land Trust was founded in 1987 with a mission to conserve the open spaces, watersheds, and natural habitats of Rensselaer County, NY. The Rensselaer Plateau Alliance was founded in 2008 with a mission to work with the community to promote and facilitate the conservation of the Rensselaer Plateau’s undeveloped and unfragmented forests and other ecologically important areas.  

Collectively, the two organizations have conserved more than 15,000 acres of forests and open space in Rensselaer County. In 2019, RPA and RLT worked together to conserve the 76-acre Poesten Kill Bends preserve in the City of Troy. Both organizations have achieved national accreditation by meeting high standards for land protection, stewardship, and financial and organizational management.  

Next steps forward include due diligence to review land management, legal, and financial responsibilities. To learn more, contact Jim Bonesteel at or Bob Crowley at 518-659-5263

Lansingburgh Historical Society

On May 20, 2023, Lansingburgh Historical Society will be cleaning up the Old Village Cemetery, where soldiers from the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, and the Civil War are buried. 

We welcome helping hands with rakes and gloves to meet us at 9:30 a.m. at the cemetery at 107th and 3rd avenue, Troy and finish up around noon.

News From Averill Park CSD

Averill Park High School Junior Sam Hart performed at the SUNY Schenectady Wind Ensemble recently. The Wind Ensemble is a challenging program, performing alongside current college students and community members. It was the culmination of a semester-long commitment of two, two-hour rehearsals each week throughout the entire semester. Great job, Sam!

Congratulations to Nicole Wing for winning first place at the 34th Annual Questar III BOCES Juried High School Art Exhibition. In total, 36 pieces of artwork from 13 school districts were selected to be displayed. Fellow APHS student Hazel Miller earned an Honorable Mention award and Brady Battista had artwork shown.

Varsity baseball coach George Brooks earned his 200th victory on the diamond recently. Congratulations to Coach Brooks and the entire baseball program!

As always, for the latest news from the District, please visit our website – You can also follow AP on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Submitted by Dr. James Franchini, Averill Park CSD Superintendent

Castleton/Schodack Memorial Day Parade

Attention Veterans

The Castleton/Schodack Memorial Day Parade steps off at 10:00 AM on Monday, May 29th at the corner of Seaman and Boltwood Avenues in Castleton, NY.

The Peter Andrews Castleton Memorial Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 7337 is again inviting all veterans with any kind of connection to Castleton/Schodack to help us honor those that gave their lives for our country, by marching with us. Guests marching with us should dress appropriately for the day (no politics). If you are unable to march, but still want to be in the parade with us, please contact me as soon as possible so I can reserve a seat in a car for you.

Ricardo E. “Rik” Cosgrave, Commander, Peter Andrews Castleton Memorial VFW Post 7337, 105 Scott Ave Castleton, NY 12033 Email: Facebook: My Cell Phone: 518-694-2070.

Nassau Lake Association Seeking Crafters/Vendors/Garage Salers

Nassau Lake Association (NLPIA) 3rd Annual Lawn Sale 6/10, 9am-3pm, the same date as the Nassau Community wide garage sale. 

Location: the ballfield on Nassau-Schodack Rd., East side of the Lake. To reserve a spot we’re asking for a $15 donation, which will go toward the new clubhouse. Plenty of room and parking. There will be food and beverages available as well as a 50/50 raffel and gift basket raffels. 

Contact Jim or Deb Prime on Facebook or by phone, Deb Prime 518-466-2631, Jim Prime 518-776-0041 for more info and to sign up. Hope to see you there!

Sand Lake Ambulance Announces its 2023 Fund Drive

Sand Lake Ambulance (SLA), is celebrating over 62 years of service, and is kicking off its 2023 Annual Fund Drive in the Town of Sand Lake.  Mailers should be arriving soon.  The Fund Drive is an integral part of SLA’s ability to continue to provide high level emergency services to town residents.

It has certainly been a challenging time but we are still here 24/7 365 to serve the Town.  Inflation is tough on everyone and that includes us. As you can imagine filling an Ambulance with gas is getting brutal and the prices on all our other equipment are skyrocketing as well.

Remember, it is your generous support, which is greatly appreciated, that goes a long way toward keeping this service available in the town.

Book Nook at Transfiguration Parish

The Book Nook at Transfiguration Parish on Hillview Drive in Speigletown is open on Saturday, May 20 from 9:00 am until noon. The May specials are on authors John Grisham and Iris Johansen. That’s 2 books for the price of one!! Children’s books are 3/$1 and all romance novels are 6/$1. Please remember to drop off your donations inside the parish. Please DO NOT leave books outside the church. We are accepting donations of lightly read books in good, clean condition. Please stop by and see what new donations have arrived. Also save the date for our $5 Bag sale coming on October 21-22! Thank you for your continued support and see you at the Book Nook!

Looking For Arts & Craft and Food Vendors for June 16th-18th Kiwanis Summerfest

The Kiwanis Club of Sand Lake is reaching out to Capital Region crafters and food vendors to take part in our annual, weekend-long Summerfest, one of the largest summer fairs in Rensselaer County. 

The carnival rides, major area bands, adult and youth activities and evening fireworks during the June 16-18th event attract hundreds of people each year. 

So this is an event you will not want to miss. Please contact Janet at for more information and to sign up.

AARP Defensive Driving Course

All RESIDENTS 18 AND OVER are Invited to Attend AARP Defensive Driving Course

Refresh your driving skills. Learn the new safety rules. You may be eligible for a reduction in your auto insurance.

Wed, May 31, 2023. 9:00 am to 3:30 pm. 

Everett Wagar Senior Center, 2 Roxborough Rd., Grafton.

Course fee is $25 AARP member / $30 non-AARP member. Payment by check or money order (made out to AARP) is strongly preferred. If paying in cash, exact change is needed. Bring to course driver’s license and, if member, AARP card. 30 minute lunch break, recommend bringing your lunch. Can eat in classroom. Please arrive 15 minutes early.

Call to sign up at (518) 279-3413. Material needs to be ordered.

Third Annual Lawn Sale

Nassau Lake Association (NLPIA) is looking for crafters, vendors and garage saler’s for our 3rd annual lawn sale on June 10th coinciding with the Nassau Community Wide Garage sale from 9AM to 3PM. Reserve your spot with a $15 donation towards the new NLPIA clubhouse (please bring your own table). 

There will be food and beverages available as well as a 50/50 raffle. Plenty of space and parking, located at the ball field, Nassau-Averill Park Road on the East side of Nassau Lake. Please contact Jim Prime (518)776-0041.

Western Governors University Offers Two Scholarships for Rural NY Residents

To help remove rural barriers to higher education, accredited nonprofit and online Western Governors University (WGU) has announced the new Learn Where You Live Scholarships exclusively for residents of rural communities. Valued at up to $3,000 and awarded at $750 per six-month term for up to four terms, the scholarships are available to new or returning WGU students living in rural areas, as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau. 

According to the latest Census figures, 2.5 million New Yorkers live in rural areas, including 31.7% of residents (392,263) in the Capital Region. 

“For many rural New Yorkers, it’s just not feasible to drive an hour or more to a college campus, especially if they have work and family obligations,” said Rebecca Watts, who oversees operations in New York as regional vice president for WGU. “Completing a degree program can change lives, families and communities, and WGU is doing what we can to remove the barriers of distance, time, and cost.” 

In addition, for those New Yorkers who live in a T-Mobile service area for internet service, WGU offers the Online Access Scholarship, which provides students with a laptop, internet service and a webcam to pursue their education studies.

WGU has more than 60 online bachelor’s and master’s degree program in business, IT, education, and healthcare. WGU serves more than 3,400 students and more than 6,300 alumni in New York.

Both scholarship application deadlines are June 30 and more information is available at and

Dunham Hollow- West Stephentown Scholoaship

The scholarship committee announces the availability of the Dunham Hollow-West Stephentown Scholarship. The scholarship is in memory of Frank Johnson. It is open to anyone (graduating senior, post graduate, or adult wishing retraining) living within the boundaries of the Averill Park School District and has been accepted to a trade or vocational school.

The deadline for submission of an application is May 15th. Scholarship applications may be obtained by contacting the Averill Park High School guidance department at 518-674-7025 or by emailing

Elmer A. Grogan Scholarship

Applications are being accepted for the scholarship award of $300.00 for the best essay on “What Freedom Means To Me” by a graduating senior from Brunswick Central School District or Berlin Central School District who is continuing on with his or her education. The essay should not be less than 250 words or not more than 500 words. The scholarship is being given by the Carner, Etman, Smith V.F.W. Post 6340 in memory of a former member Elmer A. Grogan.

The deadline for applications is May 31st. Applications are available at the guidance counselor offices of both high schools and should be mailed to Carner, Etman, Smith V.F.W. Post 6340, PO Box 361, Grafton, NY 12082, attn: Commander Len Claus, Jr.

Sand Lake Historical Society 2023 Schedule

SLHS will be presenting the following public programs, from January to June 2023:

June 3rd, (tentative) Annual Gala. Final date and location to be announced. Don’t miss this highlight of our year!

June 13th, The Pretty Fantastic Mr. Fox. Albert Rodmond Fox, industrialist, glassworks owner, State Senator, mover-and-shaker, and the Fox who gave us Fox Mansion. Learn about one of Sand Lake’s early leaders and speculate on why we live in Averill Park and not “Foxboro.”

All SLHS programs (unless otherwise noted) are held at the Sand Lake Town Hall Courtroom, 8428 NY Rte. 66, Averill Park, beginning at 7:00 pm. More information at Like us on Facebook.

Literacy Volunteers Appoints Three New Board Members

Literacy Volunteers of Rensselaer County (LVORC) announces the appointment of three new members to the Board of Directors: Marie Allen Campbell, Nana Adoma Owusu-Ofori, and Jack Mahoney. All of them are trained tutors. 

Marie Allen Campbell is retired from a career in human resources but remains active in advocacy. She states, “Seeing the work that LVORC does firsthand, I know that LVORC changes and enriches lives in many ways. Literacy expands access and opportunities to housing, education, employment, health care, food and so many other resources. It also supports the creation of meaningful connections. In this way literacy helps individuals to grow beyond any limitations.”

Nana Adoma Owusu-Ofori is a native of Ghana and a recent graduate of Russell Sage College who is now working in the Experiential Learning Department at Sage. She says, “I am passionate about education and setting people up for success. I believe that being able to read and write gives people a sense of agency that they may not have had otherwise.”

Jack Mahoney served as Assistant VP for Academic Planning and Research at University at Albany, and he shares his skills with math students at LVORC. When asked about his experience, Jack commented on his respect for the learners, saying, “Their sense of pride in accomplishing their goals does not seem to become an end in itself but rather spurs their desire for further personal growth.”

Nancy Benz, Executive Director of LVORC, says “This is dynamic time for LVORC, as the organization actively builds partnerships to promote literacy in the Capital Region. With offices on the campus of Russell Sage College in Troy and in the Albany Public Main Branch Library, LVORC is poised to present a wide range of literacy programs at no cost to learners.”

New volunteers are needed. Visit for more information.

You May Also Like

Your Community 09.21.23

September 20, 2023

Your Community 09.14.23

September 12, 2023

Your Community 09.07.23

September 6, 2023