Your Community

Your Community 08.05.21

North Greenbush Notes Jim Greenfield, Town Historian 

Hidley Homestead

There is a new historical marker on Hidley Road in North Greenbush at the property originally owned by Johannes Hidley who built a home here in the 1770’s. Born in Germany, Hidley settled first in Germantown, NY in 1754 before moving to Greenbush in about 1769.

The house has been modernized, but some of the interior is original: the wide floorboards and narrow stair with simple banister and newel post. Also located on the property is a small family cemetery where early Hidleys, their spouses and children were buried.

In 1797, Hidley subdivided his 244 acre property so that his three sons would each have their own land. My research seems to indicate that besides the original Hidley homestead, there may be three other Hidley houses still in existence on Hidley Road.

One of the immigrant couple’s descendants merits special mention. Joseph Henry Hidley (1830-1872) was the great-grandson of the immigrant Johannes. Joseph was a noted folk artist, generally know as a painter of landscapes and townscapes.

The current owners of the Hidley homestead property have recently completed the process of placing all their land in a Conservation Easement with the Agricultural Stewardship Association, so that the land is permanently restricted from any development. I think Johannes Hidley and his descendants would be pleased.

Hannaford Rewards to Benefit Anchor Food Pantry

CASTLETON – If you shop at Hannaford -consider donating the Hannaford Rewards to the Anchor Food Pantry.  Enter the Anchor Food Pantry phone # 518-732-4120 on the screen and at the end of every quarter the food pantry receives credit in an accumulated total to purchase items the following quarter period for seasonal and everyday food needs.

Anchor Food Pantry 

CASTLETON – The Anchor Food Pantry wishes to express sincere thanks to Catholic Charities Mobile Outreach for their donation received from the recent event of July 29,2021 held at Martin Electric-Rensselaer NY.  Surplus that was given will aid in our mission to feed those affected by these pandemic related economic times.

We also would like to acknowledge Thanks to District Attorney Mary Pat Donnelly and her Chief of Staff Jacqueline McDonough  for coordinating and navigating the necessary steps for the pantry to be a beneficiary in this event and for future endeavors with Catholic Charities.

SEFCU and CAP COM Boards of Directors Unanimously Approve Merger to Create New $8 Billion Credit Union

ALBANY – SEFCU and CAP COM leaders have been exploring a potential merger of the two federal credit unions headquartered in New York’s Capital Region. Throughout our discussions, we have found a consistent mission, common purpose, and shared vision that prioritizes our employees, members, and communities.

To that end, the CAP COM and SEFCU Boards of Directors unanimously voted yesterday, July 28, to approve a “merger of equals,” creating a Capital Region-headquartered financial and community powerhouse that will become fully integrated next year.

The newly combined entity will be renamed to reflect the respective histories and common values of both organizations, which are rooted in the credit union philosophy of “People helping People” for all stakeholders.

 This merger is subject to the standard due diligence review commensurate with a transaction of this size and complexity. Employees were informed of this exciting development by the President and CEOs of each organization earlier today.

Merging SEFCU and CAP COM is supported on three critical criteria: dedication to employees and their careers; value to our members and their communities; and the ability to succeed in a marketplace that is expected to see significant change and the consolidation of like-minded credit unions.

“We are excited to explore this potential opportunity to become stronger together. As like-minded, mission-driven credit unions who share a commitment to our employees, members, and community – this represents an exciting possibility to continue to expand our award-winning service to members across New York State, while continuing to invest in technology that makes banking more convenient,” said CAP COM President and CEO Chris McKenna. “We look forward to continuing the process, with the intent to merge in 2022.”

When CAP COM and SEFCU join, there WILL NOT be any layoffs related to the unification. In fact, the creation of a brand new, $8 billion financial institution will provide the scale necessary to create greater opportunities for existing employees, the need for additional team members, and significant advancements in products, services, and support for members and community partners.

This effort will create the largest financial institution in the Capital Region based on local deposits, and one of the top five credit unions in the state. The unified financial institution will also become one of the top 30 credit unions in the nation.

“Along with growing in size, this alignment will allow us to expand our reach and positive impact on our members and the communities we serve. CAP COM and SEFCU share similar values, culture, and commitment to community. We plan to apply the ‘best of both worlds’ principle in everything we do as we integrate our approach to supporting employees, members and the community,” said SEFCU President and CEO Michael Castellana. “We are also excited about advancing our purpose-driven mission in new and exciting ways from expanding and enhancing our products, services, and support for our members, to offering deeper, more meaningful financial and volunteer contributions to nonprofit organizations.”

The robust due diligence process and regulatory approval of both the National Credit Union Administration and the New York State Department of Financial Services, and the membership vote, will likely require an effective date of the transaction in 2022.

“Always There”… Ibi Semper Training Brings Awareness to PTSD While Engaging Veterans and First Responders, Saving Dogs, and Providing Free Service Dog Training

CAPITAL DISTRICT – It is simple. Ibi Semper Training (IST), Latin for “Always There,” is having a positive impact on the lives of Veterans and First Responders while rescuing dogs, and pairing them together to train them to become Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Service Dog teams. It is also more complicated, because it is a process to find the right dog to pair with the right Veteran or First Responder, then work to train the two, free-of-charge, to become that ideal team that is “Always There” for one another. This is a calling that founder, Sonya Ward, is fearlessly and tirelessly taking on. She seamlessly pulls all the components together in order to help humans and save canine lives, and in the process, brings more needed awareness to PTSD.

How it began

A life long love for dogs turned professional for Sonya Ward in 2015. Upon training her dog, Lucky, she volunteered and eventually worked at an organization where she trained Veterans to train their dogs as PTSD Service Dogs. Leaving that organization at the end of 2018, Sonya thought she would focus on her passion and hobby of photography, but was approached by a Veteran and First Responder to start training him and his puppy. As more Veterans approached her, and with encouragement from friends, Sonya registered with the American Kennel Club as an evaluator and trainer. In January 2020, due to the ongoing support from local Veterans and the greater community, Sonya was able to found her own 501c3 registered non-profit, which is operated solely on donations, grants and fundraisers.

Relying on the kindness of others

The Covid-19 Pandemic threw a curve ball to the training and fundraising opportunities of this newly-formed organization. Just like the rest of the world, Sonya had to re-invent how to continue operating IST business while the mental health demands and needs of everyone, especially Veterans and First Responders, increased exponentially. This provided opportunities, as well as challenges. Never shying away from difficult situations, Sonya creatively used this time to network while continuing to help those working through PTSD. When the initial training location was closed during the pandemic, she trained virtual through FaceTime and Zoom classes, then traveled safely to the team’s homes. Through the Founder of a veteran’s art program, Art4Vets, Sonya met with the commander of the Albany American Legion Joseph E. Zaloga Post 1520, who agreed to let her use their facility to train. She also networked with one of the generous owners of the Schenectady Armory Center, who also agreed to let her train there. So now, IST is able to train out of two Capital Region locations.

“I am so appreciative for the generosity to be able to use the facilities to allow IST to train our teams. I am even more grateful for the connections I have made throughout this journey,” said Sonya, adding, “People are kind and willing to listen and learn about PTSD, and eager to help those that have served, but are now in need of assistance themselves.”

However, the financial needs to save dogs, adopt and pair them with Veterans or First Responders, and to train them, continues with many steps involved in the process.

How to support IST

Two upcoming fundraisers are on the horizon for IST. On August 28th, IST will hold an inaugural PTSD & Service Dog Awareness Ride. Enjoy a fun motorcycle ride and ceremony, along with food, raffle and vendors at the Brunswick Harley-Davidson location. Only $20 per bike rider; $10 for passengers… and dogs are free! Please consider joining this event and passing along the information to other bike enthusiasts.

Also in August, the first edition of the IST “Feasts & Flavors Collection of Recipes” Cookbook will be released. Filled with favorite recipes of Veterans, First-Responders, friends and supporters of IST. Some of the photos included are of IST teams and their rescue dogs. This cookbook will be available to the public for purchase. Remember, all proceeds from the

Awareness Ride and the cookbook directly benefit Veterans and First Responders with PTSD, as well as rescue/shelter dogs.

Direct, tax-deductible donations may also be made to IST via the website: or by sending a check to IST, 25 Dublin Drive, Niskayuna, NY 12309. Volunteers are also needed and welcomed to assist with a variety of tasks. For more information, please call or email Sonya at 518-605-3976 or







Sonya with her dog Lucky.         Duane and his rescue dog, Panda

NYSDAR 1st Place Flag Essay Winner

AVERILL PARK – The Fort Crailo Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution wish to congratulate Emelia Sala of Averill Park, NY on winning first place at the New York State level for her flag essay on “What the flag means to me”. Her essay is moving on to national DAR competition.






Candidates For Rensselaer County Legislature Helping Neighbors in Need

RENSSELAER COUNTY – Candidates assisted with food distribution in East Greenbush with a drive through food pantry. Boxes and bags were distributed to families in need. Food is provided through Catholic Charities Mobile Outreach and the Regional Food Bank.

(L-R) Sally Lauletta, Jack Rogers, Bob Poitras, and Jennifer Massey.



Poestenkill Area Food Insecurity

POESTENKILL – Any greater Poestenkill area residents currently experiencing temporary or long term food insecurity can turn to The Bread of Life Food Pantry at the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Poestenkill for supplemental food assistance. We provide basic nutritional foods and related items the first and third Thursday of each month from 4:30 to 6:30 PM in a very discreet, nonjudgmental manner. We offer drive-thru service where each guest receives a product list to form your order, we then fill your order and bring the completed order back to your vehicle. Delivery service to Poestenkill Seniors unable to visit our Pantry is also available. Please try us, we are here to help. Our phone number is: 518-283-6045 to leave a message. Thank you.

Hope 7 Food Pantry

TROY – The Hope 7 Food Pantry located at 520 Pawling Avenue, Troy NY serves the East Side of Troy, Wynantskill and Northgreenbush.

Pantry Hours: Mon-Fri – 9:30am-11:45am; Thursday – 5pm-7pm. Last Saturday of each month 9:30am-11:45am

What to bring: Proof of residence (Troy’s East Side, North Greenbush, or Wynantskill) – (utility bill to your address in your name). ID’s for each person residing in household.

Johnsonville Methodist Church Thrift Shop

JOHNSONVILLE – The Johnsonville Methodist Church Thrift Shop, located at 22 Bridge Street, Johnsonville, NY 12094 is open 9-12 every Wednesday. Look for our sign at the corner of Route 67 and Route 111. We have a huge selection of adult and children’s summer clothing, as well as special occasion and career clothes, shoes, purses, jewelry, toys, linens, household and decorative items. Our newly organized library has over 1,000 books for sale.

The Anchor Food Pantry 

SCHODACK – The Anchor Food Pantry in an attempt to keep the residents of the Town of Schodack informed during these pandemic times has an update for our hours of operation and business procedures. The anchor is open the following days for servicing clientele. Monday evenings 5pm-7pm, Tuesday and Thursday 9am-2pm , and the first Saturday of each month from 10am-1pm. New clients are asked to furnish proof of residncy on their initial visit. Also if possible call ahead at 518-732-4120 and staff will accommodate and have food call ready which until further notice will be delivered to your vehicle. We have good news on donation front -we will be accepting clothing and houseware donations  effective immediately during regular business hours . Clothing request is for summer and fall apparel at this time. As always we thank the citizens of Schodack for their continued generosity in our mission to aid those in need during these seemingly never ending pandemic circumstances.

Columbia High School Annual 70’s Alumni Party

CAPITAL DISTRICT – Graduates and attendees of Columbia High School 1970-1979 – as well as teachers and staff: mark your calendar to attend the annual Alumni Party/Summer Get-Together on Saturday, August 21, 2021, beginning at noon. ALL alumni welcome! Schodack Island State Park, 1 Schodack Island Way (off Route 9J), Schodack Landing. Camping available; reserve now, sites are going fast! Join our Facebook group “Columbia High School 70’s Reunion” for full party details or contact Caroline Lynch Zeyak at 518-928-3223 or to obtain an informational flyer and registration form.

3rd Annual Averill Park Athletic Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony & Dinner

AVERILL PARK – Saturday, Sept. 11th, 2021. Reception, Cash Bar & Raffles 5:00. Welcome & Buffet Dinner 6:00. Induction Ceremony 7:00. Troy Hilton Garden Inn. Registration Deadline is Aug. 26th. 

Event Sponsor – $2,000 (includes 8 tickets, a full page ad in program, a reserved table and recognition in program)

Platinum Donor – $1,000 (includes 6 tickets, a ½ page ad in program and recognition in program)

Warrior Donor – $500 (includes 4 tickets and recognition in program)

Gold Donor – $300 (includes 2 tickets and recognition in program)

Blue Donor – $150 (includes 1 ticket and recognition in program) 

Class of 2020 Athlete – Doug Childrose ‘83, Kevin L. Nichols ‘81, Rebecca Ortolano Clark ‘00, Deb Prendergast-Sanderson ‘81, Deborah Springer ‘91, Morgan Wheeler ‘09

Athlete/Coach – Mike Malenfant ‘86

Class of 2021, Athlete – Jenna Brooks ‘06, Michael Collopy ‘04, Katie Duma ‘10, Thomas Mangan ‘89, Susan Spierre Clark ‘01

For additional information please contact the Averill Park Athletic Department at (518) 674-7010 or . All inquiries – 

St. Jude Flea Market / Vendor Fair Vendors Needed

ALBANY – Vendors Needed. Flea Market/Vendor Fair To Benefit St. Jude. August 28th,2021 from 10-4. $15.00 Uncovered Space / $30.00 covered space with table. Uncovered Vendors who need a table can rent one for $5.00 per table. Easy up Tents will be permitted on uncovered spaces only. There will also be an uncovered garage sale area for anyone who wants to participate but is not a regular vendor. Contact Information – Polish American Citizens Club, 110 Commerce Ave, Albany NY 12206. E-mail: for signup information. Phone: 518-227-7142.

Senior Bowlers Wanted!

EAST GREENBUSH – The Rensselaer Senior Center Bowling is looking for senior bowlers for the upcoming 2021-2022 season starting on Tuesday Sept. 7th. We bowl every Tuesday starting at noon for 27 weeks at the East Greenbush Bowling Center on Columbia Turnpike. Individuals have to be 60 years old to join the Rensselaer Senior Center. This is a fun, relaxed, no pressure bowling league. All bowlers are welcomed from beginners to experts. For more information call the Rensselaer Senior Center at (518)463-2166 or Frank Putallaz at (518)477-4412

Columbia High School Class of 1986 35-Year Reunion

CAPITAL DISTRICT – Columbia High School’s Class of 1986 is celebrating it’s 35-year reunion on Saturday, September 18th at Birch Hill from 6-11pm. There will be a full BBQ, unlimited beer/wine option, bonfire and live music! Visit: for registration details and a list of who’s attending.

Tour Belgium and Holland with Saratoga Arts 

CAPITAL DISTRICT – In April, just as spring begins, leave your daily routine behind and join Saratoga Arts in an art and history-filled visit to Belgium and Holland April 20-29, 2022. We will stay in Brussels and Amsterdam with excursions to nearby treasures and plan to taste as many gourmet chocolates as ten days permit. We will waffle or way through Belgium, learn about the history and magic of the medieval Belgian tapestries, travel to Bruges, Delft and Amsterdam for romantic waterways, revel in the beauty of the Dutch Masters and Van Gogh, and admire the colorful blooms of the seven million bulb flowers of the Keukenhof Gardens. 

Give yourself a chance to escape just for a while among the cultural and historical experiences of this small group tour. 

To receive a detailed itinerary, contact:   

Newly Diagnosed with Parkinson’s? Consider Attending PD SELF – Parkinson’s Self-Efficacy Learning Forum

CAPITAL DISTRICT – A national program being offered in Albany. The program provides people newly diagnosed with Parkinson’s with an in-depth understanding of the disease and the tools to manage it with confidence.  There is no cost to attend.  Registration is required.  Space is limited. Care partners are encouraged to attend.

This year the program, starting in September, has been adapted  to be fully online. Find out more at

Poestenkill “Bread of Life” Food Pantry 

POESTENKILL – NEW HOURS – Since September 2015, the Poestenkill “Bread of Life” food pantry has been offering staple food items to individuals and families in Poestenkill and surrounding communities who need food for themselves and their families. Beginning on May 1st, 2021 our NEW HOURS will BEGIN at 4:30 pm END AT 6:30pm on the 1st & 3rd Thursdays of every month.

We thank our friends, community and many organizations who continue to support this effort through their most generous donations of time, resources and staple foods. Our new volunteers are the best, most kind, compassionate individuals. We are so grateful they have joined our pantry.

We are located at the Evangelical Lutheran Church, 772 Route 351, Poestenkill, NY 12140. If you have an urgent need for food, please call us at (518) 283-6045 and leave a message.

This year, we have begun a new program with the pantry by offering baby food, diapers and wipes for the youngest in the Poestenkill community. The pantry does not currently stock baby supplies, but can provide select items upon request. If you are experiencing difficulty affording these items for your baby, please reach out to us. Please send a private Facebook message, email or leave a message at (518) 428-0124.

St. Jude the Apostle Knights of Columbus Bottle & Can Donations

WYNANTSKILL – Help Support Local Charities – St. Jude the Apostle Knights of Columbus has teamed up with 6 Center Redemption located at 461 Main Avenue in Wynantskill to accept bottle and can donations that have a NYS deposit.

This is to support local charities and those in need.

• Bring your clean, NYS deposit empties to 6 Center Redemption in Wynantskill.

• Say they are to support the St. Jude the Apostle Knights of Columbus.

• They do the rest, that’s it!

• Thank you for your support!

Team “Knocking Out Alzheimer’s” Bottle Drive, The Fundraising Continues …

WYNANTSKILL/RENSSELAER – Team “Knocking out Alzheimer’s” is partnering with the  Alzheimer’s Association. Return your bottles and cans and help the Northeastern New York Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. Through an arrangement with: Six-Center Redemption 

Two Locations: 461 Main Ave Wynantskill (Corner of Sharpe and Main Ave) & 550 South Street Rensselaer.

No need to count the cans or bottles, no waiting or standing in lines to feed your cans or bottles into a machine.

The Alzheimer’s Association will receive six cents for every container you donate to the cause. Simply drop off your containers and say: “These are for the Alzheimer’s Association.”

The mission of the Alzheimer’s Association is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. The first survivor of Alzheimer’s is out there, but we won’t get there without you.  Join the fight with your bottles & cans! Check us out on face book  – Knocking out Alzheimer’s

Hudson-Mohawk Search & Rescue is Looking for Volunteers to Join our Team

CAPITAL DISTRICT – If you enjoy being outdoors in the wilderness, working with others to help people, follow directions well and have a willingness to learn, then our SAR team might be for you! Prior knowledge is helpful, but definitely not required as we provide the training. Check out our website at: for more information.

Search and Rescue Volunteers Needed

CAPITAL DISTRICT – the Tri-State Emergency Team is recruiting volunteers to provide wildland and underwater searches within a 100 mile radius of Waterrford, NY.  This includes all aspects of field and underwater search.  The Tri-State Emergency Team responds when requested by NYS Forest Rangers and other police agencies throughout New York State, Western Vermont and Massachusetts.   We are looking for certified scuba divers, experienced boat handlers, and people who enjoy hiking and the outdoors in general who wish to help people in need.   The team will provide training and complete support as needed.  Our headquarters is located in Waterford.  Applicants need not live in Waterford to volunteer. If interested, please call 518-237-6744 or visit our website at

New York State Commission for the Blind 

CAPITAL DISTRICT – The New York State Commission for the Blind (NYSCB) provides free vocational rehabilitation and other services to legally blind New York State residents, including children, adults, and older adults.  NYSCB assists participants in   achieving economic self-sufficiency and full integration into society.  Call toll-free (866) 871-3000 or visit our website:

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