Your Community

Your Community 12.16.21

Volunteers Needed – Saratoga National Cemetery Honor Guard Association

CAPITAL DISTRICT – The Saratoga National Cemetery Honor Guard Association is recruiting  volunteers to become new members. We welcome honorably discharged veterans to join the Saratoga National Cemetery Honor Guard Association and Color Guard. The Honor Guard also joins directly with all active duty branches sharing in the ceremonial procedures.

If you are interested in exploring membership, please go to and read about our organization. If you feel the Honor Guard may be a good fit for you, complete an application and mail the required forms to the address on the application.

If you would like to talk to someone before applying for membership, please email with your information so you may be contacted or call 518-383-3214  (Mark Joly) or 518-253-3202 (Art Dutcher) to discuss your questions with an Honor Guard member.

Good Things Happening in Sand Lake

 Sky High Adventure Center Fundraiser Success

Thank you to Lexi Lane, Meg & Rachael Strickland, the Girl Scouts, Crafters, Kiwanians, Elected Officials, Veterans, Community Leaders, Bob Pasquarelli, Jim Snack, Tim & Kim Murdick, Paul Koniowka, John Giannone, Wolfy Balga and David Johnson for making our first Holiday Craft Fair a big success. – John Slyer 

SAND LAKE – UPDATE: Through the help of the community, Wolfy has made great strides in achieving the first funding benchmark for the platform where the pavilion will rest.  Although there is more work to be done, he thanks you all for your support in getting to his goal.

When Rensco town budgets are strapped by flood repair and Covid relief, one aspiring Eagle Scout is finding a way! There is no secret that Rensco has been challenged by thousands of dollars in flood damage and of course, the Covid crisis. Unfortunately, when this happens, community projects take a back seat to road repair and other critical needs. This is where the aspiring Eagle Scout Wolfgang Balga comes in. Wolfy, in partnership with the newly established Skyhigh Community Center in Sand Lake, has committed to an ambitious project of building an impressive, much needed pavilion for community use. If that isn’t notable enough, he is doing it all through donations, volunteers and old fashioned elbow grease.

This is what he says on the gofundme page: “Hello, My name is Wolfgang Balga. I am a boy scout from troop 2526 out of Averill Park and I am organizing the staged construction of a pavilion to be built at the Skyhigh Community Center. By donating your time, expertise, materials or money to this project, you are helping to provide the community with a great outside area for any and all activities, whether it be a for a nice place to meet outside during the summer, or a stage for a concert or other performances, this pavilion is a must for everything that goes on at the community center.” The deadline for completion  of the first phase of the project is spring of 22 because Wolfy will be leaving this lifetime legacy to go to college. For more information about this project please visit the gofundme page by scanning the attached image with your phone or visiting  – Check back here for continued updates on the project.

Averill Park Education Foundation’s 15th Annual Gala Recap

AVERILL PARK – Over 150 guests enjoyed an incredible night at the Averill Park Education Foundation’s 15th Annual Gala on Friday, November 19th, honoring Tracy Sten Hacker, 2021 Educator Award recipient, & Chris Foster, 2021 Community Award recipient. After a 2-year hiatus, this premier event returned to the Old Daley on Crooked Lake.

Following a lively cocktail hour and art display by Averill Park students, APEF Vice President Tara Lindheimer offered a toast and sincere thanks to the many people involved in making the night a success.

Outgoing APEF President Daryl Bart spoke of our community’s collective resilience, highlighting the Foundation’s flame logo and evening theme, “Keeping the Flame Alive,” as a fitting metaphor, in light of our past two years, amid COVID-19 related protocols and changes, to underscore our ability to finally gather again, bringing together the essential elements that make APEF’s work possible…the community, the teachers, and the trustees.

She reminded us that we’re as durable and as resilient as a flame as we continue moving forward, complimenting the impact of the non-profit groups all-volunteer board on the district, by providing the means, through enrichment grants, for our teachers to be their brightest, and for our students to shine.

Past President Scott Bendett lead the live auction, and noted the sold out “gift card pull” will fund three scholarships for the class of 2022.

The event featured the night’s honorees. Rachael Kittleson highlighted Tracy Sten Hacker’s work as a tenured school psychologist, her commitment to the community, and her notable impacts in a heartfelt introduction.

Chris Foster, after an introduction by his great friend, David Fleming, Jr., himself a longstanding public service advocate and Supervisor for the Town of Nassau, gave a typically humble speech, speaking of the forever need for community service and encouraging the audience to participate at the local level, be informed, and make an impact.

Kiwanis Flagpole is Dedicated at SKYHIGH Adventure’s New Community Center 

SAND LAKE – On Saturday December 4th The SKYHIGH Adventure Community Center held a gala dedication ceremony to recognize and formally thank the Kiwanis Club of Sand Lake for donating a solar illuminated flagpole and a large American flag to the Center. SKYHIGH President John Slyer introduced the many local dignitaries who were present including: State Assemblyman Jake Ashby, Sand Lake Supervisor Elect Scott Gallerie, Sand Lake Town Board Member Bill Film and Board Member Elect Wayne Gendron, County Legislators Bob Loveridge and Scott Bendett, Rensselaer County Undersheriff PJ Higgett, Kiwanis Van Rensselaer Division Lt. Gov. Lynn Cattalotti, former Kiwanis NY District Governor David Booker and Sand Lake Kiwanis President Bryan VanZandt. Kiwanian Bob Pascarelli and the Girl Scout Silver Award Recipients were also recognized for their ongoing community involvement.

With similar missions Kiwanis and SKYHIGH Adventures will continue to work in partnership to bring quality services to the Sand Lake community and to the greater surrounding area.

For more information regarding these organizations please contact: for SKYHIGH Adventure Community Center and for the Kiwanis Club of Sand Lake.

AP Community Education for January & February

AVERILL PARK – The Indoor Walking program upstairs at the High School is back! Registration is required and you must wear both a mask and the walking pass you receive when you are registered. Other programs include: Anyone Can Learn to Paint on 1/11 (register by 12/14), PiYo (begins 1/3), Chair Yoga (virtual, starts 1/4), Qigong Infused Yoga (begins 1/4), Co-Ed Volleyball (starts 1/5), Puppy or Advanced Dog Obedience (begins 1/6), and Ballroom & Social Dancing (begins 2/3).View classes, register, pay at or mail the AP District Office with your contact information, program information and a check payable to AP Community Education. Call 518-674-7191 with any questions, but we cannot take registrations over the phone. Look for updates online or on the district’s Facebook or Twitter pages. You do not have to live in Averill Park to register for these programs.

Looking For New Baseball Umpires 

CAPITAL DISTRICT – Capital District Baseball Umpires Association is looking for new members for the 2022 season.  If you think you have what it takes to be a baseball umpire, training classes are now forming.  For more information, call Bob Umholtz at 518-986-5987 or go to

News From Averill Park CSD

AVERILL PARK – Congratulations to the 373 students who qualified for the Algonquin Honor Rolls for the first marking period of the 2021-22 school year. Keep up the good work everyone!

Eight fall sports teams were honored by NYSPHSAA and were named Scholar-Athlete Teams recently. Congratulations to the following teams: Boys Soccer, Girls Soccer, Girls Volleyball, Boys Cross Country, Girls Cross Country, Girls Tennis, Boys Golf, and Girls Swimming and Diving.

Chase Bentz was named the Algonquin Middle School Principal for the Day. Chase shadowed Principal Messia in meetings, assisted with dismissal, had a pizza party with friends, and more. Great job Chase!

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

Mission: Meeting the needs of and creating opportunities for every student every day. #AP_EveryStudentEveryDay

Northeast Problem Gambling Resource Center 

CAPITAL DISTRICT – The addition of mobile sports betting in New York State has brought access to gambling to everyone’s pocket. Anyone in New York with a cell phone can now gamble 24/7 from anywhere. With the increase in access to gambling opportunities will inevitably come an increase in individuals, families and communities impacted by negative consequences.

In response to increased access to gambling in NYS, NYCPG has launched a brand new, solution-focused resource in NYS that’s designed to highlight all of the ways New Yorkers can work together on this cause to reduce these negative consequences. has something for everyone, whether you’re in need of treatment, have a loved one struggling, or want to be a part of the solution on a community level.

Problem gambling can impact anyone, and its effects go far beyond the individual. Relationships, employment, finances, and mental health all take a hit when gambling is no longer entertainment. Often the symptoms are invisible to others until they can’t be hidden any longer. It’s never too late to get help or become an advocate for this cause.

For help with problem gambling, please reach out to the Northeast Problem Gambling Resource Center at 518-801-1491 or email us at

Historical Calendars

NORTH GREENBUSH – The 2022 North Greenbush Historical Calendars are now available for purchase. They contain old time pictures including Tess Alber’s 1930’s ice cream stand, the Killmen Drum and Bugle Corps, the St.Jude’s Horse Show and much more. Calendars are for sale at the Town Clerk’s Office in the Town Hall on Main Avenue Wynantskill (518) 283-4306. The cost is $12.00 (exact change or check made out to the Town of North Greenbush.) If you want it mailed the cost is $15.

Rensselaer County 4-H Mitten Tree

RENSSELAER COUNTY – The weather is getting colder, and we want to support members of our community by providing cold weather gear to those in need. We are taking donations of items such as new gloves, hats, scarves, coats, etc. at our office to distribute. The building is currently closed to visitors, please call the CCE office at 518-272-4210 to have a staff member meet you at the door to take your donation, or to assist you with picking up some winter clothing items.

Items will be available from the Mitten Tree beginning December 1st. If you or someone you know are in need of items, please feel free call for an appointment to pick up items at 61 State St. Troy NY 12180.

Notice of Annual Organizational Meeting 

NASSAU – Please take notice that the organizational meeting for the Nassau Fire District #1 of the Town of Nassau, County of Rensselaer New York, will be held on the 1st day of January 2022, at 9:00 am on that day at 26 Chatham Street, Nassau, NY  12123 This notification is being given to the news media pursuant to the provisions of Section 94 of the Public Officers Law of the State of New York.By order of the Board of Fire Commissioners of the Nassau Fire District #1.Mary WrobelAdministrative OfficerNassau Fire District #1

Capital District Fly Fishers Annual Fly Tying Class 

CAPITAL DISTRICT – 8 Sessions Various Wednesdays 7:00-9:00 pm – Jan. 12th, 26th, Feb. 2nd, 9th, 23rd March 2nd, 9th, 23rd, March 30th Makeup Session. Location: 5 Locust Lane, Clifton Park, NY 12065. Learn to Tie the following flies: Streamers Nymphs, Wet Dry, Terrestrials Caddis & Leaches, Deer Hair. Course Includes: ALL materials to tie 70 flies (5 each of 14 flies). Material give a way at the classes. Must have own tools, which are covered at the 1st session. Class size limited (First Come First Serve). For Information or Gift Certificate,Contact: Rodney Priddle (518) 421-6762 or

Paul Sinicki at (518)885-8257 or

For Registration go to Or call (518) 371-6651.

Seeking Tax Assistance Volunteers

CAPITAL DISTRICT – TaxAide, the free income tax assistance program sponsored by the AARP Foundation and the IRS, is seeking volunteers for the coming tax season.   TaxAide volunteers answer questions, prepare and file returns for low to moderate income taxpayers and seniors from February 1 to April 15 at various sites in the Capital District.  

Volunteers typically participate one day per week, with flexible schedules to accommodate volunteer availability. No experience is required, but computer experience is helpful for tax counseling.  Volunteers who do not wish to prepare returns are also needed to greet taxpayers and confirm appointments. Training is provided for all positions. Volunteers may be reimbursed for a moderate level of necessary travel expenses. 

For more information on how you can join our team in Saratoga, Warren and Washington counties contact Communications Coordinator [your name], [your phone number or] at [your email address]. For further information, visit 

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 apprised during these Covid 19 times has an update regarding hours  of operation and procedures. The Pantry is open on the following days for servicing clientele and the general public.

Monday Evenings-5pm-7pm, Tuesday and Thursdays -9am-2pm, and the first saturday of each month 10am-1pm. We ask to call ahead at 518-732-4120 for food calls so staff can prepare order for delivery to your vehicle.New clients are asked to provide proof of residency on their initial visit.

Donations are currently being accepted clothing wise for fall /early winter apparel preferably during business hours. As always we thank  the citizens of Schodack for their present, past, and future support of aiding those in need during these seemingly never ending difficult economic times.

Looking for Ways to Help The Anchor Food Pantry? 

RENSSELAER – Return your recyclable cans and bottles to The 6  Cent Redemption Center 550 South Street-Rensselaer  – Rt9J. Just inform the staff you are donating to the Anchor  Food Pantry account and account will be credited automatically. This method will aid the Pantry for the upcoming Holiday giveaways at Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Being Controlled or Hurt by Your Partner?

CAPITAL DISTRICT – You are not alone. You deserve a respectful relationship. FREE Counseling, Legal, Police and Safe shelter help is available for you and family. Anyone can anonymously call one or more of these 24/7 Hotlines for guidance and help.

* Emergency help – Call 911

* Unity House #518-272-2370, Text #518-720-6161 or Chat at

* Equinox #518.432.7865, or Chat at

* YWCA of NENY #518-374-3386

* Wellspring #518-584-8188 or Chat at

Internet-Based Chat Hotline

* NYS Office for the prevention of domestic violence

#800-942-6906 or Text 844-997-2121.Or Chat at

* National Domestic Violence Hotline #800-799-7233

Text “START” to 88788, Chat at

Take a picture of this ad with your phone.

Poestenkill “Bread of Life” Food Pantry 

POESTENKILL – We are open two times each month on the 1st and 3rd Thursdays beginning at 4:30 pm and ending at 6:30 pm. Bring proof of your current residence and grocery bags for your food request.

Starting in November 2021, we will now greet our guests inside the Evangelical Lutheran Church, 772 Route 351, Poestenkill, side entrance.

Please wear a mask and check the extra’s tables. Two guests at a time, fill out food selection forms while waiting in your car. We will continue to practice social distancing and safety for our volunteers and guests.

Delivery service to Poestenkill Seniors unable to visit our pantry is available. Call and leave your name and number at (518) 283-6045.

Our newest program offers infant and baby items (food, diapers and wipes) for those who reside in the Poestenkill area. Pre-orders only by a phone message at (518) 428-0124, a private Facebook message, or email: We do not currently stock these items in our pantry as selections are very individualized. 

Johnsonville Thrift Shop

JOHNSONVILLE – The thrift shop at the Johnsonville Methodist Church, 22 Bridge St., Johnsonville, NY 12094 is open every Wednesday and the first Saturday of each month from 9-12. Look for our sign at the corner of Rte. 111 and Rte. 67. We have a great selection of adult and children’s fall and winter clothing, coats, boots, shoes, purses, special occasion and career clothes, jewelry, toys, linens, household and decorative items. Christmas decor is now on display. Our well-organized book room has over 1,000 books available.

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

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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