Your Community

Your Community 12.24.20

Sand Lake Military Banners

SAND LAKE – Military banners are coming to Sand Lake!  The cost is $200 each and it is anticipated the banners will be up annually from Memorial Day-Veterans Day.  To be eligible, the service person and/or their family should have called Sand Lake home at some point in their lifetime.  Applications are available at Town Hall or on our website at  The website also contains an example of what a banner will look like.  If you have any questions, please reach out to Nancy Perry at  Thank you!  The banners will make excellent holiday gifts for the veterans in your life!

Castleton-on-Hudson Farmers & Artisans Market

CASTLETON-ON-HUDSON – Due to COVID-19, the Castleton-on-Hudson Farmers & Artisans Market (COHFAM) will not have a winter market or holiday events.

Nathan Cotton of Castleton on Hudson Named to Mansfield University Fall 2020 President’s List

MANSFIELD, PA – Nathan Cotton of Castleton on Hudson, NY has been named to the Fall 2020 President’s List at Mansfield University.

To be named to the President’s List, a student must attend the university full-time and attain at least a 4.0 GPA for the semester.

The Big $100,000 Giveaway Winners from 2020

CAPITAL DISTRICT – On November 19, the Times Union published our special section on philanthropy, Capital Region Gives. As part of a contest, 10 local nonprofits had the opportunity to share $100,000 in granted advertising space in the Times Union.

This year, 30 nonprofits were eligible to win a share of the $100,000 grant. Voting to determine which of the nonprofits will win one of the $10,000 advertising grants started on on November 14.

With over 15,000 votes cast, the 10 nonprofits with the most number of votes are:

Boys and Girls Club of the Capital Region, Capital Roots, CAPTAIN Community Human Services, Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Albany, Colonie Senior Service Centers, Double H Ranch, Mohawk Hudson Humane Society, NYOH Community Cancer Foundation, Temple Israel of Albany and Whiskers Animal Benevolent League. 

Of the 10 winning nonprofits, 3 were new to win this year.

Capital Region Gives is made possible by the generous support of our philanthropic business community 

Capital Region Gives. The Big $100,000 Giveaway will return in 2021.

4-H Achievements Virtual Celebration

RENSSELAER COUNTY – Cornell Cooperative Extension of Rensselaer County wrapped up their centennial year by celebrating the past year’s achievements and are looking ahead to the new 4-H year. 4-H volunteers and members joined together via Zoom for their annual General Interest Recognition Event. The 4-H Teen Ambassadors planned and organized the event, presented the awards, and presided over the new club officers’ installation ceremony. A special video message from Andy Turner, the New York State 4-H Program Leader, was shared. Mr. Turner congratulated Rensselaer County 4-H on their 100 years of programming and wished them much success in the future.

Grace Huffam of Pittstown, in the Stablemates 4-H club received a county medal for her work in the Horse Project.

The Clover Kids & Critters 4-H, of Hoosick Falls, was recognized as an Honor Club, a club that goes above and beyond to help out when needed, assisting with events throughout the year and participating in all of our fundraisers. Additionally, the following clubs were recognized for their displays for National 4–H Week: Clover Kids & Critters (Hoosick Falls), Cantering Cowpokes (Stephentown), Fashionistas (Hoosick Falls), Green Earthlings (West Sand Lake), Jogging Juniors (Averill Park), and the Rensselaer County 4-H Trailblazers (Averill Park).

Congratulations to all of our award winners and to all the new 2021 club officers! It was a fun evening celebrating the past 4-H year and we and a great way to kick off the new one!

For more information about 4-H and/or other programs offered by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Rensselaer County, please call 518-272-4210. No one shall be denied the opportunity to participate or receive information based on their ability to pay. If you have special needs that we can accommodate please let us know at the time of your call.

Girl Scout Brownies Shop for the Anchor

CASTLETON – The Girl Scouts would like to thank the community for buying Girl Scout cookies. Some funds from cookie sales went towards food for senior citizens in need. The girls purchased items and donated them to the Anchor food pantry. They are happy to be part of Castleton’s Girl Scout Troop 1762, Service Unit 135.




News from Averill Park CSD

AVERILL PARK – Congratulations to the five individuals who have been selected to be inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame’s Class of 2021. Included in this year’s class are Mike Collopy (2004), Katie Duma (2010), Jenna Hughes (2006), Tom Mangan (1989) and Susan Spierre (2001).

Miller Hill-Sand Lake Elementary School students hosted a stocking fundraiser which collected 420 books and filled more than 50 stockings with supplies and treats. The school was able to collect enough items for every child serviced by the Capital Region Boys and Girls Club. Great job everyone!

The Averill Park Central School District made the decision not to participate in the state’s new snow day pilot program when a storm descended upon the Northeast on December 17. This program gives districts the option of pivoting to virtual learning in the event of a school closure due to inclement weather. We placed a priority on allowing our students to keep a sense of normalcy in a very abnormal school year. Please know the state still requires 180 days of attendance for students and we may have to revisit this program if the District comes close to or surpasses its allotment of closure days in the future.

Submitted by Dr. James Franchini, Averill Park CSD Superintendent

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

Problem Gambling – Northeast Resource Center Here To Help

CAPITAL DISTRICT – Avoiding triggers this holiday season –  The holiday season may be full of fun and family gatherings. But for those experiencing or recovering from a gambling problem, it’s also a season full of temptations.

It could be as simple as a card game around the kitchen table, a friendly bet on a college bowl game or getting scratch-off tickets as a stocking stuffer. For most, those are just everyday events during the holidays. But for some, they’re the kind of temptations that can trigger the urge to gamble.

But there are a few simple things that individuals with a gambling problem can do to prepare themselves for potential holiday triggers. They include:

Money: Put someone else in charge of your finances if you’re concerned about your urge to gamble. That way, you won’t have access to extra cash that could create temptation.

Talking: It may sound simple. But simple solutions tend to work. Just ask your family and friends not to gamble when playing games while you’re around them.

Gifts: Make sure your loved ones know not to give you holiday gifts in the form of cash, scratch-off tickets or other gambling games.

The holidays are a time for celebrating. Play it safe and separate yourself from the temptations that could trigger problem gambling. Staying safe from triggers for problem gambling is important.

How do you know if someone you care about has a problem? The simplest way to identify if your loved one struggles with problem gambling is to ask yourself this: Does gambling cause problems for my loved one or our family? If the answer is yes, then this person may be struggling with problem gambling. The good news is help is available! Contact the Northeast Problem Gambling Resource Center for local, barrier free help and additional resources. You can reach us by calling 518-801-1491 or emailing us at We’re here to help.

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

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 5:00 to 7:00 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.

Vaping – Public Service Announcement

CAPITAL DISTRICT – Vaping has become almost more common today then cigarettes. Originally marketed as being more safe than other tobacco products recent events have made it clear that this is not the full story. One study found that those who vape the equivalent to a pack of cigarettes a day had a 70% higher risk of stroke. This is only one of the health risks that can arise from vaping. For more information visit:

Addiction Screenings – Narconon can help you take steps to overcome addiction in your family. Call today for free screenings or referrals. 1- 800-431-1754.

Fentanyl – Public Service Announcement

CAPITAL DISTRICT – Fentanyl has been making headlines recently, this is because the incredibly potent chemical has been contributing to the increase in overdose deaths across America. Most people however do not know much about the chemical. For instance many don’t know that one of the things that makes fentanyl so dangerous is the fact that it can be absorbed into the system through skin contact. Meaning getting it on your skin could cause a potentially fatal overdose.

To learn more about Fentanyl visit:

Addiction Screenings – Narconon can help you take steps to overcome addiction in your family. Call today for free screenings or referrals. 1- 800-431-1754.

Rensselaer County Recovery Helpline

RENSSELAER COUNTY  – 1-833-467-3123 – Do you need help with substance use issues? Are you interested in volunteering for the helpline? The Rensselaer County Recovery Helpline offers information, local resources, and referrals for individuals and their families regarding substance use issues. The toll-free line is available 7 days a week from 9am-9pm. Each volunteer chooses shifts of 4 hours at a time to be on-call. When someone calls the number, a volunteer answers on their own smartphone, and can enter information to a database on their own computer, allowing for easy and quick access to resources. The information is sent to one of the 9 leaders, who will then assist the caller. If you or someone you know needs information, resources, or a referral for a substance use problem, call 1-833-467-3123. For more information, or if you are interested in volunteering, contact

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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