Saratoga Christmas 2013

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November/December 2013

Compliments of

Festival of Trees Tree Lighting Victorian Streetwalk Holiday Songbook

Owner/Publisher Chad Beatty General Manager Robin Mitchell Managing Editor Chris Vallone Bushee Creative Director Jessica Kane Advertising Chris Bushee Jim Daley Cindy Durfey Graphic Designers Frank Garguilo Colleen Sweeney Writers Arthur Gonick Julia Ingersoll Photographers Published by Saratoga TODAY Newspaper Five Case Street, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 tel: (518) 581-2480 fax: (518) 581-2487 A Saratoga Christmas is brought to you by Saratoga TODAY Newspaper, Saratoga Publishing, LLC. Saratoga Publishing shall make every effort to avoid errors and omissions but disclaims any responsibility should they occur. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means without prior written consent of the publisher. Copyright (c) 2013, Saratoga TODAY Newspaper

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Festival of Trees 8 Welcome 10 Festival Committee 12 Schedule of Events 14 Special Thanks 16 Family Day Committee 18 Family Day Sponsors 20 Corporate Sponsors

22 24 26 28 32 34 36

Table Top Trees Floor Trees Holiday Decor Donors Earline Johnson Festival Volunteers Programs & Services Shining Stars

Victorian Street Walk/ Tree Lighting 38 Information (Attention: New Date!) 39 Map 40 Event Schedule

All about our cover… November/December 2013

Compliments of

Festival of Trees Tree Lighting Victorian Streetwalk Holiday Songbook

Thank you to all of our readers who submitted photos for A Saratoga Christmas! We all fell in love with this beautifully decorated, welcoming living room submitted by Jenna Burger of SAS Interiors.… who wouldn’t want to open presents around that tree?!

Contents N ove m b e r / D e c e m b e r 2 0 1 3

Holiday Articles 42 50

The Face of Christmas The House of HO HO HO

Holiday Songs

54 Frosty The Snowman 55 Jingle Bells 56 Here Comes Santa Claus 57 O Come All Ye Faithful 58 Rudolph 59 O Christmas Tree 60 Up On The Housetop 61 We Wish You a Merry Christmas 62 Santa Claus is Coming to Town

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The Spirit of Christmas

Welcome to the 18th Annual

Saratoga Festival of Trees This holiday season

is one of great challenge for many individuals and families living in the tri-county region. Many are finding it difficult to get and keep jobs that pay enough to meet their basic needs. They are having trouble putting nutritious food on their tables, locating affordable and stable housing and securing health care for themselves and their families. The parallel challenge for each of us is to respond to the needs of the poor and vulnerable among us with compassion and generosity, and to advocate for systemic change that guarantees the basic necessities for all of our neighbors. In the midst of these trying times, we are aware of our own vulnerability as well as a heightened sensitivity to our deep interconnectedness. It is with a spirit of increased consciousness of the blessings in our lives that we invite you to enjoy this creative holiday fantasy of delightfully decorated trees, wreaths, and centerpieces. Please stop at our raffle table, shop at the Holiday Store and join us for Breakfast with Santa on Saturday – a fun filled day of children’s activities in Santa’s workshop. Returning again this year is the exquisite miniature Circus, Carnival and Train built over a 40-year period and exhibited by its owner, Don Erlenbusch. May the many magical moments of this year’s festival fill our spirits with hope and the joy of the season.

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Behind the scenes, scores of dedicated volunteers spent countless hours planning and preparing for this event to be enjoyed by the entire community. For them we are most grateful. Thank you also to the many businesses and corporate sponsors who have generously supported our efforts and to the creative donors of the myriad of items of holiday décor. Our media sponsors, Saratoga Today, Star 101.3 FM and have been wonderful supports as well.

to the 17th Annual


We encourage you to savor this visual feast and to further the mission of Catholic Charities by purchasing the holiday items displayed. We wish you a happy, peace-filled holiday season – one that will rekindle hope and trust in the gift of life and our relationships with one another.

Festival of Trees

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The Steering Committee Sister Charla Commins Kate Deloria Sharon and Stan Drosky Earline Johnson Bruce O’Connell


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Festival Committee Committee Principals

Catholic Charities Mission Statement Catholic Charities, a ministry of the Catholic Diocese of Albany, is committed to active witness on behalf of the Scriptural values of mercy and justice. Catholic Charities, recognizing human need at all stages of life, responds to all persons regardless of race, creed or lifestyle, with special emphasis on the economically poor and the vulnerable. Catholic Charities serves and empowers persons in need, advocates for a just society, and calls forth and collaborates with women and men of goodwill in fulfillment of its mission.

Theresa Agresta Lynn Allen Wayne Bemis Mary Bonner Diane Burke Florence Campion Sister Charla Commins Anne Comstock Melissa Corrigan Kathleen Cosmus Pat Cross Peter Crowley Margaret D’Andrea Kate Deloria Fran Dingeman Sharon Drosky Stan Drosky Bob Dudley Mary Dudley

Rick Dunn Joan Fitzhenry Margaret Fueston Colleen Guarino Kathy Harkins Kris Hatch Linda Holmes Rick Holmes Julia Ingersoll Earline Johnson Noreen Jones Annie Krasnicki Angela Laterra Joanne Luciano Maureen Lynch Pat Mangona Cindy Manz Mary Ellen Maxwell Bernie McCue

Pat Meany Jane Mehan Sally Navarro Bruce O’Connell Marcia Okosky Palma Pedrick Kathy Price Anne Reed Candyce Robenstein Sylvia Rogers Jackie Saxton Nancy Schumacher Pam Stiansen Nancy Toole Meredith VonSchenk Kelly Mansfield Waechter Wayne Wheeler

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Preview Reception Honorary Committee Chairs

Board of Directors

Jim and Laurie Murphy


Honorary Committee Members Michael & Stacie Arpey Mark E. Baker, Saratoga Springs City Center Diana M. Burke Rebecca Christner and Carter White Linda Colonno Catholic Charities, Diocese of Albany Kathy DiSanto Bill Donovan Rick and Anita Dunn Claudette Farchione Fingerpaint Jim and Sally Higgins Bishop Howard J. Hubbard Rev. Dominic Ingemie Nancy and Michael Ingersoll Kathleen James

Bruce O’Connell

Vice President

Earline & Matt Johnson John & Rosemary Munter Mike and Kate Naughton Bruce & Madge O’Connell David & Helen Porter David & Deborah Quinn Mrs. John T. Roohan Trip Shannon Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet Helen Snyder Lew and Pat Titterton Michael and Linda Toohey Drs. Nancy Wade and John Leary Kelly Mansfield Waechter Jane A. Wait

Nancy Wade, MD

Treasurer Rebecca Christner

Secretary Kelly Waechter

Board Members Fran Dingeman Kristine Hatch Rev. Dominic Ingemie Earline Johnson Trip Shannon Steven Stockdale Michael Toohey, Esq.


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A Special Thank You! Our sincerest thanks to Steve Sullivan and Yvonne Sinnamon and the entire staff of Olde Bryan Inn & Longfellows for their continuous generosit y to our Preview Reception. We’d also like to bestow many thanks to the following individuals, businesses and organizations for their support of the Festival of Trees event. AJ Sign Co.

Don Erlenbusch

Allegory Studios: Theresa Agresta, Melissa Corrigan & Julia Ingersoll

Mary Farley and the 4H Club of Saratoga County

Allerdice Party Rent-All, Inc.

Joan and Chuck Lighthart

Rick Bolton

Egan Mills

Empire Broadcasting Corporation

Tom Roohan – Roohan Realty

Mark Baker and the Saratoga Springs City Center Staff

Brenda Vredenburg

Jeff Brisbin

Tim Wechgelaer

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Special Thanks

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2013 Festival of Trees Saratoga Se c ti on i s br ought to you by:

Festival of Trees

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Family Day Committee Chairpersons


Kate Deloria Jane Mehan Meredith vonSchenk

Colleen Guarino

Face Painting

Kerri Barber Diane McGarry Nancy Toole

Breakfast with Santa Linda & Rick Holmes Margaret D’Andrea

Letters to Santa Children’s Activities Donor’s Kathleen Cosmus D’Andrea’s Pizza

Maureen Lynch

Christ mas Characters


Fran Dingeman Madge O’Connell

Noreen Jones Mary Bonner

Cookie Decorating


Santa Photos

Anne Comstock Sylvia Rogers

Picture Frames

Margaret Fueston Mary Angelini

Tickets/Reservations Catholic Charities Office Staff

Joanne Luciano

Joan Fitzhenry Cindy Manz

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Family Day Sponsors & Donors Christ mas Characters


STAR 101.3 Radio

Family Day Sponsor Elizabeth & Emily Whelan & Family

Breakfast Sponsors McPadden Builders, LLC Witt Construction, Inc. The Dennis Family

Airosmith Development, Margaret & Mark Cassier B & B Plumbing

Madge & Bruce O’Connell


Santa’s Workshop

Warren Anesthesiologist

Principal Santa’s Workshop Sponsor

Photo with Santa Picture Frames

Fine Affairs: Gerri Ann Eddy & Michael Panza

Face Painting

Stewart’s Shops

Orsini Electric Freeman & Shea Co. Inc. Plumbing


David Murphy

Sundaes with Santa Sponsor

D. A. Collins The Appraisal Company

Cookie Decorating


Letters to Santa

Adirondack Women’s Bar Association Dr. James Byrne/Dr. Brian Byrne Orthodontist Sharon Byrne Realty USA

Holiday Shoppe

Anthony & Susan DePaula

Mr. & Mrs. D.A. Collins Sutton & Tarantino Insurance



David Murphy Violets

Music: Tim Wechgelaer

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Breakfast With Santa Donors Boston Market The Bread Basket Barbara Cassier Chianti’s II Comfort Kitchen Compton’s Restaurant Country Corner Cafe Courtyard Marriott D’Andrea’s Pizza Denny’s Restaurant Dunkin Donuts Esperanto’s Golden Corral

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Marty Hellwig: Transborder Global Freight Systems Log Jam Restaurant Hannaford Food & Drug Superstore Holiday Inn-Saratoga Springs Jeff Many Maestro’s at the Van Dam McDonald’s Restaurant Exit 15 Mimi & Friends Hair Studio Mexican Connection Post Time Deli Price Chopper Corporate Gift Committee

Putnam Market Realty USA Residence Inn by Marriott Roma Importing Co. Carol & David Schweizer Stadium West Sysco Food Services The Brook Tavern The Hungry Spot The Merry Monk The Villa Family Triangle Diner Uncommon Grounds Coffee & Bagel

to the 17th Annual


Festival of Trees

Mr. & Mrs. Claus

2013 Santas

Mrs. Claus

Stan Drosky Jack Minehan Tom Roohan Steve Towne

Sue Trentecosti

2013 Preview Reception Donors BEVERAGES:


Davidson Brother’s Brewing DeCrescente Distributing Inc. Druther’s Brewing Company Eddy’s Beverage Inc. (EBI) Exit 9 Wine & Liquor Warehouse Mike’s Hard Lemonade Olde Saratoga Brewing Company Purdy’s Discount Wine & liquor Saratoga Eagle Sales & Service Saratoga Spring Water Company Simplee Wine & Spirits

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Balet Flowers & Design Dehn’s Flowers Inc. Frank Gallo and Son Florist Jan’s Florist Price Chopper - Mechanicville Price Chopper Florist Shoppe - Wilton The Country Florist

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Corporate Sponsors Acosta Sales

Freihofer / Bimbo Bakeries USA

/ Poland Springs

Adirondack Trust Company

Frito-Lay, Inc.

Northeast Retailer Brands

Altria Sales and Distribution

Grant Sales & Marketing

Old Neighborhood Foods

Anheuser-Busch, Inc.

Great Lakes (Feenix Brokerage)

Paul DeLima

Arizona Tea

Heineken USA Inc.

Pepsi Cola of the Hudson Valley

Bast Hatfield


Pepsi-Cola Company

Bunzl USA

Labatt’s USA

RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company

Burns Management

Leroy Holding Company

Roohan Realty


Liggett Vector Brands

Ryder Transportation Services

Commonwealth Brands, Inc.

Lil’ Drug Store Products Inc.

Saratoga Eagle

Crown Imports


D. A. Collins - Pallette Stone Corporation - Kubricky Construction

Maplewood Ice Co., Inc.

Saratoga National Bank & Trust Co.

DeCrescente Distributing Company Diageo Diana’s Bakery Florida’s Natural Fortitech Inc.

Mike’s Lemonade

Simply Orange

MLB Construction Service LLC

Stewart’s Shops

Molson (Miller-Coors Brewing / Miller-Coors)

UniFirst Corporation US Foods

National Grid

Utz Quality Foods, Inc.


W.J. Morris Excavating, Inc.

Nestle Waters of North America

White Wave

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Table Top Trees

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2013 Table Top Trees Sponsors and Decorators Festival of Trees TREE NAME S: Sponsors D: Decorators Winter’s Wine S: Jane A. Wait D: Jenness Cunningham, Charleen Bovina Christmas Fun S: The Card Family D: Irene and Tom Burns Cooking with Claus S: The Wesley Community D: The Wesley Community Lorrie Shilling, Gianna Cross USA Christmas S: Crawford Door & Window Pella Windows and Doors D: Evelyn Bedard, Madeline Liefe Christmas is for the Dogs S: Knights of Columbus Council #246 D: Tom & Christie Ellis Baby it’s Cold Outside S: National Grid D: Marcela Tysoe, Andrew Tysoe


Horsin Around Saratoga S: Impressions of Saratoga D: Marianne Barker & Maddy Zanetti

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Blue Christmas S: Dr. & Mrs. Roland Phillips D: “Read Between the Wines” Book Club “Oh Christmas Tree” S: James Doyle D: A Christmas Angel


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White Christmas S: Jack Byrne Ford & Mercury, Inc. D: “Read Between the Wines” Book Club “O Christmas Tree” S: Tom and Kathleen Cosmus D: A Christmas Angel

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Floor Trees Sponsors & Decorators “ADRIAN” Family Adirondack Tree S: Saratoga Casino & Raceway D: Mariann Gold, Carol Jo Dufort, Amy Galvin, Elizabeth Dufort, Julie Gold, Erin Dufort, Kristin Catrambone Visions of Sugar Plums S: Saratoga Care/Saratoga Hosptial D: Saratoga Hospital- D1 Nurses: Kathy Crandall, Sue Rutowski, Louise McAndrew, Trish Delong, Tamiko Abe, Ruby Delroserio, Mary Michalek, Connie Spass, Theresa Pierson, Cindy Pratt Silver and Gold S: Cudney’s Launderers & Dry Cleaners D: Cudney’s Launderers & Dry Cleaners Joyce Ure, Heidi Krahling, Sandy Pellock Jingle Bells S: Burke & Bussing Funeral Homes of North Broadway D: Pat Stickney, Carole Nielsen Do You Believe in Magic S: SEFCU D: SEFCU Wilton & Skidmore Branch

For the Birds S: Dr. William and Robyn Byrt D: Beth Todd, Robyn Byrt, Lida Varone

Cards of Christmas S: Teakwood Builders, Inc. D: Carole Shiraldi & Ronnie Yakur

Critters in the Forest S: Home of the Good Shepherd D: Rebecca Detora, Pam French

Santa’s Christmas Treats S: Walter S. Borisenok Family Foundation D: Carol Froberg, Karen Gauthier

Old Fashioned Christmas S: Home of the Good Shepherd D: Laura Poirer, Marie Britt The Joy of Boys! S: Roohan Realty D: Karan Hankinson, Darlene Chorman, Jason Thomas, Saranya Thomas “Fahoo Forays, Dahoo Dorays” “Welcome Christmas, bring your light” S: Michael and Linda Toohey D: Claudette Farchione, Rachel Farchione, Elizabeth Markowicz, Jonathan & Theresa Markowicz A Gilded White Christmas S: Saratoga Convention & Tourism Bureau D: Timothy Healy – Posie Peddler Florist Inc. His Power and His Glory S: Beverly Valentine in Memory of Ed Valentine D: Maria Peters

Simple Joyful Greetings S: Kevin Johnson, New York Long Term Care Brokers D: Linda Crawford, Eileen Farley, Terri Coseo, Regina Vanasdale, Eleanor Wittmann Candy Crush Christmas S: Jim and Joanne Grande D: Relief Society of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints A Silverwood Christmas S: Pam and Steven Stiansen D: Silverwood Home and Gallery, Charlene Wood Courtney, Chelsea Hoopes Silver The Angels Rejoice S: Court McLaughlin #422 Catholic Daughters of America D: Joanne Wildly, Mary Rose Turo, Eileen Tuohy, Sheila Arpei

2013 Festival of Trees Judges

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to the 17th Annual


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The Circus Returns

All Aboard!

We’re thrilled to welcome Don Erlenbusch back to the 2013 Festival of Trees! His miniature Circus, Carnival and Train were a huge hit last year with the young and the young-at-heart. The elaborate display includes over 400 pieces collected over 40 years, including colorful trains, circus wagons, people, animals, tents and carnival ride. Come operate the train yourself…you know you want to!


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Saratoga Festival of Trees 2013 Raffle Donors

Home Made Theater Rachael Ray Pirates Cove Adventure Golf Longfellow’s The Olde Bryan Inn The Children’s Museum of Saratoga The Saratoga Hilton Sally Higgins Rose Verro SPAC/Marcia White Kris Hatch Catholic Charities Board of Directors

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Holiday Decor Donors Almost one of a Kind Quilt Shop – V. Feldman – B. Haynes

Connie Kirkpatrick

Maryanne Anderson

Christine Levy

Martha Beauchamp

Noelle Kolakowski Marilyn Little

Ann Bowman

Cosette Lotz

Carol Bradley

Diane Madrigal

Ellen Brown

Rosie & John Manley

Irene Burns

Skidmore Apartments – Renee Fallon Skidmore Apartments Management – Rachel Kopp Skidmore Apartments Management – Stacia Montgomery St. Clement’s Church Eucharistic Ministries

Kaitlyn Cameron

Mary’s Haven – Robin Byrt & Anne Reed

Florence Campion

Dianne Miller

St. Clement’s Church

Elaine Caruso-Roberts

Milton Veterinary Hospital – Dr. Lori Langdon

Nancy Strong

Susan Christopher

Ann Neville

Tallie Christopher Church of St. Peter H.S. Youth Ministry – Patricia Poulette

Gayle Noel

Catherine Clarke

Sheila O’Connell

Kristen Corcoran

Marcia Okosky

Crafter’s Gallery – Roger Goldsmith

Heather O’Leary

Girl Scout Cadet Troop #3075

Yolanda Paolicelli

Domestic Violence Project Dianne Johnstone Megan Drosky Sharon Drosky Friends of Sharon Drosky Mary Farrell Joanne Figliomeni

Daniel Noel

Nancy O’Leary

St. Clements’ Church Outreach

Sweetheart’s Dolls – Caroline Eisenberg The Springs – Nicole Blanchette Uncommon Threads – Barbara Hefter Megan Vaughn Gail Veitch Ralph Vincent Johanna Wasalinko

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Judy Froehlich Sandi Graham Kelly Haseotis Kris Hatch BJ Havens Anne Horwitz Diana Jenner Louise Jordan 26  |  A Saratoga Christmas | 2013

Barbara Parrish Jocelyn Peters Maria Peters

Candyce Robenstein

Shirley Waterfield Virginia Wyzykowski Yaddo Garden Association– Debra Brown

to the 17th Annual Veronica Frazier

Diane Russell

Alexander Russell


Sue Rutkowski Nancy Salmon

Florence Campion Dorothy Harran Katie Hart

Festival of Trees Saratoga Notecards– Jerry Bradley Jackie Saxton Lisa Shaul

Lyn Madden Faith Palma Barbara Sutherland

Kristi Sherman Skidmore Apartments Management - Christina Burns

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The Spirit Of Christmas

Earline Johnson:

Determined Altruism Story by Julia Ingersoll, Photos by

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When someone says, “Volunteering is what normal people do. I’m nothing special,” you realize you have, in fact, met someone special. Earline Johnson is that person. A dedicated volunteer all her life, Earline’s steadfast, humble spirit is unparalleled. Advocating for local shelters and mental health centers, chairing the largest local fundraiser for Catholic Charities, and upholding a true determination to help those around her – Earline has impacted countless lives in and beyond Saratoga County.

graduated from St. Peter’s Academy and worked for Saratoga Industries and the VanRaalte Company. And while it’s her professional life that most people see, it’s a steely fervor for volunteering that genuinely fuels her glow.

Festival of Trees

Dubbed by fans and friends the “Queen of Summer Rentals” or “Saratoga Earl,” Earline has worked for the past 20 years as a sales associate for Roohan Realty. A native Saratogian, Earline 28  |  A Saratoga Christmas | 2013

Earline is on the Board of Directors of Catholic Charities of Saratoga, Warren and Washington Counties and the Steering Committee for the Saratoga Festival of Trees. She is also the past president of the Saratoga Vicariate Ladies of Charity and has a long history of volunteerism before that. As a testament to Earline’s impact, Tom Roohan, owner of

Roohan Realty, shared, “Earline is an unsung hero of our community. She deserves significant recognition for all that she’s done. She persistently pushes over hurdle after hurdle - I can’t fathom what this city would be like without her.” Hours. Days. Years. Earline has dedicated a lifetime to the betterment of others; from the early 1950s with the Junior Civic League in Saratoga Springs through the 1970s at St. Mary’s Hospital in Troy where she served for 31 years. Earline was also part of an Acute Care Task Force involved in planning a health care system for Northeastern New York. She served as a board member for the Health Systems Agency of Northeastern New York and helped plan Troy’s BiCentennial celebration. Earline was a member of Troy’s Historic District and Landmark Review Commission and served 15 years as a polling inspector. The numbers are impressive and her resume is endless. But what is truly remarkable is that one person can find such room in her heart to care for so many less fortunate than her. Longtime friend, Sister Charla Commins, CSJ, is the Executive Director of Catholic Charities of Saratoga, Warren and Washington Counties. “Earline is the quintessential volunteer. She brings an unfailing commitment to mission, boundless energy and enthusiasm, and a passion that makes others want to be involved.


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But, even given this impressive history of projects, Earline reflects most fondly on her recent years spent organizing the Saratoga Festival of Trees: “Seeing the pure awe spread across children’s faces on Family Day – there are no words. The warmth in my heart grows every year when I see hundreds of people gather together for the Preview Reception, surrounding themselves in holiday spirit, helping such a worthy cause. My joy multiplies and lasts all year.”


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As Earline won’t let anyone forget, the proceeds of the Saratoga Festival of

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The Spirit Of Christmas

Earline Johnson with Bishop Hubbard at the 2012 Festival Of Trees

Trees go toward supporting the programs of Catholic Charities of Saratoga, Warren and Washington Counties. “When it comes to the work of Catholic Charities,” Earline shared, “you must remember that it’s not just about the typical image of the poor. These programs help your neighbor pay her rent, pack lunches for her kids – cope with the loss of a friend. Every sponsor and attendee needs to know that their time and money is going towards the most deserving people.”

of four Family Day seatings. 1,250 total come through Santa’s Workshop. Thousands walk through the winter wonderland from opening to close. “To see how far we’ve come today, those early years of uncertaintly were absolutely worth it.

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“We did it because this community is special. The people of Saratoga to the 17th Annual and its surrounding areas have such heart, such magic – Festival of Trees they create this.”

Sister Charla, who initiated many of Catholic Charities’ current area programs, credits Earline for much of the Festival’s progress today. Sideby-side, the trust between these two women multiplied the good they were able to do for others. “Earline has been associated with Catholic Charities in varying capacities since 1991. She adds a breadth of knowledge of the community with the desire to promote human well being for all residents of our tri-county region. She is a model of self-giving and wisdom, cherished by Board and staff alike. I’m privileged to call her my friend.”


While the Festival has always been beautiful, Earline, said with a grin, “18 years ago we were flying by the seat of our pants. Did we know what we were doing? Not really. But we had traveled to a number of similar Festivals throughout the state and thought, ‘This is what Saratoga needs,’ so we made it happen.” Over 400 people at the Preview Reception. 250 people at each 30  |  A Saratoga Christmas | 2013

Sister Charla also added, “When people see Earline coming they run in the opposite direction. They know they won’t be able to

resist her persuasive spirit. Her invitation to participate in the Festival is one you can’t deny. I wish I could clone her.” With a rosy blush, her humble spirit shines through as Earline reminds us, “Really. It’s not about me.” She emphasizes that the Festival is only possible because of the generous support it receives. “This event is entirely pulled together by the positive spirits of others. From the City Center staff to the decorators, movers and Santa Claus, these people make my heart full.” “I am positively blessed to be who and where I am today. It’s immensely gratifying to be putting those less fortunate first. They deserve to be put first,” Earline reflects.


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The Saratoga Festival of Trees is one of the most successful fundraisers in the area. Each year thousands come to the Saratoga Springs City Center to kick off the holiday season and marvel at hundreds of decorated trees, wreaths and centerpieces. With unique events such at the Preview Reception and Family Day, the Festival has evolved into, as Earline says, “a magical event, something with pure charisma.”


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What does the future hold for the Saratoga Festival of Trees? Earline says, “My vision is for it to remain – and to keep its sparkle. As government cuts continue, programs such as the ones offered by Catholic Charities are the first to feel the pain. This event produces so much brightness it fills the gaps that negativity has sliced. Let’s protect the brightness.” ✷

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Festival Volunteers 2013 Festival of Trees Volunteers Vince Arpey

Mary Farrell

Dierdre LeLand

Gabrielle Bakkalapulo

Ryan Faville

Carol Leone

Judy Banks

Joanne Figliomeni

Trisha McDonald

Gail Barclay

Denny Finnegan

Donna Bates

Judy Fitzpatrick

Jackie & George Madarasz

Teena Behr

Pat Flanagan

Lyn Madden

Eleanor Boyle

Carol Frail

Linda Maitlin

Carol Bradley

Veronica Frazier

Quinby Mahoney

Eleanor Boyle

Jill Gainor

Carol Bradley Dan Brooks

Regina & Jim Gapczynski

Joyce M. Sustar-Martucci

Barbara Britton

Martha Garczynski

Ellen Brown

MaryAnne Gibbs

Diane Miller

Mary Buhr

Ellen Gorman

Marion Minehan

Darlene Burke

Pat Gould

Amanda Montello

Joan Carola

Cathy Hall

Patrick Moran

Barbara Carovano

Susan Hansen

Judy Mullen

Pat Chance

Dorothy & Steve Harren

Elaine Murphy

Marilynn Civic

Maria Harrison

Carm Moffett

Becky Christner

Katie Hart

Sally Jo Navarro

Susan Christopher

Bridgette Hartman

Jim Noonan

Tallie-Ann Christopher

Judy Hefter

Kathy Nygard

Mary Mathers Cebe McConkey

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Jane Costello

Kate Orsini th Lisa Orsini toBernice the Hollowood 17 Annual Emily Hilko

Ann Cooley


Barbara Crandall

Linda Hoyt

Mary Lou Paley

Michelle Deyette

Maureen Humiston

Faith Palma

Festival of Trees Patricia IacoBelli

Yolanda Paolicelli

Cathy DiPaolo

Kathleen James

Barbara Parrish

Kathy DiSanto

Matt Johnson

Joan Pehl

Betty Donnelly

Deb Jordan

Jocelyn Peters

Pat Dorsey

Ellen Fontaine Kennedy

Marsia Peters

Jean Dugan

Sandy Kuhn

Grace Perilli

Sally Duval

Sue Las

Lisa and Robert Perilli

Kathy DeVivo

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Kathy Phelps

Anne Wagner

Cindy Phillips

Jane Wait

Nancy Pompa

Kay and Terry Waldren

Betsy and Tom Porter

Linda Watters

Meagan Potter

Jeanne Whitney

Mary Precheur

Carter White

Beth Reddick

Nancy Wilder

Pat Reed

Tracey Wilkes

Pat Reo

Katherin & Patrick Winderlin

Barbara Rivenburg Christopher Robenstein Richard Robenstein II Elaine Caruso-Roberts Barbara Ruggiero Sue Rutkowski Corinne Scirocco Cameron Simons Kim Spano Karen Stethar Barbara Sutterland Kathy Sweet Ruth Talmon Tom Tanner Mary Rose Thompson Jo Ann Todd Carol Tomlinson Sue Trentecoste Linda VanAlstyne Kate Van Buren


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Casey Vaughn Rose Verro Ralph Vincent Ginny Vogel

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Programs & Services Catholic Charities of Saratoga, Warren and Washington Counties The Saratoga Festival of Trees is the largest fundraiser supporting the programs and services offered by Catholic Charities of Saratoga, Warren and Washington Counties. Engaging the energies of the community, Catholic Charities has become a vital part of life for many individuals and families in the region. During 2012, 8,517 individuals were served by the agency. These services were provided by 59 staff. In addition, 333 volunteers gave 27,002 hours of their time.


Individual, couple and family counseling and group support. This program provided 5,040 hours of mental health services to 1,757 individuals including 544 children 1,141 adults and 72 elderly.

Domestic Violence Project:

Shelter, counseling, advocacy, education, 24-hour hotline services for victims of domestic violence and their children in Warren and Washington counties. In 2012, 743 adults and 281 children came through our programs. A total of 2,464 bednights were provided in the safe shelter. In addition, 2,700 individuals received education and prevention services.

Donovan House:

Ballston Spa community-based residential group home program for adolescent boys that provided 18 boys a cumulative 2,243 days of care last year.

Mary’s Haven:

elcome W

A community home for the dying serving persons with irreversible illness, who are in the last three months of their lives and who no longer can remain safely in their homes. In 2012, we served 17 families and provided 496 bednights to the terminally ill.

Mentoring Program:

Prevention / diversion program impacting youth’s academic, social, and emotional milieu. 188 youth and 130 of their family members took part in the program last year.

to the 17th Annual


Services to the Elderly were provided to 320 senior citizens. Emergency Services were provided to 1075 individuals seeking assistance with concrete basic needs. Programs and Services are available to anyone in Saratoga, Warren and Washington Counties, always accompanied by information, referral and advocacy as needed. Individuals are never refused because of their inability to pay. For a complete list of services offered by each county or for additional information please visit or call:

Festival of Trees

Administrative Office 142 Regent Street Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 518-587-5000

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North Country 35 Broad Street Glens Falls, NY 12801 518-793-6212

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Shining Stars

Shining Stars

Trees atop the

Gold Stars

Platinum Stars

Gold Sponsors

Platinum Sponsors

Silver Sponsors

(in memorium)

(in memorium)


Mary Fitzgerald Prattico

Mr. & Mrs. William Armstrong Ann & Arthur Armstrong

Mr. & Mrs. William Armstrong Angelina & John Barella, Sr.

Mr & Mrs. Jerome Callaghan The Clements Firm Sharon & Stan Droskey Robert & Mary Dudley Kate Dudley-Perry

Silver Stars

Mike & Harrilyn Beehner Jane Costello Mark F. Costello

Mary Ann Foley Munter Enterprises Candyce Robenstein

(in memorium)

Phyllis & Allan Crocker Kitty A. Macica

Deceased Family Members

Jackie & George Madarasz Saratoga-Wilton Elks

Silas & Shirley Haley

elcome W

Tom & Eva Francomano Anthony & Margaret Mangano Lucille & David Mastrianni The Mansfield Family Judy Griffin Mansfield

Carmen Milligi

Marilyn & Bill Schweiker Charles & Edith Ward James Conroy

Sam’s Tire & Automotive

to the 17th Annual


Festival of Trees

Stacy Milligi

Anny & Vincent O’Neill Yolanda Paolicelli John & Anne Wagner

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Saratoga’s Christmas Tree Lighting will now be held on Thursday, December 5th at 6:00 to kick off the

Victorian Streetwalk 27th Annual

Caroling by the Girl Scouts around the tree will start at 5:45, then at 6:00, the Honorable Mayor Scott Johnson lights the trees and we countdown for the arrival of…

Santa and Mrs. Claus!

They will be arriving with help from the Saratoga Horse & Carriage folks bringing many elves and even Rumple Dumple to the beautiful, hand-made and detailed Santa Cottage that is set up in front of Putnam Market & Putnam Wine, just across from Caroline Street… to usher in the holiday season! While waiting to visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus… enjoy free hot chocolate and cookies, donated by the Hungry Spot, Putnam Market and Gaffney’s. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be there till 10pm to give everybody time to stop by and visit! The Tree Lighting is brought to you by: The Downtown Business Association Sponsored by: Saratoga Today, D&R Landscaping and Allerdice

There are over 45 sites with free entertainment. See pages 39-41 for the full schedule.

Getting There / Parking:

Broadway will close once again from 5:00 to 10:00 from the Route 50 arterial to the Spring Street intersection for the festivities. CDTA, a festival Gold Sponsor, is running FREE shuttle buses every 20 minutes from the Saratoga Springs Train Station and the Empire State College parking lot at 111 West Avenue on Saratoga Springs’ west side. You can also get the shuttle at the Oklahoma track (just off Exit 14 of I-87) and the Weible Avenue Skating Rink parking lots on the east side of Saratoga Springs. The shuttles stop at 10:30

Special Victorian Streetwalk postal cancellations

are available at the Broadway Post Office from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Bring your stamped Christmas card envelopes, get them canceled with the special Victorian Streetwalk cancellation (free) and you have a month to mail them.

Most businesses will be open until 10 p.m.

and will hold open houses and serve delicious, free refreshments to their guests, friends and customers.

The Victorian Streetwalk is the Downtown Business Association’s way of saying “thank you” to all their customers for supporting our beautiful downtown throughout the year. Everyone is invited to join the fun with caroling and Victorian costumes and enjoy an old fashioned “Christmas as it used to be” street party and celebration of the holiday season. The Saratoga Springs Downtown Business Association brings this event to you with the generous support of many; Gold Media Sponsors are Healthy Living Market & Cafe and Saratoga Springs Special Assessment District. 101.3 The Jockey and Saratoga TODAY. Silver Sponsors are The Ayco Co., L.P.; D.A. Collins; Cudney’s Cleaners, Donnelly Construction; W.J. Morris Excavating; Price Chopper and Saratoga Hospital. 38  |  A Saratoga Christmas | 2013

A Saratoga Christmas | 2013 | 39

E n t e rta i n m e n t S c h e d u l e (All performers & times are subject to change. Broadway is closed from 5PM to 10 PM)

All events are free and open to the public! For more information or a map and listing of the entertainment: click on events, then on Victorian Streetwalk. You may call the Downtown Business Association at 587-8635 1. Olde Bryan Inn (123 Maple Ave.) 6:30-8:30 Rich Ortiz 2. City Center (522 B’way) 6:00-9 Saratoga Abundant Life Church (2 sets, weather permitting) 6-10 Catholic Charities Festival of Trees 6-10 Gingerbread House Display 3. Temple Sinai (509 B’way) 6-9 PM Bake Sale, Soup & Bread Sale: outside the Temple (sidewalk). Gift Shop open inside, free cider. Tours of Temple (Historic Building) – 6:30pm, 7:15pm and 8:00pm – FREE to the Public 4. Collamer Parking Lot (494 B’way) 6-10 Ice Sculptures 6-10 EOC Food Drive 5. Saratoga Guitar (492 B’way) 6:30-9 Gary Blodgett 6. Mountainman Saratoga Outfitters (490 Broadway) 6-10 Cotton Candy (outside)

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7. Mimosa Gallery (489 Broadway) 7-7:45 Lyl Harper, Reggae Music 7:50-8:15 Bandersnatchers 8:20-9 Lyl Harper, Reggae Music 8. City Hall Steps (474 B’way) 7-9 Saint Paul’s Lutheran Church Singing & Hot Chocolate 9. NYS Military Museum (61 Lake Ave) 6-9 Reinactors and period music 10. Post Office (475 B’way) 5-9 Special Postal Cancellations 5-9 Adirondack Mountain Club 6:30-9:30 The Whippersnappers 11. Saratoga Signature Interiors (82 Church Street) 5-8 The Road Home duet 12. Adirondack Trust Co. (473 B’way) Inside: 6-7 Skidmore Dynamics 7-7:40 Racing City Chorus 8-8:40 Racing City Chorus 9-9:40 Racing City Chorus Outside: 7:00 Schwa Cappella Singers

7:35 Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Select High School Choir 8:15 The Skidmore Treblemakers 8:40-9:05 The Sonneteers 13. Fallon Wellness Pharmacy of Saratoga (472 B’way) 6:30-8:30 Betsy & the ByeGons 14. G. Willikers (461 B’way) 6:30-8:30 Mr. & Mrs. Bill 6:00-9:00 PJ Duell Face Painting 6-10 DePaula Chevrolet “Silverado Truckload of Toys” toy drive to benefit children in need this holiday season. 15. Celtic Treasures (456 B’way) 6:30-9:30 John Cromie, Lenny Broyles & Tommy Wadsworth, Irish Whistles & Songs 16. Saratoga Springs Public Library (49 Henry Street) 6-9 Gingerbread House Display 17. Saratoga Marketplace (454 B’way) 6:00-6:25 Waldorf School Chorus 6:30-6:55 Drastic Measures 7-8 River Valley Chorus 8:05-8:30 Sonneteers 18 Soave Faire (449 B’way) 7-7:30 Bandersnatchers 8:15-9 Norma Colasessano, Accordion 9:00 Sax-O-Claus 19. Putnam Mkt/Tree Lighting (435 B’way, Outside) (see page 38 for more information)

20. Crafters Gallery (427 B’way) 5-9 101.3 The Jockey Live Remote 6-10 Pigster H. Wigglesworth 6-10 Live Reindeer 21. Upper Caroline Street 6:15-7 Norma Colasessano, Accordion 22. Gaffney’s (16 Caroline St) 8-12 Rick Rourke & Larry Clyman 23. Children’s Museum (69 Caroline St.) 6:30-6:40, 7:00-7:10, 7:30-7:40 Saratoga City Ballet Nutcracker Characters: 10 Minute performances from Nutcracker 24. Lifestyles (436 B’way) 7-7:45 & 9 John & Orion Kribs, Doug Moody 25. THE WASHINGTON BUILDING: 26. Northshire Bookstore (424 B’way, Washington Bldg) 7-9 Bill Flanagan, Hammered Dulcimer 6-10 Community Read-aloud of “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens, hosted by Jenny of mamatoga and community leaders and readers. Some audience participation in “open Mic”. 7-8 Book signing with children’s book illustrator Will Moses, signing his picture books including “The Night Before Christmas.” 27. Esthetiques (422 B’way, Washington Bldg., Suite 204) 7-9 Elizabeth Huntley, harpist 6-10 Makeovers, Chair massages 28. Next Summer (420 B’way, Washington Bldg., Suite 3) 7:30-9 Glens Falls High School Strolling Strings 29. In the street outside Washington Bldg (420-422 B’way) 6-10 River of Hope Fellowship Hot Chocolate

30. Saratoga Salsa & Spice (398 B’way) 6:15-8:15 Michelle Lewis 31. Circus Café (392 B’way) 7-10 Tim Wechgelaer, Victorian Fiddle 32. The MINE (388 B’way) 7-10 Red Hot Feet Warmers Quartet, free finger foods, cocoa & cider 33. Fingerpaint (395 B’way) Outside: 7-9 Girls, Inc & Fingerpaint employees handing our free hot chocolate 34. Impressions (368 B’way) 6-9 Victorian Photo Booth (Outside) 7:00-7:20, 7:40-8 Skidmore Accents 35. Top of Phila Street 8-8:45 John & Orion Kribs, Doug Moody 36. Ben & Jerry’s (Corner Putnam & Phila) 7-9 Dan Garcia & Katie Dwyer 37. Candy Company (5 Washington St.) 6-10 Old Fashioned Hot Roasted Chestnuts 38. Universal Preservation Hall (25 Washington St.) 7:30 & 8:15 Nacre Dance, Co. and Octavo Singers combine talent in a unique performance as holiday carols by Octavo Singers’ “octavo portativo” accompany Nacre dancers with a “moving bell” ensemble to ring in the holiday season.

41. Saratoga Arts Center (320 B’way) 6-10 Annual Members’ Show Art Exhibit 6-10 Gingerbread House Display 7-9 Ed Stander, glass player 42. Visitor Center (Congress & B’way) 6-9 Northland Newfoundland Club (Live dogs) 6-10 Gingerbread House Display 7-9 Sonny & Perley Duo 6-9:30 Healthy Living giving treats 43. NBT Bank (295 B’way) 7:30-8:30 Choir of St. Peter 44. Putnam St./Spring Street/Carousel 7-9 Greenwich Trash Can Drummers 45. Strolling on Broadway: • Corinth Chorus • Candy Co. Toy Soldier • Saratoga Riders (aka Goldie’s Roller Riders) The Christian Brothers Academy Marching band is performing at Disneyworld so they were unable to make it to this year’s Victorian Streetwalk. THEY WILL BE BACK NEXT YEAR. Myers Dance Co. have a Nutcracker rehearsal so they, too, were unable to appear in the windows.

DON’T FORGET! The Preservation Foundation Candlelight House Tour Friday, December 6, 2013! Call 587-5030 for information.

39. Alex and Ani (327 B’way) 6-10 The first 15 people in the store after the start of the Victorian Streetwalk at 6PM will receive a gift. Votive Candles are a complimentary gift with a purchase of $75 or more. 40. Eddie Bauer/Symmetry Gallery (340 B’way) 7-9 Pokingbrook Morris Dancers

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The Face of

C hrist mas

Every Day is a Holiday in Karin Vollkommer’s World Story by Arthur Gonick, Photos by and provided

American presidents, from John Q. Adams to William McKinley, had their Matthew Brady. A Warren County native who lived in Saratoga Springs as a teenager, Brady became THE standard for capturing iconic images of our leaders. If you are unfamiliar with his work, borrow a five dollar bill from someone. That’s his Lincoln. In the same vein, Santa Claus, on his annual trek to Saratoga Springs, has his Karin Vollkommer. 44  |  A Saratoga Christmas | 2013

For nearly 15 years, her annual chronicle capturing the Great Gift Giver in a unique Saratoga setting has become a collectable that is widely anticipated and always treasured. You’ve got Santa at his downtown cottage; in a harness sulky; carrying a sack of uniquely Saratoga items like ballet slippers and the peppermint pig; riding on the carousel; in his sleigh cruising over the race course; weighing himself and his presents on

the jockey scales; and waving to fans from the winners circle. It is the process of conceiving and the processes of creating and even manufacturing that image that, when merged together, make the output uniquely Karin’s. “I’m a creative person by trait, sometimes to a fault.” Karin notes. “There are times when I question my mental well-being when my eyes give my mind too much inspiration.”

Speaking of eyes, Karin says that this is the one constant place where the process of building each piece of artwork begins. “It’s always the face, and the eyes most importantly,” Karin says, “the eyes have to speak to you. Once I have the eyes I am on my way.”

But not just any list—the piece was designed to be customizable so that all the good boys’ and girls’ (of any age) names in your family could be part of the artwork. “It’s most gratifying,” Karin says, Karin is of course, more than just a “people will come back Santa or even a “holiday” artist. Her because they had a new images of the race course over 150 summers convey a sense of nostalgia grandchild and ask me to and respect for history. She is notable add little Jane or Johnny for her scenes of Victorian Saratoga, to the list.” But it’s not just and seasonal images of the city from families. This item by far was the most popular of the 1800’s forward. any of the Santa series. The Santa series came as a natural Offices bought them for outgrowth to scenes of Congress their employees, fraterniPark in winter. It was only a matter ties and clubs for their of time until the “big guy” made an membership. It took on a appearance, and when he did it was life of its own. And continwith a bang, which echoes to this ues to—year after year. day. The mania surrounding this piece may have been a surprise to Karin at the time, but certain things about it were the results of calculated genius.

It was 1999, and it was “Santa with a List.”

For one thing, the size of each Santa piece is a standard 8 by 10 inches, “so that you don’t have to buy a custom frame.” Karin says. “In fact, you can cover a picture of Aunt Edna for a few weeks during the holidays and

A Saratoga Christmas | 2013 | 45

not have to buy a new frame at all.” So a big marketing score all around for everyone. Except… “I felt bad because we sold these pieces with the proviso that I would do free updates for life.” Karin says. “So this leads to people bringing their “list” into Crafters Gallery to add a name or two, and poor Roger (owner Roger Goldsmith) doesn’t get to sell them anything… I thought to myself—what have I done to him?” “I wouldn’t have it any other way,” Roger retorts. “First of all, ‘Santa with a List’ is a great piece. She has given families something that they will cherish for generations. And Karin modestly underestimates her selling power. I’m proud to say that Karin is one of only two artists who have been with me since Crafters Gallery opened in 1993. People see the full range of her artwork here and more times than not they will buy another Santa, or a racecourse piece.” Overall, “I have tremendous respect for both Karin’s work and her ability to respect and capture nostalgia,” Roger says. “We have exchanged many marketing ideas as well. It’s been a very collaborative and prosperous relationship.” Roger and the rest of Karin’s fans are looking forward to the arrival of this year’s Santa creation, which is expected sometime before the start of the holiday shopping season. Look for an arrival announcement at

46  |  A Saratoga Christmas | 2013

Karin was just beginning the 2013 Santa piece, typically with the eyes, when we visited her at her home studio. The house is exactly what you would expect. The only surprise is that it’s not constructed of gingerbread. Here, she cultivates a wide variety of interests, domestic and equine in particular, including arranging family cavalcades with many horse-drawn carriages. These are done with husband Craig. They have been married for 44 years “and we still like each other!” Karin laughs.

hoping for an ingredient and instruction list, forget it. The individual recipes are as closely guarded by practicing artists as great chefs do with their award-winning dishes. So let’s just appreciate the magic of the result.

We can tell you that this year’s theme is “Betting on a Merry Christmas” and while there are very few sure things, in life or at the track, it’s pretty safe to speculate that Karin Vollkommer will bring home another winner with ease. ✷

The original art is hand painted on the whitest of pure Masonite. But it doesn’t stay white for long. The singular signature that ties together all of Karin’s art is that antique look and of course, the cracking. Ah yes, the process which is technically known as crackeleur is practiced by other artists here and there, but no one does it quite like Karin. The cracking process can take up to a week in itself, and if you were

A Saratoga Christmas | 2013 | 47

48  |  A Saratoga Christmas | 2013


launnA ht71 eht ot


seerT fo lavitseF

A Saratoga Christmas | 2013 | 49

The House of Ho Ho Ho Santa’s Saratoga Cottage has a History Worth Celebrating By Santa Claus, As told to Arthur Gonick. Photos Provided

Ho ho ho!

Gather ‘round the hearth boys and girls. It’s time to take a break from making my ‘good’ list and tell a story. Like most of my favorite stories, it starts with a challenge. And then we learn how the challenges were overcome, and of course a very merry ending! You see, Saratoga Springs has always been a

The first building… just like the ones used by the toy soldiers at the North Pole.

50  |  A Saratoga Christmas | 2013

favorite place for Mrs. Claus and me to visit. And we love getting cozy in our wonderful cottage, all snug and comfy and ready to meet all the good boys and girls every year. But did you know, boys and girls that our lovely cottage was not always so lovely? In fact, if it weren’t for a lot of effort from some of the very best of good grownup boys and girls of Saratoga Springs, Santa

Michele’s inspiration… her play house in New Jersey which was built by her father.


might have caught quite a dose of pneumonia, let alone frostbite! Which I assure you is a “no ho ho ho”… so let us picture an earlier time.

Many years ago, way back in 1982, before many of you were born, Santa began his annual residency in the heart of downtown Saratoga Springs. Previously, he was only seen in nearby shopping malls and department stores. But the good grownup boys and girls of the Downtown Business Association approached Santa with the idea of coming to Broadway and spending the holidays all throughout the gift shopping time right in the heart of things.

Because Santa was always enchanted with the Victorian architecture of your town, and, to be sure, had spent a tenner or two whilst incognito in the summer at your race course, I was delighted to agree. Ho ho ho! In those days, the well-meaning grownup boys and girls of the DBA did not have the crackerjack organization that you enjoy today. In fact, did you know, boys and girls, that Santa’s arrival actually predated the world famous Victorian Streetwalk!

In those days, Santa had not a cottage, but more like a toll booth/guard shack. It fell to the DBA president and whoever he/she could grab, to decorate as best they could. There was room for Santa to stand, but very little room for me to greet the growing number of good little boys and girls who waited to talk to me.

There were no heaters, as you see in my cottage today and while Santa is used to the cold boys and girls, this was cold! Put it this way: I could always see my breath because my “ho ho ho’s” were “froze, froze, froze,” not to mention my toes! But Santa is just as mindful of the intent to be good as being good itself and the hardworking people of the DBA did their best to make Santa feel welcome. So Santa forgave the fact that they, boys and girls, really weren’t doing too good a job by me.

There aren’t a lot of photos of that old house, which is a good thing if you ask me, boys and girls. I think that if I saw an image of it again, I would immediately suffer from a dose of PTSD – or Popsicle Toes Santa Disorder! Ho ho ho!

Roger Goldsmith putting the finishing touches on the roof with Dave Barker.

The cottage at Ed Sakos’s farm ready for the big trip downtown.

A Saratoga Christmas | 2013 | 51


But even back in the early days, I would always look forward to the arrival on Broadway each year. The DBA would always come up with fun, special ways for me to make my initial appearance. I have arrived in carriages, convertibles and one year even on a dogsled! Of course, no one listened to Santa when he said that the dogs needed a wide, sweeping expanse to turn and so sending him down Division Street and trying to make a left turn onto Broadway was “less than a great idea.” In this case, the crowd greeting Santa had to “mush” to get out of the way. So it was ho ho ho mixed with a little “oh no”! So now, even though the conditions were less than ideal, Santa kept going because he loved the good little boys and girls so. Their joy warmed his heart, even if his extremities were frigid. Until one day, in 1992, a young lady who Santa remembered as the goodest of good little girls, happened to pass by the scene. I remembered her as little Michele Erceg, and when she saw where I was she exclaimed:

Santa and Mrs. Claus see the new cottage for the first time and are wonderfully surprised by how nice it turned out. It looks like it just came from the North Pole!

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“Oh, Santa! This just cannot be!” Michele set about gathering her friends and utilizing her talents as a carpenter’s daughter to start gathering resources and donations and set about crafting the new palatial digs that you can visit me in today. You probably don’t know, but when Michele was little, she had a beautiful playhouse which I was able to see when I dropped off her gifts each year. This playhouse was her inspiration for my cottage’s design, and she was determined to see it through. She and the now grown little Eddie Sakos, along with grownup boy and girl DBA members gave me something very, very special. I remember wiping a semi-frozen tear from my eye the first time I saw my new cottage, and I have to admit boys and girls that I always mist up a little on my first glimpse of it every year. Michele made such beautiful upholstery and curtains, and spends extra time and attention to the hollyberry each season.

The cottage’s first downtown location at what we then called “the mini mall” (now the Roohan Building)


Santa doesn’t see it, but knows how all the grownup boys and girls from Crafters Gallery put on all the finishing touches to my cottage to prepare for Mrs. Claus’ and my arrival. Why, they are as busy as my workshop is two days before Christmas!

extra care and detail that so many good boys and girls, of all ages, have given me—a cottage that feels like a home that will be welcoming for you today, and for you to bring your children for generations to come! Ho ho ho!

They inspect and touch up the exterior; wash and disinfect the inside; clean the windows; put the carpet down; make sure the lights work and replace whatever is necessary; attach the mailbox for my letters; clean the wooden elves…oh, and one other thing.

Arthur is always happy to take dictation from Santa.

I love this cottage as much as I love my home here at the North Pole, and when I saw it for the first time I decided to bring down something special and unique—that you can see when you visit. It’s the copper weathervane—one of my most very treasured family heirlooms. Of all the things Crafters does to get my cottage ready, this is my favorite crowning touch. I gave this gift to Saratoga Springs because of the

Mr. and Mrs. Claus greeting children for the Victorian Streetwalk.

❆ed❆ed❆ed❆ed Please note that while this story has a happy ending, The Saratoga Downtown Business Association would like to surprise Santa once again with a new house soon, for he too has been very good and the beloved cottage has seen the effects of 20 years of weather, assembly and transport. If you would like to contribute, please mail whatever you wish to Saratoga Springs Downtown Business Association, P.O. Box 974, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866. Please put ‘Santa Cottage” on the memo line of your check. Donations of materials are also welcome. Call (518) 587-8635 for more information.

Letters from Saratoga’s children which decorate the ceiling ever year.

A Saratoga Christmas | 2013 | 53

Frosty The Snowman Frosty the snowman was a jolly happy soul, With a corncob pipe and a button nose And two eyes made out of coal. Frosty the snowman is a fairy tale, they say, He was made of snow but the children Know how he came to life one day. There must have been some magic in that Old silk hat they found. For when they placed it on his head He began to dance around. O, Frosty the snowman Was alive as he could be, And the children say he could laugh And play just the same as you and me.

Frosty the snowman knew The sun was hot that day, So he said, “Let’s run and We’ll have some fun Now before I melt away.” Down to the village, With a broomstick in his hand, Running here and there all Around the square saying, Catch me if you can.

Thumpetty thump thump, Thumpety thump thump, Look at Frosty go. Thumpetty thump thump, Thumpety thump thump, Over the hills of snow.

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Jingle Bells Dashing through the snow In a one horse open sleigh O’er the fields we go Laughing all the way Bells on bob tails ring Making spirits bright What fun it is to laugh and sing A sleighing song tonight Oh, jingle bells, jingle bells Jingle all the way Oh, what fun it is to ride In a one horse open sleigh Jingle bells, jingle bells Jingle all the way Oh, what fun it is to ride In a one horse open sleigh

The horse was lean and lank Misfortune seemed his lot We got into a drifted bank And then we got upset Oh, jingle bells, jingle bells Jingle all the way Oh, what fun it is to ride In a one horse open sleigh Jingle bells, jingle bells Jingle all the way Oh, what fun it is to ride In a one horse open sleigh

A day or two ago I thought I’d take a ride And soon Miss Fanny Bright Was seated by my side

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Here Comes Santa Claus Here comes Santa Claus, Here comes Santa Claus, Right down Santa Claus Lane, Vixen and Blitzen and all his reindeer Pullin’ on the reins. Bells are ringin’, children singin’, All is merry and bright. So hang your stockings and say your prayers, ‘Cause Santa Claus comes tonight! Here comes Santa Claus, Here comes Santa Claus, Right down Santa Claus Lane, He’s got a bag that’s filled with toys For boys and girls again. Hear those sleigh bells jingle jangle, Oh what a beautiful sight, So jump in bed, and cover your head, ‘Cause Santa Claus comes tonight!

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O Come All Ye Faithful O Come All Ye Faithful Joyful and triumphant, O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem.

O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.

Come and behold Him, Born the King of Angels; O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord. O Sing, choirs of angels, Sing in exultation, Sing all that hear in heaven God’s holy word. Give to our Father glory in the Highest;

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Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen, Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen., But do you recall? The most famous reindeer of all?

Won’t you guide my sleigh tonight? Then how the reindeer loved him As they shouted out with glee, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, You’ll go down in history!

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Had a very shiny nose, And if you ever saw it, You would even say it glows. All of the other reindeer Used to laugh and call him names; They never let poor Rudolph Join in any reindeer games. Then one foggy Christmas Eve, Santa came to say, Rudolph with your nose so bright,

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Oh Christmas Tree Oh Christmas tree Oh Christmas tree Of all the trees, most lovely Oh Christmas tree Oh Christmas tree Of all the trees, most lovely Each year you bring to me delight Gleaming in The Christmas light Oh Christmas Tree Oh Christmas Tree Of all the trees, most lovely

And do not fade in winter’s snow Oh Christmas Tree Oh Christmas Tree With faithful leaves unchanging Each year you bring to me delight Gleaming in The Christmas Light Oh Christmas Tree Oh Christmas Tree Of all the trees, most lovely

Oh Christmas Tree Oh Christmas Tree With faithful leaves unchanging Oh Christmas Tree Oh Christmas Tree With faithful leaves unchanging Your boughs are green in summer’s glow

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Up on  the  housetop Up on the housetop, reindeer pause Out jumps good ol’ Santa Claus Down through the chimney with lots of toys All for the little ones, Christmas joys Ho, Ho, Ho! Who wouldn’t go? Ho, Ho, Ho! Who wouldn’t go? Up on the housetop, click, click, click Down through the chimney with good Saint Nick

Next comes the stocking of little Will Oh, just see what a glorious fill Here is a hammer and lots of tacks Also a ball and a whip that cracks Ho, Ho, Ho! Who wouldn’t go? Ho, Ho, Ho! Who wouldn’t go? Up on the housetop, click, click, click Down through the chimney with good Saint Nick

First comes the stocking of little Nell Oh, dear Santa, fill it well Give her a dolly that laughs and cries One that will open and shut her eyes Ho, Ho, Ho! Who wouldn’t go? Ho, Ho, Ho! Who wouldn’t go? Up on the housetop, click, click, click Down through the chimney with good Saint Nick

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We wish you a merry christmas We wish you a Merry Christmas; We wish you a Merry Christmas; We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Good tidings we bring to you and your kin; Good tidings for Christmas and a Happy New Year. Oh, bring us a figgy pudding; Oh, bring us a figgy pudding; Oh, bring us a figgy pudding and a cup of good cheer We won’t go until we get some; We won’t go until we get some; We won’t go until we get some, so bring some out here We wish you a Merry Christmas; We wish you a Merry Christmas; We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

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Santa claus is coming to town You better watch out You better not cry Better not pout I’m telling you why

I’m telling you why Santa Claus is coming to town Santa Claus is coming to town

Santa Claus is coming to town He’s making a list And checking it twice; Gonna find out Who’s naughty and nice Santa Claus is coming to town He sees you when you’re sleeping He knows when you’re awake He knows if you’ve been bad or good So be good for goodness sake! O! You better watch out! You better not cry Better not pout

62  |  A Saratoga Christmas | 2013


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A Saratoga Christmas | 2013 | 63

elcome W

to the 17th Annual


Festival of Trees