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family Fall 2018 Complimentary

Back to School Prepping for College

Me Time!

Meet our Cover Family

Cam, Mia and Kieran brought to you by

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Welcome to the new (multi-generational!)

Saratoga Family Magazine

starting out

empty nesters

things to do

Chris Vallone Bushee Creative Director/Managing Editor (518) 581-2480 ext.201

I may be new to Saratoga Family, but I’ve been handling the magazines at Saratoga TODAY for five years now and I’m so excited to be doing this publication! Let me introduce myself, I’m Chris… a daughter, a niece, an aunt, a volunteer, a magazine editor, an ex-wife, a friend to many and a mom, which is my favorite roll! We’re in the “in high school / trying to map out the future” stage and when guest contributor Dan Lundquist suggested he could help us with that, I knew that would make an excellent feature. I mean, isn’t everybody with a kid in school thinking about college?! Or at the very least… “the future.” See page 44 and figure out where you are in the process. (NOTE: This will be an ongoing feature, look for more information in our next issue, due out on December 14th)


Speaking of our kids… See page 37 for some terms that we think you – as parents – should know about and if you don’t know what they are… ask your teens.


kids in the house

See, Saratoga Family Magazine is starting the conversation already! : ) This magazine is broken into color-coded categories (from Kids in the House to Empty Nesters) to better navigate, but feel free to flip through all the sections… You never know when that family vacation we spoke of might turn into a girls get-away weekend! ...Great info at every turn of the page! I’d like to thank our advertisers for helping us be able to distribute these magazines – for free! - to the thousands that read each issue. Please mention us by name when frequenting their businesses. And thank you for picking up this copy, I hope you enjoy it and I hope to hear from you… comments, suggestions, your pet photos or just to say hello - contact me at Love,


PS... Flip to the inside back cover for an event that's coming soon!

Cover photo by Read all about our cover family on page 14

In Print & Online. Sign up TODAY for FREE email delivery of our publications!

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family Owner/Publisher Chad Beatty

General Manager Robin Mitchell Magazine Designer Marisa Scirocco Advertising Designer Morgan Rook Advertising Sales Jim Daley Cindy Durfey Contributing Writers Jen Bloomingdale Dr. Randy Cale Shelby Cook Jodie Fitz Anne Gordon Agnes King Dan Lundquist Lori Mahan Julie Maleski Putzel Katherine Morna Towne Kassidy Pancerella Megin Potter Theresa St. John Jason Spector Paul Oestreicher Maureen Werther Rebecca Whalen Photographers Connie Bush Theresa St. John John Seymour Rebecca Whalen Published by Saratoga TODAY Newspaper Five Case Street, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 tel: (518) 581-2480 Saratoga Family 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 © 2018, Saratoga TODAY Newspaper

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Jennifer is a mom of two boys, a wife and motherhood life coach. She has developed workshops and coaching programs specifically for moms to empower them as they work towards a balanced life that works best for them and their families while reconnecting with themselves.

DR. RANDY CALE Dr. Cale is a Clifton Park-based parenting expert, author, speaker, and licensed psychologist who offers practical, no-nonsense parenting advice for all ages. His website,, features hundreds of articles and dozens of parenting products that will help you achieve your goal of happier children and a peaceful home. Additionally, Dr. Cale works with couples and provides individual counseling. Submit questions to and follow him on Facebook and Twitter.


Shelby Cook is a 15 year old, originally from New York, but now living in Virginia. She plays volleyball, soccer, and she swims for her high school. She loves writing stories about many different things, but tends to stick to mostly horror. When she becomes an adult she wants to be a pediatric nurse. She loves to help kids and be there for them.

JODIE FITZ Jodie Fitz is the creator and personality of the Price Chopper Kids Cooking Club and currently travels in a six-state region cooking with children to encourage taste-testing fun through a hands-on cooking experience. She is a wife, mother of three, and currently authors several monthly columns. You can always find what she’s up to in her kitchen at

ANNE GORDON Anne Gordon is a Leisure Travel Planner with Live Life Travel who specializes in Honeymoons, Destination Weddings and Family Travel. She is a devout travel enthusiast with a genuine passion for helping and encouraging others. Her advice to start living your best life? Start thinking about your next vacation today by visiting her online:,, Email:

DAN LUNDQUIST Our newest contributor-at-large, Dan Lundquist, prepared for a career in education by attending three high schools, dropping out of college, and finally getting a graduate degree from an Ivy League university. Besides passions for international travel, photography, and environmental advocacy, Dan was a college vice president for over twenty-five years, including sixteen at Union College in Schenectady. Despite, or because of, that Dan retired and has been living on an historic farm along the upper Hudson ten miles east of Saratoga Springs.

LORI MAHAN Lori Mahan is a TV writer in a sports and education reporter’s body. She enjoys working with kids and supporting their accomplishments via Saratoga TODAY Newspaper, watching Netflix, and taking spontaneous weekend road trips.

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JULIE MALESKI PUTZEL Julie Maleski Putzel is a published Interior Designer and owner of JMP Interiors. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Interior Design, is an Allied member of ASID, and has over 17 years of Interior Designing experience. Julie’s client list has a national presence, and one of her most noteworthy projects was designing every major beauty salon on Boston’s famed Newbury St. She and her family reside in Clifton Park, NY.

KATE MORNA TOWNE Katherine Morna Towne is a freelance writer and regular contributor to Saratoga TODAY. She loved growing up in Saratoga Springs, and feels so blessed to be bringing up her children here as well. Kate and her husband have six sons, ages 3 to 13, and another on the way.

KASSIDY PANCERELLA Kassidy Pancerella is local to Saratoga and attends Skidmore College. She majors in English, while dabbling in the arts, especially photography. She enjoys spending time with her cat Mamadoo, and boyfriend. She hopes to become a photographer for a local magazine, maybe something small. She loves to make outings just to take photos or write about in her journal. Check out Kassidy’s work on Instagram, @creative_pics524

MEGIN POTTER Megin is an expressive writer and artist with work published in books, newspapers, corporate communications, and online. A resident of the region for over 20 years, she continues to discover anew the interesting people, places, and products it has to offer. As a mother to her active young son, she is inspired to explore even more.

THERESA ST. JOHN Theresa is a freelance travel writer and photographer based in Saratoga Springs. Even though history was not on her radar while in high school, she has a deep interest in all things historical now. She has been on assignment for several magazines and is published in both print and online venues. Last year she traveled to Ireland on assignment, which, she states "was a trip of a lifetime." She is the proud mom to two young men and Nonnie to six rescued dogs, two chinchillas, and a bird. Life is good.

JASON SPECTOR Jason Spector is a 20-year veteran physical education teacher, strength and conditioning coach, wrestling coach, speaker, husband and father. He's also a “Sweetheart” and a real life “Hero.” He works hard to save and change lives daily everywhere he goes through H.O.P.E. and Action. He's a co-creator of Sweethearts and Heroes, which is both a message and a movement that fights bullying through bystander empowerment, and empathy activation. It also educates parents, teachers and children on hope and hopelessness.

MAUREEN WERTHER Maureen Werther is the owner of WriteForYou, a professional freelance writing service specializing in business writing, web and blog content, and creative non-fiction. Her articles, essays and white papers appear on the pages of businesses on the web and around the globe. She is also a regular contributor to numerous newspapers, magazines and journals throughout the Capital Region. Currently, she is working on a memoir detailing her roller-coaster adventures as owner of Pie ala Moe, a gourmet pie and tart company she started in 2008, in the midst of the recession.

REBECCA WHALEN A Capital Region native, Rebecca Whalen is a wife, mom of one, and the Communications and Development Manager for local food-access nonprofit, Capital Roots. By night she is a yogi-in-training and a freelance writer for publications in and around Albany and the Knoxville region of Tennessee, her former home. Her work spotlights innovative nonprofit and philanthropic work as well as local people, businesses and places.

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contents 62


cover family

fall 2018


11 newsworthy

34 teens

50 empty nesters

11 Events

34 Teen anxiety

12 Local authors

36 Social Media usage

50 Looking to reclaim that extra space?

13 Readers’ pets

38 Opioid free pain management

52 Dealing with chronic pain? 53 Thinking about retiring?

40 Dr. Cale handles disrespect

55 Senior Center activities

16 kids in the house 22 Jodi Fitz has school lunches they’ll love!

56 things to do

25 Private School guide

42 Meet Hailey Aldrich, our teen spotlight

33 Cyber safety by age

44 College prep guide

62 Save the date

48 starting out

66 Have you met Zippy?

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56 Road trips

Newsworthy EVENTS

SARATOGA SPRINGS CITY CENTER Saturday 10/13 11am-3pm Free Admission / Free Parking Pre-Registration Appreciated

The Petite Retreat is a ‘pregnancy through preschool’ event taking place on Sunday, October 21st from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the National Museum of Dance in Saratoga Springs. Now in its 5th year, The Petite Retreat offers attendees a one-day educational experience and the ability to connect with the best local and national pregnancy, birth, and parenting resources, products and services - all in one location. • Meet and connect with midwives, doulas, and gather pregnancy resources. • Shop with local and national vendors for all things mama and kid-related. • Talk with area preschools and discover options for education and fun! • Sample and enjoy food and drinks. • Attend one of 12 educational workshops, included in your ticket price! Join us for a day of shopping, mingling, workshops, expert advice, food, families and FUN! Info + Tickets can be found at

Chris wants to know what's on your mind... Send your story ideas, comments, or questions...

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LocalA uthors Native Saratogian and local businesswoman Elizabeth Macy is excited to announce the release of her first children’s picture book Lucky’s Adventure in Saratoga. A warm and fun tale for all ages. The book was inspired by the true story of Elizabeth's rescue dog Lucky, who was lost in Saratoga for 4 days.

In Lucky's Adventure in Saratoga, Lucky travels through town in search of her mommy and meets new animal friends who help her along the way. She visits many iconic and historic spots during her journey through the Spa City. Lucky was safely found thanks to the incredible support of the Saratoga Community.


The book is beautifully illustrated by local artist Jenn Kocsmiersky and published locally by Saratoga Springs Publishing. Books are available for purchase online and at numerous stores locally. Please check the website for specific locations. Elizabeth (and Lucky!) will be available for book signings, readings and fundraising events. For more details and additional information visit or follow on Facebook & Instagram Kate Morna Towne’s new book, Catholic Baby Names for Girls and Boys: Over 250 Ways to Honor Our Lady contains names ranging from the familiar to the unexpected and spanning cultures and languages. Towne wanted to compile all the baby names that are associated to the Virgin Mary for both boys and girls; names that differ from Maria, Mary, and Marie. Towne, who spent 10 years researching the book’s content, says it's the perfect gift for expectant parents and name enthusiasts of all kinds. Available locally at The Giver of Life Gift Shoppe, 658 Route 9, Gansevoort or

Written by Maddy Zanetti and illustrated by Gretchen Tisch, Saratoga's newest childrens' book; Upset, The Original Dark Horse is a charming book based on the true story of Upset and Man o’War in the 1919 Sanford Stakes. A wonderful story about overcoming the odds and never giving up on your dreams! Check their Facebook page for Upset’s appearance schedule! Available locally at:

Impressions of Saratoga 368 Broadway The Dark Horse Mercantile 445 Broadway Feathered Antler 517 Broadway

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Readers Pets Mr. Bo Jangles

Little Max












Bella Facci


Sol, Isis, Mago


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WRITTEN BY MEGIN POTTER COVER PHOTO BY SUPER SOURCE MEDIA, OTHER PHOTOS PROVIDED As a child, Mia Scirocco sang along to records but was hesitant to sing at family dinners. “I wouldn’t do it at first but my grandmother gave me $1, then my aunts and uncles did, too. When I saw there was a big pile of money, I said, ‘Ok, I’ll sing’,” she said

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A STAR IS BORN When Scirocco was very young, she would tell everyone she wanted to be a star. Encouraged by teachers and her family, she continued to sing and went on to the College of St. Rose to study music. Today, Scirocco is an adjunct music professor at Suny SCCC and is the star of the Mia Scirocco Trio.

Cover Story “ I didn’t always want to be a music teacher. So once I decided, I made up my mind that I would never give up on my dream to perform professionally. I wanted to be the kind of teacher to show students that it is possible to do both and succeed in both professions.”

MOVING TO A NEW TUNE When Scirocco started her trio in 2015, it was during a time of transition for her family and her two boys, Kieran and Cameron Rhodes.

Mia Scirocco

“When I was younger I didn’t really understand where she was going every night, but I later realized that she was out playing shows all over the place,” said her younger son, Kieran. They were more interested in playing baseball than music at the time. “When I first began playing music it was because of her urging me to do it, not because I enjoyed it,” he said. Then the Mia Scirocco Trio began practicing at their home on Tuesday nights, inspiring the boys in a new way. “They really took to the boys and the boys took to them,” said Scirocco.

Mia Scirocco, Andrew Mirabile and Brandon Guerrette

Scirocco asked drummer Brandon Guerrette to play the cajon (a small acoustic box drum) and during rehearsals, Kieran would watch Guerrette intently. Guitarist Andrew Mirabile shared his appreciation for the acoustic guitar with Cameron, who proceeded to teach guitar to his best friend, Michael Levan.

THE BEAT GOES ON “Teaching Mike the guitar definitely taught me how to be patient. I would spend days on end at his house teaching him things,” said Cameron. Then Cameron took on another challenge – singing for their group, “Cam & Mike.” “I didn't like putting myself out there because I was fearful that I would be ultimately rejected. The first time I sang for people I was scared but after doing it for a while, I realized it was fun and I loved being in front of people doing what I love, and sharing it with anyone who wants to listen,” said Cameron. Cameron Rhodes

Kieran Rhodes

For their first gig, Scirocco told Cameron that he had to bring his little brother along. “At first I was really hesitant to have Kieran in the band. I don't know why. My mom kept pushing me and pushing me to do it and I eventually told him he could play with us. After that, we never played without him - he adds a lot to our sound,” said Cameron. Their friend Sophia Leveroni sings with them, also. “We are just up there playing our hearts out,” said Kieran. Cameron, Michael, and Sophia graduated from Burnt Hills– Ballston Lake Central School in June. Cameron is going on to study music at his mom’s alma mater – The College of St. Rose.

Michael Levane, Sophia Leveroni, Cam Rhodes, James Cronier and Kieran Rhodes

“Music is a great way of expressing yourself and I never want to stop creating and playing music. That's why I'm going to college for it. I don't think I'm gonna stop until I feel there's nothing left I have to say,” said Cameron. f fall 2018 | SARATOGA FAMILY  15



A Beginner's Guide to Hiking with a Tot

WRITTEN AND PHOTOGRPHED BY REBECCA WHALEN For a young family looking to get outdoors, the thought of bringing a toddler into the woods is both exhilarating and terrifying. As a somewhat novice hiker, I’ve test-driven some toddler-friendly trails just north of Saratoga to help you feel a bit more prepared for your future outings. Toddler Lesson #1: Stay on the Path Trail: Nature Trail, 1.5 miles Location: Moreau State Park This was my toddler’s first hike in at least six weeks. And it turns out, that was long enough for him to stop loving the hiking carrier. While this was unexpected, he ended up walking most of the trail with me, which worked in my favor because it taught him early in the process that when we hike, we stay on the path. A wide path, with few rocks and roots to trip over, the trail wraps around one of the small lakes at the state park. Tiny trail frogs, stunning dragonflies, and a bright green trail map showing the bridge at the end were all we needed to make this first hike a success. Toddler Lesson #2: Watch Your Step Trail: Buttermilk Brook, 1.5+ miles Location: Adirondack State Park, Lake Luzerne While this appears to be a more popular spot, we went on a Sunday afternoon and had the trail to ourselves. Surprisingly, my toddler was willing to ride in the pack this time, knowing it would be a faster way

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the pack this time, knowing it would be a faster way to the water. This worked out because the first 100 feet is a bit of a climb. Once at the top, he was ready to hike. Large tree roots, rocks and various branches were plentiful so “watch your step” became our key lesson of the day. The brook becomes visible only about a half a mile in, meaning this hike can be as long or as short as you’d like. Our choice of time of day along with a more slowly trickling brook meant we could explore the rock formations up close and splash in smaller puddles. But be sure to hold those tiny hands, as these rocks can be quite slippery when wet. Toddler Lesson #3: Look for the Markers Trail: Inman Pond Trail, 3 miles Location: Adirondack State Park, Lake George In the final galivant of our “hiking with a toddler” trial, we found ourselves deeper in the woods on the eastern side of Lake George, with the promise of a pond as our halfway point. Needless to say… we never made it to the pond, but regardless, we’re starting to feel more like hikers. We signed the hikers log on our way in. The tree roots, fallen trees and larger rocks were plentiful. The trail was thinner. His first two lessons were more

important than ever here and were complemented by a third key hiking lesson which was to know what trail markers looked like and to follow them. This became a game for most of the hike: who could find the next one. A small creek with a bridge over the top became our fast turning point, but it made it feel like we had gotten in our sightseeing for the day. While the carrier came with us, my little guy was not into it this trip. I luckily fueled up before we left because I carried him on my hip the entire hike back. Not ideal, but we had a great time and can’t wait to give this one another try! f

Tips for Hiking with a Toddler

Invest in a good hiking 1 carrier. Whether or not you use it every hike, a comfortable pack with ample space for supplies is a must. If possible, find one with a sun and/or rain cover for your tot.

Even if there are only 2 two of you, pack snacks

for four. You never know what might excite them most or calm them down best, to help you get to the end of the trail.

Do your homework. 3 What can they look

forward to seeing on the hike? Knowing this, or even better, having a

physical trail map in hand to show them, can be a life saver when your toddler suddenly decides they are over it mid-hike.

Don’t forget the 4 must-haves: water, bug

spray, sun screen, an extra set of clothes per child, and a first aid kit.

Most Importantly: 5 Take precautions. Take

time to study the route in advance. Go with a charged phone AND map if possible. And be sure to tell a few different people the exact place you are going and when to check in.

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It doesn't have to be this way WRITTEN BY JEN BLOOMINGDALE REPRODUCED WITH PERMISSION FROM SARATOGAMAMA.COM A few months ago I found this quote... “Crazy around you, doesn’t mean crazy within you.” - from Courtney Carver. As moms, most of the time it’s crazy around us, right? Someone needs something, something needs to be lists... we’re constantly assessing situations, making decisions and problem-solving.


Do something that comforts you (if only for a minute or two, but give it your full attention during that time)


Take a few minutes of quiet. If your kids are old enough ask them to play in a different room or go into your own space. If you have younger children, give them a favorite toy or something to occupy them. (I know this one might be a stretch to achieve, but sometimes it does work out!)

3 4 5 6 7

It’s overwhelming. Think about the state of your mind in these moments, is that the ideal way to make decisions and act? One quote that shares this perfectly is from Melody Beattie: “There is little in our lives we need to do that we cannot do better if we are peaceful.” So how can we settle in the moment and be more peaceful, even with all the craziness going on around us? Quick being mindful, noticing that we’re starting to get upset or overwhelmed and take steps to calm before moving forward. f

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8 9

Pause to prioritize...what is most pressing that needs my attention? what can wait? Go outside or look out a window focusing on what you see or hear, doing your best to block out the chatter Light a candle or diffuse a favorite scent Put on calming music to lower your heart rate and settle your mind Have an image or item that reminds you to take a pause and be mindful. I have a Baby Groot figure on my desk, yes Baby Groot! If you’ve seen the most recent Guardians of the Galaxy movie the opening credits include Baby Groot dancing while the rest of the guardians are battling a space monster. To me this was a perfect example of...just because there is chaos around you, doesn’t mean you have to participate in it. Pause, take a few deep breaths (3 at minimum) Being gentle with yourself, reminding yourself that it’s okay if you feel scattered, if you notice that you’re feeling overwhelmed, ask yourself what you need in that moment to take away some of the overwhelm and take action.

Tips from Tim Blodgett to...

Get outta the house!

Whuddaya mean you’re bored?!

WRITTEN BY TIM BLODGETT I remember my mother telling me that time would pass by faster as I got older. She usually would say this after I complained about being bored and having nothing to do. An hour seemed like an eternity in my pre-16 days. Now I wonder how that same hour got past me without my noticing. In these fast paced, 24/7, always connected, instant gratification days, five minutes seem to drag on forever for most kids. Many young people just bury their head in their phone or tablets and spend their precious time in cyber space, relating digitally with the world. They need to know that the real world is far more interesting. I grew up surrounded by woods and fields and had the Kaydeross Creek in my back yard. I never realized how lucky I was. Most of my free time was spent outdoors, fishing or riding my bike. I could spend hours exploring the woods out back, following the old field-stone walls, imagining what it looked like a hundred or two hundred or even five hundred years ago. Sometimes I would look for fossils in the limestone rip-rap that had been laid along the Kaydeross to stabilize the banks. I found a lot of fossils too. I always had rocks and pebbles in my pockets. We live in an area rich with wonders, natural and cultural. All it takes is a little effort to enjoy them. The next time the kids are complaining about being bored or spending too much time on their devices, get them on their feet and herd them outdoors. The activities can be as simple as finding animal shapes in the clouds or counting how many different types

of trees or birds are in your yard or nearby park. Speaking of parks, the Spa State Park is close by and has numerous geysers, mineral springs to taste and a stream full of trout to fish for. Moreau State Park is just north of town and has many hiking trails where you can enjoy the autumn colors that are just around the corner. Congress Park, right in the center of Saratoga Springs, has historic sculptures, monuments and springs. It even has a historic carousel from the turn of the 20th century. There are numerous other state lands and pocket parks nearby that offer the opportunity to enjoy nature, even if you only have an hour to do so. Streams and lakes and ponds filled with fish and frogs and beavers and muskrats and great blue herons surround us. If you head over to the Hudson River, I can almost guarantee that you will see bald eagles. There isn’t space in this magazine to list all the places to visit or things to see in this area. Even if there was, what interests me may not interest you and yours. I just hope that some of what I suggested set the wheels in your mind spinning in the direction of what waits outdoors for you to discover. I’ll leave you with one last suggestion. Go outside on the next clear night with a pair of binoculars and direct your gaze upward. The moon is spectacular magnified. The planets; Jupiter, Saturn, Mars, Venus and Mercury grace the nighttime sky for you to admire. Constellations and the stories they represent await your discovery. My mother was right, time waits for no one, so don’t waste it inside. Get outta the house! f

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o matter who you are or what your experiences have been around the topic of bullying I’m sure you’d agree with me it’s time for some serious action. This Parenting Perspective piece is about action and strategy. Let’s start by challenging our cultural priorities with one question. What do you do when you catch on fire? 50 Million cell phone wielding kids in this country can answer “Stop Drop and Roll”. Now ask kids what do you do if you are being bullied? (Cricket Noises) After a few to several moments responses will vary from silence, hesitation, to answers like “tell an adult” or “punch the bully in the nose”. REWIND THE TAPE: Much like a coach would, I’d like to examine the above responses and break them down. First let’s talk about the silence and hesitation. These responses date back to caveman times and are the hardwired flee or freeze responses. We have all experienced moments where after an emotional event, moments later you say to yourself I should have, or I could have…. but didn’t. I think it’s hypocritical and quite fascinating that even as adults we remain silent or hesitate, yet judge our unprepared children unfairly for not defending others. Human brains are hardwired to keep us safe before anything else, so when something shocking, emotional or scary happens it’s natural to freeze and flee. UNDERSTANDING THE BRAIN: The other common responses kids will say is tell an adult or punch the bully in the nose. However there is an unwritten code that many of our children follow out of fear. It is often secrecy and silence that prevails over assertiveness and confrontation. It’s important to note here that secrecy and silence fuel hopelessness and that leads to depression, anxiety, self harm, suicide and homicide. Many parents who are aware of bullying situations often follow the same code of secrecy and silence and wait too

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long to contact the school and get help. As for physical force, while satisfying in the movies the truth is, confrontation is stressful for everyone, especially when faced with a habitually intimidating adversary who has the advantage of a physical size or social strength power imbalance (3 elements of bullying). TIME TO TRAIN: The key to developing any difficult skill is “spaced repetition” and deep practice. When kids engage in regular discussion on bullying related issues they will be more conscious during stressful situations and resist their hardwired safety responses. I have seen many successful stories where kids take action successfully just because of strategic dialog around bullying by teachers, parents or coaches. Like a fire drill we recommend getting creative and using Bully Drills. A bully drill can be anything from a conversation about a hypothetical situation at the dinner table or an actual role play during a car ride. These conversations are the equivalent to drilling or studying for a test and being ready for a surprise pop quiz. Sweethearts and Heroes brings Bully Drills to schools and an original ABC action plan known as the “Stop Drop and Roll of Bullying. Take action and start the conversation today!!! f

Jason Spector

Co-Creator of Sweethearts & Heroes

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Made Easy!


Roll the bread flat with a rolling pin (I like honey wheat bread)- yummy! Using a large circle cookie cutter, cut a circle into the bread. You will need two slices per UFO. Follow the combinations below for the filling. Start by spreading either the peanut butter or the cream cheese mixture on the bottom of one round slice leaving approximately a ¼ inch from the edge plain. Add the other slice to the top. Using a fork, go around the two edges pressing them together to seal the sandwich pocket.

Peanut Butter and Honey UFO Fillings: 2 tablespoons peanut butter 1 tablespoon honey Banana slices, thin



Mix the peanut butter & honey together to use as a spread. Sprinkle cinnamon on to the banana slices. You will use approximately 3 slices per UFO. This peanut butter mixture amount should make three UFO sandwiches.

Cream Cheese and Veggies UFO Fillings:

2 tablespoons whipped cream cheese

1-tablespoon yogurt-based ranch dressing 1 tablespoon finely shredded or chopped carrots Cucumber, sliced thin

Mix the whipped cream cheese, ranch dressing and chopped carrots together to create the spread. Spread it onto the bread & top with 1 – 3 cucumbers depending on the thickness.


2 tablespoons Vanilla low-fat yogurt 1 tablespoon Greek Vanilla yogurt 4 cherries, (fresh or frozen, pitted and thawed) 1 teaspoon walnuts, chopped (optional) 1 medium banana

Chop the cherries either in a mini chopper or with a knife. Stir the yogurts, cherries and nuts (if desired) together. Send it to school in a small container with a banana; simply peel, dip and eat. Or, for after school… slice the banana and use pretzel sticks as edible skewers to serve.

Serving it to Guests: If you want to serve this recipe to a larger group, simply modify the dip as follows; ½ cup low fat vanilla yogurt, ¼ cup fat free whipped topping or Greek vanilla yogurt, 16 cherries and 1/8 cup chopped walnuts. Combine the ingredients as directed above.

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6 oz. low fat vanilla yogurt 1/2 cup frozen Berry Medley 1 tablespoon Grape Nut cereal Simply place the yogurt in a travel container, top it with frozen berries and grape nut cereal. Keep the berries frozen when adding them to the yogurt;

1. They help to keep

the yogurt cold.

2. They thaw by

snack and/or lunch time.

You can always catch what’s going on in our lives at and jodiefitzcooks, or check out my cook books - available on my website!

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Elementary Essentials BLUE MARLIN SNEAKERS by PLAE INC.

QUILTED CAT INITIAL BACKPACK by JUSTICE • Cool-for-school style. • Go-ready backpack to keep her essentials organized • Golden quilted finish with an adorable kitty theme and her own sparkling initial • Two zip compartments and two slip pockets • Playful pompom charm • Adjustable padded straps

With her spirited personality, these boots are made for walkin', stompin', struttin', slidin', and just all around stylin'. $69.95



CARRY ALONG SKETCHBOOK by OOLY These delightful animal sketchbooks are perfect for creating art on-the-move. With carry handles perfect for little hands, and cute velcro clasp noses, you can create the next masterpiece or doodle wherever you are and keep your artwork safe too! $11.99

LOCK STARS BASIC ASSORTMENT PINK ROBOT–SERIES 1 Lock on with Lock Stars figures, the collectable lock accessory that’s full of surprises! Each Lock Stars figure includes 2 keys, 2 charms–1 hidden in the belly–and a mystery mini lock pal. Use the key to open the lock figure and reveal its hidden surprise! Kids can collect more or trade with friends to try to pair mini lock pals with their Lock Stars figures. Rock these locks on backpacks and more! $4.99

SOYOUNG BLACKSHARK LUNCH BOX SoYoung's lunch boxes are made of durable uncoated linen. Clean, modern feel and retro-inspired designs paired with machine washability make these our new favourites! Comes with a leak proof insulated insert for easier cleaning and to help avoid staining from spills! $34.00

24  SARATOGA FAMILY | fall 2018


Along with so many things to brag about for those of us who live, play and work in northern Saratoga County, our impressive list of private and independent schools rank up there in the top ten for families looking to provide their children with the best primary and secondary education possible. In fact, it’s pretty safe to say that, when it comes to the ABC’s of education, our region gets an A plus. While our communities have long been known for the exemplary quality of their public-school systems, for those families who want to explore alternatives to public education – or for those who want to send their children to institutions where religious education plays a central role, there are several options available, all within easy reach.


ut, don’t let me tell you – why not take your own little “pop quiz” to see just if you make the grade when it comes to knowing about our schools!

Q: What is the oldest Roman Catholic school in the city of

Saratoga Springs?

A: Saratoga Central Catholic High School,

Saratoga Springs NY.

Originally established as St. Peter’s Academy when it was founded in 1862, the middle and high school known to many by its familiar name of “Spa Catholic” is a college preparatory institution, dedicated to turning out students who excel in life and who give back to their community, their country and their world. It was the first parochial school to be established in Saratoga County. In 1976, the school’s name was changed to its current name and, in 1988, grades 7 and 8 were added, with the 6th grade being created in 2005. Director of Development and alumna of Spa Catholic, Mary Guarnaeri calls the school “Saratoga’s best kept secret.” Some facts about Saratoga Central: • With an average annual enrollment of approximately 250 students, every single student graduates and goes on to either college or a military academy. • In 2018, grads earned a whopping $7.44 million in merit and academic scholarship – that’s approximately $200k per student in the graduating class. • Students have been accepted into some of the best colleges, universities and military academies in the country, including Boston College, Clarkson, RPI, University of Notre Dame, United States Naval Academy, to name just a few. • Eighty percent of the student body participates in athletics, and the school has been named a Scholar - Athlete School of Distinction and Excellence by NYSPHSAA for the last three years running and five times overall.

Guarnaeri says that the last distinction is particularly impressive, given the small size of the school. “All of our teams are “No Cut,” says Guarnaeri, adding that if a student does try out, it is for placement purposes on the team only. In order to qualify as a School of Distinction, the team’s average GPA for 75 percent of the roster must be 90.00 or higher, and 100 percent of the teams must qualify under these high standards. And, on top of those rigorous academic standards, these kids win! “Our athletic director attributes our amazingly winning varsity teams to the fact that we teach our student not only how to play the sport, but how to be.” Steve Lombard is the Ex Officio Principal of Saratoga Central Catholic and he says that one of the things that makes the school so outstanding is its commitment to the community. “Being a Catholic School, we also focus on service. Each student is required to complete service hours annually and the school community works tirelessly to help many community organizations throughout the Saratoga region.” “And, of course, last but certainly not least, is the huge sense of community right here at SCC,” says Lombard. From our community to the larger world beyond, Guarnaeri cites a number of reasons why kids get accepted into such distinctive colleges and universities: small class sizes, highly trained and skilled teachers, and beginning college prep rigors in the sixth grade, enabling students to be fully prepared to handle the challenging and rigorous college preparatory curriculum once they reach high school. All of this is structured within a framework of faith, based on the teachings of Jesus Christ in the Catholic tradition. As its mission states, Saratoga Central Catholic is committed to enlightening, inspiring and nurturing the minds, hearts and souls of its students. Guarnaeri puts it plainly and simply: "Our students aren’t just brainy kids – they’re also kind kids.”

fall 2018 | SARATOGA FAMILY  25

Q: What area school takes pride in calling

itself “A Small School with a Big Heart?”

A: Give up? The answer is St. Mary’s School,

a Catholic elementary school located in Ballston Spa.

St. Mary’s School has been providing a Catholic elementary school education to children of the Ballston Spa and Saratoga County community since 1960. Its educational model is rooted in “wholeness and holiness,” says Enrollment director Meg Barrow, allowing each student to reach his or her fullest potential and celebrate the successes of learning. Some facts about St. Mary’s: • At St. Mary’s, students start and end their day with prayer, instilling in children the loving and embracing message of the Gospel.


• The teaching and support staff at St. Mary’s put a strong emphasis on issues of social justice, such as dignity and respect for life and the needs of the poor and vulnerable. • Their focus centers on the concept of "one human family," regardless of racial, ethnic, and national differences.” • St. Mary’s teaches and models care for all of God's creations. • They are committed to maintaining a vibrant and comprehensive curriculum that includes music, arts, library and physical education programs. • Their preschool – grade 5 programs study a rigorous academic curriculum that also emphasizes character development and ethics, while also providing access to modern and ever-changing technology. Perhaps the most exciting component of St. Mary’s school is its implementation of STREAM – a hybrid of the ubiquitous STEM program, but with the addition of Religions and Arts. “Beginning with our youngest students, we provide instruction in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math,” says Barrow, without sacrificing time and attention to religious, artistic, library and physical education training, resulting in a truly well-rounded education for the leaders of tomorrow. They have also included Spanish language training for classes K-5. With an approximate annual enrollment of about 200 students, the student – teacher ratio is 15:1 and admissions are on a rolling basis. If you are looking for a small private school that places high value on nourishing young people in both their faith and their talents for growth and service to others, St. Mary’s is indeed the quintessential “small school with a big heart.”

26  SARATOGA FAMILY | fall 2018

Q: What school located just minutes from both Saratoga Springs and Schuylerville sits on 60 stunning acres that serve as a fertile playing and learning ground for its students? A: Saratoga Independent School, 459 Lake Avenue, Saratoga Springs NY.

Saratoga Independent School (SIS) is a private elementary school for children in kindergarten through grade 6. Founded in 1991 by parents, the school’s mission is to “empower students to become confident learners who are capable of critical thinking, problem solving and teamwork.”

The faculty and staff at SIS strive to equip their students with the knowledge and skills they will need to succeed in an increasingly complex world, while enriching each day of their childhood. From its humble beginnings in the lower level of the Trinity Methodist Church in Gansevoort, the school has grown from six eager students into a thriving campus of approximately 140 students. Some facts about Saratoga Independent School (SIS): • SIS’s Anderson Campus on Lake Avenue encompasses more than 38,000 square feet of classrooms, a great room and other spaces for learning and growth. • The school’s new 20,000 square foot wing is well under way, with the sixth grade being completed in 2018, seventh grade in 2019 and eighth grade in 2020.

• SIS’s curriculum is theme-based, with the 2018-19 themes being “Bridges-Systems, Movement and Discovery” for grades K-5 and “Identity and Origins” as the Middle School’s theme. • In addition to its school year programs, SIS offers pre-K, Before and After Care Programs, Enrichment Programs and Summer Camps.

• SIS embraces a “multi-age” approach to education, which recognizes the uniqueness of each child’s cognitive, physical, social and emotional abilities and allows them to develop on a timeline and sequence that suits each child.

The SIS school culture and environment is one that fosters both independence, imagination and cooperative learning and socialization. The entire school begins each morning in the “Great Room,” where they greet one another and are presented with a “Daily Challenge” that they work on together in small groups to solve. Children are also given the opportunity to share their work with their peers, who provide constructive feedback and support.

The Tree of Character, which is on prominent display in the Great Room, is an important part of the school’s philosophy: taking care of oneself, each other and the community. “The leaves of the tree are comments and recognition provided by our students, identifying the achievements of their peers and teachers,” explains SIS’s Head of School, Lisa Brown. The words on the tree – Respect, Responsibility, Self-Discipline, Curiosity, Honesty, Cooperation, Perseverance, Integrity, Courage, Concern and Optimism – are used as guideposts for the students and represent guiding principles toward self-fulfillment and serving as an asset to others in their lives. Physical activity is another vital component of the children’s development at SIS. With 60 acres to explore, play in and learn from, activities at the school range from sledding and kite-flying to tulip planting and learning about animal tracks. Autumn is a particularly spectacular time to visit the school, as the campus is bathed in the vibrant hues of the surrounding foliage. But Brown says the school welcomes interested parents and children to visit throughout the year to learn more about the unique learning opportunities. Brown says that SIS is the “ideal home” for families who believe in the value of enduring and meaningful learning and want that for their children.

Q: What was Maria Montessori’s original profession

before she became a pioneer in the field of children’s education?

become a licensed physician in 1896, graduating with honors from the medical school of the University of Rome. Today, Head of School, Kerry Brader, carries on the tradition of Montessori education at Malta Montessori, located in Malta Commons.

A: Dr. Maria Montessori was the first woman in Italy to

Malta Montessori was started by Brader in 2006 and, in the intervening years, the school has grown to 80 students ranging in age from 15 months to the third-grade level. Brader explains that, in Montessori classrooms, the key difference from more traditional schools is the mixed age groups and the individualized education each child receives. Dr. Montessori analyzed how children learn and she concluded that they “build” themselves from what they encounter in their environments. She also discovered that all children possess an effortless ability to absorb knowledge from those surroundings and that they have a tireless interest in manipulating materials. Because of those discoveries, Montessori environments are rich in objects that children can work upon and, in the process, they develop from concrete to abstract reasoning, the birth of a moral sense and the intensification of the drive to explore the natural and social environment. Some facts about Malta Montessori:

• Children in mixed age groups benefit through observing and learning from each other – the younger kids watch what the older children are doing, and the older ones learn the value and importance of nurturing and supporting the younger kids, while also reinforcing their prior learning.

• Everyone in a Montessori classroom learns at his or her own pace - no one feels left behind or is bored because they are being held back by others. • Physical activity and outdoor exploration and play are a huge component of the Montessori learning model. • Montessori learning benefits children by providing them with an atmosphere that encourages both imaginative and independent thinking, as well as the importance of working cooperatively in a group setting.

Malta Montessori programs range from a Toddler Program and Children’s House to elementary programs, before and after care, and a summer program.

Brader describes it best: “Montessori education offers children opportunities to develop their potential as they step out into the world as engaged, competent, responsible and respectful citizens with an understanding and appreciation that learning is a lifelong pursuit.”

Q: What independent school in Saratoga Springs has four

campuses and offers a “developmentally aligned curriculum that educates the whole student and graduates global citizens with a curiosity about the world”?

A: The answer, of course, is The Waldorf School of

Saratoga Springs.

Launched in 1981 with its pre-school and expanding through grade 12 throughout the 1990’s, Waldorf model is based upon pedagogy established in Germany by Rudolf Steiner in the early 20th century. It emphasizes the role of imagination in learning and it embraces a holistic approach that integrates the artistic, intellectual and practical aspects. Steiner identified three major stages of child development and used those stages to develop the unique educational approaches employed at each of those stages. In effect, the emphasis is not so much on how children learn; rather, on when they learn. According to Jenn Hunt Dempsey, the school’s Communications Director, learning at the Waldorf is all about the correlation of a child’s development, integrating play, artistic imagination and “hands on experiential learning.” Some facts about Waldorf: • The four campuses are: Early Childhood Center at 212 Lake Avenue; Forest Kindergarten Campus at 45 Kaydeross Avenue West; grades 1-8 are located at 62 York Avenue; and grades 9-12 are at 122 Regent Street. • Waldorf is the only Pre-K through 12 independent school in the area. • The York Avenue location happens to be the oldest operating school building in the city of Saratoga Springs. • Children begin learning French in the first grade, with German added when they reach high school. • 7th grade students travel to Quebec every year, one of just many field trips and educational travel experiences students will encounter as students of Waldorf. • European exchange learning occurs at the high school level, with students traveling to Germany, France, Austria or Switzerland for an immersive 4-6-month experience. • Average annual enrollment is approximately 200 students, with applications for admission accepted on a rolling basis. • The student to teacher ratio is 7:1. Dempsey says that students at Waldorf emerge from their educational experience with a “big global perspective” that allows them to flourish in our modern global society. Everything students do is very hands on and children learn by doing, building, experiencing and interacting – whether it is with Nature, Science, History, Archaeology or numerous other disciplines. The overarching goal of the Waldorf School is to develop a confidence and eagerness in their graduates so they will go on to create lives of individual initiative, social responsibility and a moral strength that will foster qualities of truth, beauty and goodness to permeate the human spirit. f fall 2018 | SARATOGA FAMILY  27

Q: What school in Saratoga County offers students and

families an environment of faith-based learning that encourages students to become “thinking Christians?” A: That’s easy. The answer is Augustine Classical Academy, located at 7 North Main Street in Mechanicville. What began in 2009 as the vision of a handful of families, Augustine Classical Academy evolved from their combined vision of creating a center of classical education in America. The families were inspired by a revival of the Christian intellectual community and their goal was – and is - to foster a generation prepared to influence every sphere of our society for the glory of God. In 2009, Augustine opened its doors to nine students in grades 8-10. Today, enrollment is about to exceed 100 students in grades K-12. Augustine Classical Academy seeks to challenge their students to gain the “tools of learning” and prepares them for a life of learning and service. Their strength lies in the conviction that god reveals Himself through His written word, and all learning is done through the lens of scripture.


Some facts about Augustine Classical Academy: • Augustine Academy’s educational model is based on a centuries-old educational system, known as the Trivium, an age-old theory of classical study that adheres to a cohesive program of integrated learning, with Scripture as the foundation for all subjects. • Students at Augustine Classical Academy become masters of both written and spoken language, and they develop a rich understanding of subjects ranging from mathematics, science and the arts as revealed through the glory, beauty and complexity of God’s creation. • Co-curricular activities are an integral part of students’ lives at the Academy, with opportunities to participate in programs such as Mock Trial, Robotics, and MathCounts. • Recent average SAT scores are very strong, with a mean of 718 in Critical Reading, 680 in Math and 715 in Writing (Highest score is 800). At the center of the school’s philosophy is the primacy of parents as the main locus of learning by following the teaching of God, which instructs parents to bring up their children in “the discipline and instruction of the Lord (Deuteronomy 6:7). The Academy also places importance on the quality of family time, and they honor this importance by giving no homework to students on weekends. What student would not love that rule! Graduates of the Augustine Classical Academy have been accepted at prestigious colleges and universities around the country, including Princeton, RPI, Messiah College, University of Pennsylvania, Smith College, to name a few. Families who are interested in learning more about Augustine Classical Academy can attend Living Room Forums held regularly at the homes of current ACA families, Open House visits and School Tours. Learn more about the Academy on their website:

28  SARATOGA FAMILY | fall 2018

Q: What Christian school’s vision is to “train, equip, enable

and prepare” its students as they prepare for a life of learning, service and spirituality?

A: Spa Christian School, located at 206 Greenfield Avenue,

Ballston Spa.

Founded in 1981 by representatives from four evangelical churches in the area, Spa Christian School was founded on a foundation of the Word of God. Its mission is to offer a Christian education to children of believing families. In its first year, class consisted of eight kindergarten students held in a Ballston Spa church basement. The following year, they merged with an already existing school in Saratoga Springs and grew into three classes: kindergarten, grades 1-2, and grades 3-6. In 1987, Hope Church, which was an original supporting church, expanded their facilities and included several classrooms. By 1991, Spa Christian had one class of each grade, with no combined grades. Some facts about spa Christian School: • Spa Christian is proud of the longevity of its teaching staff, many of whom who have taught here for more than fifteen years. • Spa Christian School is committed to training the hearts and minds of its students along with their academic skills. Friendly and caring students draw in others and welcome them into the Spa Christian family . • Many students enter Spa Christian from a homeschooling setting and all have found the transition to be a comfort able and joyful experience. • Physical education plays an important role in the academic lives of students and parents have provided the highest quality playground equipment, which students use daily throughout the school year. • Daily morning worship is an integral part of the routine, and each child gets a turn reading from Scripture and leading the pledges. Because students at Spa Christian School represent an amalgamation of over 30 evangelical churches in the region, the result is an unusually harmonious relationship that embraces understanding, respect and tolerance. The School seeks to understand the truth and all of life from God’s perspective while interacting with many ideas. The process of integration occurs in the classroom as the teacher utilizes the curriculum to meet the educational objectives established for each particular grade. In all, for more than thirty years, Spa Christian School has graudated students whose intellectual curiosity and lifelong love of learning is intermingled with their love for the Word of God and a deep caring and respect for others.

Spa Christian School exists to work together with Christian families and local evangelical churches in the raising of their children for Christ. Families who are interested in learning more about Spa Christian can visit their website at f

fall 2018 | SARATOGA FAMILY  29

Back to School Shopping (and more!)




friend of mine recently said something along the lines of, “Shout-out to all our moms, who had to do all of their Christmas shopping without the benefit of Amazon Prime,” and I am right there with her—I’ve absolutely come to appreciate how helpful online shopping is, not only for Christmas shopping, but especially at this time of year - for school supplies. AMAZON FOR SCHOOL SUPPLIES I used to go to local stores for my kids’ school supplies, and I almost always went at the last minute. I didn’t mean to procrastinate—I would start each summer with the determination to get it all done early but find myself scrounging through the bins and shelves of whateverwas-left at the end of August, even though we’d received the supply lists at the beginning of July. It was such a stressful thing, each time, and the more kids there are to buy for, the more I can feel my blood pressure rise.

Two years ago, I decided to try ordering our supplies on Amazon, and it made an enormous difference! No longer did I have to paw frantically through piles of crayons looking for 8-count primary-colors-only in child size, nor worry that all the wide-ruled notebooks and loose leaf had been cleaned out, nor search for the elusive sharp-tipped 7-inch Fiskars scissors. I could search on Amazon for the exact things I needed, in the exact quantities, and so far, I’ve been able to get exactly what I need. And with two-day free shipping with a Prime membership, the supplies arrive at our house at roughly the same time they would have if I’d searched through the local stores, found the items, stood in the checkout line, and driven home. (Roughly) Not only that, but I can Riley a my Amazon cart whatever shoes, sneakers, and add at into cross othercountry schoolmeet clothes we need and it all arrives together. ©Ken Wright Amaz-ing!

30  SARATOGA FAMILY | fall 2018

HANNAFORD-TO-GO FOR SCHOOL SUPPLIES AND GROCERIES When I was still buying school supplies in the local stores, and even now when shopping on Amazon, I have always saved the things I knew I could get at Hannaford—paper towels, boxes of tissues, Clorox wipes, even last-minute pens/pencils/pencil sharpeners. I knew I’d always be able to find those things there, and it was so nice not to stress out about those few things on the list—somehow, not having to find those items after having survived the harrowing school-supplies section made my shopping trips seem shorter. In addition, since I worked at Hannaford through high school and college and received substantial college scholarships from them, I have undying loyalty to them and I’m happy to give them my business whenever I can (no, this is not a paid advertisement). This summer, being 8 to 9-months pregnant, I don’t have the patience to bring the kids into the store with me during the (so very hot) day, nor the energy to go to the store by myself after they’re in bed. I’ve been relying on Hannaford-To-Go for groceries, and will absolutely be doing so for any school supplies that I don’t want to order through Amazon. Being able to drive up to the store and have my purchases brought out to me is well worth the $5 service fee as far as I’m concerned. And then, pretty much as soon as school shopping is done, it’s time to start thinking about Christmas! But let’s let the school year begin before we think about all that, right? Here’s hoping Amazon and Hannaford-To-Go are as helpful for your back-to-school as they are for mine! f Kate and her husband have six sons ages 13, 11, 10, 8, 6, and 4; they’re expecting their seventh baby in the fall. Follow her at, or email her at

NOW IT'S OUR TIME WRITTEN BY MEGIN POTTER All summer it has been all about the kids - but now they’re going back to school! When the kids are away, it gives the adults a chance to play.

“I think everyone should stay active. It keeps you young and involved in the community. Interacting is important for a healthy mind and body,” said Jill Ramos, Program Coordinator for the Saratoga Recreation Center.

Play Away

The fun begins in the morning when you stop in for a game or join a Pickleball league. Pickleball games are every Monday, Wednesday and Friday 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Saratoga Recreation Center. Get your skate on in open-skate day sessions or evening lessons at the Saratoga Springs Ice Rink, 30 Weibel Ave., Saratoga Springs. Contact the Saratoga Springs Recreation Department, 15 Vanderbilt Avenue, Saratoga Springs, call 518-587-3550, or go to for more information. Gavin Park’s tennis and basketball courts, walking trails and open gym times are a great place for casual get-togethers. More than 300 people have already signed up for the exciting daily Pickleball games here. Pickleball is Monday through Friday, 9:30 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. from September until April. Gavin Park is located at 10 Lewis Rd in Saratoga Springs. To find out more, call 518-584-9455 or go to

Find Your Fit

individual attention and encouraging students to progress at their own speed. Contact Grillo for pricing and registration by calling 518-692-9792 or emailing Early registration is appreciated.

Flex Your Creative Muscles

There’s no wrong way to artistically express yourself. Art lets you say all those things you can’t in any other way. It makes you think and feel, which is why you always create art, most of all, for yourself. Learn how to say what you want with daytime weaving classes, watercolor, oil and pastel painting sessions, or all-day workshops in photography or printmaking. For a list of the Saratoga Arts Center’s fall classes at 320 Broadway in Saratoga Springs, call 518-584-4132 or go to

Get Greener

Even in the fall and winter, gardeners are thinking about growing things. No garden? No problem. Perhaps you’d like to learn how to create a non-toxic home or how to prepare healthy foods. If you want to know more about how to enhance your environment and well-being, there are classes, events and programs at the Saratoga County Cornell Cooperative Extension that might interest you. f

Get back to yourself with new T’ai Chi classes beginning October 4th at 11 a.m. in the Saratoga Recreation Center. Known as a moving mediation, Tai Chi is an ancient Chinese health exercise and gentle martial art that seeks to relax, strengthen and focus the mind and balance the body. Gina Grillo, director of Flowing River T’ai Take a class as a Chi, has been an accomplished teacher of and Located at 50 West High Street in Ballston Spa, family practice the traditional Yang Style T’ai Chi Ch’uan callskills 518-885-8995 or go to your for more information. for more than 18 years, emphasizing

fall 2018 | SARATOGA FAMILY  31

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32  SARATOGA FAMILY | fall 2018



ll my daughter wanted for her 13th birthday was a Facebook account. I said, no public posting, no friends we haven’t met, and I get her password. By 17, she’d abandoned Facebook for Snapchat, and was gaming online with people she’d never met! I kept thinking, child predators and scammers play those games, too. So I sought advice on cyber safety from David DeCelle, the Community Educator for the Capital Region office of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), a retired police officer who served 17 years. “The Internet is a great thing, really,” said David. “The learning opportunities are endless, but you have to be careful.” David brought me to the NCMEC website ( where there’s age-appropriate information for keeping kids safe. I found free downloadable presentations for kids, parents and teachers. It’s exactly the stuff to help us sleep at night.

Wired Grade-Schoolers

“With school starting, it’s a good time to talk about cyberbullying,” David told me. “Children are getting tablets or their first smartphone, where they can be exposed to cyberbullying, usually from kids they think are their friends.” I asked how to know if a child is being cyberbullied, and David explained that kids might stress over a text message, avoid the Internet altogether, maybe have trouble sleeping, or seem depressed. He says if your child is being cyberbullied, teach them not to respond, to save the evidence, and you should report it to the website or app. Meet with school administrators, too. And teach kids to speak up if they see a friend being cyberbullied. “The basic message here is to get involved with your children,” said David. “Know who they are playing with, what apps or gaming system they are using, and whether they are in chat rooms.” David’s presentations cover the NetSmartz® program by NCMEC, a series of internet safety programs geared toward children in Kindergarten through 12th grade. The grade school programs cover everything from cyberbullying to viruses, including what to do if someone makes kids feel scared, uncomfortable, or confused.

Wired Teens

For teenagers, NetSmartz® has free tip sheets on gaming safely, preventing sexting, and safe social media. David reminds teens that once they post something out there, they can’t take it back. What they think is private will become public. Even a Snapchat can be screenshot, or someone can take a picture of it with a second device before it dissolves. “A neighbor may ask you to babysit and change their mind if they see something on your Facebook page that makes them uncomfortable,” he cautions. “Colleges have rescinded admission over posts. So I teach teens to avoid gossip, recognize the difference between cute and creepy, clean up your profile, use your privacy settings, and yep, I do tell them this, keep your clothes on. And I encourage them to keep their parents or guardians in the loop.” With online gaming, parents should monitor what kinds of games they play, make sure they are age-appropriate, and play it with them. Anyone being creepy or asking for personal information? Report them to, because predators and scammers don’t stop with one try. It was great sitting down with David about cyber safety. He said kids do make mistakes, and if something goes wrong, taking away the Internet won’t solve the problem. (Believe me, I’ve tried!) NCMEC advises it’s better to help them learn to protect themselves and respect others online. Fortunately, is chock full of ways to help us do that. NCMEC’s Capital Region office provides free educational presentations to schools, Boy and Girl Scouts, religious organizations, PTAs, foster families, and more, serving approximately 10,000 local children each year, as well as providing train-the-trainer programs to school resource officers and police officers. f To book David DeCelle for a free safety presentation, email or call the NCMEC New York/Capital Region office at 518-812-6833. The office serves the 11 counties in and around the Capital Region, and is funded through donations and its annual Dish It Out! Celebrity Chef Challenge, which will be held this year on October 11. Find out more at

fall 2018 | SARATOGA FAMILY  33

Your kid’s suffering from her ‘19th nervous breakdown’ –



e read about it. It’s happening to our friends who have teenage kids. Most of us feel helpless, like there is no way around it, no way to fix it. The “it” is anxiety, with a capital “A.” And more and more teens seem to be held captive in its grip.


Anxiety in teen-age kids has been steadily on the rise for the last decade. According to the American College Health Association, the number of college students seeking counseling for anxiety rose from 50 percent in 2011 to 62 percent in 2016. And the trend is trickling down the age spectrum, with children in their early teens – and even younger – finding it increasingly more difficult to cope with the oftencrippling effects of the disorder. Of course, anxiety is also a good thing. When our ancestral forebears experienced anxiety, it was most often the result of an immediate danger. The fight or flight response is what saved many a caveman or woman from being attacked by a saber tooth tiger or a natural disaster. Today, anxiety serves the same beneficial service of alerting us to danger and helping us to react swiftly. However, when anxiety seeps into our everyday lives, leaving us paralyzed with fear and dread, the normal autonomic response becomes a toxic and debilitating problem that, if not addressed, can take over an individual and destroy bright young futures. Why is this happening now?

And, why is it happening at increasingly younger ages? Was it always this widespread, but parents and professionals weren’t as aware of anxiety as a disorder? Most professionals would agree that a lack of awareness of the disorder is not at the heart of things. Your last name doesn’t have to be Freud or Pavlov to figure out why we are all a lot more stressed out in our daily lives. The very pace of our existence is accelerated. The drive to

34  SARATOGA FAMILY | fall 2018


succeed – in school, in sports, at work, in our relationships, as parents – often makes us feel like those lab mice frantically pedaling on the wheel in order to either avert pain or achieve pleasure.

Many of us are on a 24/7 cycle of stimuli barraging us from our phones and our desktops. And everything is immediate. If you are part of my generation, you can remember waiting for your irksome sibling to get off the one telephone in the house so that you could call your girlfriend or boyfriend. Now, we can Snap Chat, Instagram, tweet, text or IM in just seconds – and we expect to be answered just as quickly.

Our world has changed in other, more disturbing ways. News of school shootings, terrorist attacks, and increasing polarization as a nation has given children and adults alike plenty to fret about. Our children have the added burden of wondering if their school will be attacked; will something happen at the movie theater, or at the local fair?

On a less dire – but equally crucial level – teenagers are grappling with their emerging sense of self, often in environments where bullying has become rampant and peer pressure to be or act in certain ways in order to be accepted is only reinforced by social media and smartphones. Other stressors are created by a need to excel in academics or athletics, often placing huge burdens on kids that can quickly become overwhelming. When things get to be too much, kids respond in a variety of ways. Some act out and turn to drugs or other destructive behaviors; others bury themselves in their studies or their athletics to the point of addiction; while still others begin to withdraw and refuse to participate in even the most mundane of activities.

Dr. Steven Fox, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist in Latham and Valatie who offers counseling to families and adolescents. During his 25-year practice, Fox has counseled numerous

families and teens dealing with varying levels of anxiety disorder. One of the trends he sees that disturbs him is the tendency for people to want an immediate “fix” for the problem.

“For me, with the issue of anxiety, there are a few things going on, both externally and internally. Obviously, the world is fast-paced, kids have more access to screens and communication and it can become overwhelming.”

Fox says there is a greater emphasis on what he refers to as “broadness over depth” of understanding and coping, and that children have not sufficiently developed the cognitive resources necessary to internally cope with or process situations.

“When you are hit with so many unpredictable things happening in the world, and you don’t have the means within you to process them, it creates a perfect storm.” He agrees that anxiety and depression are what he calls “global terms” and something everyone experiences in their lives. What distinguishes the “normal” from the abnormal instances of anxiety and depression are the interruptions in daily functions that occur to those suffering from true anxiety disorder. Fox also says that there is a tendency to “medicalize” things quickly. It is ironic that, despite the ongoing heroin and opioid epidemic, people continue to look to drugs over counseling to solve their and their children’s problems, a trend that Dr. Fox finds particularly disturbing. So, how do we fix this problem?

Fox says that, in his entire 25-year career as a clinical psychologist, he has never seen outer forces playing out to such an extent in his office and contributing to the problem of anxiety in both adults and children. “I was in Queens during the 9-11 tragedy. But this sense of ongoing perceived threat is a significant factor in my work that wasn’t there before to this degree.” He also admits that, ten years ago, he was more relaxed in his attitude about the negative effects of

social media on tweens and teens, something that he now looks back on as an error of judgment and now views as a serious contributor to teen anxiety, and one that can culminate in serious behavioral dysfunction. He says that a kind of “psychic numbness” can set in. “They can get so overwhelmed that they just do nothing.”

Parents who have struggled with a child who refuses to participate in school, activities, and just life in general, can relate to this concept of psychic numbness.

One of the common errors parents make is enabling their children and contributing to their sense of themselves as too “fragile” to handle everyday challenges and uncomfortable circumstances. As parents, we must constantly find a healthy balance between giving our children support and encouragement while also allowing them to take chances and experiences failures as well as successes.

Fox also says the answer is to get people to become engaged in something larger than themselves. This is especially important for young children and teens, who are, developmentally, more egocentric. But the advice is true for all of us. There’s a lot to be said for stepping away from our own problems and looking at ways to help someone else. Getting out of our self-absorption and engaging in the world in positive ways goes a long way toward building those inner reserves of strength in anticipation of more bumps further down the road. Fox points to the Parkland students as examples of what

it looks like to step outside of an unspeakably terrible situation and turn it into something productive and beneficial. Above all, Fox stresses that parents need to listen to their children and engage them in communication. We cannot just throw our hands up in the air and say, “Oh, well, they’re teenagers and they just won’t talk to me!”

“You can’t wait until your child turns 18 to talk with them,” says Fox. “I encourage parents to keep trying to communicate with their kids. Talk about safe things first, and then just continue talking. I don’t want parents to simply accept that their kids are unreachable.” f

Fox refers to it as “perpetuating fragility” and finding a balance between enabling behavior that can also be manipulative and responding to legitimate distress by working to identify the causes of those stressors and learn coping mechanisms to manage that fear and angst.

Most of the literature on treating anxiety disorder points to the efficacy of something called “exposure therapy.” The goal of exposure therapy is to gradually reduce the fear and angst that a child associates with a certain activity or situation. In his practice, Fox focuses on developing a plan of action, with an ultimate goal that might be for one kid full-time attendance in school. For another, it may be attending a school dance without freaking out. He refers to the step-by-step process as “systematic desensitization,” which helps the child develop those internal cognitive skills and coping mechanisms that will be there for them when they are confronted with “trigger” situations.

Most literature suggests that, in severe cases of anxiety disorder, a combination of medication and exposure therapy is the most effective. However, Fox cautions again about the need to find an immediate cure and depending on medication too much. “If you want to feel good on an ongoing basis, its going to take some time and some hard work.”

fall 2018 | SARATOGA FAMILY  35

A Parents Guide to




o you know what Snapchat©, Instagram©, or Twitter© are? If you are a parent, you might not, but ask a teen and they can tell you all about them. The days of teens talking on the phone for hours has been replaced with social media apps. How does a parent get up to speed on these apps and the new slang that the kids are using these days? Well, let me help with this quick and easy guide to the social media sites your kids are using today.


Let’s start with Snapchat. This app is where kids can easily send pictures to their friends and keep in touch by using the streaks feature. Streaks are how many days in a row that you and the other person have snapped without skipping a day. Most streaks are photos of nothing special – seriously - it could be the floor, the wall, part of their head, pretty much anything. It is just to keep the streaks going. It is all about bragging about how many streaks you have. The more you have the better. With Snapchat, it is more personal than just texting because you are sending photos and you can put text on the photos.

Sometimes whole conversations are done using Snapchat. With Snapchat, once the snap is played, it will allow you to replay it once and then it’s deleted. You can still carry on conversations using the direct messaging part of the app. Instagram© is similar to Facebook© but geared more towards teens. Photos are posted, and your friends can see, comment and like them. Most teens go for the number of likes they get. Like the streaks on Snapchat, the more likes the better. Unlike Snapchat, the photos do not get deleted unless the user deletes them. Twitter© is the lesser used app that kids are on. On Twitter you are allowed only a certain number of characters and it seems more geared towards adults then kids. You have to click on photos to see them, unlike Snapchat and Instagram where the photos are just displayed in your feed. Each of these apps allows your kids to keep up with their favorite YouTube© star and their favorite celebrities… as well as their friends. You will find that while the teens are using these apps, they also have their own language.

Here are a few of the abbreviations that you might see:

Most abbreviations are harmless. The most important thing you need to know wyd- what are you doing ikr- I know, right is your teen. As a parent, it is up to you to keep tabs on them, check their social bc- because hmu- hit me up media accounts. As my mom says, “I ft- facetime wtm- what is the move trust you, its others I don’t.” If you see a slang or abbreviation you don’t know wbu- what about you smh- shake my head – google it. Better yet, ask your teen. gtg - got to go Keep the dialogue open. Apps and cell phones have controls that you can use. If Besides using abbreviations some teenagers might also be using slang. you don’t know how to do it, call the cell phone provider Some examples are: and they can help you. what is the move which means does anyone want to make plans But seriously… bet which means ok let’s do it talk to your teen. f cuff which means you have a boyfriend or girlfriend


which means gossip


which means dumb

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TALK TO YOUR TEEN Looking for more than a one-word answer from your teen? Try these the next time you’re sitting down to dinner …or if you’re lucky enough to still be driving them around town. 1. What do you like most about yourself?

16. Describe your perfect day after you get your dream job

2. Tell me three things you are proud of

17. Describe what your perfect relationship will look like

3. What’s stressing you out most?

18. Why is your best friend your best friend?

4. What do you want your future to look like? (making a difference? making a lot of money? family & kids?)

19. Do you ever feel left out …when?

5. What is your favorite holiday tradition? 6. If you were famous… what would it be for? 7. If you won $50,000 dollars… what would you do with it? 8. What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received? 9. What’s the best complement you’ve ever given? 10. What is your favorite homecooked meal? 11. What’s your favorite place to eat out? 12. Which class is hardest …and why? 13. Which class is the most enjoyable …and why? 14. Who are you watching on You Tube? 15. What is your dream job?

20. Is there anybody out there you’d like to become friends with? 21. If you could go anywhere for two weeks… where would you go and who would you bring? (as many as you want!) 22. What was your most embarrassing moment? 23. Have you ever said anything to somebody that you wish you hadn’t? 24. What are you grateful for? 25. Did you make someone happy today? 26. What do you like most about me? 27. What do you think I like most about you? 28. Do you feel my love?

This is how your teens communicate with each other – ASK THEM ABOUT IT.








ny household with teenagers likely has a medicine cabinet well-prepared with bandages, heating pads, over-the-counter anti-inflammatories, and antibiotic ointments. Sometimes it seems teens are always pulling muscles, spraining ankles, splitting skin, or even breaking a bone. Fortunately, those healthy young bodies help teens bounce back quickly, but these initial experiences with real pain can make a parent wonder, when is it appropriate to consider an opioid-based prescription? When it comes to injuries, almost never, according to James Kelley, MD, JD, who recently joined Saratoga Hospital Medical Group specializing in primary care sports medicine. Unless it’s a serious injury, such as a fracture, or cancer, his message to teens and parents is that there are plenty of safe options for pain management that can keep opioids completely off the table.

Dr. Kelley will dig into the quality and nature of the pain, its onset, and discuss any sport they may play, all to help make the injury diagnosis and determine the cause. He understands how hard it is for parents to see their child in pain, which is why he focuses on good communication with both the patient and family to find healthy, long-term solutions. “When it comes to pain in adolescents, usually it’s the end result of something that’s not functioning in the patient’s life,” says Dr. Kelley, “like lack of physical activity, or improper training technique, or a slouched posture that’s complicated by a heavy book bag. I talk with patients and their parents about ways to fix these problems. I’ll often recommend a topical or anti-inflammatory medication to soothe the pain now, but also focus on correcting the issue that got us here in the first place.” Dr. Kelley believes it’s important for patients and families to know what to expect, and he’ll explain that although many injuries have a recovery process that can be predicted to a degree, there is certainly individual variation. He takes his patient’s discomfort seriously, and will typically begin with targeted rehabilitation, set goals, and monitor progress.

“Typically, with adolescents you see a lot of overuse injuries, damage to tendons, growth plates, muscles, and even stress reactions in bones that can be treated with conservative measures,” says Dr. Kelley. “Teens are so resilient, you generally don’t have to deal with opioids.” Dr. Kelley’s general approach to pain is to recommend, depending on the case, topical or oral anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy, sports massage, neuromuscular re-education, dry needling, yoga, and meditation, among others.

“When a patient is assured that I’m here for them throughout, with ongoing observation and readjustments to the plan as needed, it helps them feel more comfortable sticking with the plan and seeing results. I also do my best to educate my patients with tips to keep them on the right track in the future. Another key principle in pain management is to develop good habits that can decrease the likelihood of injuries and pain over a lifetime.” f

“First, you have to determine where the pain is coming from,” explains Dr. Kelley. “Nothing beats talking to the patient. I take a comprehensive history and perform a physical exam. Pain in teenagers is very different than pain in adults.”

Saratoga Hospital Medical Group Primary Care – Sports Medicine is located at 8 Medical Park Drive, Suite 100, Malta, NY, on Saratoga Hospital’s Malta Campus. To learn more about Dr. Kelley and sports medicine services, please visit or call 518-363-8710.

Dr. Kelley’s Top Pain Prevention Tips 1. CROSS TRAIN. Gain a skill set in stretching, 3. PAY ATTENTION TO TECHNIQUE.

weight training, and aerobics. Be a well-rounded athlete. Keep it fun and varied throughout the year.

medicine is generally true. Exercise can help prevent cardiac disease, depression, fibromyalgia, obesity, and a host of other ills.

2. EXERCISE REGULARLY. The adage that exercise is

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Dr. Kelley

In a sport involving a specialized movement? Make sure you communicate well with your coach or athletic trainer instead of just muddling through it. They can identify a training error and correct it before you get hurt.

Therapy Animals…



My “emotional support animal” is Mamadoo; a dilute calico kitty who I just fell in love with! She lives in my college dorm with me and knows when I’m having a bad day and I need her… usually by distracting me and telling me she’s hungry and I need to think about her and not just myself. Mamadoo means the world to me and helps with the anxiety of day to day life. When I have a bad day or feel anxious about something – anything, she can actually tell. I’ll lie down on my bed, and she’ll follow. Almost immediately, she’s on me, purring away. A constant, steady, happy purr. She falls asleep on me and won’t move until I do. When I sleep, she curls up in the crook of my legs, always making sure I know she’s there. Mamadoo is my emotional support animal and she does an incredible job of doing just that. She means everything to me and I wouldn’t trade her for the world. I cannot put into words the amount of love this cat has to give and I encourage everyone (who needs this) to find their own Mamadoo. f

fall 2018 | SARATOGA FAMILY  39

Win the War

on disrespect in your home


There is nothing like blatant disrespect to get your head spinning


When your tween to teen talks back rudely, and tells you that you are a stupid jerk, most of us go a bit ballistic. And both teachers and parents experience a growing percentage of our youth who speak this way to adults. Dr. Cale is a Clifton Park-based parenting expert, author, speaker, and licensedpsychologist who offers practical, no-nonsense parenting advice for all ages. His website,, features hundreds of articles and dozens of parenting products that will help you achieve your goal of happier children and a peaceful home.

Yet, in many ways, this trend should not surprise us. Young children and tweens are consuming TV shows and movies, as well as YouTube videos, with content depicting parents as idiots and kids, with ‘attitude,’ as supremely wiser and always ahead of adults. Also, many young children are allowed exposure to music that is filled with the intense judgement of adults and authority figures. It gets even worse. Many of us start to see this ‘attitude’ show up in our first graders, with a bit of sassiness and talking back. Perhaps because it’s mild, or perhaps because more widely accepted, we just go on with business as usual. Early on, it’s often not severe, but it’s a problem. And over time, this will get worse.

The Two Big Mistakes with Disrespect 1. Power Tactics Will Fail. The biggest mistake made with disrespect is that we react harshly, get upset, and snap back. We will threaten and yell, to demonstrate that ‘I am the parent here…and you cannot speak to me that way.’ (Yet, the child has already spoken.) Let’s imagine we punish them, which seems reasonable. Yet, over and over again, this doesn’t seem to change a habit of disrespect. Why is this? The power tactic demonstrates a flaw. We just got hooked, and our reaction shows it. For many children and teens, that reaction teaches them that they can ‘own’ our emotions…with just a few disrespectful words. This is

40  SARATOGA FAMILY | fall 2018

power, and we have just given it to our children! Once we do this, it seems that the consequences have limited effect for many kids. 2. ‘Business as Usual’ Will Also Fail.

If we just go on about our normal daily business, being a good parent and responding to disrespectful comments as if it is okay, then this fails as well. In this situation, kids learn to speak to parents in ugly and demanding ways, and still get what they want. You do not want to assume that this is just the trend this day and time, and go on offering your child an exception life, while they are rude and disrespectful to you. This is never a good plan.

Four Essentials to Winning the War on Disrespect 1. Take it Seriously… Not Personally.

This is an essential component of success with disrespect. It is important to have a game plan and to take that plan seriously. But do not take your child’s moment of attitude or disrespect personally. You do not want to teach them that such ugly words are worthy of your attention and energy. This will confuse their minds. And as mentioned above, with the passing years, they will learn that they have tremendous power to upset your life, with just a few choice words said in a sassy manner. Perhaps equally important here is this: When you take it personally, you WILL engage your child. Every time you engage a pattern of behavior, you endorse it. That’s right! If you repeatedly engage the behavior, your attention and energy serve to reinforce the behavior.

It doesn’t matter what your words are at the moment of your engagement. IT only matters that you engage the disrespect while it’s happening. This leads us to the second key point… 2. Don’t Try to Fix the Moment of Disrespect If you get hooked by the moment, you engage and feed it. Remember…this will only lead to failure and more disrespect. Many parents tell me, “But I can’t tolerate them being disrespectful to me. I have to react!”

4. And Finally, Abuse It … Lose It. As tweens and teens fall in love with their amazing communication device (i.e., cell phone), this provides an excellent teaching tool to eliminate disrespect. I explain to kids, that their mouth is an amazing communication device, just like the phone. I then demonstrate Mom and Dad’s new rule: ‘Abuse this’ (point to mouth), then ‘You lose this’ (point to phone). I suggest a minimum of 24 hours per incident, adding an hour for every complaint that follows the consequence.

If you spend just a couple hours learning how to shut down your child’s phone with a techie, then you see how you can honor this entire formula. You stop talking to disrespect, and you never give in to any of the demands or requests from a snarky, disrespectful child. And…as they get older…you have an immediate consequence: you shut down their phone instantly. If you bring these tools together, you will have success and a much more respectful home! For more, visit my website at f

This approach is fine, as long you want more and more disrespect in the years ahead. But, if you want to eliminate disrespect, don’t try to fix or correct the disrespect at THAT moment. Instead…walk away from it. Show them how the healthy, wise world will respond to ugliness and disrespect by walking away. The healthy world understands you cannot force others to be respectful. But you can walk away and find those who treat you respectfully. This is wise, and important to teach our children and teens. It’s also critical to get this… 3. Don’t Conform or Respond to Any Disrespect in Any Way. Thus, when your children demand that you find their hockey stick, or to go buy another cell phone or take them to a friend’s house, simply do not respond, when there is a demanding or disrespectful tone or attitude. Don’t agree or disagree. Just walk away. Develop the habit of not only staying calm and happy as you walk away but also do not honor the demands that come with this ugliness and attitude. Too often I hear a tween at Starbucks, barely looking up from their phone as they complain at mom because she didn’t know what they wanted and give a snarky response to the kind barista. In this case, if I were mom, I would close out the order without giving the snarky child the drink or a moment of my time. Remember: No response. No accommodation to demands or disrespectful requests.

fall 2018 | SARATOGA FAMILY  41

Teen Spotlight

A New




erforming the “Star-Spangled Banner” correctly is itself a vocally athletic feat. When it’s done well, the results are something that we deeply connect to and find emotionally inspiring.

In 2011, with the memory of Christina Aguilera’s epically bad rendition (where she forgot the words) still fresh in her mind, a young Hailey Aldrich sang the national anthem in front of a crowd of 12,000 at the Times Union Center.

“I’d never sung the anthem before I recorded the try-out tape. I filmed it while my parents hung ornaments on the Christmas tree in the background. I kept it very traditional and close to the original version – people seem to like that better,” said Aldrich. ANTHEM “GO-TO” GIRL

After that first performance, the budding 11-year-old singer was offered opportunities to perform the anthem at all sorts of sporting and charity events in the region. Pursuing her musical aspirations meant that Aldrich often had to make hard choices.

“I feel like I’ve never really gotten to be a kid. I was very driven, focused and put a lot of pressure on myself,” she said. Her family, including her parents Amy and Bruce, and younger brother Dillon Aldrich have given her a tremendous amount of support through the years, she said. In the fall of her sophomore year at Burnt Hills / Ballston Lake Central School,

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Aldrich had to quit playing tennis, which she loved, to have enough time to be in a play marking the town’s centennial anniversary. “Everybody was going to be in it and it was what I was most interested and passionate about. I didn’t want to be in everything and only be able to give 50 percent, I wanted to be able to give 100 percent to what I did instead,” said Aldrich. SINGING A NEW TUNE

Now 17, Aldrich’s singing has matured to sound a few keys lower than it was when she was younger, she said, but the biggest change is that now she’s putting music on the back burner. Aldrich graduated with honors in June and will be studying Communication, Management and Design in the fall at Ithaca College.

“It’s definitely a gamble because it’s something you have to work at. To be technically so far ahead and then to stop when so many people keep going with it, I don’t want to lose everything I’ve developed so far,” said Aldrich. The bravery she developed getting up in front of thousands of people to sing, she instead wants to use inspiring those who are struggling with mental illness and often can’t find the words to say what they feel.

Dillon, Amy, Hailey and Bruce Aldrich

“It’s really OK to talk about mental health. Getting up and seeing people speak – it’s really eye-opening. This is the generation that can cause a real shift in the tide,” she said. Until then, Aldrich just wants to be like any other teenager – enjoying time with her friends. f

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“Always remember: The admissions office and you have the same goal... to get you admitted and into their school. Their office is the “Admissions” office – not the “Rejections” office!” Dan Lundquist, retired College Vice President and “Dean Dad” offers advice on…

Admission & Financial Aid

Over my forty-year career I was an admission director at a wide variety of colleges and universities, ranging from Ivy League universities to smaller selective liberal arts colleges and a more “open admission” regional institution.


No less significantly, I had two of my own children go through the college application process – one took the stressed-out denial approach all senior year and the other quickly found an Early Decision first choice college. Planning helps, but remember, it is their college search. (The third opted not to go to college, a fine choice for her.) All are happy and successful; they just each took their own different path. From those points of view, it could well be said, that I’ve seen it all. Now I’d like to use my experience to help families:

1. Look ahead… and around the corner: minimize surprises 2. Know what to do and when: make the most of what you can control 3. Make the process more successful: an organized, reality-oriented approach is key

most parents

Everyone will become more expert by the time the process is over, so my thinking is let’s put some of that expertise up front to help you minimize (or avoid) certain pitfalls. Now, as we begin to see school buses displace racehorse trailers, our mailboxes are stuffed with Back to School flyers (all too soon!), and our children are sleeping-in later each day, we know the start of school is fast approaching. Either end of the bell curve – the white-knuckled super focused or too laidback – can be counterproductive. You want to be relaxed, attentive, and pace yourself for the long haul. Where do you find yourself?

most concerned

least concerned

The college preparation bell curve

What adjustments — back off or become more involved — make sense for your family?

Let’s begin by paying attention, and I will introduce some universal fundamentals gleaned over the decades: • College has never been more important (yet - it is not for everyone), all data shows a degree cor relates to higher learning and career advancement for those who go that route. • Appropriate “earliness” is good, but there is a correct order: doing it all at once creates havoc. • Reality and ambition are equally good: aiming too high is a recipe for disappointment. • College is an entire family’s investment: if you have more than one child plan for that. • Happy students well placed in the “right college for them” succeed (I’ve seen unhappy misfit students at Ivies just as I’ve seen kids soar at lesser-known colleges). • There are many – perhaps too many – resources to assist you; guidance counselors, college representatives (in admission and financial aid) and several reputable free websites.

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• A child just beginning high school should be paying attention to many things, in - and out - of class. When it comes to arranging what classes to take, it is good to factorin what the child likes and is good at, along with the generally recommended college prep curriculum. One should begin to think about challenge level – or “rigor” – when applying to the most academically challenging colleges. • Extracurricular activities – in - and out – of school might merit consideration soon because they will play a role at the most selective colleges. CAUTION: be yourself, don’t “mold” yourself to what you think colleges are looking for. • The two years before junior year are “positioning” and “tuning” years, time to experiment, which is what education and development is all about.

If you shine your “high beam” headlights toward the future, what do they illuminate? Harvard or HVCC? Amherst or SUNY ADK? (All colleges are “good”: some are more famous, but that doesn’t mean they are better for our kids. More about that in future columns.) This is an excellent reality check and helpful in the planning process. STUDENTS AND PARENTS

9th grade Match curriculum to college goals, your courses should be relevant. Get realistic about college choice and affordability (every college has a Net Price Calculator that will give you an accurate estimate of your cost at that college: use it!).

10th grade Ditto, but do the “high beams” exercise seriously and make adjustments in your courses or the type of college you think you will attend. Continue the above and have reasonably “transparent” discussions about what you can afford (it will affect all your other kids too). MANAGE EXPECTATIONS

11th grade Continue as above. Begin to visit colleges, first on the web then in person. Use the summer before senior year to visit your “short list” of colleges. Create a timeline-agenda to keep track of important things your family needs to do. Partner with, but don’t exclusively rely on your child to stay on top of this. 12th grade Apply, treating deadlines as DROP-DEAD-LINES, not due dates. Continue as above. Breathe deeply. Think of my three kids’ very different successful lives.

Junior year is probably the most strategically significant year for the student. And it is the one the most selective colleges will be looking at (remember that selective college early application deadlines fall before any senior grades are available). Note that fact, but do not think about “powering down” in your senior year: colleges look at trajectory and patterns. Rigor. GPA. Going up or down? Yes, your junior year will be given lots of early attention, but so will the senior year: don’t slack off (especially if you are admitted “early,” colleges will review your final record!) In future issues we will invite reader questions and dive more deeply into affordability, specific ways to evaluate whether a certain college is a “right college for you,” how to visit campuses, conduct interviews, complete applications, and, finally, make that decision on where you will attend college. (Clue: we all want to get it right but… I was a transfer admission director too!)

I have always said “one’s college education begins with the college planning process, in secondary school.” You need to think about what’s under your control and what isn’t. How does that change over time? What can, and should you do, and when? • You can select your classes and activities and do your best. • You cannot determine how you will stack up against your classmates. • You can choose to apply to colleges that are likely “good fits” for you


• Start early and stay ahead of the curve. You will have more options and less stress.

• Be realistic when developing a college list. Assess your interests, values, skills and aspirations. Look for colleges that fit and feel right to you.

• Most high school students are undecided about what they want to study. Look for a college that will give you room to discover your passion and grow.

• For most students, there isn’t one perfect college. There are more than 3,000 colleges in the United States – you probably have the talent and flexibility to succeed at many colleges.

• MOST colleges admit MOST students who apply; only a small number of colleges (less than 100) reject most applicants.

• College is expensive, but it is a great investment – college grads earn significantly more over their lifetime – and there are MANY available funding sources.


• Don’t be overwhelmed by all that you have to do senior year. Each step you take brings you closer to your goal.

• Note to students: YOU control two-thirds of the process: You “choose” where to apply... and where to attend. Colleges only make admission decisions.

• Remember that the goal of the admission counselor is to get an understanding of what makes a candidate tick. An application presented in one’s natural voice and style – be it serious, wry or humorous – helps accomplish that goal much better than an application that has been tailored to fit the perceived confines of an application form. Use the form as your forum!

• Don’t forget the “heart factor” when choosing your college. Objective criteria – such as academic programs, size, location and cost – are important, but your choice needs to make you feel that “This is home.”

• Finally, please remember that your college education begins with the search process. Keep it in perspective!

• Though a serious process, you needn’t be deadly serious about finding the right college! • Enjoy the journey.

• You cannot control where you get admitted but you are in control of where you enroll!

fall 2018 | SARATOGA FAMILY  45

Okay kids, let’s get going… 1. Generate a target list of colleges – colleges that include both “reach” and “safety” schools. • Private colleges are less expensive than most families realize -- and not only because of the generous aid. Studies have shown that students at a private college are more than twice as likely to graduate in 4 years than at a state school. Go to to find out graduation rates; be sure to set the “default” at 4 years instead of 6 • To learn more, follow the links to each college’s website that interests you.

7. MATCHING SCHOOL WITH YOUR ABILITY • Do you match the freshman profile for GPA and SAT/ACT scores? • What are your chances for acceptance? • Do you consider this school a “reach” or a “safety” school?

3. Keep Good Notes and Get Organized • Make timelines or lists to help keep you on track. (see the High School Timeline on page 45)

9. EXTRAS • Study abroad • Greek life • Club sports or recreation and fitness programs, Intercollegiate sports teams • Volunteer and community service opportunities • Academic support services for special-needs

2. Do Your Homework • Request copies of various school publications (view books, program sheets, etc) • Visit the school’s website • Contact the school for more specific information regarding visit and event dates • Meet with an admission representative at your high school or local college fair.


Use the following “Target List” Questionnaire to build your list

Make your “long list” based on this Target List Questionnaire. Include as many schools as fit your needs. However, by the fall of your senior year, this list should be narrowed to a “short list” of the colleges where you plan to apply. Although there is no magic number for your “short list,” many students find 5-to-8 schools ideal.

1. SIZE • Very small (under 1,500 students) • Medium-small (1,500-to-2,500) • Medium-large (2,500-to-10,000) Large (over 10,000) 2. TYPE OF AREA • Urban • Suburban • Rural 3. DISTANCE FROM HOME • Less than 2 hours • 2-to-4 hours • More than 4 hours 4. COLLEGE SETTING • Physical appearance/atmosphere of the college buildings, green spaces, etc. • Dorms – living conditions • Food service • Social life on campus friendliness of student body, helpfulness of faculty/staff 5. STUDENT COMPOSITION • Single-sex vs. coed • Religious affiliation • Students from a wide range of states and countries • A campus with a good racial & ethnic mix of students with backgrounds either similar to or different than yours 6. ACADEMIC REPUTATION • Academic rigor and pressure • Competitiveness of student body • Smaller teaching institution vs. larger research-based university Educational Caliber of professors • Prestige

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8. ACADEMIC PROGRAMS • What majors are offered? • Is the school known for a particular academic discipline? How does the school counsel “undecided” students? • Is there a clear path into graduate school? • Does the school offer co-ops, internships or research opportunities with professors? • What career services are available? • Are classes taught by professors or teaching assistants?

10. COST • 4-year Graduation Rate. (Go to and set default to 4 years, not 6) • Other Scholarships (“need” and “non-need” or “Merit”) • “List” price of tuition and Total Cost of Attendance "If you really are smart enough to get into an Ivy -- where only 5% are admitted -- then you better be smart enough to apply to less selective colleges too!"

Now, it’s time to visit the schools... WHY? To help determine if a college is a good fit for you. Keep asking, “Do I see myself here?” There are certain “intangibles” for each school that can only be experienced through a visit. A successful college visit can also give you a competitive edge in gaining admission. WHO? Parents: Use this time to meet with Financial Aid officers! WHEN? The ideal time to visit a college campus is when school is in session, when all students are on campus attending classes and when school personnel are available to meet with you. Realistically, summer works best for most families; therefore, most admissions offices are geared to summer visits. While the campus life will be less busy than the regular school year, you should be able to get a “feel” for the college. HOW MANY? If your target schools are all close to home, visiting all is strongly encouraged. If your list ranges from California to Maine, this may be more difficult. It is all about being able to make good comparisons, so you should try to visit as many of your target schools as possible before filling out the applications.


As he explains this simple concept to (slightly!) relax us all: "After financial aid is applied, for a lot of families, it's about the same price to attend a private college as a public." The difference between “price” and “cost” explained:

Lundquist says the words “price” and “cost,” synonymous to many people, are very different when it comes to their usage in terms of tuition. "Price is the sticker price," he said. "The cost is the net cost to the family after financial aid has been applied." Referring to findings in several recent studies, Lundquist said "actual out-of-pocket costs to most families have gone down over the past 10 years, although the price tag keeps going steadily up." In fact, more students receive financial aid than ever. Last year at private four-year colleges, 89% received an average of $16,265, and at public four-year colleges 76% received an average of $8,735 according to the National Center for Education Statistics. For example, Amherst College has a “sticker price” of $71,300 but the average student receiving financial aid – with an Amherst scholarship grant of $49,467 – paid $19,519, still a lot of money but quite different than the sticker price and based exclusively on each family’s individual ability to pay. How to get to those resources?

At the “window shopping” stage, try colleges’ Net Price Calculators. All colleges have one on their websites that allow you to enter basic financial information about your family and receive an accurate estimate of what your cost would be. This powerful tool can help you eliminate colleges, early on, that likely are out of your budget range. Then you should fill out something called the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) -found at Families list their assets and liabilities, cash-flow and income, but retirement and home-equity assets are excluded. Lundquist called the FAFSA "the master key to financial aid. It's the form that every college is going to require. It's the form that State and Federal governments require.”

WHAT MAKES A SUCCESSFUL COLLEGE VISIT? Make as many arrangements in advance as you can, including: • A campus tour and information session • A one-on-one interview with someone in the admissions office • Meeting with someone in the financial aid office • Attending a class and meeting with a professor in your area of interest • Connecting with a coach if you are considering playing a sport in college • Make the campus visit your own: Find time to informally walk around the campus to feel the “chemistry” of the school, talk with students, go to the favorite eating spot, read bulletin boards to see what’s happening on campus. • Be Sure To: Use your cell phone – to take lots of pictures! Panoramas, dorm rooms, fitness center, the Campus Green, special places... Whatever is needed to create and preserve an impression.

IF YOU CANNOT VISIT: • Look at virtual tours on college websites • Email the admissions office with your questions • Visit with representatives of the colleges who come to your school • Look at a video/CD produced by the college, if available

Lundquist did it himself, for his daughter. "If it took me 15 minutes, I'd be surprised," he recalled. "It's pretty easy, unless you've got a complicated financial situation." Later, after future college students have narrowed down the list of schools they wish to attend, and applied for admissions to them, Lundquist said it is important to find what each college's financial aid policies are. "And there's nothing standard about that," he warned. “In addition to doing the Net Price Calculator, read the fine print – or ask – about any rules that might affect a student’s financial aid, like maintaining a certain GPA." After the FAFSA is processed, the government will send the applicant a report which shows how much the parent will be expected to pay: a bottom-line number called the Expected Family Contribution. That determination is made without any regard to where the student will ultimately study. A family’s cost isn’t related to a college’s price. "The expected contribution doesn't have any correlation to the college's price, it only correlates to the family's ability to pay," according to Lundquist. If the formula suggests a family can contribute $20,000 a year to their daughter's education, and she attends a community college in New York, no financial aid would be dispensed to the parents or daughter, though they could apply for loans. But if a child is headed to a higher price college, they are eligible for assistance to help with the total cost of attendance. "If your child ends up going to The Sage Colleges, for example, which costs $18,000 more than the calculated family contribution, then they’re going to show financial need," he said. "Their need is $18,000 and the packaging – awarding the pieces of the total aid package – begins there.” “Financial aid offices are there for you.” If the applicant is from a low income background, the school will apply a Federal Pell Grant and a Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, or SEOG. If they're not low-income, they'll apply an interest-free Federal student loan. "If they're not eligible for a subsidized student loan because their income is too high, they will be offered an unsubsidized Federal student loan, so the government isn't covering the interest rate, but it's still an attractive, competitive rate." They'll then look at state sources of financing. In New York there are two State-based scholarship programs. The first is called Bundy, and it indirectly benefits students because it's given directly to colleges based on the number of residents of New York who are enrolled there. The other is TAP: Tuition Assistance Program. Depending on family income, applicants can get between $500 and $5,000. "The college would then offer a job, and the average pay this year is about $2,000, and then they add all that up." "Remember," says Lundquist, "the FAFSA said we could pay $20,000. So, $6,000 has been covered by outside money – including loans – and the job. Our calculated need is $18,000 which means a $12,000 remaining unmet need. "And now, at the last stage of the formula, a college will apply some amount of institutional money. That doesn't mean that the family will get $12,000 in cash. But the college, for example, would credit you $12,000, which means the family will be charged $12,000 less." "Students are under no obligation to pay grants back," Lundquist said with a smile, "but those fundraisers will be calling asking her to give a gift." Lundquist knows many people are overwhelmed… "We are talking about two of the most important things to parents: their kids and their money. In the college search, look past the price tag and focus on 'best college for my child.’”


fall 2018 | SARATOGA FAMILY  47


“I couldn't help but wonder...”


Just kidding. My name is Lori, not Carrie Bradshaw, and I am the sports and education editor for Saratoga TODAY Newspaper by day, a beauty guide through LimeLife by night, and a screenwriter implanted in a reporter’s body 24/7. I am a recent “Togian,” just having moved into my first place close to downtown last month with my work wife, Tracie. In the last two years I have done some soul searching. I thought perhaps I would try Los Angeles again. I made the arrangements, I planned the move, but plans don’t always work out like you thought they would. In April, we found out my dad had stage four cancer in his tonsils and lymph nodes. The tonsils were removed, and he began a six-week treatment of chemo and radiation five days a week. He had an abnormal side effect, a blood clot in his entire jugular vein. In June, we were informed that my grandfather was in renal failure and only had three months to live if he didn’t immediately start dialysis. He went in for his first treatment and developed sepsis. By some miracle, he recovered. Dad finished treatment last week and is now just waiting for remission. Both are doing well. In this year, so far, I have learned mostly about friendships. Who would cross an ocean for me? Not many people, I’ve noticed. It was frustrating at first to feel so misunderstood as I stewed in my fear and grief. I can count on one hand the people who stepped

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up to the plate and were there for me. Tracie watched a web-series I created in its entirety one night because she knew it would bring me comfort. Amy drove two hours to buy me a drink downtown. Melissa texted me day and night along with spending multiple hours every day with me, listening to me repeat the same stories and frustrations over and over, trying to make sense of my predicament. Lily texted me every day just to make sure I was walking around with my head held high. They say bad things come in threes, they certainly do. I won’t even get into the third but let’s just say, that was no picnic either. However, looking back on these things without the rose-colored glasses, I can see a lot clearer. Things suck, that’s for sure, but how we look back on them is what counts. Do we learn from them or do we let them make us hateful? I choose to learn. Since my bad luck was handed to me on a silver platter, I decided to change my outlook. I bought a new car. I rented my own apartment. I started putting down roots in a place I swore I never wanted to. I accepted that my fear of failure was what was holding me back. I have big dreams. I want to create and run a television series one day. That day is not today nor tomorrow. And that’s okay. Family. Friends. Love. That is what matters most. I once felt the need to justify my decision to stay in Saratoga to someone. “My family and being with them through this challenging time is far more important than chasing a dream that I know I will catch up to when I’m meant to.” I stand by this statement… Don’t sleep on yourself or your dreams, but don’t let fear drive you to something that may not be meant for you right now, either. I hope you’ll join me on my journey through my first year on my own in the Spa City. It’s going to be wild. f

Lori, age 4, with parents Matt and Tammy, and brother, Jordan

fall 2018 | SARATOGA FAMILY  49

What do I do with


now free




What is an “Empty Nester” exactly?

This is the point in every parent or caretaker’s life where the last child has moved out of the house because of college, job, life, etc.

Welcome to a new chapter of your life that you can truly live for YOU!

In the true sense of an empty nester, this room will no longer serve as a full-time bedroom and becomes valuable real estate that you get to turn into…

Whatever you want!

First let’s talk about some traditional ideas that are everybody’s first thoughts, like that dream walk-in closet, man cave or that perfect crafting/sewing room. All great ideas, however the best ideas and pictures on your Pinterest Board will be useless if they do not fit into your lifestyle. That is the key to making this room perfect for you. It needs to reflect your lifestyle and what you enjoy in your leisure time, speaking of leisure time; yes, you may be able to have that now!

Here are 5 ideas to get you started…


Social media and the internet have completely revamped the paradigm of a work life balance. Many people telecommute, work from home with remote work opportunities. Another reason to consider a home office for this space is because if you have been a stay at home parent or guardian until this point, now is when you may reenter the work force. Being able to have that organized space where all “work” is completed can be a place of focus. This new office gives all mail, bills, work related items, household needs a landing place to become organized and systematically filed. The closet can become the new home for a filing cabinet or in-closet organizer for all office supplies. Closet organizers come in an array of budget options, whether you are shopping at a big box store for modular shelving or creating a custom layout.

Before we can turn this spare room into your perfect oasis, let’s look more into what types of activities do you truly enjoy? What types of hobbies do you have? Do you entertain, binge watch movies, or save every spare piece of gift wrap for that perfect scrapbooking creation? The answers reveal EXACTLY what this new space will become.

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If your lifestyle includes visits from out of town friends and family, or just regular entertaining, a guest retreat would be a perfect use for a spare room. I don’t just mean any spare guest room; truly make your guests feel pampered. Imagine going to a higher end hotel where they think of every convenience for your room; robes, carafe of water, work-desk area, mini fridge, etc. They usually upgrade the quality of towels, and toiletries too. Have mini shampoos and body washes of nicer quality brands, get the better-quality towels in a matching set with hand towel and wash cloth, nice lighting and bedside tables. Then customize to the guest, if they like to read, have a few books in a favorite subject, if they like to hike, include some local trails or shops for gear, etc. Think along the lines of a boutique hotel and you may have a revolving guest list for months.


There is something about having a dark and cozy room and being surrounded by books that is captivating. This room can be such a comfort from an exhausting day at the office. It’s quiet, there are oversized cushy chairs to welcome you, and now all you need is either a glass of wine or some hot tea. The other great point to consider is that a library does not have to be a large room. Should this new spare room be too small for a full guest room, a library would be a wonderful use for a small space. Libraries also need little investment. A relaxing chair, new paint, a small lamp and side table is all you need to set it up.


This is a new concept that I have only just recently been getting requests for from my clients. Stick with me here, because I know at first glance a “meditation room” would not even register on your radar but let me explain why this is a great idea. Mediation means a lot of things to different people. It is no longer just lying on a yoga mat and trying to find inner peace, this is about mindfulness. This room is for getting back to neutral when the world is upside down. Think about sitting at a campfire and just watching the flames dance or listening to an Opera and allowing your mind to be carried away with the music, or how about just walking on the treadmill and listening to jazz; these are all examples of mindfulness and/or meditation. This room is truly a quiet place to release whatever is boggling your mind and keeping you from being efficient in your day. This room is also capable of being low budget. You do not need a fancy sound system or Buddha statue. All you need is to use this room as an activity room that helps you to relax and unwind.


This room can be any combination of the above-mentioned ideas. Depending on the size of the room and your budget, this can be a very cleaver use for the spare room. Using a murphy bed when you are not having guests stay over, your floor space is open for any combination of the above options. There are also daybed options that can be used as a sofa during the day or a bed for guests when company comes into town. As an empty nester, this new space in your home is now yours to reinvent. It is a perfect opportunity to be creative and cater the room to your lifestyle. You never know, you may be the envy of your friends and family. f

fall 2018 | SARATOGA FAMILY  51



It is what it is. ...Or is it? W ith opioid addiction frequenting the headlines, some seniors are understandably a little nervous about taking that prescription that has been helping them mitigate their chronic pain. Some even consider skipping doses, using the “stiff upper lip” method of managing pain. But there’s no need to give up or give in. Gordan Kuhar, MD, DABPM, Saratoga Hospital Medical Group – Pain Management, has some reassuring news.

“The vast majority of patients who take a modest amount of opioids for significant chronic pain do not become addicted,” Dr. Kuhar says. “But if you are relying on the prescription to mitigate pain every day, possibly experiencing problematic side effects and you have concerns, I strongly encourage that you come in for an evaluation. Too often, people will wrongly assume, ‘I’m old, it is what it is and I’m stuck with it.’ Proper pain management can, in many instances, reduce something from severely limiting to more of a nuisance, and you don’t necessarily need opioids to do that.” Dr. Kuhar established and leads the Hospital’s pain management program located in the Saratoga Surgery Center on the Hospital’s Wilton Campus, which has been serving patients for ten years. He has found that chronic pain sometimes can be linked to a yet undiagnosed condition that, once identified and properly treated, can dramatically lessen one’s pain. The key, according to Dr. Kuhar, is to pinpoint precisely where the pain is coming from. “This practice is all about listening,” says Dr. Kuhar. “The patient is trying to tell you what’s wrong, and it’s natural to want to dash off to do some sophisticated tests, but you can miss the bigger picture. So my team and I pride ourselves on being good listeners in hopes of making as big a dent in the patient’s problem as possible.” Much of the practice’s work involves elderly patients. Commonly seen issues include chronic wear and tear of discs and joints, including neck, back, hip, and knee pain. Dr. Kuhar maintains there is much that can be done beyond surgery or corticosteroid shots, including many

52  SARATOGA FAMILY | fall 2018

options that don’t involve pain medication. Dr. Kuhar spoke of an exciting new non-surgical, minimally invasive X-ray guided outpatient procedure that can significantly reduce the pain associated with advanced osteoarthritis involving both knees and hips. Additionally, the pain management practice encourages non-interventional pain management options, such as yoga, meditation, or physical therapy at one of the five Regional Therapy Center of Saratoga Hospital locations. Also, Saratoga Community Health Center offers wellness programs that can mitigate pain levels as well as reduce the anxiety and stress that often accompanies chronic pain. “Pain can be frustrating, depressing, and isolating,” acknowledges Dr. Kuhar. “Patients often tell me, ‘no one wants to be around me when I’m like this.’ So they become withdrawn, less active, then out of shape, and it snowballs on you. I explain to them that it is so important to understand ‘why I hurt’ and what can be done about it. My entire career life has been dedicated to this. There are many safe options so no one has to suffer needlessly.” f

Saratoga Hospital Medical Group – Pain Management is located at 3050 Route 50 Suite 204 in the Saratoga Surgery Center on Saratoga Hospital’s Wilton Campus. To learn more about Dr. Kuhar and pain management services, please visit or call 518-886-5100.

Dr. Kuhar


The Gentlepersons’Guide to



Google Trends Indication of Selected Interests, 2017-2018

hen I retired four years ago. it took me over a year to begin to realize what I didn’t know.

No “do-overs,” thank you. I have no regrets about my decisions. I was psychologically ready (“leave on the upswing”) and financially able. If retiring was a legal matter, most of us would have motive and means, but be guilty of insufficient preparation - throw yourself at the mercy of the court! The notion of retirement is fairly modern, and varies by country and culture and class. In the olden days there was no retirement, there was death. This is still true in many parts of the modern world, even in America. Putting aside the extreme example of Scandinavia (where some retire whenever they want, thanks to generous social-welfare systems), in general the modern notion of ceasing regular work in one’s early-to-mid-60s is quite new. But it, surprising to many, is not as natural as death.

As the EKG-like trend line above suggests, Americans have an ADD-like fixation/avoidance relation with this topic – note the blue line is retirement, yellow is future, and red is climate change (go figure?!) – so here is a holistic guide to retirement planning.

Test Your Romantic Visions Against Reality. Points to consider (and re-reconsider):

Replacement Activity(ies): after the “vacation period” (I refuse to call

it “honeymoon period”) ends in about a month, what will you do? Will lack of structure be lonely or freeing? What will give you real reward, a sense of purpose… for the rest of your life?

Impact on spouse or partner (who, by definition of not being you, knows even less than you): pose such questions as above and seek their (serious) guidance… are they prepared ? Finances: important for sure, but no matter what your nest-egg, you won't know how you feel about not having income until you don’t have it… look in the mirror as hard as at your bank statements.

Homework: ask around… and press! Many well-intentioned but

knee-jerk “congratulations” become confessions of restlessness, even visits to therapists’ couches on the part of friends (especially men).

Proust 0, Socrates 1: it isn’t that past memories can’t be rosy, it just may be that an excess of free time will lead you to introspect as much on life’s absurdities as its delights... there may be a (not so) gentle roller coaster in your early “retirement.” And furthermore, why do you think so many people say “my so-called ‘retirement,’” bracketing the word “retirement” in quotation marks with implied irony? I no longer say I’m retired. I tell people I’m self-employed. It is so much easier! Good luck and enjoy! f

fall 2018 | SARATOGA FAMILY  53


It’s never too early...

To plan your next


with the grandkids!

Visit our booth at the 50+ Living Expo on 10/13 from 11am - 3pm at the Saratoga Springs City Center!

Multi-Generational travel has become super popular and there are so many amazing things for this type of vacation... river, ocean and yacht cruises, all-inclusive resorts, land tours in Europe, etc.!!! WRITTEN BY ANNE GORDON OF LIVE LIFE TRAVEL


onsidering that most families are bound by the school calendar, our #1 tip for making the family vacation happen (and being able to afford it!) is to plan ahead. It doesn’t matter where you go, it matters that you are all together and grateful to be together. Tips for planning your next family vacation: • Have a family meeting and make a list of where every one wants to go. Bring a map and make a list… Grand Canyon, Rome, Turks, Disney? • Make a list of “must haves” for your vacation (beach, view, all-inclusive, budget friendly, kids club, babysitting, length of flights, great beach, etc.) • Come up with a realistic budget (can be a range and should also include flights.) • Research online but seek out a professional travel advisor to save you hours of frustration on the web (too many choices and confusion and they cannot upgrade you, protect you or VIP you.) • Make a list of places that you all would like to see in the next 10 plus years - Set goals – Have fun with it as a family!!! • Always have the kids keep a journal when they travel. • Never buy a plane ticket that has more than one stop out of ALB, not worth it and we have too many options for anyone to ever have to do that.

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• Consider flying out of Montreal or Stewart, they have competitive prices and direct flights; If flying out of NYC, there is a daily shuttle. • Even if you know where you are going to stay, please consider booking your hotel, tour or cruise through your local travel advisor, they will be able to get you VIP status, perks, resort/tour credits, upgrades and other amenities that you would not be able to get on your own and you’ll be supporting a local business. f SOME SUGGESTIONS…

• Beaches Turks and Jamaica – This is such a great All Inclusive experience for both adults and kids; we recommend that you book in advance (2 years preferred for school breaks) • NYC Cruises - NYC finally has some SUPER cool cruise ships there – We have daily shuttles that will take you straight to the ports and can hook you up with some cool amenities. We will have groups going out starting next summer! • Tauck Family Bridges – Fantastic tour company if you are looking to do something either out West (Grand Canyon) or in Europe (maybe Italy?) • Karisma Resorts – Nickelodeon characters – resorts in Mexico and Punta Cana – Slime and all!! Many options and VIP amenities.

Senior Activities Saratoga Senior Center is located at 5 Williams Street, (518) 584-1621 EVENTS AT THE CENTER

• Charitable Giving presented by Charlie Joseph of Janney Montgomery Scott & Herzog Lawfirm: Wednesday September 26th 3-5pm (Free & Open to the Public) • Insurance Expo: Friday October 12th 9:30am-12:30pm • Open House: Saturday October 20th 10am-2pm


• Old Forge Rail & Cruise: September (Call the Center for more details! (518) 584-1621) • New York City: Wednesday December 5th, 2018 ($40/Members, $65/Non-Members)


• Iceland’s Magical Northern Lights: March 13th-19th, 2019 ($3,599) • America’s Cowboy Country: May 26th-June 2nd, 2019 ($3,799) • Discover Switzerland, Austria, & Bavaria: Magical Rhine and Moselle River Cruise: September 16th-25th, 2019 ($4,799) • London & Paris: November 6th-13th, 2019 ($3,499) • Spotlight on San Antonio Holiday: December 5th-9th, 2019 ($2,109)

fall 2018 | SARATOGA FAMILY  55

When you need to be impressed with nature

go North of it -




If you want to talk about nature’s majesty-which can be discovered right here in the Adirondacksjust a few hours North of Saratoga, Ausable Chasm should be at the top of your list. Referred to as “The Little Grand Canyon of the East” and a “Yosemite in miniature,” Ausable is said to be the oldest continuously operating natural attraction in the entire US. It’s a straight, easy shot up 87 North, offering spectacular views of the scenic Adirondack mountains the entire way. And when you catch your first glimpse of Ausable Chasm and Rainbow Falls, you’ll be more than happy you took the drive, intent on exploring the area with friends, family, or even by yourself. Open to the public since 1870, 10 million-plus sightseers to date have marveled over mother nature’s handiwork: one-of-a-kind vertical walls that tower over everything else, a canyon fashioned from 500-million-year-old rock, churning water cutting fiercely through its center. Aside from that, you’ll find a series of stunning waterfalls, which some claim showcase a colorful rainbow nearly every day-thus the name Rainbow Falls. Ausable Chasm boasts several unique rock formations and Elephant’s Head is likely the most famous, standing nearly 100 feet tall. Thousands of years old, this cliff uncannily resembles the head and trunk of an elephant due to erosion and can be seen from a few different vantage points along the trail. Other fan favorites include stunning sandstone creations like Devil’s Oven, The Cathedral, Column Rock and the Post Office. Speaking of the Post Office-this was a long-time beloved tradition at Ausable Chasm. Visitors were welcome to write personal messages to friends, family, and loved ones, posting them to the soft rock walls inside a section of the chasm afterward. In 2004, in management’s attempt to keep better control of litter and further erosion of the porous rock walls, a ‘Post Office’ mailbox was erected instead. Although visitors were still encouraged to write about their impressions of the chasm, they were instructed to put their musings inside the box rather than pinning to the walls of the canyon.

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fall 2018 | SARATOGA FAMILY  57

On January 19th, 1996, temperatures rose from 20F to 75F in a matter of 12 hours. Several inches of snow that had settled in the mountains and 18” on the ground melted rapidly, resulting in a devasting flood at Ausable. At the same time, torrential rains began to fall. The combination of these two events was catastrophic.


The power of these flood waters was monumental, decimating trees as tall as 60 feet, uprooting and sweeping them downstream. Steel bridges measuring 70 feet long were ripped free from their foundations, wreaking havoc with the cliffs of Ausable on their way down to the bottom, where they came to rest beneath piles of debris. President Clinton declared the area a Federal Disaster Site. Ausable Chasm’s management team, as well as its community, quickly reacted to the overwhelming damage. Restoration began in early Spring. The new steel bridges were nearly twice as thick as those destroyed a few months before. And because the floods in January were considered a freak of nature, the bridges, now built so much stronger, were believed to last another century. On November 9th, 1996, the nightmare began once again. More violent rains, disastrous flooding, and a relentless show of Mother Nature’s power annihilated roadbeds, bridges, and countless homes this go ‘round. And President Clinton found himself declaring it a Federal Disaster Site for the second time in less than a year. The spirit of man is resilient though, and the enormous task of rebuilding yet again began with more vigor and determination than ever before.

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Today, a brand new trail system has been carved out on higher ground. People can enjoy gorgeous views from any number of them. If you’re a beginning hiker, you might want to choose the Rim Walk, a gentle hike with bird’s-eye views. You’ll be able to see MoonHemlock Heights on this trail. The Inner Sanctum will lead you deep into the chasm, where you’ll walk along natural stone pathways, climb up and down stairs, and make your way across bridges. Admittedly, this hike is a bit more challenging, but well worth the effort in exchange for the view. Once you’ve mastered the Inner Sanctum, try out the Dry Chasm Trail. This trail features steep, natural terrain. It’s also a great way to introduce yourself to Adirondack wilderness-style hiking. Both the Little and Big Dry Chasms are ancient river beds that dried up thousands of years ago. Today there are curious rock formations that hold evidence they were once raging waterways. Ausable Chasm’s Adventure Trail is, by far, the most challenging. Strap on a harness and explore the breathtaking Upper Chasm-a region of the chasm not accessible on any other trail. A unique, semi-guided tour, it combines cable courses, cable bridges, cargo net climbs, and edge walks. It also comes with a list of warnings, so make sure you read up on them before you go. Ausable Chasm is open year round. Visitors can choose to raft or tube a mileor-so through the gorge. And nighttime lantern tours end with a marshmallow roast over roaring fires back at Table Rock, where a guide eagerly shares stories about the Chasm’s history, folklore, even black and white silent films staged there in the early 1900s. If cold weather hiking is what you prefer, take a Winter tour at the chasm. Wander through this wonderland and view icicles that sometimes tower 150’ above the Ausable River, explore rock and ice formations along the Inner Sanctum if conditions allow, always taking an experienced guide along with you. No matter when you decide to visit Ausable Chasm, you can’t go wrong. You’re bound to come away with a much greater appreciation of nature nd the peace and calm it lends us when we need it most. f

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ur parents first pulled into Blue Mountain Lake in August of 1955, on a trip celebrating their first wedding anniversary. They discovered it by accident; while seeking a refuge from hay fever, they learned that Blue Mountain Lake had the lowest pollen count in NY State, and set their compass north. As fate would have it, they stayed at Prospect Point. They couldn’t believe the magic and beauty of the place. Year after year they returned, eventually bringing us kids with them when we came into the picture. But as the years passed, the Point fell into disrepair. Some of the cottage walls began to separate, and a sapling grew through one of the porches. All but five cottages were shut down, and in the end, all of Prospect Point was closed. The place was put up for sale and threatened with development.

Fearing what might happen, our parents purchased the property. It wasn’t a business decision, and they knew it. They also knew that our family had no idea how to run a

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cottage colony, fix the plumbing or insulate a roof. Equally sobering, the former owner had lost the guest list, so we wondered how potential guests would even hear about us, way up in the Adirondacks. Our neighbor, Bob Curry, is an incredible carpenter, and with his team restoring the cottages, we set up a webpage on the nascent internet, crossed our fingers and hoped for the best. We all but cheered when the first email arrived. Someone actually found our page - and wanted to stay with us! After that the word quickly spread that Prospect Point had reopened its doors, and soon emails began pouring in and guests began to arrive. A lot has changed since those days. Fireplaces lend magic to a number of cottages, and nearly all feature cathedral ceilings and skylights. Handmade oil paintings and Native American artifacts grace the walls; naturally-shed antler chandeliers hang from the ceilings. During fall and winter there’s almost always a fire roaring in our library/ community room, where guests can tickle the ivories on our vintage

19th-century Steinway, play a round of pool, or pick a book from the shelves and curl up with a steaming cup of hot chocolate. A flock of ducks and chickens ensures that kids from the city get to experience these creatures outside of a supermarket, and guests are encouraged to clip from the herb gardens for their salads and cooking. Then, of course, there’s our famous Adirondack Brunch: Each morning from October through mid-June guests enjoy a wonderful all-you-can eat gourmet breakfast in our library, augmented with herbs and vegetables from our gardens. We’re different from other cottage colonies in other ways as well: Some of our cottages have entrance ramps, broad hallways, and wide bathroom doors. All have sturdy bathroom grips. These features – surely unusual among Adirondack Cottage resorts – were added by our parents to make Prospect Point more welcoming to the elderly and to those in wheelchairs. At the time, we were told that we were exempt from government wheelchair requirements, that these amenities were not necessary in a northwoods cottage colony, and that we were unlikely to ever recover the costs associated with including such features. Our parents – our mother in particular, passionately argued that it didn’t matter if we were compelled to include wheelchair accessible features or not; that it was the right thing to do, and that everyone should have a chance to enjoy a vacation in a lakeside cottage in the country, no matter their age or able-bodied status. Although the layout of the cottages permitted us to bring only Moose Lodge fully up to code as wheelchair accessible, our mother repeatedly urged our contractors to render as many cottages as humanly possible “wheelchair friendly”, with access ramps and other features. Of all the amenities, we’ve added since purchasing Prospect Point, my siblings and I have never been more proud of our parents than for this. They are goodhearted people who want everyone to feel welcome, wanted, and at home. And who knows, maybe one day we’ll be the ones who’ll appreciate their thoughtfulness as we grow older.

Summer at Prospect Point is a time of bonfires, uproarious weekly talent shows, ice cream socials, children's tea parties and other zany goings on. Of course, everything is casual and people are free to do as much or as little as they please. They can hike in the forest or enjoy a paddle in one of our canoes or kayaks on beautiful Blue Mountain Lake, or just sit with a book by the water’s edge. There’s a magic in that too. In the cooler months, guests can try gliding through the wintry forest on our snowshoes, build igloos or sleigh ride down the hill to the beach. Generally, a quieter time at Prospect Point, winter is also perfect for couples who are eager to experience the romance of life in a beautiful woodsy cottage with a fire crackling and a glass of wine or hot chocolate in hand. We feel we're in the memory business, helping people to gain memories that hopefully – like ours – will last a lifetime. I can’t tell you how moved we are over the heartfelt letters we receive, many of them handwritten, thanking our parents for saving this place and preserving a little bit of heaven for their families to enjoy. That’s worth everything to us. It makes me smile to think that 63 years after first pulling into these cottages as a young couple, our parents’ love affair with Prospect Point (and with each other) is still growing, still strong. They never dreamed that one day they would become stewards of the beautiful place they fell in love with that summer so long ago, or have the privilege of sharing it with others who love it as they do. None of us dreamed that we’d be in a business where many of our guests would come to be among our dearest friends, and where we’d get to see so many of them return each year - some bringing new families of their own. Nor could we have imagined the privilege of introducing new families to this place and getting to meet so many wonderful people. Sometimes the whole venture feels like a dream, like an extended family reunion. Surely that’s the best job in the world! f

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SATURDAY, AUGUST 18 16th Annual Jailhouse Rock 5K

Brookside Museum, 6 Charlton St., Ballston spa


The race is sponsored by the Saratoga County Historical Society at Brookside Museum. All proceeds from the race support the efforts of SCHS to keep history alive in Saratoga County through collecting, preserving and displaying our history. There will be live music and awards for top finishers and age group winners. The race will start at the top of the hill by Brookside at 8:18 a.m. Finish will be at the Brookside Museum. Online registration: $30 August 17 and day of. Discounts available for Saratoga Stryders members and Saratoga County youth running clubs. Contact Race Director for details. For additional information on the race or sponsorship gifts contact Jennifer Ferriss, or call the Brookside Museum, 518-885-4000.

12th Annual Clifton Park Elks Car, Truck and Bike Show

Clifton Park Elks Lodge, 695 MacElroy Rd., Ballston Lake, 9 a.m. – 3:45 p.m.

All years and makes of cars, trucks and motorcycles. Fun, Music, 50/50 Raffles, and Great Food. Come see the contestant vehicles. Spectators are free. Rain Date is Sunday, August 19. For Information call Dick Campion @ (518)928-8725 or Mike Bendetti @ (518) 495-0240.

Family Saturdays: Papel Picado

Tang Teaching Museum, 815 N. Broadway, Saratoga Springs, 2 – 3:30 p.m.

We will look at Daniel Gonzalez’s Artes es Vida in the exhibition “Give a Damn” and talk about the artwork, how it is made, and the Mexican folk art tradition of papel picado, or cut paper. Then we will make our own papel picado creations with both construction and tissue paper, markers, and more!

Suitable for children ages 5 and up along with their adult companions. Reservations are required. For more information and reservations, please call the Tang’s Visitor Service Desk at 518-580-8080. Free and open to the public.

SATURDAY AND SUNDAY, AUGUST 18, 19 10th Annual Saratoga Arts Celebration

National Museum of Dance, 99 S. Broadway, Saratoga Springs, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

A juried fine arts and fine crafts festival of visual and performing arts. The show is held on the great lawn as well as inside the Dance Museum and is timed with Traver’s Festival week in Saratoga Springs. Featuring 100 invited artists selected locally and from across the country and Canada. Their paintings, photography, drawings, prints, sculptures, mixed media, jewelry, ceramics, fiber, metal and

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glass pieces are all original works of art and are available for collecting in every price range. “You will enjoy meeting the artists and learning about their creative process. Many of these artists are award winners who exhibit nationally”. The Festival includes live musical performances on both days with local celebrities - Umbuntu, as well as free hands-on children’s arts activities and a variety of food temptations. Sunday there will be a Farmers’ Market to enjoy as well. It all happens rain or shine, inside and under tents. Admission is free to both the Saratoga Arts Celebration and the National Museum of Dance.

SUNDAY AND MONDAY, AUGUST 19, 20 Saratoga Stryders’ 5K Trail Series Fun Runs

Wilton Wildlife Preserve & Park, Camp Saratoga, Scout Rd., Gansevoort, 5:30 p.m.

The Saratoga Stryders is hosting this fun run on the wooded trails at Camp Saratoga. The race series is open to all ages and abilities. Registration is $5 at the door starting at 5:30 p.m. Races begin at 6:15 p.m. sharp - rain or shine. A raffle is held at the end of each race with many prizes awarded. At the last race of the series the Ironman and Ironwoman award is given. This is a fun but challenging trail course: expect to add 10-20% to your best 5K road course time. There are no water stops on the course but is available at the finish. Proceeds benefit the Wilton Wildlife Preserve & Park, Saratoga Spa State Park and another local non-profit. For more information contact Laura Clark at or 518-581-1278.

MONDAY, AUGUST 20 – SUNDAY, AUGUST 26 Washington County Fair

Washington County Fairgrounds, 392 Old Schuylerville Rd., Greenwich, 5 – 11 p.m. The Washington County Fair is home to over 1,800 exhibitors; more than 1,900 animals; over 30 free daily shows and entertainment; more than 40 carnival rides; hundreds of artisans, craftsmen, and historians; 50 food vendors all located on 120 acres with ample free parking. Our mission is to educate the public on the county's agriculture in a fun, family-friendly environment. For ticket information, visit

THURSDAY, AUGUST 23 Lake George Musical Festival: Chamber Music Performance 6

Skidmore College, Arthur Zankel Music Center, 815 N. Broadway, Saratoga Springs, 7 p.m.

Chamber Music performance featuring small ensembles comprised of our extraordinary festival musicians! Parking: available for free in the Zankel Music Center parking lot. Cost is $15.


Saratoga Race Course, 267 Union Ave., Saratoga Springs, Post Time 11:35 a.m. This is Saratoga's biggest race - the one you don't want to miss - the 149th running of the $1.25 million Travers Stakes, the "Mid-Summer Derby" for three-year-olds at a mile and a quarter. Gates open at 7 a.m.

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 29 – MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 3 Schaghticoke Fair The Schaghticoke Fair will celebrate its 199th year of being a showcase for the best that Rensselaer County residents and agriculture have to offer. Building after building will be bursting with vegetables, fruits, animals, antiques, baked goods and homemade crafts. The 3rd oldest Fair in New York State takes great pride in being a Family Fair with hands-on participation at its exhibits. Tasting, seeing, hearing and literally feeling agriculture in action is one of the best experiences we can offer. For more information, visit

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 8 Insane Inflatable 5K Run

Ellms Family Farm, 468 Charlton Rd., Ballston Spa, 8:30 a.m. Get ready to experience the most fun, wild and insane obstacle run in the world. Get “pumped up” for a course filled with the world's largest and most extreme inflatable obstacles ever produced. Register as a team and get your family, friends, and co-workers involved! Pick from 12 waves, the first beginning at 8:30 a.m. and the last at 11:30 p.m. For more information or to register, visit

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 9 Saratoga Grandparents Day

Saratoga Springs City Center, 522 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, 1 – 4 p.m.

Create lasting memories through activities for all generations to enjoy! The fun-filled afternoon includes carnival style games and treats, face painting, balloon art, a magician, fun photos, and more. This event honors Grandparents and Great-Grandparents by providing an opportunity for families of all ages to spend time together on National Grandparents Day. The admission fee is a suggested donation of $5 per person. The first 250 Grandparents and Great-Grandparents to enter receive a special “Grandparents Giveaway” bag and have the chance to win door prizes! All proceeds from this event will benefit The Wesley Community, a non-profit organization located in Saratoga Springs that cares for older adults.

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 15-16, 22-23, 29-30 Saratoga Showcase of Homes

The Saratoga Builders Association invites you to the 23rd annual Saratoga Showcase of Homes! For three consecutive weekends, the Saratoga Builders Association showcases and invites the public to tour the area's finest homes built by some of the Capital Region's best home builders and designers. Tour the beautiful homes with the latest in highquality furnishings and fixtures as you explore the latest building techniques and products. Then you can cast your votes for the best homes in the people's choice awards! For more information, visit

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THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20 13th Annual Feast of the Fields

Join Saratoga Plan on Thursday, September 20 from 5:30-9 p.m. at Saratoga National Golf Club for the 13th annual Feast of the Fields, an event that promises to be a funfilled, delicious evening featuring top chefs preparing small plates from fresh ingredients harvested by local farms, along with enticing products and drinks from local producers. A silent auction filled with items and experiences from local businesses and artisans will round out the night. Purchase your tickets at

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20 – SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 23 Adirondack Balloon Festival Glens Falls and Queensbury

There will be balloons of all shapes and sizes. Watch from the ground as they take off into the sky or go for a ride and see a view you won't soon forget! For event details, visit

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 22 Art in the Park


Congress Park, 1 E. Congress St., Saratoga Springs, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Art in the Park is a one-day art show curated and presented by Saratoga Arts. Artists from Saratoga and the Capital Region displaying and selling their original two- and three-dimensional creations and personally-designed and crafted functional art in a beautiful park setting. Artists will be on hand to discuss their drawing, painting, ceramics, jewelry, sculpture, photography, print-making, and work in other media. This year's event will include local music, great food and a Kidz Art Zone. For additional information or questions, please contact Saratoga Arts at 518-584-4132. The rain date for the event will be Saturday, September 29, 2018.

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 22 -SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 23 29th Annual Hudson Mohawk Antique Truck Show

Saratoga County Fairgrounds, 162 Prospect St., Ballston spa, 8 a.m.

Each year, nearly 300 antique trucks are registered at our antique truck show. These trucks are from across New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Vermont, Maine, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Canada. Antique trucks range from the 1910s to the 1990s. With new trucks on display from our Corporate Sponsors. Admission is $1 per person, children under 12 are free.

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 23 Taste of Wilton

Gavin Park, 10 Lewis Rd., Saratoga Springs, 1 – 4 p.m.

In honor of their Bicentennial year, the First Annual Taste of Wilton will feature a collection of local farms, restaurants, wineries and distilleries under the tent. The event will benefit the local Wilton Food Pantry.

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 29 – SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 30 Warrensburg Garage Sale The World's Largest Garage Sale

With over 500 vendors stretching the length of Main Street and throughout many of Warrensburg’s residential neighborhoods, the Warrensburg Chamber of

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Commerce presents the 39th Annual World’s Largest Garage Sale. Shoppers can expect to find new and old items, antiques, collectibles, toys, and much, much more! You will have no problem finding something to eat in Warrensburg, as there are street food vendors everywhere - selling everything from chicken wings, and BBQ ribs to gourmet chicken pitas and home baked goods. Fairground Park & Ride - Free parking all day at The Warren County Fairgrounds and ride the FREE all-day bus service to Main St. Shopping and Residential Warrensburg Sales. To park at Warren County Fairgrounds use exit 23 off the Northway, look for signs directing you to location.

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 30 9th Annual Nick's Run to be Healed 5K

Clifton Commons, 14 Clifton Commons Court, Clifton Park, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

The race includes a Kids Walk, Kids Carnival, a 2-mile walk, a Zumba warm-up and a 5K. This year’s run is in honor of Ali Bawla. Ali is an active 7-year old who was diagnosed with B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia in May 2017. Ali is one of approximately 90 children who are diagnosed every year from our area. Preregistration is happening now and dri-fit shirts will be given to those who sign up by September 7. All money donated helps local children being treated at The Bernard & Millie Duker Children Hospital’s Melodies Center at Albany Med. Nick’s Fight to be Healed helps families pay for medical and travel costs and reduces stress for the entire family through its many. This organization is completely run by volunteers and was started in 2009 in memory of Nick Cammarata who battled leukemia for only four months before he passed away at only 13 years old. For more information on this foundation and how to register for this event, visit the fighttobehealed website.

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 13 The 18th Annual Great Pumpkin Challenge

Saratoga Spa State Park, 19 Roosevelt Dr., Saratoga Springs, 9:30 a.m. – Noon This event features a 5K (walk or run), 10K (run) and a Fun Run for kids 12 and under. Participants (if registered by 10/1) receive long-sleeved men’s sized moisture wicking t-shirts. Shirts and registration limited to the first 1,500 registrants. 9:30 a.m. Start (5 & 10K); 10:45 a.m. (Kids Fun Run) 5K & 10K Fees: $25 (by 10/1); $28 (by 10/10 - online registration ends on 10/10 at 10 a.m.); $30 (in person only after 10 a.m. on 10/10 and before 6pm on 10/12); No Day of Registration. Kids Fun Run Fees (12 & under): $10.

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 18 Touched by an Angel

The Community Hospice of Saratoga is hosting its TwentyThird Annual “Touched by an Angel” event which will be held at The National Museum of Dance from 6 - 8:30 p.m. This reception, attended by over 550 guests, is the premier

social event of the fall season. The event features food stations manned by local restaurants, along with complimentary champagne, beverages, hors d’oeuvres, and a dessert buffet. Each year the Hospice invites local restaurateurs, businesses, food and beverage purveyors, florists, volunteers, and rental companies to donate goods and services for this event. This is truly a community event and we couldn’t do what we do without the help of all involved. For more information, contact Gina Peca at 518-581-9727 or email at To purchase tickets, visit the website:

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 25 Vin Le Soir: Wine Tasting to Benefit AIM Services, Inc. Longfellow’s Restaurant, 500 Union Ave., Saratoga Springs, 6 – 9 p.m.

Surround yourself with lights and embrace the night while tasting wine. Join us for an elegant evening with a wide selection of wines from around the world courtesy of Specialty Wines & More, hors d’oeuvres, live entertainment, and raffles. Support people with disabilities reach for the stars and discover their power of potential! Cocktailstyle attire. AIM Services, Inc. is dedicated to supporting the "power of potential" in people of diverse abilities. Through community-based services, advocacy, and education, dedicated professionals focus on supporting people in achieving their personal goals, while promoting a sense of self-confidence and independence.

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 4 Third Annual Veterans Ball

Hall of Springs, 108 Avenue of the Pines, Saratoga Springs, 5 – 9 p.m.

The Third Annual Veterans Ball is a forum to honor our veterans. It is a fundraiser for Veterans & Community Housing Coalition to continue to provide housing and support services to homeless veterans. Live music by the Joey Thomas Big Band will provide music for dancing while enjoying dinner, silent auction, raffles and a ceremony honoring Veterans from each Branch and various conflicts, WWII Veterans and a fallen hero. Valet parking.

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 10 – SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 11 4th Annual Saratoga Holiday Art Fair

A juried fine arts and fine crafts. There will be a selection of juried artists exhibiting handmade and very Gift-able Works of Art. The exhibitors presented are some of New England's top artists and craftspeople working in a variety of media. Handmade jewelry, fine weaving and wearables, hand blown glass, wood vessels and utensils, sculpture, functional stoneware and raku pottery, hand-made quilts, mixed media, photography, paintings and much more. The focus is on quality works of art in every price level for collectors and museum patrons. The Art Fair has a cafe and live performances and children’s art activities. Visit for more information.

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Your true friends don’t care if you’re a loser. They appreciate you just the way you are.

In an industry where winning is everything, Zippy Chippy made losing his thing. The New York bred gelding ran 100 races and lost every single one. His bad behavior caused him to be banned from every racetrack in the country except one. The horse’s epic failures earned him immense popularity in the sport and beyond. His trainer loved him, as does his best friend today, Red South Down. They live together in Greenfield’s thoroughbred retirement farm, Old Friends at Cabin Creek. DIGNITY IN RETIREMENT There are 16 horses at the farm, which is 100 percent staffed by volunteers. “It’s an amazing thing. Most have no experience and slowly get more familiar and more relaxed. They get to have that close relationship with the horses and visit on a regular basis because they fall in love,” said director JoAnn Pepper. No matter how successful a horse is in its racing career, he will likely retire with a decade or more life left to live. There’s not a plan for every horse after he retires, which is why Old Friends exists. “When they come to us here, their jobs are to be ambassadors for aftercare,” said Pepper.

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A NEW OLD FRIEND The newest friend at the farm is the 7-year-old Slew’s Brew. This spring he raced in the Finger Lakes region but sustained a suspensory ligament injury in his legs so needed to retire and was waiting for someplace to go when a spot opened up among the group at Old Friends. In addition to the volunteering to help out on the farm, you can come just to visit the horses, year-round and in all types of weather. Tour guides share stories about the horses while you pet and feed them. “My horses are very spoiled and some can get mouthy. When you give them a treat, they want another and another – they know where the candy is kept for them,” she said. The horses love carrots and the farm can always use more donations of them. Staying stocked with hay and grain are a constant concern, also. A full list of needed supplies can be found on the farm’s website. f To help pay for their dignified retirement, Old Friends at Cabin Creek holds several summer fundraisers. The 1st Annual ‘These Boots Were Made for Walking’ walkin cocktail party will be held at The Savory Pantry, 486 Broadway, Saratoga Springs on Tuesday, August 21st from 5:30 to 8:00p.m. Twenty-percent of the proceeds from the evening will be donated to the organization. Visit Old Friends at Cabin Creek, 483 Sand Hill Road, Greenfield Center for FREE Tuesday - Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 1:00p.m. Donations are greatly appreciated. For more information, go to

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