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NYRA, Saratoga Springs launch face mask benefit

The New York Racing Association, Inc. and the City of Saratoga Springs recently unveiled a limited edition set of Saratoga Race Course-branded face masks as part of a joint initiative to raise funds for two local non-profit organizations: Franklin Community Center and Shelters of Saratoga. (Photo submitted)

SARATOGA SPRINGS — The New York Racing Association, Inc. and the City of Saratoga Springs recently unveiled a limited edition set of Saratoga Race Course-branded face masks as part of a joint initiative to raise funds for two local non-profit organizations: Franklin Community Center and Shelters of Saratoga.

The Saratoga reusable cloth face masks come in a variety pack featuring three individual designs: a red mask with a white Saratoga logo; a white mask with a red Saratoga logo; and a navy-blue mask with a red Saratoga logo. The masks include a white border and stretchable elastic ear straps with an interior pocket for a replaceable filter.

The three-pack is available for preorder for $24.95 at Shop.NYRA.com.

A portion of proceeds will be donated in equal allotments to support the efforts of two Saratoga Springs-based non-profit organizations: Franklin Community Center and Shelters of Saratoga, which provide food, shelter and other critical resources to the community.

“We are excited to launch this face mask campaign so that fans can show their support for Saratoga Race Course while benefitting two local organizations,” said NYRA President & CEO Dave O’Rourke in a news release. “We thank Mayor Kelly and the City of Saratoga Springs for their partnership in bringing this charitable program to life, as well as the Franklin Community Center and Shelters of Saratoga for their continued service on behalf of the Saratoga Springs community.”

“We would like to give our sincere thanks to NYRA for their cooperation and support, now more than ever. In particular, we would like to thank them for their partnership on the Saratoga masks initiative, which will greatly help Shelters of Saratoga and Franklin Community Center,” said City of Saratoga Springs Mayor Meg Kelly in the release. “NYRA has always been a terrific partner to Saratoga Springs and this program will enable our community to maintain high mental and physical health during these challenging times.” 

 Mayor Kelly and representatives from NYRA and the two charitable organizations unveiled the masks today outside the Union Avenue gates at Saratoga Race Course. The announcement comes one month before the start of the summer racing season at Saratoga on July 16.

 Franklin Community Center is a non-profit human service agency that has provided basic necessities and services to individuals and families in Saratoga Springs for more than 25 years. The Center serves more than 6,000 people annually through a variety of programs, including a food pantry, afterschool prevention, and safe and affordable housing.

“We are so honored to be chosen by NYRA and the City of Saratoga Springs as a beneficiary of this initiative. With our resources stretched and funding in jeopardy, the number of people relying on our services continues to skyrocket. The funding received from this program will enable us to continue to focus on maintaining the physical and mental well-being of the individuals and families we serve by providing them with the basic necessities and services they require to get through these difficult times,” said Franklin Community Center Executive Director Kari Cushing in the release.

Since 1991, Shelters of Saratoga has provided assistance to people who are facing homelessness by providing safe shelter, supportive services and sustainable strategies with the mission to end homelessness in the greater Saratoga region. Programs include emergency and case-managed shelters, outreach services, drop-in centers and affordable housing.

“On behalf of Shelters of Saratoga, I would like to extend my heartfelt appreciation to NYRA and the City of Saratoga Springs for selecting us to be the recipient of this program. It has been a tough few months for everyone in the Saratoga Springs community. We thank NYRA and the City for not forgetting our most vulnerable community members. Their commitment to humanity means the world to us at Shelters of Saratoga,” said Shelters of Saratoga Executive Director Karen Gregory in the release.

 The Saratoga face mask program will be promoted with the support of the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce, the Saratoga Downtown Business Association and Discover Saratoga.

Masks are for personal use only; not a replacement for medical grade personal protective equipment.

The summer meet at Saratoga Race Course will begin July 16 and run through Labor Day, Sept. 7. For more information about Saratoga Race Course, visit NYRA.com/Saratoga.

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