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Saratoga Race Course face mask charitable initiative expands

SARATOGA SPRINGS — The New York Racing Association, Inc. nd the City of Saratoga Springs will add two local non-profit organizations to the list of beneficiaries of a joint initiative to raise funds for the community through the sale of Saratoga Race Course face masks.

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 announcement follows the mid-June launch of the face mask fundraiser, which was marked by high demand from the start and quickly sold out of the initial production run. Fans will now have another opportunity to preorder the limited-edition, three-pack set of Saratoga face masks for $24.95 at https://shop.nyra.com/.

In addition to Franklin Community Center and Shelters of Saratoga, the list of beneficiaries will be expanded to include AIM Services, Inc. and the SNACpack Program (Saratoga Nutrition Assistance for Children).

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

“Given the passion for Saratoga, we knew the masks would be popular and are thrilled by the enthusiasm shown by our fans,” said NYRA President & CEO Dave O’Rourke in a news release. “We’re pleased to be able to expand the campaign to benefit two additional local non-profits who do important work in Saratoga Springs. I’d like to again thank Mayor Kelly and the City of Saratoga Springs for their partnership and support of this program.”

“NYRA has always been a terrific partner to Saratoga Springs,” said City of Saratoga Springs Mayor Meg Kelly in the release. “This has never been more evident than during recent months, an uncertain time for businesses and, more importantly, public health. The Saratoga face mask initiative proves how strong our relationship is with NYRA and how active they are in helping to improve our community. Two of our community’s most effective non-profits, SNACpack and AIM Services, will be greatly helped by the Saratoga face mask initiative and for that we give NYRA our sincere thanks.”

Founded in 1979, AIM Services, Inc. provides residential and community-based services to people with disabilities, including individuals with traumatic brain injuries and those looking for nursing home transition or diversion. The agency provides services to individuals in Saratoga, Warren and Washington Counties.

 “We are so grateful to NYRA and the City of Saratoga Springs for this powerful collaborative effort on behalf of AIM Services,” said AIM Services, Inc. Executive Director Christopher Lyons in the release. “Hundreds of local citizens with diverse abilities will benefit in ways that are as unique as their desire for greater independence and inclusion into this great community. As we mask up for health, we’ll be supporting the well-being of individuals with developmental disabilities and traumatic brain injury in a truly impactful way with adaptive equipment and unfunded opportunities to access local resources so that they will be not just in the community but of the community, imparting meaning in their lives on their terms.”

The SNACpack Program (Saratoga Nutrition Assistance for Children) provides backpacks filled with child-friendly, non-perishable, easily consumed foods to local children on weekends and when other resources aren’t available. The bags are distributed weekly to all six elementary, middle and high schools in the Saratoga Springs Central School District.

“SNACpack is so grateful to be receiving this donation from NYRA,” said SNACpack Founder and Director Karey Hall Trimmings in the release. “We are feeding more children than ever, with an increase from 216 to 274 children in the past few months because of COVID-19. We will be delivering weekly food bags to all of our SNACpack children throughout the summer and these funds will help us to continue to meet their needs.”

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.

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.

Saratoga face masks are for personal use only; not a replacement for medical grade personal protective equipment.

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

The 2020 summer meet at Saratoga Race Course began July 16 and run through Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 7. Following the four-day opening weekend, live racing will be conducted five days a week, Wednesdays through Sundays. The summer meet will conclude on Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 7.

Under current New York state guidelines, Saratoga Race Course will open without spectators in attendance. The 40-day meet will be highlighted by the 151st renewal of the Grade 1, $1 million Runhappy Travers on Saturday, August 8 and the Grade 1, $750,000 Whitney on Aug. 1. 

Saratoga Live will present daily television coverage of the 40-day summer meet on FOX Sports and MSG Networks. For the complete Saratoga Live broadcast schedule, and additional programming information, visit https://www.nyra.com/saratoga/racing/tv-schedule.

For more information about Saratoga Race Course, visit NYRA.com/Saratoga.

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