We’ll be checking out a new spot in town tonight, the Crown Grill, located on Brodway next to Circus Cafe. The new restaurant from Christel and Colin Maclean will feature “upscale casual dining with hand cut steaks, seafood, roasted vegetable entrees, gourmet sandwiches and handmade pastas”. We can’t wait to see the specially commissioned mural in the bar space and the custom installation in the back room celebrating Saratoga 150. Plus, 50% of proceeds will go to SaratogaArtsFest and Double H Ranch! Get all the details on the opening on the photo below, will we spot you there raising a glass to cheers the new Crown?
Lisa Munter we just loved your gorgeous belted turquoise cocktail dress at the Child’s Play 4 Benefit!
You had better save your appetite for Thursday, because the Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Capital Region Chef’s Challenge is going down at the Hampton Inn & Suites in downtown Saratoga . The event runs from 6-9pm and includes the Chef’s Challenge between John Ireland, of the Saratoga Golf & Polo Club, and Jim Schultz, of 2Shea Catering in Glenmont, who will prepare a meal centered around a “secret” ingredient. There will be delicious food samples, a champagne reception, hosted wine, and awesome raffles. The Tattlers will be there to support BBBSCR and cannot wait to see who takes home the Chef’s Challenge title. We got a chance to chat with the lovely and gracious Sabrina Houser, the Chief Executive Officer of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Capital Region about Thursday’s event. Tickets are still available, get the details at the end of the post. p.s. we LOVE the fourth judge auction, read on to find out all about it!
Sabrina: Similar to an Iron Chef Challenge, we have two competitions going on. One is a battle between two area Chefs (Chef John Ireland and Chef Jim Schultz) who will be judged by a panel of judges Steve Barnes, Jasper Alexander from the incredible Hattie’s Restaurant, and (ed.note: our personal friend and all around amazing guy) Doc Sconzo. The two will have one hour to prepare three dishes (an appetizer, a main course and a dessert) using a secret ingredient. Additionally, four participating restaurants (Cafe Calabria, Jacob and Anthonys, Carney’s Cafe and Prime at Saratoga National) will be competing for a People’s Choice competition. Our guests will be tasting their signature dishes and voting on their favorite. The winner of both competitions will be announced at the end of the night and the two champs will come back next year and compete toe to toe in our 2014 Chefs Competition Last year, Chef John Ireland was the winner of our Chefs Competition and Chef Jim Schultz was the winner of our People’s Choice Competition.
The funds raised from the event are used to make and support our matches. In 2013, we have a goal of making 220 new matches and serving over 600 kids. It costs our agency $1,200 to make and support a match for one year. That money goes into the pre-match work of making sure we are making strong, safe matches and, most importantly, the post-match work of supporting the match to ensure the best and healthiest outcomes for our local youth. (Read more about the programs here).
Last year we raised close to $30,000 and all of that money went directly to our kids. The majority of the event expenses were donated due to the generosity of our community and we were able to make a significant impact on our program due to this support. Our sponsors, donors and business leaders truly stepped up to make this event successful for our agency and therefore our local kids.
The evening will begin with a champagne reception and this year, we are auctioning off a seat to be our fourth judge! Right before the main event, we will hold a quick live auction to see who would like to sit at our judges table and taste the incredible food our two competing chefs cook up! In addition, we have so many great raffles that our guests will have an opportunity to win. Tickets are only $55 for general admission and $110 for Honorary (and our Honorary Committee guests get to drink free wine all night!). It is an inexpensive night in Saratoga to support a great agency and mission.
For more information, or to buy tickets click right here or contact Jami Thompson at 862-1250, ext. 22, or email@example.com. Thanks to Sabrina for chatting with me, to learn more about BBBSCR click right here.
On Saturday night, the First Annual Saratoga Mom Prom took place at the beautiful McGregor Links Country Club to benefit the Saratoga Hospital Breast Health Center at Wilton Medical Arts. Special signature hot pink golf carts brought guests up to the clubhouse and at the women only event, already sold out for weeks, guests were encouraged to wear their tackiest prom dresses. The ladies did not disappoint, as guest after guest turned up in awesomely tacky gowns, each one better than the last. As they sipped on signature drinks they sampled delicious fare from McGregor Links and tossed their tickets in for raffle items and gift baskets. Spirits were certainly high as the music was pumping, friends were laughing together and plenty of photos were taken.
The Saratoga Mom Prom was brought to our fair city by the “Saratoga Seven”, a group of women from Saratoga Springs who attended a Mom Prom in Schenectady and decided that they needed to have one here, including JoAnn Berrigan, JeanAnn Dennis, Jan Perotta, Suzi Ingmire, Gail Veitch, Maureen Maciariello, and Joanne Sole. We snapped a photo of these lovely ladies in front of Elvis, one of the cheeky cardboard cutout “celebrity guests” there that evening. The Second Annual Saratoga Mom Prom is already in the works, and we can’t wait to find a prom dress for next year’s event.
Our next stop this week was the Child’s Play 4 event at the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame to benefit the Karen and Gary Dake Foundation for Children on Thursday. The evening was raising money for grants to purchase adaptive equipment and services for local children with disabilities and it was a full house at the Museum with over 200 guests. The carnival theme really got the guests in a festive mood with a magician, a caricature artist, delicious treats from Lily and the Rose and great live music from Free Play.
Supporters gathered in the museum’s Hall of Fame, where Event Chair Lisa Munter opened the evening by honoring the event’s Honorary Chairpersons, Phil and Barbara Kingsley, thanking them for their support. She also recognized Susan Koppi, the Executive Director of the foundation, calling her the “muscle behind their mission”. Lisa then introduced the evening’s speaker, Jocelyn Heermance, who spoke about the adaptive bike she received from the foundation. Jocelyn, who celebrated her twentieth birthday last week, has cerebral palsy, and grew up wanting a bike so she could be more like her brother. Even though she told guests she was nervous about speaking to the crowd she did an amazing job, and listening to her sharing her story was the highlight of the evening.
Spotted in the crowd we saw Susan and Jeffrey Halstead, Kate Veitch, Caroline Baumis, Heather and Brian Straughter, Stephanie Collins, Mylea Aldrich, Kathleen and Andy Fyfe, Kelly Jetter, Saratoga Springs City Supervisor Matt Veitch, and Kate Jarosh. We caught up with Karen Dake, looking chic in a lime green and black dress, and spoke to her about the foundation she founded with her husband, Stewart’s President Gary Dake. We also chatted with Susan Koppi, who shared her feelings on the event. “We are very excited with the turnout, and we are especially happy that Jocelyn could come and talk about what the grant meant to her and to her family. People don’t realize that when you have a child with disabilities, they don’t have the same opportunities as a child without disabilities because of the expense. Insurance doesn’t cover a lot of services and equipment that would make their lives so much better and enable them to interact with their peers and with their own families. We are so happy that we can fill that niche and provide this great opportunity for kids”. The evening certainly was a success, raising over $67,000 gross for the foundation.
On Wednesday night we were at Longfellow’s for the event benefiting the Saratoga Center for the Family. The center is committed to serving not only those who have been abused but to build stronger families and empower individuals with a goal of preventing abuse before it starts. They provide abuse prevention programs, mental health services, victims’ advocacy and more for our community.
That evening the center was honoring Ray O’Conor, the Chairman at Saratoga National Bank, for his continued support of the center. Ray became involved with the center after his daughter took part in the center’s internship program while she was in college. We spoke to Ray about the center and his involvement. “It wasn’t until my daughter did her internship that I got a much deeper understanding of the depth of the need in our community, and how the center helps these kids that are victims of abuse and neglect. The center is a real lifeline organization to this community, and it’s great to see so many people here tonight to support it.” The support was also strongly felt at the event from local sponsors like Fingerpaint Marketing and Saratoga Casino and Raceway.
Mingling in the crowd we saw Saratoga Springs mayoral candidate Joanne Yepsen, Saratoga County District Attorney Jim Murphy, Linda Toohey, Skip & Colleen Carlson, Erica Dingeman and Matt O’Rourke, Mike Mooney, and Mike Mihaly. Longfellows as always did a top notch job and we heard more than one guest comment about the delicious food.
Dr. Manny Cirenza took the mic to act as the auctioneer for the evening and guests bid high on items like an Executive Chef dinner for four at The Wishing Well, a classic lawn jockey, plane tickets and more. Sadly the Tattlers didn’t win the parking spot in the Saratogian lot that was up for auction, but rest assured we will continue to bid on those as they come up over the summer season. The event was the center’s most successful fundraiser to date, raising $40,000, while also having record attendance.
What a packed Thursday in Saratoga! The Child’s Play 4 event to benefit the Karen and Gary Dake Foundation for Children, Saratoga Hospital’s Just for Women evening with Ashleigh Banfield and the HerLife Magazine Red Carpet event at Prime at Saratoga National all took place last night. Here’s a sneak peek at all three events, stay tuned for full recaps…
The city came out to support the arts on Thursday night for Prelude 2013: 150 Years of Track Inspired Art to benefit SaratogaArtsFest at Prime at Saratoga National. Guests mingled in the ballroom and sampled complimentary Saratoga Sunrise cocktails as they perused the silent auction and tried on fabulous hats by Little Red Millinery. Red was the color of the evening, as it is this year’s signature color for SaratogaArtsFest, and many supporters turned out in their finest red dresses, including SaratogaArtsFest Executive Director Mary Ellen O’Loughlin and Christianne Smith, who both looked gorgeous in red.
While artist Tom Myott created a one of a kind painting in the background we chatted with Jamie and Shane Williams-Ness and new mom Tamie Ehinger who looked absolutely beautiful that evening. Spotted in the crowd we saw Jael Polnac and Amy Bloom, both also looking ravishing in red, Malin Noto, Bob Kimmerle, Julie Slovic and the always charming Garland Nelson. Marcia White, the President & Executive Director of Saratoga Performing Arts Center was there to show support for the arts in Saratoga, and we also spotted Joanne Yepsen who recently announced she is running for mayor of Saratoga Springs. Skidmore President Phil Glotzbach was there with wife Marie, who played a pivotal role in the founding of SaratogaArtsFest in 2007 and has served as chair of the board since the organization’s inception until the beginning of this year when Dee Sarno took over as Chair.
We spoke to Dee, a long time supporter of the arts in Saratoga Springs, about SaratogaArtsFest and asked her what her top, not to miss events were for this year. “For me as the new Chair of the SaratogaArtsFest Board it’s a really amazing feeling to be involved with artists, with volunteers, with community people, with arts groups, that are so energetic, so talented, so creative and with everybody working together to make this magical Arts Fest weekend happen. With everybody in Saratoga working together this year is going to be bigger and better than ever, it is six days this year instead of four and there are so many great events happening.”
Among Dee’s top events to catch this year at SaratogaArtsFest are the performances by Ben Vereen, Tiempro Libra, a hot young Cuban music group, and the 5 Browns Event that is co-sponsored by SaratogaArtsFest. You can find information on these events and all of the SaratogaArtsFest events on their website here.
Dee introduced Lew and Pat Titterton to the guests and presented them the SaratogaArtsFest Award, telling the crowd about their “profound effect on Saratoga Springs, especially on education and the arts”. We spoke to Lew and Pat after they graciously accepted their award, with Lew saying “The best art is local, and SaratogaArtsFest is incredibly accessible for people interested in the arts.”
That evening Laura K. Herr was also introduced as the organization’s new Executive Director to great applause from the guests. We caught up with the current Executive Director Mary Ellen O’Loughlin who shared her feelings on Arts Fest and the arts in Saratoga. “I cannot get over how the arts brings so many people together. The arts offerings in Saratoga Springs are absolutely amazing and I am regularly astounded by how the community comes out to support the arts.”
Our night was pleasantly interrupted when we were beckoned onto the dance floor for a group tango lesson from Tango Fusion. We tangoed with Barbara Calhoun, Fran Dingeman, and Heather Straughter, who all can do a mean tango (and look great doing it). Honorary Chair Margie Rotchford missed out on the tango lesson but we caught up with her afterward looking fabulous as always.
Guests got their photos snapped in the Smile Lounge Photo Booth and enjoyed lively music from Reggie’s Red Hot Feetwarmers as they dined on the always delicious offerings from Prime and made their plans for ArtsFest Weekend, happening this year from June 6th-9th. We were making our plans for ArtsFest too, we can’t wait to celebrate the arts in our beautiful city, we hope to see you there too.