EVENT PREVIEW/The 2nd Annual Evening of Autumn of Giving Event 10/22

The 2nd Annual Evening of Autumn of Giving Event, a fundraiser to help support the Adirondack Trust Company Community Fund Lend-a-Hand Grant program is taking place this Wednesday October 22nd from 6-8:30pm at Longfellows Hotel & Restaurant in Saratoga Springs.

The ATC 2014 Autumn of Giving Match Campaign will provide needed funds to support deserving local nonprofit organizations in Saratoga, Warren and Washington Counties, and The Adirondack Trust Company will MATCH all donations made during the Campaign and 100% of the funds donated will benefit local charities through their Lend-a-Hand Grant program. Your donation, including event ticket, is fully tax deductible.

Seventeen generous, local businesses are also participating in this fundraising effort with special promotions and events. Supporting Business Partners: Allerdice ACE Hardware, The Bread Basket, The Country Corner Cafe, Cudney's Cleaners, Green Conscience Home, Hattie's Restaurant, Impressions of Saratoga, Longfellows Hotel & Restaurant, Lyrical Ballad Bookstore, Maestro's at the Van Dam, N. Fox Jewlers, Northshire Bookstore, PJs BAR-B-QSA, Putnam Market & Wine, Saratoga Juice Bar, Scotty's Restaurant and Stadium Cafes.

For more information on the Autumn of Giving Match Campaign, click here. To buy tickets for the event, click here.

WEEKEND It List 9/17

Duck boots are back. Crunch the leaves in these preppy throwbacks that won't mind a little mud.

Brook Tavern's new menu: braised shortribs with blue cheese risotto? YES.

The only thing better than this belt is the price. Takes a casual weekend outfit and brings it up just a notch.

Boyhood, that movie that all your friends are talking about is playing in Saratoga this weekend.

Free spinning this weekend. Yes, you heard that right. {FREE Spinning 101 on Sunday}

Didn't register for the Great Pumpkin Challenge on time? Don't worry, grab a green juice (Healthy Living Market and Cafe now carries Clarity Juice by Syd) and cheer them on from the sidelines, you'll feel almost as smug and healthy as they do.

Our pick of the week, monogrammed pumpkins from Silverwood. Either real or fake, monogram or your address, it's the chicest Halloween decoration possible.

I know, the weather has been lovely, but flannel season is here. That doesn't mean it has to be dreary though, put a punch of color into the cold weather staple with this one from J. Crew. Sea Check brilliant.

Now that fall is here that means people will be vying for the fireplace seats at Henry Street Taproom. Put your game face on and get there early if you want this best seat in the house.

Weekend vibes abound with this tribal print fedora. Picture you and yours at Saratoga Apple, eating 9 Miles East chili and relaxing while listening to that chill reggae band they have there on Saturdays. Perfection. {find the fedora locally at Lucia Boutique}

 

Photos!!

We just got last night's photos from the fabulous Megan Mumford and they are up on our gallery page right here! We can't thank you all enough for coming out to support The Saratoga Social and Jake's Help From Heaven, it was a wonderful night with a fabulous crowd. A huge thank you to John & Jordan Baker and the whole staff at Gaffney's Restaurant for all of the scrumptious food, many, many cocktails and incredible event space. Being up on the corner of Caroline & Putnam, sipping a drink with the stunningly warm mid-October breeze.. well, it's a miracle you ever got us to go home.  

A blissful Sunday afternoon at the DZ Farm

The Chefs at DZ Restaurants managed to order up a picture perfect autumn day on Sunday for their “Meet the Chefs” event at DZ Farm, to benefit the Adult and Senior Center of Saratoga. If you haven’t been to the DZ Farm yet, it’s time to pencil it into your schedule, as not only does it source produce for the DZ restaurants, but it is as beautiful a backdrop for an event as one can imagine. 

Driving up through the brilliant autumn leaves into Galway, the farm is situated on 65 acres of rolling hills. Guests arrived on Sunday and were greeted with a glass of champagne and acoustic guitar music, as they strolled by a large koi pond and up the driveway to the property’s farmhouse. 

At the top of the driveway, the walkway lined with candle lit lanterns, we were greeted with a sumptuous spread of rustic appetizers that was a little preview of the feast to come. The large, cleared yard behind the farmhouse was filled with a picture perfect campfire surrounded by hail bails, inviting guests to sit down and warm up in the crisp autumn air. Brown’s Brewing Company had a bar set up on one end of the field with their signature IPA and ales as well as red and white wine. In front of the stables “The Saloon” had been set up, a full bar featuring delicious fall cocktails like a Harvest Daiquiri and Maple Manhattan.

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Even in the midst of all the tempting beverages options it was still difficult to take your eyes off of the outdoor kitchen where an 125 lb pig, deboned earlier that morning, slowly cooked on a spit. It was lovingly tended too by Fabrizio Bazzani, head chef at Chianti Ristorante. All 4 DZ chefs had an entrée they were working on and the smells drifting over the farm were intoxicating.  We bumped into Mayor Joanne Yepsen enjoying the afternoon, as well as Angelo and Kate Calbone, Liz O’Brien, Lois Celeste, Kristin Mann, Ashley Dingeman, Daniel Berman and Barb Lombardo.  We left on Sunday with extremely full bellies and reminded ourselves to always, always say yes when asked to anything at the DZ Farm. 

 

For a full recap of the spectacular food, keep your eye on the Fussy Little Blog & for more pictures of the DZ Farm and Sunday's event go right over here!  

Welcome, Megan!

We are beyond excited to welcome Megan Mumford as one of our newest sponsors to The Saratoga Social. If you aren't familiar with Megan's gorgeous photography, check it out right here.

And not that you needed one more reason to join us for Wednesday's launch party, but the immensely talented Megan will be there to snap your lovely picture for our photo gallery. A big thanks to Megan for coming on board, we are thrilled to have her! 

Project Lift University

We are thrilled to be heading over to Longfellow's this Thursday night to support Franklin Community Center's Annual Fundraiser, Project Lift University. If you aren't familiar with Project Lift  it's a free, after-school prevention program for youth in grades 1-5 that operates out of two locations in Saratoga Springs.

The emphasis is on providing positive role models for kids while working with them on self esteem issues, communication, problem solving, decision making and more. This comprehensive program also allows participant's families access to Franklin Community Center's ancillary services as needed. Last year's fundraising event raised over $35,000 for Project Lift and we are rooting for them to surpass that goal this year. A sneak peak of this years live and silent auction items can be found right here so you can start thinking about your bidding strategy. Still need convincing? Take a look at this great gallery of photos from last years event.. and go buy a ticket! 

Fall Uniform/Saratoga Style

That familiar crisp is in the air and the leaves are gathering in the home stretch of the track. This casual style is perfect for popping into shops on Broadway, having a beer at Henry Street Taproom or deciding between the Eggs Benedict and the pancakes at brunch (always go with the Eggs Benedict, trust us).

Update these classics with a modern twist on a style staple like pearl stud earrings, a pair of boots that you'll wear forever (and get complimented on every time), and a splash of color around your neck from our perennial favorite, Lilly. We are all about the high waist this season, way more flattering than the low waist skinny that had dominated denim for the last decade. A little bit of flash on your phone will make that wait for the iPhone 6 more tolerable, and a monogrammed cuff in tortoiseshell is great for any season but looks perfect for fall with a chambray button down and fisherman sweater combo. Finally, a hold-it-all but not bulky tote in a muted navy will take you all the way through the holidays.



Horses & Healing

Earlier this week we had the opportunity to meet Bob Nevins, founder of the Saratoga WarHorse Foundation, and chat with him about the remarkable success he has had with a unique approach to treating veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

If this is the first time you’ve heard about Saratoga WarHorse we think you’ll be pretty amazed about what has been going on in our backyard for the last few years. The Saratoga Warhorse Foundation is a remarkable marriage between two things our community holds in the highest esteem; the heroes who have served our country and our thoroughbred racehorses. Mr. Nevins was a medevac pilot for the 101st Airborne during the Vietnam war, after which he spent 24 years as an airline captain. He now devotes his efforts full time to the Saratoga WarHorse Foundation which has received national acclaim for their groundbreaking approach and success in treating PTSD.

The WarHorse program is built around a three day experience, provided to veterans at no cost.. Each participant’s experience is personalized to best address their unique experience and centers around interactions with retired thoroughbred racehorses.  

What inspired you to start Saratoga WarHorse?

 As a country we were experiencing record high levels of suicides in our veteran population. We’ve been in the midst of a crisis that has been getting worse, not better. I found as average citizens we were asking what we could do to help our veterans, but ultimately no one seemed to have an effective solution for dealing with the problem.

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 How is WarHorse different in its approach to treating PTSD?

 We find that overwhelmingly, veterans with PTSD or victims of sexual assault are so emotionally numb and disconnected, traditional talk therapies can’t reach them. When we put our thoroughbreds in a ring with these men and women, there is a procedure through which the horse and human come together. Guided by our team, the veteran’s stress slowly begins to be relieved as they form a bond with the horse through nonverbal communication. The connection that is established in those moments seems to trigger a chemical or neurological shift that marks the beginning of a recovery.

The process begins at Willow Run Stables

The process begins at Willow Run Stables

In essence what we are seeing is that our participants are able to start feeling again. When one of our horses walks around a participant and then comes over to just nuzzle them for the first time, the emotion that moment produces is something talk therapy just can’t access.

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Can you tell us about some of the people who have been through the WarHorse program?

The people who are coming to Saratoga WarHorse are truly in a desperate way due to their PTSD. Talk therapy hasn’t helped them, they have suicidal thoughts and are looking for an out. We have seen everyone from younger vets who served in Iraq and Afghanistan to Vietnam veterans who have been suffering for over 40 years. What we are trying to do is keep the younger generation from having to suffer the way they did, by helping them reconnect with their families, children and society.

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What can Saratogians do to help support your efforts?

Part of what I am so proud of is how the Saratoga community has reached out to the Veterans who come to Saratoga WarHorse. When our participants graduate the program and leave, all they keep saying is how well everyone in our community treated them, and wow, we didn’t know people really cared like that. After I started the program people came to us exclusively from word of mouth. Now, as news about the success of our program spreads, we are getting calls from all over the country from therapists to family members. The best way Saratogians could help our program would be to share the information about what we are doing. We all have a friend, relative or someone in our life that is a veteran and is dealing with issues that we aren’t necessarily talking about.

Where would you like to see Saratoga WarHorse 5 years from now?

I want to establish Saratoga Springs as a national center for this type of healing as well as continue to grow our Aiken, South Carolina location. I would like us to be able to support seeing a minimum of 500 veterans a year and have a strong foundation in place for the future. We have heard from the Pentagon that we will be dealing with these issues for generations to come, so sustainability is crucial.

 For more information about Saratoga WarHorse Foundation and their incredible work with veterans, check out their website right here. 

 

Start your Saturday on the right foot

Come support The Wesley Community at their 1st Annual Balloon Walk this Saturday, October 4th, at 9:30 a.m. The walk will begin at the Wesley Community campus in Saratoga Springs and participants will walk a 1-mile or a .25 mile course, collecting colorful balloons along the route to create a parade of color.  In addition, a hot-air balloon will be on The Wesley Community campus near the Community Garden area (weather permitting). 

All registered participants will receive a 1st Annual Balloon Walk t-shirt.  Fun family activities, food and more will also be available. For all of the details on the walk and how to register, head over to our event calendar or click through the invitation above. 

The Ed Valentine Field

A dedication ceremony was held yesterday at the Geyser Road baseball field, which was renamed the "Ed Valentine Field at Veterans Memorial Park".

Pictured: Mrs. Jones, Mrs. Valentine, Commissioner Madigan, Commissioner Scirocco, Commissioner Franck, Supervisor Veitch & Commissioner Mathiesen 

Pictured: Mrs. Jones, Mrs. Valentine, Commissioner Madigan, Commissioner Scirocco, Commissioner Franck, Supervisor Veitch & Commissioner Mathiesen 

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An honorary plaque was unveiled with the newly christened diamond's new name and a tribute to its namesake. While Ed Valentine served as Saratoga Springs Commissioner of Accounts for the longest tenure in the city's history,  (18 years) he is equally known for his commitment to youth sports. Commissioner Valentine coached baseball, football and basketball, as well as serving as the little league president and Coach of the Green Jackets, semi-pro football team. He died in 2000, at the age of 68. 

The best 30 minutes of our week

If you missed Mo Rocca's visit to the Palazzo Riggi, don't panic - we've just discovered it is on demand! And furthermore, watching it was easily the best 30 minutes of our week. Michele is fabulous, her 41 dogs are fabulous & her food also looks.. Well, fabulous. There is dancing, an armored car & a heated backyard - what more could we ask for ? Oh, an endorsement from our dog ? Done. 

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