Saratogians were out and about last week with Spring in the air and lots of events on the calendar. A nearly sold-out crowd packed the house at Caffe Lena on Tuesday to celebrate musical duo Renehan and Mastrianni's farewell show and raise money for the campaign for Caffe Lena. Kristen Renehan and Jim Mastrianni are a popular pair, well known in the community for having played for several local galas and events and Tuesday marked their last show, as Kristen moves on to new adventures in Connecticut. Jim and Kristen played a mix of their popular covers as well as debuting some original songs to a full house that included Michael Billok, Stephanie and Dave Collins, Val Collins, Kari Cushing, Karen and Faust D'Andrea, Rajat Ghoshal, Emily Mastrianni, Allison and Dave Meyers, Jennifer and Kyle Perry, Dave Shacket, Sheila and Matt Sperling, Cara and Toby Milde and Andi Lodico. Kristen and Jim, who recently joined Caffe Lena's Board of Directors, generously donated all of the evening’s ticket sales to Caffe Lena's capital campaign, which is on track to raise $1,500,000 to renovate the historic building. Bonacio Construction is heading up the renovation, which will include reinforcing the floors and foundation, modernize plumbing and electrical systems and create full accessibility to the second floor.
Later in the week, the 2016 class of Leadership Saratoga and the Tang Museum joined forces to host an event for the Capital Region Big Brothers Big Sisters. Jaime Williams, Dawn Sauer, Molly Bush, Mark Bellantoni, Paul Budlong and Ann Dejnozka welcomed a large crowd for the 'Start Up Something Saratoga' event, focused on getting kids excited about STEM/STEAM careers (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Math). Guests sipped wine and enjoyed hors d'oeuvres, while hearing from Anne Morrill and Sabrina Houser from Big Brothers Big Sisters as well as SEDC President Dennis Brobston. Spotted in the crowd showing their support were Congressman Paul Tonko, Todd Shimkus, Bart and Jeff Altamari, Ryan Bouchey and Nafeesa Koslik.
The social season is picking up steam as we head further into Spring and our calendar is packed with events. Among them is this Thursday’s Brighter Days Gala, benefitting Shelters of Saratoga as they commemorate 25 years of providing homeless services in the greater Saratoga region. The evening will feature music and food at Longfellows, while focusing on SOS’s mission, ‘help, hope and humanity for those who are striving for meaningful change in their lives’. Also being honored this Thursday are Philanthropist Patty Riggi and Mark Bertrand, founder of The Giving Circle. Both are recipients of the Shelters of Saratoga Help, Hope and Humanity Award for 2016, which honors members of the community who have shown exceptional support and commitment to improving the lives of individuals who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness in the Greater Saratoga Region. Tickets for the event can be found at SheltersofSaratoga.org.