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Saratoga, Pilots To Aid Local Kids

Published: August 22, 2011 2:04 pm ET

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For the third year in a row, harness drivers from Saratoga Raceway have chosen the Franklin Community Center as the recipient of their generosity for 'Project Lift.' The drivers will be donating their driver’s fees for an entire day to the centre and proving that giving back to the local community is just as important as the race to the finish line.

On August 30, Project Lift will benefit from this year’s donation of $6,000. That donation consists of the $3,000 in driver’s fees which are voluntarily given up by the drivers and then matched by Saratoga Casino and Raceway. Raceway officials say the drivers are so passionate about the cause, that they are the ones who spearhead the annual effort to make this donation happen.

"We are extremely pleased to partner with the Saratoga Harness Horsemen’s Association and the drivers at SCR to support Project Lift. SHHA President Barry Segel and all the drivers at SCR value the many community-based programs administered by the FCC and are proud to make a donation to this very deserving organization which touches the lives of so many Saratogians," said SCR Vice President of External Affairs Skip Carlson.

Franklin Community Center’s programs have been hit particularly hard over the past year with funding cuts, especially Project Lift, its after-school prevention program for at-risk youth in grades one through five. Serving 75 children and their families in the Saratoga Springs City School District each year, Project Lift is one of the centre's most important programs. The cuts have left FCC staff to find supplemental income to ensure the same level of service that has been provided for nearly 30 years.

The SCR relationship with the Franklin Community Center has been flourishing for the past seven years. As one of the agency’s biggest donors throughout the year, FCC says it means even more receiving from a business whose entire staff stands behind their mission.

"This is what helps keep us going every day. We are so lucky to have such generous people supporting us that are willing to sacrifice their own wages to ensure that others have what they need. It’s paying it forward in the best way possible," said FCC Coordinator of Development Bo Goliber.

(With files from SCR)

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