Who We Support And Why: Proctors Theatre and Universal Preservation Hall

Philanthropy is a Schrader and Company core value.

We have recently decided to show support to two of the most important arts venues in our region, Proctors Theatre in Schenectady, and Universal Preservation Hall in Saratoga Springs, not only because they offer world-class entertainment that keeps our communities vital and fun, but because the arts need our support now more than ever.

It’s no secret that live music venues and the arts in general were extremely hard hit during the pandemic. Lockdowns and isolation kept us all indoors and away from the concerts and programs that these venues rely upon to stay open.

Both Proctors and UPH are historic buildings with long and glittering histories of attracting some of the top performers and musicians from around the world.

While we all look forward to gathering once again under their beautiful roofs to enjoy the entertainment they provide, they can count on patronage from us, and their community at large, to support their mission to bring the arts to our region for all of us to enjoy.

Who We Support and Why: Pitney Meadows Community Farm

We love introducing you to the local organizations that better our community and inspire us with their spirit of giving.

Pitney Meadows Community Farm, established in 2016, is one of those organizations. Pitney Meadows is a non-profit 166-acre farm in Saratoga Springs. The land is protected under the Open Space Fund, and represents a relationship between the city of Saratoga Springs and the original Pitney Farm, which has been used for agriculture since 1862.

At Pitney Meadows, customers can participate in a “pick your own” CSA. Pitney Meadows also offers garden plots for tending, hiking trails, educational programming, beekeeping, and composting. They host some wonderful culinary events with visiting chefs who make the most of the fresh produce at the farm.

Pitney Meadows is also committed to fighting food insecurity in our own neighborhoods, and one of their initiatives is providing multiple pop-up food pantries throughout the area. 

As their website states, “Our Pop-Up Produce Pantries, in partnership with many local organizations, allow us to increase the impact of our food donations by providing free, fresh produce directly to our neighbors in need. We strongly believe that everyone is entitled to access to fresh produce. Therefore, we have targeted certain neighborhoods within our region where access to fresh produce is limited.”

Ben and his family love volunteering at the pop-up pantries. It’s a simple, kid-friendly way to involve the whole family in a local philanthropy, and the kids love spending a couple of hours setting up the tent and working the stand.

For more information on Pitney Meadows Community Farm, visit their website, or check them out on Instagram or Facebook.

Thank You for Your Support of the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York

2020 was a year that tested everyone’s strength and resolve. Yet even in the toughest of times, bright lights shine everywhere. One of the brightest beacons for us at Schrader and Company was you, our clients, and your loyalty, support, and generosity. This was never more apparent than when we reached out to you for contributions for our holiday philanthropic endeavor. Your response was, quite simply, extraordinary.

We made the decision to lend financial support to the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York. As we all know, food scarcity is a problem right here in our own communities, and the pandemic has put many New Yorkers in a more precarious position than ever before. We asked out clients if they’d be willing to donate during the holiday season, specifically to augment the Backpack Program, which helps alleviate child hunger by discreetly providing hungry children with backpacks full of nutritious and easy-to-prepare food on Friday afternoons so they have food to eat throughout the weekend. We committed to matching client donations up to $5,000 dollars.

You answered the call with the generosity and kindness we have come to identify as a particular trait of our clientele. Together, we raised more $22,000 for the Regional Food Bank, which will be used to fill the backpacks of more than 6,500 students in 240 schools across 22 counties.

We cannot thank you enough for your open-hearted and open-handed help. We are so proud to be in business with people like you.

Who We Support and Why: Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy

Philanthropy is a cornerstone of our company culture. We love to support local organizations that are doing good in our shared community, and we learn about new causes to support all the time.

In this case, we learned about a great local philanthropy from one of our longest term clients. In sharing their passion for the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy with us, they inspired us to get involved as well.

The Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy is an environmental protection organization founded in 1992. They work to protect the natural, scenic, agricultural and cultural landscapes of the Mohawk and Hudson River valleys. To date, they have succeeded in protecting more than 12,000 acres of land in Albany, Schenectady, and Montgomery counties.

MHLC’s conservation work has resulted in 18 public preserves for hiking, cross-country skiing, and other educational and recreational opportunities. 

If you’re passionate about protecting the natural beauty of our wonderful corner of the northeast, you can visit their website and learn about ways to support the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy.

 

Who We Support and Why: Saratoga County 4-H

Our support of local philanthropic organizations allows us to help our neighbors, and strengthens our connections to our community. It is particularly gratifying when we have a personal connection to an organization, as is the case with Saratoga County 4-H.

Saratoga County 4-H is a local branch of this national organization which defines its mission as  “engaging youth to reach their fullest potential while advancing the field of youth development.” The four “Hs” refer to Head, Heart, Hands, and Health. 4-H programs promote a “learn by doing” ethos, and offer education in areas of agriculture, engineering, science, health, and citizenship.

The Schrader family became involved in 4-H when all three kids joined The West Charlton Super Stars in grade school. Silas recalls fond memories of building bird houses, making crafts, participating in the Saratoga County Fair, and yearly public presentations at the county offices. Leigh Schrader has also been involved in 4-H for over 15 years. She began as a young child in the Ponies and Horses 4-H club and has continued to stay involved as a mentor, presentation day judge, horse bowl coach, and has also judged projects as well as fitting and showmanship, and trial classes at the Saratoga County Fair. 

Schrader and Company has proudly sponsored the 4-H walkathon for the past three years. Silas, Leigh and their own children have walked the event in both 2018 and 2019. Their oldest daughter is getting ready to join the 4-H Clover Bud program, continuing their family tradition of 4-H service.

If you would like to learn more about Saratoga County 4-H, and the ways they are educating and supporting youth in our community, please visit their website.

Who We Support and Why: Charlton Historical Society

We love being an active part of our community and sharing with you the organizations and philanthropies that matter to us.

The Charlton Historical Society is one such organization, and because of the good work they do, as well as the fact that it is home to some of our valued Schrader and Company team members, we count them among our favorite local philanthropies.

The mission of the Charlton Historical Society is to promote and encourage original historical research, disseminate educational material on local history, and cooperate with educational institutions to gather, preserve, display and make available for study materials and records relating to Charlton History.

Learning more about our local history is always a positive thing. It links us to our neighbors and connects us to our roots. 

One of the ways we support the Charlton Historical Society is by sponsoring their Charlton Heritage 5K. We’ve enjoyed being a sponsor since 2013. Proceeds from the race go right back into the Charlton Historical Society to support their continuing good works. 

To learn more about the Charlton History Society, you can visit their website.

A Winning Evening for The Boys and Girls Clubs of Schenectady

We recently hosted another of our private chef dinners in our Schrader and Company showroom, and we couldn’t be happier about the organization that benefited from the generosity of the winning bidders, or the lovely people who joined us for the evening.

We donated a private chef dinner for ten to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Schenectady’s Fall Gala. This event is held in support of the local Schenectady chapter of this national organization, which was founded in 1936 and aims to promote the social, educational, health, leadership, and character development of boys and girls during critical periods of their growth.

The lucky winners of our chef dinner package happen to be valued clients of ours, and they along with some of their friends, bid on the prize and won the auction item.

For the dinner which took place on March 14th, we partnered with Rick Sleeper of the Cock N’ Bull restaurant. Rick, along with the restaurant’s pastry chef and creative director Andrea DeCiero, prepared a decadent and delicious meal. Their generosity in participating in this venture went above and beyond.

The food was inspired, and in keeping with Rick’s long-standing ethos of farm to table cuisine. Each course was paired with a delicious libation.

We so enjoyed hosting this wonderful group in our showroom, and lending our support to the Boys and Girls Club of Schenectady. Our heartfelt thanks go to Rick and Andrea, and the generous bidders who shared the night with us.

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Who We Support and Why: SNACpack

It’s time for another installment of our “Who We Support and Why” series, where we highlight a local philanthropic organization that is close to our hearts and values, and tell you why and how we at Schrader and Company choose to lend them our support.

The SNACpack Program is an amazing local organization that is addressing the too prevalent issue of childhood hunger in our community. The Saratoga Nutritional Assistance for Children (SNACpack) was founded in 2014, when a Saratoga County student who was struggling in school and thought to be learning disabled was instead revealed to be profoundly hungry, and struggling in the classroom as a result.

While schools can provide on site breakfast and lunch to students in need, SNACpack is filling the void of weekend and school vacation nutritional needs by providing children with backpacks stocked with multiple breakfast and entree options, a loaf of bread, a milk card for a gallon of milk, snack options, fresh fruits and canned vegetables. These backpacks assure that the student will receive the foods they need to grow and thrive, and also eliminates the obstacle of requiring a family to travel to a food pantry or other food assistance center to fulfill their grocery needs. Over 8% of the students in the Saratoga County district are living in poverty, and in true need of this kind of service.

The kids take their backpacks home on Friday, feeling both secure that their food needs will be met, and a sense of empowerment that they can contribute to their families.

SNACpack runs on volunteer support. Food donations are always needed and welcomed, and  volunteer man hours are necessary as well, to stuff the bags and backpacks. Schrader and Company employees have been both donating and volunteering with SNACpack for awhile now, and we are thrilled to be able to involve even our own young children in lending a hand. It’s been a wonderful experience for our kids, and an excellent introduction to community service as assembling the bags is a simple and fun task that even the youngest volunteer can master and enjoy. 

Last year, our client appreciation dinner at Caffe Lena also served as a fundraiser for SNACpack, and we are so grateful to our clients who heeded the call and came ready with generous food donations which we turned over to the organization.

There is no better investment in our community’s future, and no more vulnerable population that our own Saratoga County youth. We love being part of SNACpack’s efforts to make sure these deserving children’s most basic needs are met.

If you’d like to learn more about SNACpack and ways to donate and become involved, please visit their website.

Who We Support and Why: Logan Strong

Here at Schrader and Company Construction Services, we believe in the importance of investing in our local community and supporting the causes that speak to our own values.

One such organization is “Logan Strong”, and we’d like to tell you a little bit about it and why we’ve chosen to support this worthy cause.

Jennifer and Kevin Fogg are two local parents like so many of us. But they face an unimaginable challenge as they navigate their son Logan’s cancer diagnosis, a journey which began in his infancy. Jennifer is a member of Rotary and several Schrader staff members have met her through their shared volunteer efforts there.

Throughout Logan’s experience, the Foggs have focused their efforts on raising awareness for childhood cancers in general, benefitting many other families in the same situation. Logan is truly a tiny superhero, and such an inspiration to everyone who hears his story. Logan and his family recently received some great news, which you can read about on their blog where they chronicle his journey.

We are proud to have sponsored “Logan Strong” events and will continue to show our love and support to Logan and his remarkable family.

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, and the perfect time to donate or become involved in this worthy cause.

If you’d like to learn more and be part of the #LoganStrong effort, you can visit the facebook page and website.

 

A Night to Remember at Caffe Lena

Last month we had the opportunity to gather at Caffe Lena with Schrader and Company employees and customers for our annual Client Appreciation Event. The evening was a chance to celebrate our long standing relationships with the homeowners who make our business possible, an opportunity to learn more about our community from local experts, and a philanthropic effort.

Caffe Lena is a local institution beloved by performers across the globe. We began the night with Executive Director Sarah Craig, who treated all of us to a talk about the rich history of Caffe Lena and its mission to to carry forward Lena Spencer’s dedication to community service through music, creating friendships, careers and harmonious connection.

Next, ninth generation Saratogian and author Dr. Hollis Palmer took us on an “Armchair Walking Tour” of the beautiful city of Saratoga, and its bevvy of glamorous mansions, or “Great Ladies”. We all learned a great deal from Dr. Palmer’s considerable expertise, which has informed the writing of his true crime series and his book, “See and be Seen: Saratoga in the Victorian Era” which was the 2011 winner of the Ruth Emory Award for best regional history book.

In addition to these two great speakers, our guests also dined on the delicious cuisine of Mazzone Catering.

There was one more important component to the evening. We asked all of our attendees to bring food donations for an organization that has become near and dear to us–Snack Pak 4 Kidz. Snack Pak 4 Kidz is a weekend backpack program that provides much needed food to children to take home over the weekends, when schools cannot provide meals to students. Our clients came through with generous amounts of food which all went to children in our own community in need. We are so grateful to everyone who contributed to this worthy cause.

It was a lovely evening to remember, combining fascinating local history in a landmark location, great food, philanthropy and our beloved clients, without whom Schrader and Company would not be possible.

Thank you to all of our clients, Caffe Lena, Sarah Craig, Dr. Hollis Palmer and Mazzone Catering for a wonderful night.

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