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New Lake Placid Rotary Foundation gets to work helping local projects

LAKE PLACID — The Lake Placid, NY Rotary Foundation has announced its inaugural three projects, supported by a total of $26,922 contributed since October 2020: Essex Community Suppers, the Lake Placid Community Ski Program and the Rotary Club Bus Shelters Project.

Founded in 2020, this foundation is sponsored by the local chapter of Rotary International.

Essex Community Suppers is a project to provide free, community-building Sunday suppers made of local food. The project mission is “Feed. Gather. Love.” Founder and Executive Chef Rose Kaszuba, operator of Essex Eats, buys and prepares local farm food and brings people together for take-out entrees “served in love and kindness.” From July 5 to Dec. 27, 2020, it hosted 26 weekly suppers, served nearly 1,300 farm-to-table meals and fed guests from Essex, Willsboro, Westport, Lewis, Lake Placid, Keesville, Jay and Plattsburgh. Going forward, Essex Eats will expand its quantity of meals served from the current average of 50 meals per Sunday to 150 meals per Sunday. It plans to do this by coordinating with local volunteers to deliver more meals to neighbors, reaching out to other communities to model the program for duplication, hosting a guest chef program for cuisines from other countries, and creating a training program for students with an interest in culinary arts and social justice.

The Lake Placid Community Ski Program is a group of parent volunteers organizing to offer youth scholarships to all interested Lake Placid Elementary School students to participate in a 10-week learn-to-ski program at the state-run Mount Van Hoevenberg venue. The project goal is to provide sufficient scholarship funding to enable any interested Lake Placid Elementary School student to participate in the learn-to-ski program at a per-child cost of $10, with a family cap of $15 for families with multiple children participating in the program. So far there are approximately 70 students registered in the program. There are numerous benefits to kids exercising outdoors and learning new skills. They will work with trained ski instructors, following directions and working as a team. Stress reduction and improved balance and coordination and concentration are proven benefits of this sort of experience. The project is led by Heather Odell with Debbie Erenstone and others.

Finally, the club has been working on the bus shelter project since 2018. In 2021 the club has secured agreement from the town of North Elba and village of Lake Placid to assume ownership of three shelters once it completes them. The club is collecting donated funds ($21,000 of the $30,000 goal) and securing a contractor. Co-chairs Heather Perkins and Martha Pritchard Spear are happy to see this project coming to fruition. It is intended to improve the experience of public transportation riders and increase public transportation use among visitors and residents alike.

Our foundation’s charter board of directors is as follows:

¯ Chandler Ralph, president and founder

¯ Bill Barnes, vice president

¯ Lee Lamparski, treasurer

¯ Martha Pritchard Spear, secretary

¯ Harris Semegram

¯ Heather Perkins

¯ John Huttlinger

¯ Kathleen “Kate” Thompson

¯ Susan Friedmann.

The Lake Placid, NY Rotary Foundation is a service organization that can help others with fundraising for a project if one does not have a 501(c)3 IRS designation. Specifically, it can give donors a tax deduction if gifts are processed through the foundation, and it takes care of financial administration. For more information, contact at RotaryLakePlacidFoundation@gmail.com or P.O. Box 854, Lake Placid, NY 12946.

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