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What collaboration looks like

Adirondack Educational Center student Kiania Reandeau prepares dinner rolls for a recent veterans retreat. (Photo provided)

To the editor:

With Veteran’s Day approaching on Nov. 11, organizations like Homeward Bound Adirondacks are showing what it means to honor our veterans.

On the weekend of Oct. 16, Homeward Bound hosted a retreat at their Sgt. Carlton A. Clark Memorial Veterans Camp located in Onchiota. This retreat consisted of a three-day-long workshop that came at no cost to the attending veterans — they received free meals as well as free lodging. This retreat, as are all Homeward Bound retreats, was organized by Valerie Ainsworth, executive director of Homeward Bound Adirondacks.

Homeward Bound has been sponsoring these retreats since 2015. These retreats offer a plethora of healing activities and workshops for veterans as well as active-duty soldiers. Homeward Bound Adirondacks is a volunteer-run organization with an administrative cost less than 1%. This means that a majority of the funds raised through grants and donations goes directly to benefit the veterans who make use of this organization.

So what was so special about this particular retreat? It was a glowing example of incredible collaboration between several groups for the purpose of serving veterans. The meals for this retreat were provided by culinary students from two esteemed institutions in the area, Paul Smith’s College and the Adirondack Educational Center. Chefs Kevin McCarthy, CEC (Paul Smith’s), and John Roe (Adirondack Educational Center) advised their students in creating entrées, rolls and baked goods to provide to the attendees of the retreat. Veterans enjoyed pork roast, steak fajitas and homemade potato salad, to name some of the food featured at this event. Ingredients for the meals were sourced locally as well; Edelweiss Veal Company, run by Patricia and Gary Warrington, contributed the meat for the event. Many of the students who prepared these meals come from military families and have either active-duty or veteran relatives.

Adirondack Educational Center student Angeleena Vaillancourt-Metz prepares brownies for a recent veterans retreat. (Photo provided)

Homeward Bound Adirondacks was able to organize and successfully execute this event, adhering to COVID-19 restrictions, with the help of the aforementioned groups. All of these organizations came together to grant the veterans a memorable retreat and keep everyone safe in the process.

Homeward Bound contact information:

Email: wecare@HomewardBoundAdirondacks.org

Website: www.HomewardBoundAdirondacks.org

Mailing address: P.O. Box 1100, Saranac Lake, NY 12983

Paul Smith’s College students, from left, Travon Harper, Richard Clervil, Jeree Cain and Helen Deng helped prepare food for a recent veterans retreat. (Photo provided)

Phone: 518-352-5144

24 Depot St., Saranac Lake, NY

Sophie Morelli

Lake Placid

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