BALLSTON SPA– The Ballston Spa Rotary Club and Ballston Spa Lions Club co-hosted an educational forum entitled “Ballston Spa-This Is Who We Are.” The purpose is to inform the public about resources and opportunities available in the village, as well as the surrounding areas. Topics ranged from education and recreation to culture and social services.
Anita Pailey, executive director of the Saratoga Economic Opportunity Council, participated in the event. She says it’s a great way to raise awareness of what’s out there in our own back yard.
“People may not know, they may not realize what’s available,” said Paley. “If people are considering moving to the area, they can learn what it’s like to live here and do business here, be a volunteer, or gain access to services.”
The forum, which took place at the First Presbyterian Church on West High Street, began two years ago as a way to give non-profit organizations the opportunity to educate the public on what they have to offer, and what people can do to offer their time back.
Topics presented included history from attorney and Rotarian John Cromie; educational opportunities by Stuart Williams, Coordinator for Community Resources for the Ballston Spa School District; arts and culture by Meg Stevens, a member of several local non-profits including the National Bottle Museum and the state of the local economy by Pete Bardunias, President and CEO of the Chamber of Southern Saratoga County.
“We want to reach folks who have a real love of this area and are interested in getting involved with various opportunites,” said Jere Blackwelder, past president of the Ballston Spa Rotary Club.
There was also another topic which has a great impact on the community….emergency services. Assemblyman Jim Tedisco took part of the discussion, emphasizing the importance of keeping our senior citizens safe .
“We have a lot of shut-ins who may need dialysis, medical care…when the electricity goes out, the heat goes out,” said Tedisco.
So now through the Office of Emergency Services in Saratoga County, residents can sign a registry to obtain assistance in their time of need.
“We’re trying to get the message out to families across Saratoga County,” explained Tedisco. “One idea is to put the service information on everyone’s tax bill, so it gets out to the general public.”
Other participating organizations included the Gateway House of Peace and the Ballston Spa Lions Club. This forum is expected to continue each year, to bring the community together through opportunity and education.
“It creates a warm atmosphere,” Said Paley. “it’s a beautiful picture of what goes on in the village of Ballston Spa and the town surrounding it.”
The Ballston Spa Rotary Club is considering organizing similar events in the future.