Guilderland Showed it Cared

The Enterprise — Michael Koff
In concert: Emilio Genzano, founder and coordinator of the Friends of Guilderland Athletics, right, presents checks Monday from the $12,000 raised by the Guilderland Shows It Cares concert held at Tawasentha Park. Half of the money went to the Rodinos, a Guilderland family stricken with Huntington’s disease, and the other half went to pay a share of freshman sports for Guilderland students. Accepting the funds are Regan Johnson, left, the district’s athletic director, and Marie Wiles, center, Guilderland’s school superintendent. Half of the cost of freshman sports — $37,650 this year — is being funded by the community. Fund-raising is ongoing by FOGA.

To the Editor:

On a beautiful afternoon at Tawasentha Park, the Guilderland community gathered with friends, colleagues, and family to support the Friends of Guilderland Athletics concert fund-raiser for freshman sports and the Rodino Family.  

FOGA is in its fourth year of providing an alternative funding source to maintain freshman sports that would otherwise be eliminated due to school budget cuts.  Thanks in part to FOGA, over 400 boys and girls have been able to continue participation in freshman sports.

This year, student athletes from football, baseball, basketball, boys’ and girls’ soccer, and girls’ softball joined the effort by collecting ticket sales and 50/50 drawing sales.  It was a pleasure watching them at work, explaining how freshman sports impacted their lives, and how important it is for incoming students to have extracurricular activities.

Music is a universal language and it certainly proved true that afternoon.  Concert-goers were wowed by the opening act, Jesse Cohen-Greenberg, a Farnsworth Middle School student, playing three fabulous songs on his ukulele.

He was followed by “Emeralds of July,” a six-piece high school band (with Guilderland, Niskayuna, Bethlehem, and Columbia students) playing a mixture of country, rock, and original tunes.

Jackie’s Country Line Dancers entertained the crowd with their synchronized country movements while also providing a very generous contribution.

The night concluded with the Capital District’s #1 modern Country band, “Skeeter Creek,” filling the air with country music. 

Recovery Sports Grill provided great food and beverages for the crowd and also provided a very generous donation for our event.

Our goal for this event was to raise $10,000.  Through the efforts of the students; the FOGA committee; school district administrators, principals, teachers, and staff; coaches; the chamber of commerce; local businesses; town of Guilderland departments and officials; parents; booster clubs; musicians; local churches; and firehouses, we raised $12,000.

The funds will be shared evenly with the Rodino family to financially support them as they continue to fight Huntington’s disease.

The FOGA committee was instrumental in the success of this event.  We want to thank all that made it possible with special thanks to: John Palmeri, Recovery Room Sports Grille; Kristie Becker, soccer; Jeff Cohen, soccer; Ed Glenning, Communications/Paypal; Reagan Johnson, Guilderland High School athletic director; Tom Libertucci, ticket sales; Dan Wheeler, treasurer; Christine Hayes, Guilderland School Board representative; Terry Seery, softball; Jack Collett, baseball; Jen Cornell, the Rodino family; Deb Simeone, basketball; Marie Wiles, Guilderland Central School District superintendent; and C.J. Gallup, football.

We are very fortunate to have individuals and businesses that are dedicated to the future of our community.  Please visit our website, http://www.friendsofguilderlandathletics.org, for information, to support our sponsors, and see how you can continue to help our effort!

Emilio P. Genzano
FOGA Coordinator
Guilderland