Hattie’s 10th Annual Mardi Gras Ball was held on Saturday, February 5 at Saratoga Springs’ Canfield Casino. Thanks to the hard work and efforts of Jasper & Elizabeth Alexander, the staff at Hattie’s Restaurant, Honorary Chairs Rob Reed and Jeanne Van Patten, the Mardi Gras Committee, Sponsors, Auction Donors and Guests, over $30,000 was raised for Saratoga Bridges’ Family Support Programs and Services.
Saratoga Bridges was the beneficiary at this year’s event with proceeds directed to their Family Support Programs and Services. Executive Director Valerie Muratori says, “We are extremely grateful to Hattie’s for helping us to continue our mission of providing the highest quality services for more than 775 individuals with developmental disabilities and their families in Saratoga County. The timing is perfect as we have had significant cuts to our budget. In 2010 we had a reduction of over $300,000 and are predicting more than double that in 2011. With the fiscal realities facing New York State, we are very concerned as to how this will impact our programs. Since our Family Support Services are dependent upon state and federal dollars, we need to raise funds more than ever before to assist over 200 families who have a loved one with a disability living with them. They receive a wide range of programs including in-home Respite, Residential Habilitation, Family Reimbursement, Educational Advocacy, SASSI (Specialized Autism Support Services for individuals and their families), Adult Social Club and Sibshops.
Chef and Owner of Hattie’s Jasper Alexander catered the event featuring gumbo, jambalaya, mini po-boys, mini muffuletta sandwiches and ribs. Other highlights included complimentary Mardi Gras Cocktails; lively entertainment and music by Soul Session with Garland Nelson; a Mardi Gras themed cake complete with Hattie’s and Saratoga Bridges’ logos created by The Bread Basket; a Mardi Gras centerpiece designed by artists from Saratoga Bridges’ Creative Endeavors Program; and great silent auction items. Heather Bohm-Tallman provided guests with photographs from the Crazy Photo Booth. Photos are available for purchase at hbtphoto.com and a portion of the print sales will benefit Saratoga Bridges.
Hattie’s Annual Mardi Gras began in 2000 at their restaurant on Phila Street benefitting the Yates Arts in Education Magnet School. The event moved to the Canfield Casino to better accommodate the increased attendance. More than $30,000 was raised last year for Saratoga Hospital. Other past beneficiaries have been Shelters of Saratoga, Regional Saratoga YMCA and Franklin Community Center. In 2012, Saratoga Sponsor-A-Scholar will be the selected charity. Every year a new non-profit is chosen by Hattie’s Helping Hands Committee. Any Saratoga Springs organization can apply online at www.hattiesrestaurant.com.
Additional donations can be made at www.saratogabridges.org, calling 518-587-0723 ext. 1242, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or sending checks payable to Saratoga Bridges Foundation, 16 Saratoga Bridges Boulevard, Ballston Spa, NY 12020. As one of the largest non-profit organizations in the county, Saratoga Bridges has been providing programs for people with developmental disabilities and their families for more than 50 years. Throughout its’ history, family members, staff and volunteers have been committed to ensuring that those they serve are able to realize their goals, hopes and dreams. They remain steadfast in their ability to offer the highest level of lifetime services to 775 individuals, by promoting their abilities, contributions and achievements in every aspect of community life.