Following anniversary, NYRA helps Irene and Lee victims
Throughout the region, countless people are still feeling the effects of Tropical Storm Irene, which caused billions of dollars worth of damage last August. YNN's Matt Hunter has more on what the New York Racing Association is doing to help flood victims.
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SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY – "There's a lot to celebrate in the way of an anniversary because of all that's been achieved this year, but at the same time, it brings back some very emotional and poignant memories," said Sarah Goodrich, executive director of Schoharie Area Long Term (SALT), an organization dedicated to rebuilding from Tropical Storm Irene.
"Overall the work has gone well and we do see an end in sight and we're hopeful for that," said Nathan Mondsager, a coordinator with the Schenectady County Flood Recovery Coalition.
With the one year anniversary of Tropical Storms Lee and Irene passed, the rebuilding effort is a slow but spirited work in progress. On Friday at Saratoga Race Course, the New York Racing Association is helping flood victims get back on their feet by raising funds.
"Our neighbors have made Saratoga the jewel that it is today, so this is our way of saying we haven't forgotten about you," said Joanne Adams, NYRA’s community relations director.
When Irene ripped through the region a year ago, Saratoga Race Course stood right in its path. While the damage wasn't nearly as severe as it was in neighboring counties, it did force the cancellation of one day of racing.
"We know it takes time and we know its important that everyone remain vigilant and remember and help, continue to help, those in need," Adams said.
In addition to collecting donations from racing fans, NYRA presented a $5,000 check to several local flood relief efforts and renamed the day's fourth race in their honor. It was a symbolic gesture that reminded flood victims they're not going through this uphill struggle alone.
"Its encouraging for us not only as an organization and the hundreds of volunteers we work with all of the time, but the residents themselves," Mondsager said.
"To see something as large as Saratoga want to support us and step up means an awful lot because people need to know that support is out there,” Goodrich said. “It gives them hope and the continued energy to keep working."