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Barbara Lombardo of Saratoga Springs, NY, is a journalism adjunct at University at Albany and retired executive editor of The Saratogian, The Record and the Community News. Follow her on Twitter @Barb_Lombardo.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Saratoga Center for Family offers advocacy, education, therapy — and needs your help

Journalists take pride in giving a voice to people in need, with hopes of inspiring readers to action. But some stories are so private that they can be told only in generic terms — such as those involving children who are victims of abuse or neglect.
The Ballston Avenue building in Saratoga Springs
served some 400 children and their families in 2012.
Photo by Erica Miller/

That’s one of the challenges in raising awareness and encouraging donations for groups like the Saratoga Center for the Family, a nonprofit, countywide organization that last year provided therapy and healing to 400 children and their families in the building you’ve passed a million times on Ballston Avenue, between SPAC and Price Chopper.

As reporter Jennie Grey explains, “the Center for the Family focuses on building healthier families in Saratoga County and beyond, helping those struggling with trauma, depression, anxiety and disruptive behavior disorders who have experienced physical, sexual and emotional abuse. Victims of assault, human trafficking, domestic violence, divorce and bullying come for healing.”

There can be no so-called poster child for the organization. Yet the need is there, and the services can be provided only with the generosity of people who will never know the children and families they are helping. So I’m trying to help spread the word.
The Saratoga Center for the Family
offers a welcoming environment to children and families.
Photo by Erica Miller/

Next Wednesday is the Saratoga Center for the Family’s annual Celebrating the Power of Hope event, a cocktail party with food and entertainment and the silent and live auction that are components of so many worthy fund-raisers. Auction items include a one-year downtown Saratoga Springs parking space, two Southwest airlines tickets, and box seats for a day at Saratoga Race Course during the 2013 season. 

The event will recognize Raymond O’Conor, former president of Saratoga National Bank and Trust Company, for his continued support of the center and the community. It will take place from 6 to 9 p.m. April 24 at Longfellows Restaurant. Cost is $75 per person for age 36 and older, and $50 for 35 and younger.

Learn more about the organization and the Celebrating Hope and Power event at or by calling 587-8008.


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