Monday, August 12, 2013

We are a new nonprofit organization – not even five months old – based right here in Baldwinsville. Our mission is to “clear pathways to participation” in the multifaceted world of sports for youngsters who wouldn’t ordinarily get such a meaningful opportunity to participate. Our vision, as we grow, is to create programs for underserved kids to get involved in sports – either on the field or in one of the myriad peripheral activities surrounding the action on the field.  Activities like physical training and medical support, videography and game/practice film study, sports journalism, sports management, and the science of sports are just a few of the new programs we envision for the kids. Our programs engender self reliance, self esteem, life skills, and teamwork among other valuable skills and experiences, all of them sports related and fun at the same time! That takes a lot of effort and certainly no small amount of money. Effort isn’t a problem – we have a good team of dedicated people who volunteer their time and skills to get the Foundation off the ground. But none of us are wealthy, so just like any other nonprofit, one of our primary jobs is to raise the funds necessary to achieve our goals.  Last Saturday the Silver Knight Foundation staged our first-ever fundraising event: The VP Supply Island Knight Jam at Paper Mill Island – an outdoor music festival – with a six band lineup, no less! It was a major undertaking, especially since we had never done anything like it before. Plus, we gave ourselves just five weeks lead time to get it all done!
We’re not superheroes, so realistically there were only two ways to accomplish such a feat: 1) a very big monetary donation to pay professionals to pull it off for us (didn’t happen); or 2) lots of help from people and organizations outside of our small, but growing nonprofit. And that’s exactly how we pulled it off. This is a letter of gratitude and recognition for those people and groups without whom we never could have pulled it off.
First and foremost, we thank the members of the Board of the Village of Baldwinsville. Without their initial help and guidance, our concert was a no-go. Linda Ross and Maureen Butler, at the Village Offices, took it from there, and gave us lots of valuable guidance along the way. From the start, and especially on the day of the Island Knight Jam, Chuck McCullough’s involvement was very important. His knowledge, experience, and cheerful help were priceless to us.  Chuck’s friend, and long-time Paper Mill event promoter, Mike Chemotti came through big-time too. He loaned us a couple essential pieces of equipment. Mike and Chuck quickly set up the equipment for us just hours from showtime!  Their efforts helped make the show a real success! And a big thank you goes out to Rance Walters, our Stage Manager, and Bill Bulger, Sound Engineer. There are always some wrinkles to deal with in a show like the Island Knight Jam, and they ironed them out professionally, producing a night of terrific sights, sounds, and fun. And, of course, the bands:
Liquid Lounge Band, Suited Stranger, Austin John Band, 4 Point 0, Good Kids, and Sophistafunk filled the evening with a wide array of music which, as far as we could tell, turned everybody on, and made the first-ever Island Knight Jam a big success. Thanks, everybody! Let’s do it again!


Jeff Livingston
Executive Director
Silver Knight Foundation

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