Irene - who as I write continues to wring out the towel overhead - can't dampen the joy my heart feels because of the incredible steadfast, die-hard, invaluable DAILY votes folks have cast to help me bring the Uptown Troy Community Harvest Festival to life this year. After months of supporting other organizations through the Refresh Everything program, I'm within reach of bringing something to my neighborhood so sorely needed - a full day of FREE family fun. I'm preparing for the best possible outcome. There's tons of planning that goes into an event like this and that planning has begun. Vendors have been selected and contacted for estimates and groups are gathering volunteers to man the booths.
I've reached out to Jim Blessing and the wonderful staff at The ARC of Rensselaer County to let them know it's looking like a "GO". Pastor Willie Bacote at Missing Link Street Ministry is putting together his shopping list to ensure a festive menu for the days activities. Tom Techman is warming up his vocal cords and songlist so that he can thouroughly entertain us. Joe over at Jumping Bean Party Rental is sharpening his pencil to allow for the maximum amount of fun and games. And wait till the kids get a load of the prizes they can get with their stash of tickets won at the games. The cherry on top? Well that is a special four-day residency by reknowned cello virtuoso and my dear friend Dr. Steven Elisha when he brings his Mr. Cello program to the area.
We're close yet we're NOT there. This is NO time to become complacent. It is vital to continue voting EVERY day and it will take a small city of daily votes for funding to be realized. In addition to your online daily vote (logging in with your FB account or direct with Pepsi or BOTH), those of you with texting capabilities get to cast a third daily vote by sending 107824 to Pepsi (73774). Your daily votes coupled with our collective POWER VOTES are the reason we're so close. Those little yellow Pepsi caps contain the codes we need to solidify funding. Find them where you can & drop them off at Smoker's Choice in either Troy Plaza or Latham or at Troy Discount Beverage in South Troy. Tell them The Dartlady sent ya.
Beyond a doubt, the hope of funding would not be possible without the strong support by my partner projects and their supporters. Please continue to cast a daily vote for Angels4Epilepy (107962), Nicholson (107973), Cohoes Music Hall/C-R Productions (100081) and most importantly National Inclusion Project (108169) with your daily votes over the next three days. That's right. Only three more days till we know whether our projects will be considered for grant funding. A special shout out goes to Uptown Initiative's Youth Supporting Youth partners from January Project Hope/Ft Edward, who have re-activated their voting machines to help make this festival happen.
Tonight as I've been writing this entry, a section of my old neighborhood was permanently altered. I lived both on top of that hill on Highland Avenue and at the bottom of that hill on Congress Street. My thoughts and prayers are with my neighbors up there especially those directly affected by the mudslide. For those neighbors not living in Mt. Ida, please send your good thoughts to them as well. With the rain continuing to fall, the risk of further slides and the flooding of the Poestenkill on the southside of the road increases. Ida Hillers & South Trojans are being evacuated. Stay safe my friends.