LOCAL COMMUNITY LEADERS RALLY BEHIND THE SPIRIT OF LIFE RESTORATION PROJECT WITH LARGEST INDIVIDUAL DONATION
Saratoga Springs, June 20, 2012: Saratoga Springboard and the Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation have aligned to plan TRASK, an art show and fundraiser to benefit the Preservation Foundation’s efforts to restore the Spencer Trask Memorial, which includes the Spirit of Life sculpture, in Congress Park. TRASK, featuring works of all mediums from many local artists to be held on Thursday, June 28, 2012, 6:30 p.m. at the Canfield Casino in Saratoga Springs (tickets, ranging from $50- $500, can be purchased at www.saratogapreservation.org), would not be possible without the support of some very special members of the local community.
In support of TRASK, Saratoga Springboard has received donations from some very generous individuals in our community. Jay and Alysa Arnold were the first to sign on as individual sponsors for the TRASK event and most recently Linda and Mike Toohey announced their generous gift of $10,000 towards TRASK and the Spencer Trask Memorial restoration efforts. The Toohey gift is the largest individual donation towards the restoration campaign to date. Linda Toohey said they chose to support this project because “Preservation and restoration of the Spirit of Life & Spencer Trask Memorial are wonderful and important community projects. Their beauty and placement certainly highlight the glory of our community’s history. Supporting this excellent endeavor through Saratoga Springboard is also a win, because Springboard’s leaders and volunteers are encouraging a whole new generation of philanthropists to get involved in this great community. They are giving of their time, talent and treasure, which are the three foundation blocks for the success of much that is worthwhile in Saratoga Springs.”
For the second year in a row, Look TV has partnered with Saratoga Springboard as their media sponsor. Long-time Springboard supporters D.A. Collins Companies, Janney, and Miller Printing (located in Amsterdam) have once again stepped forward to show their support as corporate sponsors to Saratoga Springboard and this year’s project; the restoration of the Spencer Trask Memorial. Heavenscent, Mixaritas mobile bartending service and Serena Savage Textile and Web Design have also generously agreed to donate to the event –specific services in support of this project. While picking out their favorite pieces of art work, guests will be able to enjoy hors d’oeuvres generously donated by several local restaurants; Elizabeth’s Table, Gaffney’s, The Living Room and Longfellows among them. Local jeweler, deJonghe, will also be selling original pieces with 50% of the proceeds to benefit the restoration efforts. The members of Saratoga Springboard and staff of the Preservation Foundation have been truly humbled by the support offered to them by these gracious organizations.
In 1913, Katrina Trask, philanthropist, Yaddo founder, and Saratoga resident, along with George Foster Peabody, commissioned the Memorial to honor her husband and his efforts to protect and preserve Saratoga’s natural springs while further beautifying Congress Park. The work for the memorial was completed through the artistic collaboration of two significant Americans, sculptor Daniel Chester French and architect, Henry Bacon, (who would later go on to design and execute the entirety of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC). French created the bronze sculpture (Spirit of Life), while Bacon designed the architectural and landscaped surrounds.
The Memorial, which was completed in 1915, requires restoration that needs to be executed by experts. The Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation, in partnership with the City of Saratoga, has been leading the charge in preserving and caring for the Memorial. The Preservation Foundation is currently kicking off a four year campaign in which they will need to raise approximately $250,000. The proceeds of this campaign will go to the repair and restoration of the Memorial as well as developing a plan for future maintenance.
The Spencer Trask Memorial, 1913-1915, serves as a constant reminder as to our civic responsibility to preserve our national and city resources, to give back to the community, to have pride in creative partnerships, and find comfort and respite in beauty. As The Saratoga Sun published in June, 1915 “The sun shining upon it gave added beauty and effectiveness and the statue will always be, besides being a memorial to Mr. Trask, one of the beauties of the parks, which will attract the eye of all who come to this city.” The same holds true for today’s visitors since the Spirit of Life has become the symbol of the city, as the winged-figure returns the once endangered waters from her bowl to the springs of Saratoga. Yet contemporary residents and tourists will not have the opportunity to enjoy the meaning of the sculpture, the once beautiful surroundings, or appreciate its national significance if the Memorial is not fully restored to its former glory and maintained for years to come.
Founded in 1977, the Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation has been the leading advocate for the preservation of Saratoga Springs’ unique architectural, cultural, and landscaped heritage. We continue to shine a spotlight on new opportunities for community growth and economic development through preservation. For more information about the restoration campaign and Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation, please visit www.saratogapreservation.org.
Founded in 2009, Saratoga Springboard is a group of professionals volunteering together to improve the quality of life in the greater Saratoga region by selecting one local non-profit organization annually to support, with fundraising events, community outreach, or volunteer coordination. Saratoga Springboard fills a variety of needs for the organizations it serves, upholding Saratoga’s distinctiveness as a culturally rich, dynamic community. Saratoga Springboard is currently accepting applications from non-profits to partner with next year. For more information about Saratoga Springboard or to apply, please go to http://saratogaspringboard.com/. You can also find information on Saratoga Springboard’s Facebook page; facebook.com/SaratogaSpringboard.