Saratogans write the book on Operation Gratitude

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Merci. Gracias. Thank you! People are finding ways to thank those people working to help us get through the COVID-19 quarantine.

Saratogan Laurel Perusa has started a movement called “Operation Gratitude” and invites all to join the effort to thank service workers.

“I deeply appreciate the devotion put forth by our grocery, hardware, pharmacy and all service staffs,” Perusa says. “I believe they have gone above and beyond. In recognition of their efforts I’m asking friends and family to join in.

“The next time you shop, please take a handwritten note of gratitude. Give the note to the store manager to share with the staff. I am sure this gesture will be appreciated, and the notes will likely be posted in the staff room for all to read. Handwritten notes of gratitude would be a great way for our community to express their appreciation.”

Laurel’s neighbors Jim and Connor Obot agree. Connor wrote a handwritten “thank you” to Saratoga’s Ace Hardware that read: “Dear Ace Hardware, thank you for staying open during these difficult times. Best of luck and stay safe. From Connor.”

A group deserving of thank-you notes is the Village Gardeners. This amazing volunteer group spends hundreds of volunteer hours keeping the flora and fauna of Saratoga Village looking ship shape. Jill Hunter says, “When SIP began, Village Gardeners (VG) had to stop most of their activities. One extraordinary volunteer, Robert Woolsey, was willing to get up very early Tuesday mornings to accompany the city water wagon to quench the thirsts of the hundreds of plants throughout the Village.

“Many other VGs adopted areas to care for on their own,” Hunter adds. “With merchants at home, many of whom tended the pots near their shops, we agonized over how to keep things going while honoring the SIP. We’ve succeeded, and everything has come through the pandemic (so far) in great shape. I am so proud of these volunteers for stepping forward in grave times. The City of Saratoga gardeners are back from their furlough, and now the VGs will be back with masks, gloves and social distancing.”

The Village Gardeners are Joan Bose, Laurel Perusa, Carol Kummerer, Marilyn Manies, Ron Pisani, Karen Grebene, Deb Conway, Mariko Sullivan, Robert Wolsey, MaryKay Breitenbach, Sue Sullivan, Tina Liddie, Donna Poppenhagen, Kerstin Erikson-Splawn, Marilyn Marchetti, Mary Bogdanovich, Sean Halaz, Gayle Johnson, Yosiko Barthell, Mary Chang, Kate Hendren and Fleur Kettmen.

If you could use a dose of tranquility, Hakone Estate and Gardens is now open for the public to enjoy. One of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s premier sites, the 100-year-old Hakone is one of the oldest Japanese gardens in the Western Hemisphere. Check their website for current visitor guidelines at www.hakone.com.

Graduation at Saratoga High will certainly be unique for the Class of 2020. With the traditional ceremony not possible, creative organizers are planning the very first SHS “drive-through graduation.”

“We’re going to practice what we preach and use creativity with a positive attitude.” Says SHS principal Greg Louie.

The 364 graduating seniors will pick up a diploma cover outside McAfee center, then walk up the ramp and across the outdoor stage, where their name ill be read and a professional photo taken (they can remove their masks for the photo op). Families and friends will be able to watch and cheer from their cars.

“We are leaving the door wide open for a ‘postponed graduation celebration,’” Louie says, “maybe in August, maybe next year. We are so proud of our students for their can-do attitude. We will be back #TOGAther!” Graduation guidelines are available at www.saratogahigh.org

If you have news about Saratoga, please let me know. Debby@debbyrice.com

 



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