Saratoga Springs is a giving community. (But you already knew that, didn’t you?) And when one of our own is in need, we do everything in our power to help them out. Case in point: When a multi-car collision totaled the Saratoga Awesome Dogs food truck in late August, a customer stepped in and launched a GoFundMe page to help get its owners back up and running again. (They were back in business in mid-September.) My wife and I have been touched by Saratoga’s own Joy US Foundation, which has helped us cope with a cancer diagnosis and brought literal joy back into our lives through its various outdoor programs for survivors and their families. And of course, you can just scroll through all the incredible galas and fundraisers that city organizations host each year to get an even clearer picture of how generous we all are.
Saratoga’s extended family is at it again, this time for a fallen friend and classmate. On September 24, 42-year-old Joe Lane, a graduate of Saratoga Springs High School (class of ’95)—and whose mom ran the popular Downtown Saratoga pizzeria, Gina’s Pizza—died of an unexpected medical complication, leaving behind a wife and two young children. (Lane’s father-in-law was my orchestra instructor throughout high school, his sister-in-law, a friend and fellow musician.) To make matters worse, due to a preexisting condition, Lane’s life insurance benefits were limited at best.
So friends and fellow Saratogians Ken Kwalik and his sister, Keriann Kwalik Gregor, have set up a GoFundMe page to help support Lane’s family. (Lane was Kwalik’s best man in his wedding.) One-hundred percent of the money raised will go to Joe’s wife and will help supplement her children’s future education. At present, the page has already raised more than $70,000 for Lane’s family. Saratogians interested in making larger, individual donations are being urged to contact Kwalik directly via email (Ken.Kwalik@gmail.com).