In the charity world, everybody’s a winner. At the Saratoga Gives Back party on December 12 at Putnam Place (which also served as presenting sponsor for the event), saratoga living‘s editors, along with emcee Subrina Dhammi from NBC’s local affiliate, paid tribute to the magazine’s first annual “10 Under 40” list honorees, who spent the better part of the month inviting family, friends and members of the philanthropic community to the party, in order to raise funds for the charities represented. These included: Pitney Meadows Community Farm, 4th Family, American Cancer Society (ACS) of the Capital Region, Wellspring, New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program, SEFCU’s Holiday Sharing Program, Saratoga County Economic Opportunity Council (EOC), Saratoga Hospital Foundation, the Saratoga Performing Arts Center’s (SPAC’s) Junior Committee and Alzheimer’s Association of Northeastern New York. The concept: Fifty percent of the event’s ticket sales went to the charities and nonprofits represented by the members of the 10 Under 40 list—and the philanthropists that raised the most for their charity were Carmine DeCrescente and Matt DeCrescente, who were at the party representing the Alzheimer’s Association of Northeastern New York.
“It feels great,” says Carmine, who shared the top honors with his brother, Matt DeCrescente, who are vice president and IT manager of DeCrescente Distributing, respectively. “We had a ton of support tonight and we had a great surprise by a lot of our colleagues and close friends and family, because we didn’t know so many of them were coming.” The DeCrescente brothers say they’re very passionate about the charity they chose to represent for Saratoga Gives Back. “It’s important to us, because our grandmother passed from Alzheimer’s many years ago,” says Carmine. “We really hope with our charitable giving and funding that someday there’s a cure for this horrible disease.” DeCrescente Distributing itself hosts an Evening to End Alzheimer’s Gala every May in memory of the brothers’ grandmother, Mary DeCresente. Carmine partly credits that gala as the reason that the company was able to sell so many tickets to the Saratoga Gives Back party. The DeCrescente brothers and the rest of the 10 Under 40 honorees were presented with flowers from Dehn’s Flowers & Gifts and personalized gifts from Saratoga Custom Engraving.
Besides all the wonderful young philanthropists honored at the event, saratoga living finally announced the winner of its “Next Great Saratoga Cocktail” contest, one that has been raging among local bars and restaurants for more than two years and 14 issues of the magazine. For the first hour and a half of the night, five local bars, including The Night Owl, The Brook Tavern, Cantina, Morrissey’s At The Adelphi and Harvey’s Restaurant & Bar faced off with a range of free “Next Great Saratoga Cocktail” entries for guests to test and vote on. In the end, Morrissey’s came in first place with its Saratoga Smash (Irish whiskey, green apple simple syrup with mint leaves, lemon wedges and blueberries); followed by The Brook Tavern’s The Yaddo (vodka and elderflower liqueur with apple, fresh lemon juice and spiced bitters); and in the third place, The Night Owl‘s The (Saratoga) Apple Of My Eye (bourbon whiskey, apple brandy, five-spice apple cider syrup and an orange). (Make sure to ask your favorites to make you their entries throughout the year.)
Food was also in high supply, with offerings including meatballs and sausage and peppers from Testo’s, hors d’oeuvres by Old Daley Custom Catering, pasta bolognese by Osteria Danny, tacos by Harvey’s Restaurant & Bar, beignets by Hattie’s Restaurant and cookies by Austin Bayliss Cakes. And then there were the raffle prizes. Four themed baskets (retail, beauty, foodie and wellness) were raffled off, in addition to a two-night stay at TopNotch Resort in Stowe, VT. Also making cameos were “The Saratoga Santa,” who wished onlookers a merry Christmas; Nonstop Music DJ, who was cranking out tunes all night long; and a menagerie of local VIPs, including the late Marylou Whitney‘s widower, John Hendrickson. Saratoga Gives Back was co-sponsored by Stewart’s Shops, Baker Public Relations, Austin Bayliss Cakes and Renaissance Floral Design.