News & Events


Julie & Co. Realty Donates $10,000 to Saratoga Sponsor-a-Scholar



In honor of Julie & Co. Realty's 2nd Anniversary and as a continued effort to give back to the community, Julie Bonacio and her team donated a portion of December's closings to Saratoga Sponsor-a-Scholar. SSAS's Volunteer Executive Director, Jim LaVigne graciously accepted the check on behalf of the program at Julie & Co. Realty's sales meeting on Tuesday, December 19th. Jim said "It always amazes me what a generous community we live in and no one personifies that more than Sonny and Julie Bonacio. This gift was both unsolicited and extremely generous. It covers seven years expense for one of our young scholars and will make an incredible difference in their life."

Julie & Co. Realty just celebrated 2 years in business back on November 15th. They constantly strive, not to be the biggest, but to be the premiere real estate company in the area. They want to earn your trust, and give you a great experience that you will pass on to family and friends.

Julie & Co. Realty, LLC: 518.350.7653


Saratoga Sponsor A Scholars Annual Holiday Party a Success


On Monday our students celebrated at the annual SSAS Holiday Party. They were joined by their mentors, enjoyed GREAT food from Hattie's Restaurant, and played the "cash envelope grab bag" game, which has become an annual tradition.

This year as a special treat, SSAS board member John Snow and his wife Terri also provided each of the students with a cash gift. To say the students were surprised is an understatement! Happy Holidays!

Terri Snow presents a Scholar with a holiday gift.



The "envelope grab bag" has become a tradition at the SSAS holiday party. Students love to see what's inside. This year? Movie tickets compliments of Roohan Realty and a little Christmas shopping money from our own Santa, Jim LaVigne.



Mentor Michele Funiciello with her mentee, Lupe and friend Olivia.



Great kids, great students and now a great start to their holiday.




Scholar of the Month: DeVaughn Berry

Originally posted on The Daily Planet Arthur, December 4, 2017




Standing out, whether it be in a crowd of scholars, or in pads and helmet on the gridiron, is the result of hard work. That is the commitment DeVaughn Berry - our Saratoga Sponsor-a-Scholar (SSAS) for the month of December – brings to the table each day. But it is enhanced with a joyful persona that is even larger. "I'm happy to see people smiling," DeVaughn said when recalling his favorite community service activity this year.

For more of this story visit:


Hannah Sage Captures The Audience's Attention at Adirondack Trust Company Community Fund's Evening of Autumn of Giving

Originally posted on The Daily Planet Arthur, November, 2017




Hannah Sage, a graduate of Saratoga Sponsor A Scholar program at Saratoga Springs High School is now a sophomore at RPI. She positively smoked her freshman year to the tune of nine 'A' grades and one B+!



Full story courtesy of


The Pizza Club: Saratoga Sponsor A Scholar Starts Its 10th Year

Originally posted on The Daily Planet Arthur, October 20, 2017

SSAS Welcomes New Class and Provide then wuth the Tools (inlcuding Pizza!) to Succeed




SARATOGA SPRINGS - With the beginning of the 2017-18 school year, those students who would excel are those who adopt a routine that facilitates learning. For the 32 kids in Saratoga Sponsor A Scholar Program at Saratoga Springs High School (SSHS), that entails a commitment to attend homework sessions every Monday after classes. Not only does this provide the structure to organize their upcoming week, they have the opportunity to meet with tutors, receive announcements of upcoming college trips and other special events.


The results of this program are self-evident. Now in its tenth year, ALL 64 graduates of the Saratoga Sponsor A Scholar program have been accepted into college. This is a program that depends entirely on donations from the community. 100 percent of donations spent on students, while the Saratoga Sponsor A Scholar Board covers all overhead costs.










All 64 of the program's graduates have been accepted into colleges.


Saratoga Sponsor-A-Scholar's Executive Director Jim LaVigne noted, "The kids look forward to the guidance these sessions give them, the access to tutors and the pizza dinner SSAS provides."


"Our weekly mandatory homework sessions are integral to the success of the SSAS program. During this time, we touch base with the students as to how they are doing in their classes, keep them informed of upcoming events such as college tours, community service activities, etc. and offer them free tutoring in the four core subjects. This is a time when students may also approach us if they have any issues or need assistance with school supplies, college applications, etc. Having this weekly contact with our students ensures that we know what is going on in their lives inside and outside of school and keeps them accountable."

- School Counselor Brandy Crary, Saratoga Springs High School


Click here for the oringial article from The Daily Planet Arthur.


Yothan Sage designated "Coull Foundation Scholar" for Saratoga Sponsor-A-Scholar

SSHS Receives $18,000 Grant to Further Program's Goals

L to R - On behalf of Saratoga Sponsor a Scholar, Yothan Sage receives a check for $18,000 from The Coull Foundation, which is presented by Gretchen Squires, Owner of Posie Peddler in Saratoga Springs and a Member of the Foundation's Board. Saratoga Sponsor-A-Scholar's Executive Director Jim LaVigne nominated Yothan to be SSAS' designated Coull Foundation Scholar.

SARATOGA SPRINGS - Yothan Sage, a Saratoga Springs High School sophomore, has been designated as Saratoga Sponsor-A-Scholar's (SSAS) Coull Foundation's Scholar. Sage is a member of SSAS' incoming class - their tenth - who will receive mentoring and financial assistance for up to seven years as they proceed through High School and College.

In nominating Sag, SSAS Executive Director Jim LaVigne noted that he is a three-sport athlete at SSHS that has maintained an outstanding 91 average in his studies. Yothan is one of four children in his family; his two older sisters are previous graduates of Saratoga Sponsor-A-Scholar classes. His sister Kara is in her third year at Skidmore College and is an honor student; His sister Hannah has completed her first year at RPI with a Straight 'A' average.

Founded in 2004, The Coull Foundation is dedicated to the memory of Betty and Tom Coull of Rancho Palos Verdes, California. Their mission is to support Education, Cancer Research and the Arts. Gretchen Squires, Owner of the Posie Peddler in Saratoga Springs, is Betty's niece and a member of the Coull Foundation's Board of Directors.

According to LaVigne, "Gretchen reached out to SSAS after reading an article last year about my wife, Mary Gavin, and Kristie Roohan taking the SSAS senior class to an etiquette dinner at Sperry's Restaurant." He said. "She liked the fact that SSAS teaches overall life skills in addition to stressing excellence in academics." She then introduced SSAS to the Coull Foundation board and was successful in obtaining the $18,000 grant.

To date, The Coull Foundation has primarily concentrated its grant support toward Southern California-based Not-For-Profits and Charities. Saratoga Sponsor-A-Scholar became its first Upstate New York recipient, based on Gretchen Squires' interest and involvement.

As an incoming Scholar, Yothan Sage will be identifying his major subjects (he currently favors Mathematics) and community service projects that are part of the program. He also will be a member of the SSHS Junior Varsity Football squad, playing both wide receiver and cornerback, this fall. His favorite sport is wrestling; currently he is in the 138-lb. division.

Saratoga Sponsor-A-Scholar is a 501(c) 3 Organization that was established to help financially disadvantaged young men and women in the Saratoga Springs School District successfully complete high school and college. 100 percent of its resources are dedicated to these young adults in Saratoga Springs, who have all the skills required to succeed in college, but not the opportunities. SSAS levels that economic playing field so it's Scholars can broaden their horizons. For more information, visit


Hail To The Scholars!

Originally posted on The Daily Planet Arthur, June 9, 2017




SARATOGA SPRINGS - Saratoga Sponsor A Scholar inducted its 10th class of Sophomores and sent its 7th class of Seniors off to college this past Sunday, June 4, at its annual family picnic.


Over 160 students, family members, mentors and supporters gathered for the celebration. Each of the 10 Seniors was given a new laptop courtesy of SSAS Board member John Snow and his wife Terri.



All 64 of the program's graduates have been accepted into colleges.



These future leaders have given everyone a lot to be proud of. Bravo!


Click here for the oringial article from The Daily Planet Arthur.


Photos: Maria Jehle






A big THANK YOU to the sold out crowd who attended our Derby Day fundraiser at The Lodge. We hope you had a good time, and will join us again next year!

The event raised $130,000 and was our most successful fundraiser EVER! We couldn't have done it without the generosity of some very special donors. Gary and Nancy Dicresce and Saratoga Eagle underwrote the food and beverages for the day, and Saratoga Casino and Raceway underwrote the valet parking costs, which allows us to use every dollar raised for our programs.

For a full list of Sponsors and Donors, click on Derby Party on the sidebar of the SSAS home page.





PO Box 107, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 518-587-9155 or 518-581-0979