In September of 2016, Renee and her husband Mike founded the local organization known as "Street Soldiers" to lend a helping hand to the homeless and less fortunate. Aside from feeding over 75 hungry people in Albany on Friday nights, Street Soldiers offers assistance, care, support, and compassion to those who need it. The Fahey's use their home, garage and vehicles for storing and transporting all of the meals, clothing, coolers, drinks and tables, and the organization has grown to include Troy and Schenectady.
The Tri-City ValleyCats partnered with American National Insurance in 2019 to recognize nine heroes within the Capital Region community during a special on-field ceremony prior to their game on August 27th vs. the Lowell Spinners.
The "Home Run Community Heroes Starting Nine" was chosen through a month-long fan nomination process. The 'Cats and American National Insurance encouraged fans to nominate personnel from military, law enforcement, firefighter/EMS agencies, non-profit organizations, as well as teachers, volunteers, children and everyday people that have helped make a positive impact within the Capital Region!
2019 Home Run Community Heroes!
In addition to his duties with Rensselaer County, Paul has been a Chief Officer of the Averill Park Fire Department for 15 years, was a state fire instructor for 12 years, and is a Veteran of the United States Marine Corps. He has helped to organize Emergency Service Holiday Parades, served as a member of the Twin Town Little League Board, and is involved in the local Veteran organizations. Paul has gone above and beyond in and around the local community!
Barbara worked as a nurse for many years, and has helped countless families over her many years of service. Now retired, she assists as a Veterinary Technician, and has dedicated her entire life to caring for both humans and animals. Barb has become a person who is called upon by just about every animal rescue group in the Capital Region. In just the last eight to 10 weeks, Barbara has rehabbed and found homes for over 20 kittens, three mother cats, and several dogs.
A completely volunteer and unfunded organization activated by the East Greenbush Police Department and other police organizations, Jimmy has dedicated a great deal of time to Rensselaer County Search & Rescue. He has quietly changed the lives of countless people. Jimmy has been an EMT for over 30 years, teaches CPR, and teached rope rescue to the fire department. He has had many finds for all sorts of lost people, and is a hero to many!
Stacey is a dedicated librarian, who does an exceptional job at getting kids excited about reading. She has brought many nationally recognized authors and illustrators to the elementary school, and puts an enormous amount of time and effort into teaching children about the importance of books and reading. She has influenced countless children and their parents in her district, and is a true hometown hero.
A retired Albany Police Sergeant, Lenny has served as Executive Director of Albany PAL for over 16 years. Under his leadership, PAL develops collaborative programs designed to encourage and develop good citizenship and improve the quality of life in Albany. Lenny raises funds for the center through a number of activities and events, and provides a fun place to play, learn and grow, nurtured by a special relationship with development professionals and police officers.
A kindergarten teacher in the East Greenbush Central School District, Erin founded "Brinley's Bags" after a scary experience during her pregnancy in which she spent a long challenging time at a local hospital. Brinley's Bags are care packages that Erin and volunteers create especially for families that have little ones in local Neonatal Intensive Care Units. Erin leads the charge with fundraisers, collections, and time spent delivering Brinley's Bags all across the Capital Region!
Donna serves as the Capital Region Chapter President for Blue Star Mothers of America, Inc., a group of mothers, stepmothers, grandmothers, foster mothers, and female legal guardians who have children serving in the military, guard or reserves, or children who are veterans. Donna has been a guiding light for the Capital Region chapter and those seeking resources and support. From the Holiday Troop Drive to laying wreaths at Saratoga National Cemetery, Donna and the chapter are giving back and making our community a better place as they honor, respect, and recognize our heros that have given so much.
After running Stride Adaptive Sports for over 20 years as a volunteer, Mary Ellen took on a full-time leadership role in 2006, and has led the organization ever since. STRIDE employs four full time staff members, and along with interns, its Executive Board and volunteers, STRIDE provides over 8,000 adaptive sport and recreation lessons each year to individuals with disabilities, focusing on youth and Wounded Warriors. The entire community thanks Mary Ellen Whitney for her continued service and dedication!