GLOVERSVILLE -A program aimed at providing the "little things" for people served by Lexington Center got a big boost Saturday, as an out-of-state cyclists club raised $15,000 for a 100-mile bike race in Fulton County.
Lora Johnston, a member of the Lexington Foundation's Advisory Board of Directors, helped found the Kaleidoscope program, an auxiliary service that supplements what government funding provides to brighten the day of Lexington Center's clients.
"Lexington Center does an amazing job providing for its clients' needs, but there are little things government funding doesn't pay for - we're talking ice cream, a picnic, a birthday party, the gift of a CD, stuff like that," she said.
Johnston's daughter, Ashley Lauria, participates in Lexington's Kaleidoscope House, a day-habilitation center in Johnstown that serves about 35 clients. Johnston said it was taking her daughter to Kaleidoscope that helped her realize what needed to be done to help Lexington's clients.
"My daughter's needs will always be provided for, but some of these guys just don't have that, and that's why we wanted to create this program to help them," she said.
Since it was created, the Kaleidoscope program has aimed to raise about a $1,000 a month in donations. A "Calendar of Love" on display at Dick and Peg's Northward Inn shows the top donor for each month.
A cyclists’ group called ALFW — Aging Like Fine Wine — heads south on Route 30A near Gloversville on Saturday on the last leg of a 100-mile fundraising ride for Lexington’s Kaleidoscope program. (The Leader-Herald/Bill Trojan)
Kevin Geraghty, organizer of Saturday’s ALFW?fundraising ride, embraces Lora Johnston, a member of the Lexington Foundation Advisory Board of Directors, after handing her a check for $15,000 for Lexington’s Kaleidoscope program. (The Leader-Herald/Jason Subik)
From left, Ashley Lauria and her father Armand Lauria ride their bicycle built for two down West 12th Street toward a private park named for Ashley, symbolically completing the last leg of a 100-mile bike ride to benefit Lexington Center's Kaleidoscope program. (The Leader-Herald/Jason Subik)
"Some months, we raise more than $1,000," Johnston said.
For June, they've raised a lot more - $15,000 - thanks to the Aging Like Fine Wine bicycle club.
ALFW's Kevin Geraghty, who lives in Boston but grew up in Gloversville and owns a camp on Peck's Lake, said he has known Johnston for a long time and was glad to help.
"None of these guys had ever really heard of Gloversville, but they are such good guys and they understand that life is much better when it's a belly-to-belly business, and we were glad to do this because it was a lot of fun and we got to raise a little money," Geraghty said.
ALFW is a group of men in their mid-50s who live in Massachusetts and put on charity bike races several times a year. More information about the group is available on its website, www.alfwrides.com.