More communities lend support to Empire State Games

Financially speaking, McKenna says the Empire State Winter Games are in good standing for 2011.

"Our sponsorship dollars have been working," he said. "And right now, we are at a pretty good level in terms of doing the whole program similar to the way the state has in the past. That doesn't mean our sponsorship program has ended - that continues. Right now we are in a position to move this forward and the program is running in the black at the moment."

McKenna says he's been encouraged by the show of unity among municipalities and organizations throughout the Lake Placid region.

Officials with ROOST have long called for a regional approach to economic development and event planning. McKenna says it's important for the region to move forward together on programming.

"Having the Empire State Games revert back to this part of the Adirondacks has put us in a unique position for the future," he said. "We have this organizational committee that includes representatives from all of the municipalities involved, and we're all making joint decisions. I think we're really setting up a good committee for future events for the whole region."

McKenna says that the local effort to host the games could serve as a model for other communities, noting that it represents the marriage of public and private sector that Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been calling for.

"For those that heard his State of the State message earlier this month, I think that this organization that we've put together is a perfect example of what he's identified," he said. "We have a consolidated effort from a number of municipal and county governments working together. We're working with having the private sector come to the table with funding. Working together, as a unit, we've been able to accomplish this."

Organizers announced recently that a torch run has been added to the schedule, to begin Feb. 21 at the Essex County government buildings in Elizabethtown.

Saranac Lake Village Clerk Kareen Tyler will be in charge of planning the route for the torch run, an idea originally conceived by Lake Placid's Joe Lamb.

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