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Great Escape employees aid community on a day off from work

Spreading mulch as part of a community service project on a day off from work Nov. 14 are Great Escape theme park employees (left to right): Casie Stewart, Leroy Riojas, Steve Grant and Jeff Bartone. Great Escape allotted the day off for about 60 of their employees for this charitable effort, and the employees renovated the Glens Falls city Little League Fields, cleared and marked cross-country ski trails at Cole's Woods, and landscaped the front of the Glens Falls YMCA.

Spreading mulch as part of a community service project on a day off from work Nov. 14 are Great Escape theme park employees (left to right): Casie Stewart, Leroy Riojas, Steve Grant and Jeff Bartone. Great Escape allotted the day off for about 60 of their employees for this charitable effort, and the employees renovated the Glens Falls city Little League Fields, cleared and marked cross-country ski trails at Cole's Woods, and landscaped the front of the Glens Falls YMCA. Photo by Thom Randall.

— Dozens of Great Escape theme park employees took a day off Nov. 14 to renovate Glens Falls city Little League fields, improve Cole’s Woods trails and beautify the exterior of the Glens Falls YMCA.

About 60 employees of the theme park that helped make Lake George famous — and its related enterprise, Great Escape Lodge, participated in the day-long effort.

The project was the 5th annual event of its kind for the Great Escape, which has accomplished work in the past for the Tri-County United Way, the Slate Valley Museum and Habitat for Humanity.

Tasks included removing fencing and backstops and and other renovations to the Little League fields, removal of brush and debris from around the area to improve aesthetics and accessibility, landscaping the front of the YMCA building, and adding trail markers and clearing the snowshoe trail in Cole's Woods.

Among those cutting down and removing brush between the city Recreational Center and Cole’s Woods was Trent Sano of Lake George, Director of Administration for Great Escape.

The brush-clearing effort was to create more overflow parking, he said.

“It’s outstanding to have 60 people come in and do this kind of work — it’s invaluable to the YMCA.”

Sano ought to know — a former position of his was Youth & Family Director of the YMCA.

Great Escape Facility Manager Gary Baker was also at work at the YMCA. “This is great to be part of this effort,” he said. “Great Escape believes in family and community — they’ve kept me employed for 17 years. A day like this to give back to the city and the kids is wonderful.”

Andrew Meader of Lake George was among those theme park employees renovating the Little League fields. He serves as Director of Corporate Alliances for the Great Escape.

“It’s amazing for all the Great Escape employees to have a day off like this, and be put into the community where we can really make a difference,” he said. “We rely of the community so much, so it’s great to pay back.”

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