LAKE GEORGE Hours before dawn Saturday, the first people seeking tickets to the annual Rachael Ray cooking show arrived at Lake George High School under dark skies to assure they’d be at the front of the line. The much-desired tickets for the 12th annual show didn’t go on sale until 9 a.m., but the first woman in the line, Marsha Bartels of Hadley, said she felt the four-and-a-half-hour wait was worth it.
“My family said to me, ‘You’re crazy!’” said Bartels, a Lake George alumnus. “But I said, ‘Why not?”
Bartels arrived at 4:30 a.m. to be the first to buy her limit of six tickets.
“I’ve been going for five years,” she said. “It’s an excellent show.”
Bartels was the first in line at 7:30 a.m. when the front doors to the high school were opened. About 70 people were already in line behind her, which continued to grow until the sale began 90 minutes later.
By 8:15 a.m., the line for tickets stretched all the way down the main hallway of the school — dozens of people had waited for hours to get the best seats possible in the auditorium, which accommodates 530 people. Most of those in line bought their maximum number of six tickets, buying them for friends to save them a long wait.
Three days later, 80 tickets remain. Pam Morin, treasurer of the Lake George Alumni Association, said she expects to sell out every ticket, as in years past.
Proceeds go towards scholarships for Lake George graduates entering their second year of college.
Due to their fundraising efforts, the Lake George Alumni Association is annually able to donate about ten $1,000 scholarships through this program.
In addition, the Alumni Association also donates money to the school for educational equipment and supplies.
In the past, they have bought books and other materials for the elementary school library, and they’ve purchased digital “Smart Boards” for classrooms. Also, the group annually grants two $500 awards at graduation ceremonies.