Cheese maker, pet shelter, COVID medical team among the Good News winners


GLENVILLE – A diverse group of organizations in Schenectady County were honored with the 2021 Good News Awards on Thursday.

The Schenectady County Chamber annually awards the awards to companies, organizations and individuals that have achieved significant growth; occupied a new or recently renovated building; has reached an important anniversary; has launched a unique product or service; displayed extraordinary community support; or become a notable achievement.

The recipients were:

  • The Animal Protective Foundation, a 90-year-old, 14-county area stray and abandoned pet shelter that continues to grow. The APF remained in business throughout the pandemic, moving to virtual meetups for cat and curbside adoptions for dogs, and creating a pet behavior hotline to support pet owners. animals who needed help keeping their pets at home amid the upheavals of everyday life.
  • BelGioioso Cheese, founded in 1979 by an Italian immigrant and raised to eight manufacturing plants in Wisconsin. One of the secrets to the company’s award-winning cheese is the fresh milk, supplied by dairy farms located within 40 miles of each facility, including the brand new 100,000 square foot factory it has opened in Glenville. This year.
  • Community Fathers, a nonprofit organization that has built a network with various community social service agencies, churches, legal services, and government agencies to provide social services to those in need of help. The multigenerational approach includes the Learn to Win program, the Family Violence Offender Accountability Program, the Father Reinstatement Program, the Community Fathers Drug Court Group, the Male Achievers High School Program, and the Young Fathers Visitation Program.
  • Ellis Medicine’s COVID care team, who rose to the challenge of caring for hundreds of community members hospitalized with a potentially fatal virus amid the community’s biggest public health crisis in a century. The price is not for one person but for a team greater than the sum of its parts, which provided compassion as well as expert medical care.
  • Plus Perreca’s, the restaurant attached to the Little Italy neighborhood’s iconic bakery, has been cited for adapting to survive. Maria Perreca Papa, granddaughter of the founders of the bakery, continues the tradition but brought a boost of innovation to the company built around a century-old coal-fired bread oven.
  • The Open Door Bookstore, a supporter of literacy and the arts in the community. The independent and local merchant offers a variety of literature for adults and children and a selection of toys, gifts and jewelry.
  • The Schenectady Trading Company, offering something for everyone from groceries and gifts to souvenirs. The focus on local and locally targeted products is meant to foster connections within the community and bring visibility to other small businesses here.

The 100th anniversary of the Sgarlata family, which opened in Schenectady in 1921 and now operates River Stone Manor in Glenville, where the Good News Awards were also celebrated, was also celebrated on Thursday.

“The Schenectady County Chamber is honored to salute these people, businesses and organizations who are making a positive impact,” said Mark Eagan, President and CEO of the Capital Region Chamber. “Especially given the challenges of the past year, it’s great to come together to recognize and celebrate the difference-makers in our community.

The Schenectady County Chamber is affiliated with the Capital Region Chamber, an organization of 2,900 members that employs 160,000 people primarily in Albany, Rensselaer, Saratoga and Schenectady counties.

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