February 9, 2016

Submitted by Maggie Fronk, Executive Director

Wellspring (DVRC)

(518) 583-0280


 On Saturday, February 6, over 735 community members descended upon a sold-out Saratoga Springs City Center as The Hospitality Committee of The Saratoga Chamber of Commerce hosted the Annual Bartenders’ Ball.  The annual gala featured a night of food, drinks, live music, dancing, and gaming all to the theme of ‘Fire and Ice.’

In doing so, they helped support Wellspring, which provides services to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault in Saratoga County, by helping to raise $25,000 in support of the agency.  According to Maggie Fronk, Executive Director of Wellspring, the agency will use the funds, “to invest improve accessibility to Wellspring services for all members of the communities we serve.”

She added, “We want to thank everyone who help make the ball such a great event—the committee members who work so hard, including the people at Fine Affairs and the Holiday Inn Saratoga Springs for their exceptional work in creating a fun, vibrant theme, environment and menu, all while providing our guests with the exceptional service one expects in Saratoga County hospitality.  But most of all, we want to thank everyone who came to this event in support of the hospitality workers, as well as the mission of Wellspring—in doing so, you helped to make a difference in the lives of hundreds of local residents dealing with relationship and sexual abuse.”

This was the eighth year of a partnership between the Hospitality Committee of the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce and Wellspring.  In 2009, Wellspring, then DVRC, partook in our first Bartenders’ Ball.  Since then, the fundraiser has raised over $180,000 in support of the agency and their clients.  Funds have been used to update many aspects of the secure shelter, which every year provides almost 3,000 safe bed nights to families in imminent danger because of domestic abuse.  The funds have also helped improve the infrastructure that supports and provides crisis intervention and support services, and access to services for members of the community who have limited or no access to transportation or technology resources.

The event was also the culmination of the annual ‘Most Valuable Bartender’ contest, as voted by members of the Saratoga County community.  This year 30 bartenders from 10 participating establishments vied for the title of MVB.  After almost 6,000 people cast their votes, the winners were announced at the Ball.  3rd Place went to Nicole from the Rusty Nail in Clifton Park, 2nd Place went to Peggy Sue from The Mill on Round Lake, and 1st Place went to Patty from The Ravenswood Pub in Clifton Park.

Now in its 19th year, the Ball has generated $500,000 for local charities, while honoring the individuals who make the $120 million/year Saratoga County hospitality industry happen.  It is also become a signature event of the local social calendar—this year’s event sold out more than a week in advance, even with the addition of extra seats.

The ball was made possible through the sponsorship of many local hospitality companies including Platinum sponsors 101.3 The Jockey, Fine Affairs, and Sysco.  DeCrescente Distributing, Saratoga Eagle Sales and Service Inc., and Southern Wine and Spirits, also supported the event through sponsorship.