Fathers, grandfathers, uncles, siblings, and other family members gathered this morning to participate in the MENtor’s Walk at Veterans Park. The families from Harmony Hill School and Abram Lansing Elementary were welcomed by Zorkie Nelson and his Ghanaian Drum and Dance Ensemble who played uplifting music to get everyone in the spirit of the day.
The walk began in 2015 as a way to encourage male mentors to become more involved in their children’s lives.
Mayor Bill Keeler told the crowd that as he walks through the park a few times a week, he thinks of his own father, a WWII and Korean War veteran, and how important that relationship was to him.
Ed Krajewski, Human Services and Recreation director for the City of Cohoes and Tri-City ValleyCats Stadium Operations manager, reminisced on taking his own children to this event years ago, and remarked on how much this special event has grown. “All kids have potential, and it’s up to [their] mentors to help fuel these opportunities,” he said.
ValleyCats pitcher Jake Dexter told the kids in the crowd to always thank the adults in their lives, from their parents, teachers, cafeteria and school workers, and others. “Be nice to each other and work hard,” he added. Catcher Sam Kinum echoed his teammate’s sentiments and commented on what a great community event this was for the school district.
Everyone proceeded to walk to their respective schools for breakfast together before students went to class. Van Schaick MENtors were invited to join their children for breakfast before celebrating Constitution Day (check Facebook for photos of both events).