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Soft-hearted Ruth Sedaker buys hard bricks for BH-BL

When Ruth Sedaker received her economic stimulus check from the government in March she never expected what she saw. She thought the amount must be wrong. When she initially filed her taxes she expected to receive only $300, but what she saw instead of a 3 was a "6."

And even though many taxpayers spent their checks paying down credit cards and purchasing new big-ticket items like plasma televisions, Sedaker took a different route. Sedaker purchased three memorial bricks for her grandchildren, all recent graduates of Schenectady Christian School.

"I thought the government was so nice to give us this money, and I said 'Why don't I share it with my family?'" Sedaker said.

In addition to the bricks Sedaker recently purchased for her grandchildren, Sedaker also had bricks placed for her husband, who died in 2004; her three daughters, who are all nurses; her grandson, who is also deceased; and herself, a retired Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake bus driver.

The bricks are sold by the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Education Foundation and are displayed in the gymnasium plaza entrance of the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake High School.

There are more than 450 bricks displayed near the plaza. They are engraved with various sayings and names.

The Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Education Foundation is an organization that provides money to schools in the district to complete projects that are not budgeted by the Board of Education.

"When you sit on the school board and watch a budget get formed then you think of all the things you would like to do," said Dorie McArthur, who started the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Education Foundation in 1999.

McArthur said typically teachers or student groups place a request with the foundation for grant money and, through fundraisers, the foundation provides the grants. In less than 10 years, the foundation has given out more than $75,000 in grants to schools in the district.

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