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Altamont caregivers cash in on Hannah mania

Jeff Thomas said when he received complimentary Hannah Montana concert tickets from the Times Union Center, he thought it was some sort of circus event.

He was partially right, since the concert has caused a quite a frenzy in the Capital District, leading to thousand-dollar tickets and parents scrambling to enter every possible contest to score the coveted passes for their kids. Miley Cyrus, who takes the stage as Hannah Montana, is the daughter of country star Billy Ray Cyrus, and concerts on her singing tour are selling out almost immediately.

Thomas is turning his four tickets into a fundraiser for the Altamont-based goodwill group Community Caregivers.

Community Caregivers is a great group of people doing amazing things for Albany County residents in need. I saw the tickets as an opportunity to raise money, and I think there is no better place for it to go than Caregivers, said Thomas.

Thomas, owner of Weatherguard Roofing, said his company has been supporting the Times Union Center ever since it was known as the Knickerbocker Arena. He said, in return, he often receives tickets to events there.

"I literally was getting calls from everyone I know who has kids, even people I went to high school with. It was at the point where I said I can really use these tickets to make something big happen," said Thomas.

Thomas said the crew at radio Station FLY 92 came up with the idea of the

"Hannah Toss" fundraiser. The goal is to raise money by selling Hannah dolls for $100 each, then letting contestants toss the dolls onto a target at Colonie Center for a chance to win the tickets. The toss took place Monday, Jan. 7.

Thomas said that since the contest was announced, donations had been pouring in, and many people were not even buying the dolls. He said an anonymous donation was given for $1,000, bringing the total to more than $4,500 by the evening of Sunday, Jan. 6.

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