Foundation gives $68K to Colonie youth center

Edward Cammarota loved tennis. He loved it so much he opened his very own tennis club on Albany-Shaker Road.

Cammarota died in 2004 at age 89, and the tennis club he opened is now known as Afrim's Sports. But thanks to a foundation that was recently started in his name, he will be associated with tennis and recreation in the town for many years to come.

The Edward S. Cammarota Foundation, named after the former Town of Colonie Republican chairman, will make its first community contribution, $68,000, to the Colonie Youth Center.

According to Barbara Boodram, director of communications for the CYC, the trustees on the Edward S. Cammarota Foundation chose the youth center as a beneficiary because of the recreation benefits it provides to the community.

[Cammarota] was very community-minded and very into recreation, she said.

According to John Tabner, one of the three trustees of the Cammarota Foundation, Cammarota had done a number of charitable things in his lifetime and wanted to continue to do so after he died.

Tabner said the Colonie Youth Center seemed like a natural choice to be the foundation's first beneficiary.

"First of all, it's within probably a mile of where [Cammarota's] club was, so it wasn't that far away," he said.

But even more than its geographical location, Tabner said, the foundation chose the CYC because of the services it offers the community, and their likeness to the services Cammarota tried to offer at his club.

"The club does to a certain extent what [Cammarota's] had: tennis and racquetball and basketball and an indoor track," he said.

Tabner said the foundation liked the idea of giving the funds to an athletic establishment.

In addition, the youth center had a need for the funds the foundation had to offer.

The CYC receives $125,000 every year from the Town of Colonie. When former Supervisor Mary Brizzell was in office, she had promised the center an additional $2 million over the next 10 years, but when Democrat Paula Mahan took office, she refused to give the CYC the additional money that the deficit-strapped town simply did not have.

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