A shoe-in for a good cause

Five Rivers hosts fundraiser for Habitat for Humanity

Even with this year's uncharacteristically warm afternoons, January is the month that many Capital District residents begin to look longingly out of their kitchen windows and dream of spring.

An upcoming fundraiser, however, is giving those with cabin fever an opportunity to not only enjoy winter sports, but help the less fortunate gain their own shelter from the cold.

Capital District Habitat for Humanity and local Eastern Mountain Sports stores are partnering for the second year to bring a snowshoeing fundraiser to the area. Last year's event was a Pine Bush, and this year, participants will be stomping through the Five Rivers Environmental Center and raising money for donation.

The partnership is a mutually beneficial one. Habitat for Humanity receives donations that will go toward building materials for homes that will be sold to low-income families, and EMS has an opportunity to showcase its selection of snowshoes by providing pairs for participants to borrow.

We like to try and partner with local organizations and help them out when we can, and we just felt that Habitat is a good community building organization, said EMS Outreach Director Emily Durrant.

EMS will provide snowshoes for the day at no cost to those who don't own their own. It makes the event a great chance to give winter sporting a try, said Durrant.

"It gets people out and excited about being out in the winter," she said. "Anybody can snowshoe, and even if you don't necessarily like the winter you can enjoy being outside."

EMS has three stores locally: at Mohawk Commons in Niskayuna, Stuyvesant Plaza in Guilderland and on Route 50 in Saratoga Springs.

Last year, about 100 people turned out to the Pine Bush Preserve to snowshoe a 1-, 2-, or 5-mile loop, raising $8,000 for CDHH.

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