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Restaurants give back

In just over a month, three Saratoga County restaurants raised more than $7,000 for five local charities.

Between Chianti II Ristorante, Pasta Pane and Forno Bistro (all of DZ Restaurants), The American Cancer Society Relay for Life, Parsons Child and Family Center Camp to Belong, The Ryan Wersten MIOP Foundation, Saratoga Center for the Family and Friends of Hannah Hughes Fund collected donations through the restaurant's programs and special events.

It just happened that we had five events in a span of about 30 days, said Bill Gathen, director of marketing for DZ Restaurants. "It doesn't always happen but it seemed cool that we were able to pull off five big fundraisers and had the opportunity to help five pretty amazing causes in such a short period of time."

Chianti II Ristorante in Saratoga Springs and Pasta Pane in Clifton Park give back to the community they serve on a monthly basis. Since 2008, Chianti II Ristorante's Twelve Program has donated 30 percent of customer checks to a specific non-profit on the twelfth of each month. Pasta Pane has extended the same gesture since 2010 on the third Sunday of every month.

"The enthusiasm of giving back kind of feeds itself," said Gathen, who said customers are intrigued by the growing pile of checks slated for donation. "They're exciting and we wish we could do them more than once a month."

In May, The Ryan Wersten MIOP Foundation received $1,583 through the Twelve Program. The foundation raises money and awareness for Malignant Infantile Osteopetrosis and was created by Paul and Barbara Wersten in memory of their son, Ryan.

In June, Saratoga Center for the Family received $1,048 from the Twelve Program to help with its mission of providing services that strengthen and educate children, families and the community to reduce child abuse, neglect and family dysfunction.

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