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A place in the shade

Maplewood Manor, minus an awning that was destroyed in a storm two years ago. A past resident’s daughter is heading up an effort to raise funds to replace the awning. Submitted photo.

Maplewood Manor, minus an awning that was destroyed in a storm two years ago. A past resident’s daughter is heading up an effort to raise funds to replace the awning. Submitted photo.

There once stood an awning at the entrance to the Saratoga County Nursing Home, but Maplewood Manor has been without this simple structure since a storm destroyed it two years ago.

But in many ways that absence is among the least of the nursing home’s worries, as Saratoga County officials continue to debate the future of the facility. In April, County Administrator Spencer Hellwig mentioned in an address to the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce and the Chamber of Southern Saratoga the facility has been experiencing “multi-million dollar operating losses” for at least the last eight years.

There may not be much that one person can do about the nursing home’s deep financial woes, but for one Ballston Spa woman the loss of the awning was a call to action.

Regina Rosera of Ballston Spa would visit her mom at Maplewood Manor often and was concerned about the absence of the awning. She took it upon herself to find out why it hadn’t been replaced and is doing something about it through what has been dubbed The Awning Project.

“There was talk for a long time” about how to replace it, Rosera said. “There was just no way they (the home) had money to replace it.”

Rosera is a retired teacher from Ballston Spa and actively stepped in to help replace the awning, which she described as an important feature. She said in the summer residents enjoy the chance to see part of the “real world” going on, even if it is just people coming in and going out, and the awning would shield them from the elements.

With the help of other volunteer family members of residents, Rosera is making some headway in collecting $24,000 needed to purchase what will be an all-metal structure. Past awnings have been canvas and have lasted only a few years at a time.

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