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Fundraising for a friend helps the birds

Guilderland girl’s bluebird nesting houses supporting Tour de Cure team

Alyssa Landry, of Guilderland, holds one of the bluebird nesting boxes she made as part of her fundraising effort to support her friend Sydney Steinhardt’s team in the Saratoga Tour de Cure. Steinhardt was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes four years ago. Landry is aiming to make and sell 50 nesting boxes.

Alyssa Landry, of Guilderland, holds one of the bluebird nesting boxes she made as part of her fundraising effort to support her friend Sydney Steinhardt’s team in the Saratoga Tour de Cure. Steinhardt was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes four years ago. Landry is aiming to make and sell 50 nesting boxes.

— Many have taken part in fundraisers before, but one local sixth-grade girl is going the extra mile and helping two causes with each birdhouse.

Guilderland resident Alyssa Landry, who attends Farnsworth Middle School, has previously helped her friend Sydney Steinhardt raise money for the “Sydney’s Spinners” team in the Saratoga Tour de Cure.

For this year’s race, which kicks off on June 1, Landry decided to take a different approach to raising funds. She is making bluebird nesting houses after she thoroughly researched the design and species.

Landry’s mother, Annette, said her daughter started out raising funds through a lemonade stand with her friends. Alyssa Landry said she raised money many different ways and doesn’t like doing the same thing year after year.

“This is definitely a lot easier then doing lemonade stands,” Alyssa Landry said. “It has been a learning experience. … I hardly even knew what a hammer was.”

She knows her way around a hammer now, though, and has the goal of selling 50 bluebird nesting houses before the race. She has already on her way towards reaching the goal, with well-above half of those orders received.

The sales have just been through word-of-mouth. She sells the houses for $20 each, and one takes a little under an hour to make.

“It was cool learning about something because I don’t know much about them,” Alyssa said.

She researched the birds and learned the particularities to building a bluebird nesting box through information from the North American Bluebird Society’s websites. The eastern bluebird is also designated the state bird of New York.

In an attached note she includes with the boxes, Landry tells how the eastern bluebird was once the most prevalent songbird until the species population diminished due to less tree cavities being available.

“Cavities aren’t black dots you find in your teeth; they’re the ugly looking holes you find in your backyard tree,” Landry’s note says. “The bluebird is very picky about where they live, the male goes searching and then the female comes to check out the cavity to see if it’s suitable for her young.”

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