Saratoga County Honorees
Laura Bradley Chodos grew up in Boston, but has been a resident of New York State since 1953. Now living in Saratoga Springs, she is widowed and would have been married 58 years to Robert B. Chodos, M.D. She has four children and 10 grandchildren and a great-granddaughter.
Laura has served the New York State Board of Regents, first woman to chair its committee on higher education. She has volunteered as a Member of the National Board of Literacy Volunteers of America; and developed after-school tutoring programs for children living in poverty neighborhoods. She was President of after-school programs in Albany 2001-2007. She established with her husband, Robert, an endowment for annual New York State Archive Awards for student research on community history. Laura helped establish the Saratoga Springs-Chekhov Sister Cities in 2000, which has hosted over 60 visitors from Russia. She is a Foundation board member of Saratoga Bridges Board of the Vital Aging Network in Saratoga Spring, and Chair of the Committee on Civic Engagement.
Laura began volunteering around age 10 helping her mother with a literacy program (and sewing) at a settlement house in Roxbury, Massachusetts and never stopped volunteering.
"I don't think I ever thought of what I was getting or wanted to get out of my volunteering. I think the satisfaction one feels from helping to make things better when one can is enough," she said.
"My greatest reward is knowing that my grandchildren truly admire what I have done with my life," she added.
Dolores (Dee) Sarno grew up in New Hyde Park, NY, has also lived in Roanake, Virginia, Syracuse, NY and now resides in Saratoga Springs, NY. She has taught pre-school, owned a small business, and recently retired as Executive Director of the Saratoga County Arts Council. She has three wonderful children and eight super grandchildren!
Dee's background in education and the arts has always made her dedicated to the quality of life in the communities where she has lived. She has volunteered with the Saratoga Mentoring Program working with children living in challenging circumstances; is currently serving on the Capital Committee for the Regional Approach to Arts in Education, supporting integration of the arts in the school curriculum; is working with Soroptimist International - "Women Helping Women" and helping to establish a Community Arts Center in downtown Saratoga Springs by leading a capital campaign. She is Co-Chair of Saratoga Vital Aging Network, advocating for senior citizens, encouraging them to volunteer in the communities by networking and sharing their talents and previous work experience with others; and is a member of the Mayor's Saratoga Springs Senior Advisory Committee for Senior Citizens; Board member of Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Committee Member for Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation and Chair of the Saratoga Arts Fest Board.
From her youngest memories as a Girl Scout until today, giving back to her community was in her DNA.
Dee told us, "My father came to America when he was 15 years old and he quickly became an American citizen. He encouraged me to work for the public good. My years of volunteering have helped me appreciate what I have and allowed me to understand the needs of others and the importance of being involved in my community."
She added, "the relationships and friendships that I have made by reaching out to my community and the various organizations I have worked with has made my life more complete and rewarding than I would have ever imagined. I believe one person can make a difference but working with others can change the world."