GLENS FALLS, NY (NEWS10) – On Friday nights, you could get half a chicken, cornbread and mashed potatoes – or homemade donuts and cupcakes – or a brick oven pizza at the log fire – and enjoy it while supporting an annual charitable effort that changes countless local lives. Not a bad deal.
From 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, the Glens Falls Shirt Factory held its second annual food truck corral in support of the Southern Marathon Dance, alongside the 45th annual dance itself. A dozen local and regional restaurants had trucks and tables outside on Hot Friday to serve a home-cooked dinner service, with a portion of all proceeds going to the dance.
As food trucks took to the lawn of the Shirt Factory, South High students spent hours in a day-long charity dance at Six Flags Great Escape Park in Lake George. It was the second year in a row for the dance at the park – and a sunnier visit than the students in 2021. In both years, the move was a choice made to alleviate social distancing concerns related to COVID-19. In 2020, the dance took place just weeks before the pandemic caused closures.
This is the second year that the owner of the building, Eric Unkauf, has accumulated his list of relationships with local restaurants for the SHMD cause. The event began when the dance first went remote in 2021, to give the community a place to gather while the dance itself was remote. Food truck corrals have been a summertime tradition in the building since 2018, first initiated as a way to connect more of the community to the nearly 100 artists and shops that operate in the building at the corner of Lawrence and Cooper. The result? Two intersecting communities.
“It’s a whole new group of people coming to see us, because you have the people who live around the Shirt Factory who come here on Thursday nights for their food trucks,” said Trish Myott, a teacher in South Glens Falls. Harrison Avenue Elementary School. “We see more people than we normally would in South Glens Falls at the weekend dance.”
Myott’s work was particularly important this year. She spoke as other SHMD volunteers operated a marathon merchandise store in a space on the gallery’s first floor that her husband, fellow teacher Tom Myott, uses as an art studio.
The mountains of SHMD-themed shirts, hats, and other gear are older than this year. In 2021, an online store was set up to sell gear in support of the dance, to minimize person-to-person contact amid coronavirus concerns. The dance’s share of funds from merchandise sales is small compared to the six-figure total — over $500,000 in 2021 — it’s still a crucial part of building the spirit that brings the South community together. Glens Falls.
“We do this because we love what we do,” Myott said. “We love our recipients. That’s the whole story.”
This year, the dance has 28 recipients — some families, some organizations — all battling debilitating illnesses. The fundraising process is practically a year-long effort. Next year, Myott expects the dance itself to return to the South High gymnasium, but says satellite events like what the Shirt Factory offers have proven important in reaching more people in more places. locations.
The full list of food vendors at Shirt Factory includes:
- Mean Max: Craft beer
- Bella Lynn Bakery: cupcakes, baked goods
- Vashti’s: Caribbean American Cuisine
- Worldlings Pleasure: Mini Cheesecakes, Cheese Spreads
- Farmacy: BBQ Chicken
- Pies on Wheels: Wood-fired Pizza
- Creative caterers: sausages, hot dogs, quesadillas, taco salad
- Koko Chariot: Donuts, iced hot chocolate, funnel cakes, frozen drinks
- Adirondack Olykoeks: fresh hot mini donuts
- Missy’s Rings & Things: jewelry made of wire-wrapped stones, shells and glass beads
- Smoothie Shoppe: freshly made smoothies
- Hick’s Orchard: cider and donuts