Gate­way gala hon­ors preser­va­tion­ist

Albany Times Union - - AROUND THE REGION - By Jen­nifer Pat­ter­son

The Hud­son Mo­hawk In­dus­trial Gate­way will con­tinue its mis­sion of putting the past to good use dur­ing a gala on Thurs­day.

Cel­e­brat­ing the con­tri­bu­tions of the late Wil­liam H. Sk­er­ritt and Joanne W. Sk­er­ritt, the gala will be held from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Ital­ian Com­mu­nity Cen­ter, at 1450 Fifth Ave., fea­tur­ing for­mal cer­e­monies, a buf­fet, live mu­sic, cash bar and silent auc­tion. Busi­ness at­tire is rec­om­mended.

Tick­ets are $75 and are avail­able by call­ing 518-274-5267 or at the door. Reser­va­tions are en­cour­aged.

The Gate­way is a non­profit or­ga­ni­za­tion lo­cated in the Bur­den Iron Works Mu­seum, which was at the heart of the Sil­i­con Val­ley of the 19th cen­tury. It pro­motes re­gional eco­nomic pros­per­ity through the ap­pre­ci­a­tion of the Cap­i­tal Re­gion’s his­toric in­dus­tries and ar­chi­tec­ture.

Over the past 20 years, Bill Sk­er­ritt was the non­profit’s back­bone. He first got in­volved as a con­sul­tant, af­ter suc­cess­fully bid­ding on ebay for an item re­lated to Troy’s in­dus­trial her­itage, and then be­gan do­nat­ing and lend­ing items for use at the mu­seum, fo­cus­ing on Gur­ley sur­vey­ing in­stru­ments and Me­neely bells.

Sk­er­ritt served as board pres­i­dent from 2006 un­til his death last year.

Along with his col­lect­ing side­kick Jus­tine Rus­sell and wife Joanne, Sk­er­ritt do­nated many unique col­lectibles to the Gate­way’s silent auc­tion ev­ery year and was a gen­er­ous sup­porter. He is the non­profit’s first post­hu­mous gala hon­oree.

Past hon­orees in­clude John Hed­ley in 1994 when the award was first pre­sented; for­mer state Se­nate Ma­jor­ity Leader Joseph L. Bruno in 1998; Diana S. Waite and John G. Waite in 1999; the North Mo­hawk Street Re­vi­tal­iza­tion in Co­hoes in 2006; the Cap­i­tal Dis­trict Civil War Round Ta­ble in 2012; Mar­ion Field, Michael Es­pos­ito and the De­fazio fam­ily as founders of the Lit­tle Italy Neigh­bor­hood As­so­ci­a­tion in 2015; and Robert Pier­pont and Ruth Pier­pont last year.

The gala is a ma­jor fundraiser for the Hud­son Mo­hawk In­dus­trial Gate­way. For in­for­ma­tion, go to hud­son­mo­hawk­gate­way.org/galacur­rent.html.

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