Dmitry’s legacy should include a strong youth center, barbecue festival

We’ve all heard the proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child.” That’s what the Shipman Youth Center does best. It was built by the community to help the village’s children.

That’s why the community should do whatever is necessary to keep the youth center as strong as it can be, and that means keeping its biggest fundraiser — the I Love BBQ and Music Festival — going every Labor Day weekend. It’s the least we can do to honor the legacy of Dmitry Feld, the youth center board president and USA Luge marketing manager who died in January. He was a co-founder of the festival.

We understand that a lot of the festival’s institutional memory went away when he left us on Jan. 10. We also know that he had the most amount of energy we’ve ever seen in a community booster –and a work ethic that raised the bar so high that almost no one person could match it.

That’s why it will take several people to fill Dmitry’s shoes. The youth center board and USA Luge, which spearheads the organization and promotion of the festival, need your help.

When he was alive, many people said, “You can’t say no to Dmitry.” Whether it was sponsors or volunteers, you absolutely could never say no to Dmitry. He was one of the angels among us who made this a better place to live and visit.

That’s why, when the Shipman Youth Center board members decide how to move forward with the I Love BBQ and Music Festival, they should ask themselves, “What would Dmitry do?”

We think he’d want us to pull together and continue the festival for many years, and grow it like he’s grown it. Dmitry kept adding new attractions to the event, such as the BMX bike show and professional wrestling, to bring in more people. More people meant more money for the students at the youth center. It was all for the kids.

We know the Shipman Youth Center board members and volunteers are committed to do what’s best for the village’s children and keep Dmitry’s legacy alive. Now we need even more people to step up and serve their community through the festival and the youth center.

Anybody interested in donating or volunteering can contact the new youth center board president, Michael Durham, at 518-524-5657 or Executive Director Jason Hooker at 518-523-8786.

Starting at $1.44/week.

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