Meet Hali Holmes: Founder of Tails on Trails

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By Hali Holmes, Tails on Trails.

518-535-WALK (9255)

Hi! I’m Hali, and I’ve been an animal lover my entire life. As a child, we always had at least one cat in our home, and each still holds a special place in my heart. My first case of “puppy love” was with my next-door neighbor’s yellow Lab, Charlie. From his soulful brown eyes to his tail that never stopped wagging, I couldn’t get enough of him. Each day after school, from about the age of 10, I would ring the doorbell and ask if I could play with Charlie and take him for a walk. Since I was not much bigger than him, many people who saw us would ask, “Are you walking him or is he walking you?!” After our walks, we’d play a game of fetch or tug, and then I’d go home to cuddle with Mitten, Puffy, Ginger, or Garfield. When Charlie’s family went on vacation, they hired me to care for him, and I loved every minute of it! By the time I was 12, I was pet sitting for other neighbors as well, and I cared for each dog or cat with tenderness, affection, and sheer joy, throughout high school and over college breaks.

In college, I studied Early Childhood Education and Human Development, and began teaching nursery school shortly after graduation. (In my many years of working with young children, I learned that children and dogs have many similar needs and desires-no offense to either! Both crave consistency, patience, clear communication, positive reinforcement, respect, trust, affection, and lots of opportunities to play!) After college, I married my husband, Steve, and we bought our first home, complete with fenced in yard. We couldn’t wait to adopt our first dog together, so, in June of 1987, on our first anniversary, we went to the Schenectady Animal Shelter and immediately fell head over paws in love with a four-month old yellow Lab mix. Shelby was playful, energetic, and so affectionate. Frisbee was her favorite game, and she could even catch my very bad throws! She became a loyal friend and very special family member. Over the years, I learned so much from Shelby and the other five dogs that have been a part of our family, each with their own unique personalities, likes and dislikes, needs and desires, fears and quirks. Two of them became certified therapy dogs, visiting nursing homes and working with troubled youth, and I’ve done agility with three of them. I also got to know many of my neighbors’ pets, and, in between teaching nursery school and raising our two wonderful daughters, I cared for them while their families were on vacation.

One of my favorite activities is to hike with my dogs, Sugar Bear (a Great Pyrenees mix) and Jasper (a chocolate Lab mix). There are so many great trails nearby, and we love to explore them! My other interests include reading (including books on animal behavior and positive dog training), kayaking, yoga, cross country skiing, and spending time with friends and family (especially my adorable two-year-old granddaughter!). I’ve hiked 28 of the 46 High Peaks, and I hope to someday finish. I volunteer for a non-profit wildlife rehabilitation organization, as well as my local library. Now that I’m retired and living year-round near Friends Lake in the Adirondacks, I’m so excited to be starting my own dog walking and pet sitting business. Whether you're looking for someone to take your pup hiking on a local trail or walks around the neighborhood, drop by while you’re at work for a game of fetch and a belly rub, or provide complete care for your cats and dogs while you're away, please contact me to let me know how I can best meet your needs. I look forward to meeting you and your best friends!

Meet Tony Kostecki



Tony Kostecki, General Director, Seagle Music Colony

Tony Kostecki was appointed General Director of Seagle Music Colony in January of 2008. Previous to this appointment, Tony held the position of General Manager of the Colony from 2006-2007.Before moving into management, he was on the faculty of Seagle Music Colony as a coach/accompanist and conductor for ten years.Between 2002 and 2007, Tony was Director of Education at Fort Worth Opera and also Director of the Fort Worth Opera Studio.During his tenure with Fort Worth Opera, Tony oversaw the creation of the Fort Worth Opera Studio Young Artists Program and all outreach aspects of Fort Worth Opera.From 2002-2007 he was also the Fort Worth Opera Chorus Master and writer of many of the supertitle translations for Fort Worth Opera.

As a coach/accompanist, Tony worked for Fort Worth Opera, Shreveport Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Utah Opera, Kansas City Lyric Opera Express and Kansas City Civic Opera.A native of Topeka, Kansas, he received his undergraduate degree in Music from BenedictineCollege in Atchison, Kansas and his Master of Music Degree in Piano Accompanying and Organ Performance from the University of Kansas in Lawrence.

Schroon Lakers in The News

Tammy Whitty-Brown

Tammy Whitty-Brown

The Schroon Lake Area Chamber of Commerce held their Annual Winter Social on Tuesday, January 23 at Sticks and Stones. There were 32 in attendance The theme of the evening was friendship and love, the tables were decorated with candles, hearts, and a gift of a bottle of wine for each guest. The guest speaker was New York State Assemblyman Dan Stec who spoke about the work that he is doing to better the North Country.

Myriam Friedman was honored for her outstanding skills as a Volunteer Wrangler for the Cycle Adirondacks held in August this past summer. Myriam took on the daunting task of finding enough volunteers to feed over 200+ guest for five days, three meals a day.

And lastly Outgoing President,Donna Donna Rice Mellan Lmt and Nicole Howe were thanked and honored for their dedication to the Chamber over the last two years (especially the last 14 weeks while our Executive Director was out ill).

In addition, the Chambers Executive Director welcomed three new members to the Chamber; Paradox Thyme, Schroon Lake Sunoco, and Exit 29 Sunoco. And a welcome and introduction was made announcing our newest Board Member, Amanda Elms, Branch Manager of Glens Falls National Bank located in Schroon Lake.

During the meeting our Chamber Members voted unanimously to elect Randy Garrisonof Rowes Adirondack Cabins as our 2018-2019 Board President and Brooke Van Riper-Clark of Keller Williams Realty as our 2018-2019 Board Vice President.

To learn more about these new additions to our board please read below...

President of the Board -; Owner of Rowe’s Adirondack Cabins will serve as President of the Board of Directors on the Schroon Lake Area Chamber for the 2018-2019 fiscal years. Randy, a successful entrepreneur and professional relocated his family from Connecticut to New York several years ago, purchasing Rowe’s Adirondack C0ttages (formerly known as Rowe’s Lake Breeze Cottages) and now he and his family reside and makes Schroon Lake their lifetime home.

Mr. Garrison is focused on family, diversity, a positive attitude and dedicated to volunteerism. Randy has always devoted his time to various non-profit boards and committees in Connecticut and New York. In addition, he enjoys inspiring entrepreneurs, non-profit organizations and community groups; providing the tools to enrich their public image in innovative and locally focused events and activities with a passion for being involved with local fundraisers and event planning.

Currently, Randy is serving as Chairman of the Schroon Lake Boy Scouts of America Troop 37 where his son Nicholas is pursuing his Eagle Scout Award, the highest achievement attainable in the Boy Scouting Program. He was instrumental in co-hosting the 1st Annual Schroon Lake Easter Egg Hunt with Ms. Helen Need, and Mountainside Church this spring. He is a member of the Schroon Lake Area Chamber of Commerce, and volunteers with the Schroon Lake 4th of July Celebration.
Randy’s life status allows him to be flexible and adapt quickly to change. Thus, he is eager to meet the resident’s of Schroon Lake via his Open Door Policy and is excited to collaborate with other community members, businesses and local goverment to make Schroon Lake a better place to work, live and play while preserving the family atmosphere of the Community.

Prior to his relocation, Mr. Garrison had served in increasingly responsible roles not limited to various positions in an arena of multiple heavy highway construction companies as well as, privately owned corporations with a record of accomplishment.

Mr. Garrison elects to become an active Chamber Member and states that family, hard work and community involvement are his formula for success and invites all residents to stop by Rowe’s Adirondack Cabins for a cup of coffee or beverage and reminisce about the good old days and plan for a bright future for Schroon Lake.

Vice President to the Board - Brooke Clark, Realtor with Keller Wililams and Outreach Coordinator for Essex County NY Public Health Department will serve as Vice President of the Chamber Board for 2018-2019. Brooke grew up spending her summers on Skylark Lane in Schroon Lake with her parents, eventually moving to Schroon Lake with her husband Darryl to raise their daughter Sloan Brooke is dedicated to helping the Schroon Lake Region be a more vibrant and successful community for not only our local businesses and residents, but for the pleasure of our guests that spend time in our region. Brooke is excited to join the Chamber and brings with her a wide variety of skill sets. She currently is employed as an Outreach Coordinator for Essex County NY Public Health Department. Her job is to engage local entities and community organizations to prevent and reduce heroin and opiate abuse and addiction in Essex County and surrounding areas through education, awareness, support, and enhancement of existing programs and resources. While holding this important position, she also works aa a licensed Realtor with Keller Williams Realty of Saratoga, Capital District and Adirondack. She has assistaed many people from the Capital District to the foot hills of the Adirondacks purchase their dream home and businesses.

In the past Brooke has served as Program Director for the Schenectady ARC, worked in Clinical Services for Mountain Lake Services, North East Parent and Child Society, Mental Health Association of Essex County, CWI and Citizens Advice Bureau in Bronx NY. In addition, Brooke has also worked for Essex County Social Services, served as a substitute teacher for the Schroon Lake, Ticonderoga, and Crown Point School Districts, and worked as a corporate trainer for Capital Restaurant Concepts in Washington, D.C. Brooke holds a Bachelors of Art Degree from Union College and SUNY Potsdam and a Masters Degree in Psychology from SUNY Albany.

Newest Director - Amanda R. Elms, in recent months became the Branch Manager/ Officer of Glens Falls National Bank in Schroon Lake. Amanda graduated from Fort Central School in 1995 and continues to reside in Fort Ann with her fiancé Jason, daughter Hannah(18) and son Luke(13). Amanda started working for Glens Falls National Bank in 1997 leaving to be at home while raising her children from 2002 to 2009, when she returned to Glens Falls National to begin building a career in bank management. She has worked in the Granville, Kingsbury, Fort Ann, Lake George, Warrensburg, Chestertown, Ticonderoga and Port Henry locations which lead her to the Schroon Lake location. Amanda is a member of the Schroon Lake Association, Schroon Lake Revolving Loan Committee, and the Fort Ann Volunteer Fire Dept. Support Group. Hobbies are camping, fishing, hiking, hunting, baking and spending time with her family. She loves Schroon Lake and feels like it is home away from home, and she looks forward to serving our community and its businesses.

Rest in Peace Irv Halvorsen


By Joyce Halvorsen Fiedler with Carl, Roy and Jim Halvorsen

To say that Irving Halvorsen (Poppy) loved Schroon Lake would be an understatement.  Irv and his bride Grace honeymooned at Burzees in Schroon Lake Village.  Their connection to the area was through Grace whose uncle, Magnus Andersen, was part owner of the Frontier Town.  Her Aunt Agnus also owned the Silver Spruce Hotel where Grace would waitress on busy days.  In the early years of their marriage and as four children completed the family, they would make the five hour trip up Route 9 from Staten Island once a summer and stay for a week at one of the rental cabins on the north shore of the lake.   It was glorious and yet, they dreamed of having a place of their own.
In 1973, they bought a piece of property on the east shore in the newly developed Blue Sky Estates.  Working with builder Cliff Tomlinson (who would become a treasured friend), they built their dream home.  It was a modestly sized, simple cabin with knotty pine paneling and a beautiful deck overlooking the lake.  During his working years at Con Edison, he would take the bulk of his vacation time during the summer to enjoy every possible moment at the lake house.
Irv retired in 1986.  They sold their Staten Island home and 23 Lakeview Drive became their main residence.  No more driving bleary eyed after a long week at work.  No more tearing himself away from Blue Sky late Sunday evening to face the slogging drive to Staten Island.  Irv immersed himself in cabin life.  He moved more Adirondack rocks than you would think humanly possible.  He maintained a manicured lawn and gallantly fought back the woods that dare encroach on his space.  He was a fixture on his deck with coffee in the morning and wine in the evening waving at everyone who passed.  Neighbors had an open invitation to stop by his well-stocked garage if they needed a particular screw, saw, light or doohicky.   He was a jokester and storyteller who reveled in cruising the neighborhood in his “gator.”  People who moved away from Blue Sky would show up periodically to rekindle friendships and remark on how Pop was a mainstay in that community.  He served on the Blue Sky Estates governing association and donated his time and energy to all the events and functions of that group.   
Grace died in 2008 and those years from his retirement to her passing were the happiest of his life. 
Poppy passed away on November 14, 2017.  In a voicemail to the family, his doctor noted that it was a privilege to care for him and that it was rare to have a patient live independently well into his 87th year.  It was only the previous month that we had begun discussing with Pop the possibility that maybe it was becoming too cumbersome for him to live alone at Schroon Lake.  In the end, his kidneys and heart just stopped functioning.  It’s not far-fetched to believe that with Grace gone and the prospect of not living at the lake likely, he chose a graceful exit.
Irv was an ardent supporter of ESSLA and all of their conservation efforts.  He recognized that subsequent generations would only enjoy the lake if current residents worked to ensure its livelihood.   He requested that any donations after his passing go to ESSLA.
By Joyce Halvorsen Fiedler with Carl, Roy and Jim Halvorsen