SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – The New York Racing Association, Inc. today announced a special back to school initiative for families on the final two Mondays of the 2016 season at Saratoga Race Course.

The first 500 children, ages 12 and under, to visit Berkshire Bank Family Mondays on August 29 and September 5 will each receive a free drawstring bag filled with school supplies, courtesy of Berkshire Bank and Pediatric Dental Group of New York. Berkshire Bank Family Mondays is held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Saratoga Pavilion, presented by Time Warner Cable News.

“The New York Racing Association is pleased to partner with Berkshire Bank and Pediatric Dental Group of New York to lend a helping hand to families as their kids head back to school,” said NYRA Senior Vice President and Chief Experience Officer Lynn LaRocca. “School supplies can be expensive and we are happy to work with our partners to provide this gift to children who join us at Berkshire Bank Family Mondays. This event is a great way for individuals of any age to experience all that Saratoga has to offer as we continue to build the next generation of racing fans.”

The black drawstring backpack featuring the red Saratoga logo will include a box of crayons, pencil, eraser and ruler, as well as a dental hygiene packet with a toothbrush, toothpaste, floss and a timer to use when brushing teeth.

“Berkshire Bank Family Mondays are designed to provide a kid-friendly setting for racing fans of all ages to enjoy a day at Saratoga. We believe this is a great opportunity for families to enjoy one final visit to Saratoga while receiving educational supplies as they prepare for the start of school,” said Bob Curley, Chairman of the New York region of Berkshire Bank. “We thank Pediatric Dental Group of New York for their support and encourage families to join us as we close out the summer racing season.”

“With a return to the classroom on the horizon, school supplies are in high demand. We are excited to partner with the New York Racing Association and Berkshire Bank to help stock the desks of students,” said Dr. Farzad Sani of Pediatric Dental Group of New York. “We look forward to once again seeing so many smiling faces at the Saratoga Pavilion on the final two Mondays of the meet.”

Berkshire Bank Family Mondays invites families and children to experience and enjoy a wide array of free games, attractions and educational activities, including the opportunity to pet a retired thoroughbred, against the backdrop of historic Saratoga Race Course.

The event also provides local schools and PTAs with an opportunity to fundraise for their operations by hosting a designated activity which carries a suggested donation. Funds raised throughout the afternoon are supplemented with additional grants from the New York Racing Association and Berkshire Bank.

Schools and PTAs to be hosted during the remaining two Mondays of the season are Saratoga Academy on August 29 and Saddlewood Elementary School on September 5.

In addition to the backpack giveaway, Pokemon Go players are invited to visit Saratoga on the final two Mondays of the meet to go on a special quest to collect the most Pokemon at the historic venue. The individual who collects the most Pokemon during the day will be awarded 2,500 Pokecoins. Lures will be dropped throughout the afternoon to attract Pokemon to various track landmarks, including the Saratoga Pavilion, Saratoga Walk of Fame, Horse Sense exhibit and the Jockey Silks Room porch.

Families can secure a reserved table in the picnic area on Mondays for $30 and in the Fourstardave Sports Bar starting at $20. Each table reservation in the Fourstardave Sports Bar on Mondays comes with a free, collectible bobble head figurine modeled in the reflection of the hospitality area’s namesake – the thoroughbred Fourstardave, a longtime favorite at the Spa.

Tables are available through Ticketmaster.com or by calling the NYRA Box Office at 844-NYRA-TIX.

The 2016 summer meet at Saratoga Race Course continues through Labor Day, Monday, September 5. For more information about Saratoga Race Course, visit NYRA.com.

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