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About Us -

The Dake Foundation for Children was established in 2009 as a 501 (C) 3 not-for-profit corporation to help children with disabilities access opportunities unavailable through medical insurance and family budgets.

Tax ID Number 14-1801175

Mission Statement

The Dake Foundation for Children was founded to provide children with disabilities the tools they need to become as independent as possible while maximizing FUN.

Our Goal

Our goal is simple: to provide children with disabilities access to equipment and services that will enable them to reach their fullest potential for participation within their families, communities and with their peers. We believe that by providing children with these fundamental opportunities when they are young, they will have the best chance to reach maximum health, mobility and independence in adulthood; as contributing members of their communities.

Board of Directors

Our Board and Medical Advisory Panel (MAP)is comprised of individuals dedicated to our mission. Each brings unique expertise to the Foundation, representing the professions such as developmental pediatrics, special education, finance, physical therapy and public relations.

Gary Dake, Founder

Gary Dake

Gary Dake, Founder of The Dake Foundation for Children, is President of Stewart’s Shops Corporation where he has been employed since 1985. He holds a BA in Economics from St. Lawrence University. Gary lives in Saratoga Springs with his wife Aimee and enjoys golfing and baking in his free time.

Nancy Bambara


As Vice President/Chief Operating Officer of DZ Restaurants, Nancy has helped DZ become one of the fastest growing and successful restaurant corporations in the region. In 1999, Nancy moved to Saratoga Springs, NY with her family from Cooperstown. Nancy continues to give back to our community with many years of volunteer leadership and community involvement. She loves to ski, babysit her granddaughter and be with her family.
Nicholas DeCelle

Nicholas DeCelle

Vice President
Nicholas DeCelle is a Saratoga County native. He is a graduate of Mechanicville High School, HVCC, and holds a BS and M.Ed from Springfield College. A licensed funeral director, he works at William J. Burke & Sons Funeral Home in Saratoga Springs. Nick also spends time working at the Saratoga Springs YMCA as a certified exercise physiologist and certified strength and conditioning specialist. In his spare time, he plays golf, spends time with his dogs (Emma and Rosie), and enjoys everything the area has to offer. He currently resides in the Town of Milton with his wife Meredith (Pozefsky), daughter Cecilia, and two dogs Rosie and Emma.

ZACH Waterstram

Zachary Waterstram is the Accounting Manager for Stewart’s Shops at the Distribution Center.  He has earned his CPA and a Master’s Degree in Business from SUNY Oswego.  He joined the Dake Foundation in 2020.  Zack grew up in Saratoga County and now lives in Ballston Spa with his wife and two children.  In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his family and coaching his son’s soccer teams.

Taylor Smith

Medical Advisory Panel
Alana Gorman, Medical Advisory Panel

Alana Gorman

Medical Advisory Panel
Alana Gorman is a physical therapist in the Malta office of Sports Physical Therapy of New York. She graduated from Ithaca College with a Bachelors in Clinical Health Studies and a Doctorate in Physical Therapy. She joined the Board of Directors of The Dake Foundation in 2015, and has served on the Medical Advisory Panel since then. Alana loves spending time outside with her family and dog. She enjoys living in Saratoga because of its close proximity to the mountains for hiking and skiing.

kim fahey

Medical Advisory Panel
Kim Fahey is a pediatric physical therapist and clinic supervisor at Kids Care Pediatric Rehab in Latham, NY. She graduated from D'Youville College with a Master's in Physical Therapy in 2001, and has been working in pediatrics ever since. She joined the Board of Directors/MAP of the Dake Foundation in 2018. Kim has first hand experience with attempting equipment referrals and letters of justification for patients that have been denied. She is excited about the opportunity to help children receive equipment they may not normally receive through insurance. Kim resides in Clifton Park, NY, with her husband, Josh, and her two children, Braden and Addison.

stacey hengsterman

As President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Special Olympics New York, Stacey Hengsterman leads the largest Special Olympics chapter in the country and the sixth largest in the world. Prior to taking the role in July 2018, Hengsterman spent two decades shaping state higher education policy as a top advisor to the Chancellor, Board of Trustees, and 64 campus presidents at the State University of New York (SUNY). Drawing on what she’s learned throughout a distinguished career in public service, and as a mother to a son with Down syndrome, Hengsterman has a set a vision for the future of Special Olympics New York that positions New York to be the most inclusive state in the country. A Rochester, NY, native and a graduate of the State University of New York at Cortland, Hengsterman lives in Clifton Park with her husband Rick, a high school history teacher, and their three children, Jackson, Alex, and Lauren.

becky Kern

Becky Kern is a communications consultant and media trainer and has spent the majority of her career working in the healthcare industry. She has a masters degree from Boston University and a bachelor's degree from SUNY Oneonta. A downstate transplant, she has lived with her husband, three kids and yellow lab in Saratoga Springs since 2005. She can often be found on the sidelines cheering on her kids interests (ski racing, lacrosse) or enjoying Brant Lake. In her free time Becky enjoys cooking, hosting parties, skiing, coaching and officiating girls lacrosse and going to concerts at SPAC.



Tina Morency joined the Dake Foundation in 2018. She resides in Gansevoort, N.Y. with her husband, 2 daughters, and 4 dogs. Tina attended A.C.C. and graduated with an Associates degree in Accounting. After, she joined Stewart’s Shop’s where she has been employed for over 25 years. Tina now manages the Corporate Audit Department. In her spare time she enjoys camping, traveling, and attending concerts with her family.

Brittany Putnam

Advisory Panel

Brittany Putnam is the Director of the Self-Direction Program at AIM Services Inc in Saratoga Springs, New York. She graduated from SUNY Oneonta with a Bachelors in Psychology and began working in the human services field immediately after college. Brittany resides in Saratoga with her husband, Tyler and their dog, Cruz. In her spare time she can be found out at local eateries, checking out concerts at SPAC, traveling or walking/hiking with Cruz.
Lisa Munter, Vice President

Lisa Munter

Medical Advisory Panel
Lisa Munter has an undergraduate degree in Elementary Education and two Master Degrees in Special Education and Reading from SUNY Potsdam and the College of St Rose. She taught at Scotia-Glenville Middle School as a Special Education/Reading Teacher for more than eleven years. Lisa is a proud graduate of Leadership Saratoga Class of 2016. She and her husband, Mike, live in Middle Grove with their two boys. In her free time, you can find her tending to her goats and pigs and providing voice overs for commercials of Capital Region businesses.

Rosemarie Bogdan

nick miner

Nicholas has been advocating and supporting the needs and rights of individuals with developmental disabilities for nearly 20 years. Nicholas started his career as a teacher, then a behaviorist, and then became Director of Clinical Services for AIM Services, Inc. Nicholas has a long history of collaborating with the Office of Mental Health, local hospitals, private firms, OPWDD, and many other community service providers to provide the best supports possible for individuals and their families. Nicholas holds two Master’s degrees, one in Educational Psychology and one in Applied Behavior Analysis. Nicholas is an independent consult for several school districts, continues to help local families, and speaks at several conferences around the Capital Region. Currently, Nicholas is working with Prime Turbine Parts practicing consumer psychology to expand and establish new business relationships. Nicholas enjoys spending time with family, skiing, public speaking, attending sporting events, and traveling.

bruce steves

Bruce began his career with The Jones Firm in 2011 as a law clerk after graduating from Albany Law School as Valedictorian of his class. Bruce is an active member of the Saratoga County Bar Association having served on its Board of Directors since 2015 and as Chairman of the Mock Trial Committee. Previously, he has served as a director of Saratoga Arts and as the project coordinator for NYSTLC (New York State Trial Lawyers Care), Inc., a not-for-profit corporation established to provide local victims of Hurricane Irene with much needed legal advice. Bruce lives in Saratoga Springs.

liz o'brien

Executive Director

Liz moved to Saratoga in 2003 with her husband, Chris, and two boys. She earned her Master’s degree in not-for profit management at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., her hometown. Liz has worked in the not-for-profit field her entire career and joined the Dake Foundation in July 2020.
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