Rachael Ray gestures during the 2013 edition of the cooking show she annually conducts at her alma mater, Lake George High School. This year’s event is to be held at 7 p.m. April 11 — and tickets are still available.
Hours before dawn Saturday, the first people seeking tickets to the annual Rachael Ray cooking show arrived at Lake George High School under dark skies to assure they’d be at the front of the line. The much-desired tickets for the 12th annual show didn’t go on sale until 9 a.m., but the first woman in the line, Marsha Bartels of Hadley, said she felt the four-and-a-half-hour wait was worth it.
“My family said to me, ‘You’re crazy!’” said Bartels, a Lake George alumnus. “But I said, ‘Why not?”
Bartels arrived at 4:30 a.m. to be the first to buy her limit of six tickets.
“I’ve been going for five years,” she said. “It’s an excellent show.”
Bartels was the first in line at 7:30 a.m. when the front doors to the high school were opened. About 70 people were already in line behind her, which continued to grow until the sale began 90 minutes later.
By 8:15 a.m., the line for tickets stretched all the way down the main hallway of the school — dozens of people had waited for hours to get the best seats possible in the auditorium, which accommodates 530 people. Most of those in line bought their maximum number of six tickets, buying them for friends to save them a long wait.
Three days later, 80 tickets remain. Pam Morin, treasurer of the Lake George Alumni Association, said she expects to sell out every ticket, as in years past.
Proceeds go towards scholarships for Lake George graduates entering their second year of college.
Due to their fundraising efforts, the Lake George Alumni Association is annually able to donate about ten $1,000 scholarships through this program.
In addition, the Alumni Association also donates money to the school for educational equipment and supplies.
In the past, they have bought books and other materials for the elementary school library, and they’ve purchased digital “Smart Boards” for classrooms. Also, the group annually grants two $500 awards at graduation ceremonies.
This year’s Lake George Rachael Ray Cooking Show begins at 7 p.m. April 11 and is renowned in the region for being entertaining as well as offering people an opportunity to meet with Ray, who graduated from Lake George High School in 1986.
The show features a cooking demonstration by Ray, who annually answers questions throughout the show, sharing her observations and quips on human behavior, her family and living under the bright lights of national television.
Afterwards she will be posing with fans for fast photographs and signing copies of her new cookbook.
Everyone attending is to receive copies of the recipes prepared during the show.
Meanwhile, recipes featured the night’s show will be cooked up by Chef Deric Buck of the Bay Meadows Golf Club and Bogey’s Pub & Grill for show patrons to sample. Dessert will be provided by the Lake George Baking Company.
Before the show, patrons may purchase copies of Rachael’s cookbooks, and are encouraged to bring items of dog, cat or people food for the benefit of the “Purrs and Paws” rescue shelter, the SPCA, and the Lake George and Lake Luzerne food pantries. Donations count as an entry into a drawing for a special door prize.
The Lake George Alumni Association and Lake George High School extend thanks to all the volunteers assisting with the event.
The Alumni Association meets six times a year to focus on the needs of current Lake George students, the school, and Lake George alumni. The group’s annual banquet will be held Oct. 12, and will feature the 50th reunion of the Class of 1964. Wall of Honor recognition, and Community Service and Educator awards will be presented at the event. Nominations for these honors may be sent to P.O. Box 575, Lake George, NY, 12845.
As of Tuesday March 25, several dozen tickets were still available to the local Rachael Ray show. To purchase one or several, contact the Lake George High School office at 668-5452 ext. 1021.
(Allison Squires, currently a student at SUNY Plattsburgh and a graduate of Warrensburg High School, writes special-assignment articles for the Adirondack Journal.)