Benefit for Helena Heath-Roland

Last night Albany John and I attended a benefit for Judge Helena Heath-Roland at Matt Baumgartner‘s place, hosted by Matt and Tess Collins. Judge Helena is running for Albany County Surrogate Judge, and primary voting is September 14th, while the general election is November 2nd.
Albany John has done Cooks 4 Kids with her for a few years now, and the lady knows how to cook.

There were many people in attendance when we walked in.

And food. Boy was there food! I talked with Tess for a little bit (McGeary’s is opening tonight under her helm!) and she said Shy made all the food, which makes sense because it was so good. Cool, refreshing food – even the fried things stayed crispy and not too oily.

Some spicy sausages, lots of cheese, guac, and some tasty pinwheel nibbles.

P.S. – to people hating on Tess and the whole McGeary’s takeover, she only brought in a handful or so of her staff from Lark Tavern, and kept most of the staff at McGeary’s. She didn’t bring in her entire crew and toss everyone out like some people have been speculating. She said she’d like to bring them on slowly once business picks up and she can have more staff, but she couldn’t just kick people out that had been working at McGeary’s. Woman’s got a heart of gold, I tell ya.

And my favorite, hello bar! Man Matt, you don’t fool around when it comes to throwing a party! The guy knows how to host. Bottle after bottle of delicious Stolichnaya vodka (that’s my favorite brand of vodka, especially the raspberry flavored one). I could’ve hugged the bar. I’m pretty sure Albany John started crying tears of happiness, like one might when they first see their newborn child.

Oh right, we were all there for a reason! Tess talked and looked pretty, Matt smiled and looked pretty. They both thanked the crowd for coming out to support Judge Helena.

I always remember Judge Helena as the woman that wears really fabulous skirt suits at Cooks 4 Kids. At any rate, she gave a very nice speech, and I think she is someone who should be a Surrogate Judge for Albany.

  1. It's a shame the Dinapoli family were being a bunch of dicks about re-opening the Lark Tavern.
    Cheers to McGeary's!

  2. Tyler Durden said:

    Albany Jane:
    I read your blog somewhat regularly and enjoy it. However, you need to do a little research on your pick for Surrogate Judge. I suggest the following websites for starters: and the local politics blog at the TU.

    Choosing a candidate based on what she wears and how she gives a speech is a start. However, there is more to being a Surrogate Court Judge than speeches and good suits. It is a very important role for everyone who lives in Albany County. Surrogate Court Judges deal with wills, trusts, estates, and adoptions. It is a very specialized court and the person presiding over it needs to know that part of the law. Judge Helena does not. Based on what I have read, she barely knows how to preside over traffic court.

    I suggest you educate yourself a bit more by attending the meet the candidates forum at the Albany Public Library on Tuesday night.

  3. MattW said:

    Even though I'm a Tess lover, I would also recommend looking into TD suggestion. Maybe you have.

  4. Joe Albany said:

    Is an endorsement for County Coroner to follow?

  5. Anonymous said:

    Um, you're wrong about Tess keeping most of the McGeary's staff. I happen to know that most of that staff was fired in the changeover. Please do more of your research in the future before posting.

  6. p – I know there's 2 sides to every coin, but I'd love to read the legal papers between Tess and the owner.

    Tyler – I think everyone should research the candidates they would like to endorse. Thanks for the links.

    MattW – Word man. And c'mon – clearly I was only there to peep out Matt's house under the guise of politics šŸ˜‰

    Joe – you just reminded me about this one person in Guilderland who looks like Grissom from CSI!

    Anon – How many were fired? I would be quite interested to know – I heard that Tess kept most of the staff from Tess herself, and when I went to the opening on Friday night I only saw a few behind the bar and not many else I remembered from Lark Tavern.

  7. Anonymous said:

    Don't have exact numbers myself, but I heard from a person who is in the know on the McGeary's end that only a few key McGeary's workers were retained and that most others were fired. This happens a lot in this business whenever new management comes in, but I still feel for the displaced people in this economy so I can't just cheer on Tess.

    I'm not sure whether the replacements were all from the Lark Tavern. Somehow I doubt it – many of the LT workers have likely moved on by now.

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