If you missed Monday’s multi-district panel discussion called “Young People Speak,” an insight into what young people experience in Rotary, you may want to give it a try by clicking on the video above.
The panelists, who were from Upstate New York districts, talked about what attracted them to Rotary, what turned them off about Rotary, and what Rotary clubs can do to connect with youths — provide guidance (loosely!), have a strong orientation program, be welcoming, encourage teamwork, be flexible, and be people of action.
Give it a try. You may find the video enlightening and helpful as we try to refresh our club membership.
Those with a knowledge of the “Alice In Wonderland” stories know one celebration typical in her topsy-turvy world was an “unbirthday” party, of which you can have 364 a year. Unfortunately, Rotary District 7190 may have inadvertently duplicated the idea.
An email sent out to all Rotarians in the District, and copied and distributed by various clubs’ websites and Facebook pages such as ours, provided a zoom link to the virtual 116th birthday celebration of Rotary International and the accompanying online auction fundraiser. Regretably, the email was in error as to the proper link.
A late correction was sent out in an email blast, but there’s no telling how many people didn’t see it in time to particptae in the event. Luckily, the auction had been going on for several weeks before the party, and wound up raising about $4,000, according to District Governor Richard Griesche.
So, apologies if you were misled and missed the party, but thanks if you were one of the auction bidders who helped make the fundraiser a success.
MEMBERS ATTENDING (19): Dick Drumm, Bill Dowd, Debbie Rodriguez, Dean Calamaras, Doris Calamaras, Ray Hannan, Pat Bailey, Roberto Martinez, Jim Leyhane, Tony Morris, Phil Kellerman, Peter Brown, Debbie Brown, Carol Orvis, Becky Raymond, Murray Forth, Kevin Leyhane, Charlie Foote, Andy Leyhane.
GUESTS (2): Gift of Life International CEO Rob Raylman, Assistant District Governor C.G. Frinke.
MEETING NOTES: President Dick Drumm welcome members and our guests, Gift of Life International CEO Rob Raylman, Assistant District Governor C.G. Frinke of the Albany club. … Members were reminded to register for the Rotary Leadership Institute (RLI) virtual workshop before the February 20 deadline (click here for details) and the February 22 multi-district “Young People Speak” panel discussion (click here for details). …
Guest Speaker: Rob Raylman, who has held the GOL post since February 2008, graduated from Hobart College in 1984 with a degree in political science. Directly out of college, he went to work for then-U.S. Senator Alphonse D’Amato (R-NY) from 1984 to 1986. He worked for Browning Ferris Industries (BFI) in Albany from January 1987 until 1999, where he was a vice president, and from 1999 to 2007 managed his own political consulting business. As CEO of Gift of Life International, Rob has focused on the creation of sustainable pediatric cardiac surgery programs in developing countries. Presently he is working to develop programs in Bolivia, Panama, the Philippines, Romania, Jamaica, and the Dominican Republic.
Rob provided a thumbnail of GOL’s activities since its inception in 1975 by the Manhasset, Long Island, Rotary Club. Over the years, it has provided cardiac and other lifesaving medical treatment for 38,000 children from 80 countries, thanks in large part to the efforts of 80 GOL chapters, including one in our own District 7190.
He noted that a congenital heart defect occurs in one of every 100 live births worldwide, and more than half of those require surgical intervention. Over the years, GOL has emphasized training missions to many countries in an effort to expand the knowledge base for surgical techniques and medical aftercare. That provides a much more cost effective way of handling far more cases than relying as heavily on bringing children to the U.S. for surgeries.
Rob answered a variety of questions from attendees, and he and eight members signed back in after the ZOOM meeting cutoff for an “extended session” of discussion.
NEXT MEETING: 7 p.m. Thursday, February 18, via ZOOM. Check the website calendar for the link to access the meeting.
Curious about why some younger Rotarians stay, or why they left?
“Young People Speak,” a multi-district membership panel discussion that should help us learn the answers to both questions, is scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday, February 22. It certainly should provide some insights in how we can attract, nurture, and hold younger members for the Southern Rensselaer County Rotary Club.
While admission to the discussion is free, advance registration is required. The process is simple. Just click here and fill in the form to reserve your virtual seat.
Rob Raylman, a resident of Germantown, Columbia County, who is the Chief Executive Officer for Gift of Life International, will speak to us at our 7 p.m. Thursday meeting this week via ZOOM.
Rob, who has held the GOL post since February 2008, graduated from Hobart College in 1984 with a degree in political science. Directly out of college, he went to work for then-U.S. Senator Alphonse D’Amato (R-NY) from 1984 to 1986. He worked for Browning Ferris Industries (BFI) from January 1987 until 1999, where he was a vice president, and from 1999 to 2007 managed his own political consulting business.
As CEO of Gift of Life International, Rob has focused on the creation of sustainable pediatric cardiac surgery programs in developing countries. Presently he is working to develop programs in Bolivia, Panama, the Philippines, Romania, Jamaica, and the Dominican Republic.
As always, you can gain access to the meeting simply by going to the club website calendar page and clicking on the appropriate meeting link.
MEMBERS ATTENDING (20): Dick Drumm, Bill Dowd, Murray Forth, Kevin Leyhane, Dean Calamaras, Doris Calamaras, Ray Hannan, Pat Bailey, Terry Brewer, Geoff Brewer, Carol Orvis, Peter Brown, Debbie Brown, Charlie Foote, Phil Kellerman, Roberto Martinez, Jim Leyhane, Tony Morris, John Justino, Andy Leyhane.
MEETING NOTES: President Dick Drumm welcomed attendees. … Bill Dowd reminded all that this week was the start of Easter basket donation drop-offs at the Greenbush YMCA. Anyone who has misplaced the preferred shopping list as well as the project timeline and details can find it on the club website by clicking here. … A reminder that the deadline for online registration for the February 27 virtual Rotary Leadership Institute is February 20. Details on the event and a link to registration are available on the club website by clicking here. … Dean Calamaras announced that the Gift of Life is looking for two board members who have an interest in fundraising for the medical charity. If interested, please contact him. … A reminder that rather than sending out several emails with links to weekly meetings, all members need to do is go to the website calendar page and click on the link for the appropriate date to gain meeting access.
PROGRAM: Kevin Leyhane, who teaches at the Genet School which has approximately 450 students in grades K-5, spoke on how the physical education curriculum is being handled there during the pandemic.
The difficulties of social distancing during physical activities and the need to create alternative activities to the usual sports was emphasized.
Taped-off “boxes” in the gymnasium are used to designate activity space for the students and keep them apart. As Kevin pointed out, anything a student touches — including the “boxes” — has to be cleaned before anyone else can use them. Teachers have integrated calisthenics, dance, and video-led activities to keep the students’ interest while providing good physical training.
He took a series of questions from members, and stayed on in an extended session after the meeting to discuss anything else attendees wished to know.
NEXT MEETING: 7 p.m. Thursday, February 11, via ZOOM.
MEMBERS ATTENDING (18): Dick Drumm, Terry Brewer, Geoff Brewer, Roberto Martinez, Jim Leyhane, Debbie Rodriguez, Carol Orvis, Tony Morris, Pat Bailey, Phil Kellerman, Charlie Foote, Ray Hannan, Kevin Leyhane, Peter Brown, Debbie Brown, Dean Calamaras, Doris Calamaras, Murray Forth.
MEETING NOTE: President Dick Drumm called the meeting to order and welcomed members. … In a round-robin chat, about half the members reported having received the first of their COVID vaccinations. … As part of the annual Easter baskets project in conjunction with Circles of Mercy, Jim Leyhane has purchased 60 baskets. He will inform our event coordinator, Shannon Romanowski, who is keeping a running tab of the number of baskets contributed so far, with 175 baskets as the target. The shopping list for basket contents SRC members and friends are asked to purchase is available on the website, along with all details of the effort. …
Financial items: Murray Forth said he still has Hoffman Car Wash tickets for sale. All proceeds go to the club treasury. … Jim reports having only 50 more bars of handcrafted scented soaps to sell. So far, that effort has raised more than $1,000. Please contact Jim or Roberto Martinez if you would like to purchase some. … Phil Kellerman said he has a limited number of coffees available. … A committee has been formed to study the possibility of creating a 501(c)3 Foundation as discussed at the January 14 general meeting: Members: Terry Brewer, Dick Drumm, Phil Kellerman, Murray Forth, Roberto Martinez, Jim Leyhane. They will discuss options and report back to the club. …
Speakers: February 4, Kevin Leyhane on “Elementary School During COVID”; February 21, “Gift of Life” update. Meeting access links available on the website calendar page.
Are you ready to party? I know I am. On Tuesday February 23, Rotary International will celebrate its 116th birthday. I am inviting you to celebrate it with your fellow Rotarians at a virtual social event at 7 p.m. that day via live streaming.
To participate, BYOB, wear your favorite party hat, have a cupcake (or whatever) with a candle in it, and be ready to have some fun.
No speakers, no format, no business. YOU set the tone. It will be an opportunity to socialize in the district. And, no masks required.
Many of you may know that a virtual auction to raise funds for the Rotary Foundation will take place from Monday, February 1, through Monday, February 22. The results will be announced on the 23rd. Any auction items that didn’t get auctioned (no bids) will be auctioned live during the birthday party! Please mark your calendars.
The zoom link will be sent out a few days before on a reminder e-mail.
Meeting held virtually via ZOOM videoconferencing.
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MEMBERS ATTENDING (18): Dick Drumm, Bill Dowd, Jim Leyhane, Roberto Martinez, Kevin Leyhane, Charlie Foote, Debbie Rodriguez, Ray Hannan, Andy Leyhane, Terry Brewer, Geoff Brewer, Murray Forth, Dean Calamaras, Doris Calamaras, Pat Bailey, Peter Brown, Debbie Brown, John Justino.
GUESTS (1): Charles Frink.
MEETING NOTES: President Dick Drumm welcomed members and our guest, Area 8 Assistant District Governor Charles Frink. … Bill Dowd displayed a pair of handwritten thank-you notes from the two families we sponsored in December’s “Adopt-a-Family for the Holidays” effort with Circles of Mercy. … Murray Forth mentioned that we also received thank-you notes from the four local food pantries we helped support over the holidays with financial contributions — (The Anchor, Doors of Hope, CoNSERNS-U, Food for Families) …
Murray also reminded members he still has Hoffman Car Wash tickets for sale as a club fundraiser. This is a good time of year to regularly wash road salt from your cars. … Bill noted that he posted the timeline and shopping list on our website today for the annual “Easter Basket for Cate’s Kids” project in conjunction with Circles of Mercy. Shannon Romanowski is our coordinator this year. … It also was noted that members should regularly check the website calendar page for information and links to local and district activities. …
Terry Brewer led a discussion on the pros and cons of applying for 501(c)3 IRS status (the club currently is recognized as a 501(c)4 organization) and of creating a foundation as an adjunct to the club. Members had been sent copies of an analysis by Terry served as background for the discussion.
Our guest, Charles Frink, currently is president of the Albany Rotary Foundation, which is more than 25 years old. He described its operation and its revenue streams primarily coming from fundraisers, member donations, and bequests. He advised having a “reasonable level” of money as the target for a foundation startup, clear investment guidelines, and a simple money in/money out operation.
Terry opined that $25,000 might be a good target level and asked that the topic be placed on the discussion agenda for the next SRC Board meeting, to be scheduled.
NEXT MEETING: 7 p.m. Thursday, January 28, via ZOOM. All meeting links now may be found in advance on the club website calendar page. We no longer will be sending out link announcements via email.
This year, we are looking to collect items to fill up to 175 Easter baskets as part of our effort to assist Circles of Mercy, the family assistance organization. Our project coordinator, Shannon Romanowski, also is recruiting the assistance of the Greenbush YMCA and Columbia High School to once again make our effort a successful one for underprivileged kids.
Shannon will be setting up an “Amazon Wish List” and a “Target Registry” for people who are not comfortable shopping in-person and prefer to order online. Items can be designated for delivery directly to the Greenbush YMCA, 20 Community Way, East Greenbush, NY 12061. Links for those items will be made known soon.
Meanwhile, here are the key elements of the initiative:
THE PROJECT TIMELINE
Monday, February 1: Donated items will begin being accepted at the Greenbush Y during normal operating hours — 5:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2:15 to 7 p.m. Monday-Friday, and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.
Friday, March 19: Final day to drop off donations at the Greenbush Y.
Friday, March 26: Basket assembly at the Y, 2 to 5 p.m.
Saturday, March 27: Basket assembly at the Y, 9 to 11 a.m.
THE SHOPPING LIST
• Baskets (Jennifer Felts already has donated 16 baskets, so we need another 159) • Toothbrushes (ages 1-12) • Toothpaste • Dental floss • Hairbrushes • Combs • Hair ties, bows or barrettes (ages 1-12) • Socks • Children’s books (ages 1-12) • Coloring books • Crayons / markers • Small games (ages 1-12) • Small toys (toy cars, dolls, blocks, airplanes) • Bubbles • Small stuffed animals • Assorted traditional candy (must be individually wrapped)