Lois Wagner

Lois Wagner, wife of former SRC member Stewart Wagner and well-known to many club members and their families, passed away Thursday night at Albany Medical Center from complications of COVID-19.

Both Stewart and Lois were hospitalized with the virus. Stewart is recovering at home and doing much better. He has asked well-wishers to pause any phone calls for now. The club sends Stewart our prayers and well-wishes.

More information on a limited service and the obituary will not be available for several weeks, per Stewart. He plans a celebration of Lois’s life sometime in the new year. Lois last visited our club in May 2018 when Stewart was our featured speaker.

For those who wish to send cards of condolence, Stewart’s mailing address is:

102 Lorenzo Dr
Box 53
Troy NY 12180

How you can support Rotary’s services


As we all know, the norm is anything but normal in this era of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it is adversely affecting Rotary fundraising efforts that usually entail in-person interaction, group efforts, et al.

Thus, a consensus of your SRC Board of Directors and a followup discussion among other club members several months ago ascertained that we will continue to underwrite at least three (3) areas of our usual financial largesse — (1) Circles of Mercy family and school projects, (2) our youth educational scholarships, and (3) assistance to local food pantries.

We also will continue to consider financial support of other endeavors on a case-by-case basis as the 2020-21 Rotary Year progresses, that depends on the level of ongoing individual donations and the creation and undertaking of fundraising efforts that conform with projects that adhere to stringent COVID-19 pandemic restrictions as well as conforming to Rotary’s Avenues of Service.

To accomplish this, rather than ask for member support on a month-by-month, project-by-project basis as we habitually have done, we have been asking for a one-time (or by multiple installments) financial donation to support the important work of the club to underwrite local and international humanitarian projects.

The level will depend on your personal financial status and your interest in supporting SRC and allied Rotary projects. In judging that level of support, you may wish to bear in mind that we usually have 38 dinner meetings a year, and that would mean a projected saving of $18 every week, or $684 if we do not hold any dinner meetings in 2020-21 as appears to be the case.

In addition, we are not asking for the usual weekly contributions to our “Spare Change” jug; the usual “Summer Casual” events (Mac-Haydn Theatre, ValleyCats pavilion picnic and baseball game, various field trips, etc.) were not held this past summer, so no member money was spent; and, no sponsorships were solicited for various efforts such as the annual SRC Bowl-a-Thon, etc., that have been cancelled.

Thus, members have not been asked to be forthcoming with donations and fees to any degree this year, so much money has been saved individually.

Here is how the new financing system is working — and we thank all who have donated so far:

• One-time or periodic donations. To create your level of support, we acknowledge that different members are financially able or financially willing to donate at different levels. Several members already have submitted checks. The amount(s) is strictly up to you.

• You may designate which local, regional, or international efforts you wish your donations to support: i.e., when you submit your checks simply attach a note indicating how the money is to be divided. If you do not, we will assume you wish your entire contribution to go to the club’s general treasury.

• The level of donation is confidential. This is not a competition. The only person who is aware of the individual donations is, by necessity, be Murray Forth, our club treasurer. He will direct funds to the various efforts in conjunction with your specific instructions and will report to the membership only aggregate, rather than individual, amounts.

A huge caveat: If you wish to donate to non-local or non-club efforts and make your donations tax deductible, you need to take certain steps to qualify. Please submit checks designated for SRC club activities separately from checks meant to support other efforts. (If you need guidance, please contact Bill Dowd about the process.)

For example, to assure tax deductibility:

• Donations to ShelterBox: Checks must be made payable to “ShelterBox,” with “SRC Rotary” entered in the memo line. Please submit all such checks to Bill Dowd, our club’s ShelterBox liaison officer who regularly collects donations and delivers them to District coordinators so our club and the individuals receive credit for donations.

• Donations to Gift of Life: Checks must be made payable to “District 7190 Gift of Life,” with “SRC Rotary” entered in the memo line. Please submit all such checks to Dean or Doris Calamaras, our club’s GOL liaisons who will deliver them to District coordinators so our club and the individual receive credit for total donations.

We hope this methodology will alleviate the periodic stress on members of helping pay for our community service efforts until we achieve some form of normalcy as the pandemic dissipates.

Thank you, as always, for your compassionate efforts. While no one can do everything, everyone can do something. We ask only that each SRC member does that something in a timely manner.

Mailing Addresses for check submissions:

• For the club — SRC Rotary, Box 71, East Greenbush, NY 12061

• For ShelterBox — Bill Dowd, 7 Hyland Circle, Troy, NY 12182

• For Gift of Life — Dean & Doris Calamaras, 106 Birchwood Drive, Castleton, NY 12033

Meeting Clipboard: 12/3/20

Meeting held virtually via ZOOM videoconferencing.

MEMBERS ATTENDING (19): Dick Drumm, Murray Forth, Bill Dowd, Jim Leyhane, Roberto Martinez, Terry Brewer, Geoff Brewer, Debbie Rodriguez, Dean Calamaras, Doris Calamaras, Charlie Foote, Peter Brown, Debbie Brown, Phil Kellerman, Becky Raymond, Pat Bailey, Tony Morris, Kevin Leyhane, Ray Hannan.


MEETING NOTES: President Dick Drumm called the meeting to order and welcomed 19 members, the largest number of members to attend a regular ZOOM session. … Event coordinator Bill Dowd reported that progress on the annual Adopt-a-Family holiday project is strong. Many gift items were dropped off at the former Quigley’s restaurant on Wednesday night for our two adoptee families. Members may drop off gift donations through December 10 at the Drumm Veterinary Hospital, or at the second and final evening drop-off from 6 to 6:30 p.m. Friday, December 11, at Quigley’s. The recommended shopping list can be found on the club website. … Becky Raymond reported on her participation as speaker at a Rotary/Peace Corps health project program earlier in the day. Her talk centered on her work as a Peace Corps volunteer and how it led her to Rotary membership since the two organizations’ interests often overlap. …

Fundraisers & Finances: Phil Kellerman said he has specialty Sweetwater Coffees in hand (12-ounce packages in two flavors). He will donate $5 from the sale of each package, and match each donation for the club treasury. … Jim Leyhane and Roberto Martinez said they are anticipating receipt of the second batch of 100 bars of plant-based scented soaps after the first 100 sold out. Because they are underwriting the bulk purchase price, they estimate that if the second batch is a sellout the project will raise about $1,500 for the club. … Terry Brewer reported that the Internal Revenue Service has reinstated the club’s status as a 501(c)4 organization. While that does not allow financial contributions made directly to the club to be tax deductible, it does certify us as a non-profit, which helps in such things as applying for Rotary Global Grants. To reiterate: Personal donations made directly to such things as ShelterBox, Gift of Life, etc., are tax deductible, but if made to SRC for such use they are not. This is the same status we had until 2015, and we are not required to pay taxes on any funds we raise. Terry, Phil Kellerman, and Murray Forth worked on the reinstatement effort. We now will check with the state to apply for an exemption from paying sales tax on purchases. …

Calendar: The consensus at tonight’s meeting was to cancel the annual Holiday Party & Gift Basket Auction because of pandemic dangers and the state’s current limit on the size of gatherings. … Our next two meetings will be held via ZOOM at 7 p.m. Thursday, December 10, and Thursday, December 17. Thereafter, we will be on hiatus during the weeks of Christmas and New Year’s, resuming meetings on Thursday, January 7.

9 days left to donate to Adopt-a-Family

“The Willing Guide.” Helping a lost Santa. Judge magazine, December 1923.

There are three great mathematical questions in the universe still to be resolved:

(1.) If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers, how many pickled peppers did Peter Piper pick?

(2.) How much wood could a woodchuck chuck, if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

(3.) How many Christmas presents does it take to fill a Subaru Impreza hatchback?

We probably never will know the answers to the first two questions, but we moved a step closer to answering No. 3 during the first drop-off of gifts this evening for our annual Adopt-a-Family effort.

The parking lot at the former Quigley’s sports bar was bustling as a steady stream of SRC members popped in to share a wide array of presents for our two adopted families, the Burnetts and the Fitzgeralds. Project coordinator Bill Dowd was able to stuff his vehicle about two-thirds full, and we still have another nine days to donate before the dropoff deadline at Circles of Mercy.

If you haven’t yet participated but wish to do so, here’s how you can do it:

• Check the updated, suggested shopping list on the club website to see what items still are needed (gift card duplicates are OK) and let Bill know if you plan to purchase them.

• Drop off gifts at the Drumm Veterinary Clinic during regular business hours up until Thursday, December 10, or between 6 and 6:30 p.m. at Quigley’s on Friday, December 11.

PLEASE REMEMBER that gifts must be appropriately wrapped (gift cards should be in an envelope) and clearly labeled with the intended recipient.

Our sincere thanks to all for their generosity so far. You’ll be making a happy holiday season for two needy families.

P.S. If we manage to overfill Bill’s car, don’t worry about it. He has another for use as a backup Santa Claus sleigh!

Becky Raymond to speak at health program event

Becky Raymond, a returned Peace Corps volunteer and member of the Southern Rensselaer County Rotary Club, will be the featured speaker at a special health-focused information session for Rotarians.

The virtual event, “Health Programs for Rotarians,” is scheduled for 1 to 1:30 p.m. Thursday, December 3. 

It is part of the Peace Corps celebration of Rotary’s Disease Prevention and Treatment Month. As the event organizers explain it, “Care for our world through Peace Corps service. Public health specialists are needed to address issues of global maternal and child health, nutrition and hygiene, infectious and vaccine-preventable diseases, and more. Help improve a community’s basic healthcare and promote healthy behaviors, while gaining global skills for your career. Join us at this health-focused information session to learn about Volunteer experiences.”

To gain access to the event, pre-registration is required. Click here to sign up.

Reminder: Historic virtual Foundation Dinner set for this Tuesday

As has become common in this COVID-19 pandemic era, most annual events have moved to virtual status. On Tuesday evening (November 24) that will be the case with the annual Rotary Foundation Dinner sponsored by District 7190.

Jennifer Jones to become first female RI president

We provided information earlier on the club website and several times during our virtual weekly meetings on ZOOM about how to register and participate. If you did not take advantage of that but wish to do so at the last minute, simply click here to access the links.

One of your opportunities will be to interact with Jennifer Jones, who is about to become the first woman in the century-plus history of Rotary International to be RI president. That is something for women and men of Rotary to celebrate and enjoy.

Please make a point of joining us at this critical time in Rotary’s efforts to serve the community and the world during a global pandemic that could otherwise derail our worthwhile public service initiatives. The event is a mere 90 minutes long, hardly a strain on your social schedule, and you can’t get much pandemic-safer than attending online.

Updated ‘Adopt-a-Family’ shopping chart

Here is an update of the shopping lists for our “Adopt-a-Family” project in conjunction with Circles of Mercy.

Anything in green has been taken; anything in black still needs to be taken.

Please email me when you decide what you want to donate and I will coordinate, then update and disseminate the charts daily or as often as necessary.

I will be in the parking lot at Quigley’s from 6 to 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, December 2, and Friday, December 11, to accept donated items. If you cannot make either of those dates, you can drop them off at Drumm Veterinary Hospital prior to December 11 during normal business hours. I will collect them from that site. (If you choose that option, please call the office from the parking lot and one of the staff will come to your car to take the donation.)

Please remember all gifts have to be gift-wrapped and labeled with the name of the recipient. In the case of gift cards, please place them in a sealed envelope with the name of the recipient family written on the outside.

Thanks for your generosity!

— Bill Dowd, project coordinator

Meeting Clipboard: 11/19/20

Meeting held virtually via ZOOM videoconferencing.

MEMBERS ATTENDING (17): Dick Drumm, Bill Dowd, Terry Brewer, Debbie Rodriguez, Phil Kellerman, Ray Hannan, Pat Bailey, Roberto Martinez, Jim Leyhane, Murray Forth, Andy Leyhane, Peter Brown, Debbie Brown, Charlie Foote, Dean Calamaras, Doris Calamaras, Kevin Leyhane.


MEETING NOTES: President Dick Drumm welcomed attendees. He delivered congratulations on behalf of the club to Dean and Doris Calamaras on their upcoming 50th wedding anniversary. It was suggested that anyone wishing to do so could make a donation to Gift of Life in their name since they are our liaisons to the District chapter. …

Bill Dowd reported that several members already have responded to his request for gift donations for the annual Adopt-a-Family effort in conjunction with Circles of Mercy. He noted that again this year SRC is adopting two families, or a total of seven people. The shopping list has been made available to everyone, and is on the website. Bill will be posting regular updates of what gifts have been spoken for and what more is needed. He will set up two pickup dates on which he will be in the Quigley’s parking to accept gift drop-offs before December 14. Dick said anyone can drop off their gifts at the Drumm Veterinary Hospital any time during regular office hours, and they will be delivered to Bill. … Phil Kellerman said he again is selling specialty coffees for the holidays — $15 for one bag or $25 for two, with $5 from the sale of each bag going to the SRC treasury. He again will be offering Carpe Diem (medium roast) and Midnight Oil (dark roast). …

Bill Dowd reported that the CLYNK container redemption program has again reached the $400 level. Some months ago he forwarded a $400 check to the treasury, so this will raise it to $800 toward a ShelterBox donation. Each box costs $1,000. … Jim Leyhane said the arrival of a second 100-bar shipment of scented handmade soaps is expected right after Thanksgiving, with sales proceeds going to the club treasury. … Jim and Roberto reported that former longtime member Stewart Wagner and his wife Lois and one of her healthcare workers are patients at Albany Medical Center after contracting COVID-19. …

There will be no meeting next week because of Thanksgiving Day. The club wishes its Rotary family, community, and neighbors a safe and happy holiday despite the restrictions of this pandemic era. …

Our next ZOOM session will be at 7 p.m. Thursday, December 3, to be immediately followed by a Board of Directors meeting.