Meeting clipboard: 9/23/21

MEMBERS ATTENDING (8, no quorum): Kevin Leyhane, Bill Dowd, Ray Hannan, Roberto Martinez, Jim Leyhane, Charlie Foote, Phil Kellerman, Dick Drumm.

GUESTS: None.

President-elect Kevin Leyhane presided in the absence of President Debbie Rodriguez.

Most of the Zoom session was devoted to sharing of members’ impressions of the initial dinner meeting at Moscatiello’s Italian Family Restaurant in North Greenbush. While largely positive, several members noted that the $25 per person charge was high, considering the menu prices for the two entrees available was much lower than that. Conversely, it was noted that Moscatiello’s was not charging an extra fee for the private room, and overall food prices have risen sharply in recent months as inflation continues to hit more parts of the economy.

For the foreseeable future, we will alternate in-person meetings at Moscatiello’s with virtual meetings via Zoom. As always, the schedule and access links will be available on the club website calendar page.

Next Thursday, September 30, we will be hosting District Governor Bruce McConnelee and District Governor-elect Denise DiNoto. The club is encouraging members to bring their spouses or significant others to the dinner to insure a strong turnout.

The menu entree choices: Chicken Limone (chicken breast sauteéd in white wine with garlic, lemon, capers, olives, mushrooms, served over spinach); spaghetti and meatballs, and penne a la vodka. No need for RSVPs, just tell our waitperson when you arrive which of the three entrees you prefer. A cash bar also is available.

More hands, lighter work, more fun, deeper impact

By Bruce McConnelee / 7190 District Governor

Every year, the Rotary International president mounts some effort to improve membership, yet worldwide Rotary’s total membership has been stuck at 1.2 million for many years. This means the same number of folks leave Rotary each year as join a club. Rotary is growing rapidly in many parts of the world, but here in North America, Rotary is shrinking, and our district is no different from many throughout the states.

RI President Shektar Mehta has asked us to “Be One, Bring One.” Be a good Rotarian, in all the ways we know and love; and also bring a good Rotarian. Just one, each of us.

When analyzed superficially, my strong suit, this means our district would double in one year — minus the folks who move, pass away, and are otherwise incorrigible or prefer a different service organization.  

Yet it seems truly difficult for many of us to “bring just one.” For some, they may feel they’ve already asked their friends, or don’t want to burden their friends with the prospect of saying no. I get this, and if I had any friends I could even relate.  

You may know a Rotarian because you are colleagues at work; congregants at the same church, fellow board members on other not-for-profits; neighbors down the street. You know they’re involved with Rotary because it comes up in casual conversation. You know it’s a good thing they’re doing, and there’s a good chance you are respecting and maybe even admiring the fact they’ve made a commitment to this world.  

Which comes to a perspective I believe has far more potential than the straightforward, out-and-out “ask:” Rather than get people into Rotary, get Rotary into the people!

All Rotary clubs should “allow” friends and neighbors to participate in your service projects. Is there any reason a club’s service project has to be Tuesday at noon, or Wednesday night, rather than Saturday morning or some other non-working time? If you don’t know the answer to this, ask your current leadership.  

For most of us it’s much easier to get Rotary into the people if we invite them to participate, and join with them to make our community better. And, it’s a much easier ask if someone might like to help out with a project. And, quite honestly, if the answer is no, then Rotary may not be for them, which is OK, too.  

Our district is working on many flexible models and new clubs that will meet the needs of today’s Rotarian prospect –- different meeting times, cause-based and affinity clubs, clubs with lower expenses. And, we will roll these out in the coming months. Clubs for moms, clubs for vets and those who support vets, clubs that have one primary cause-based focus like the environment, etc.  

But, it still all starts with you. Will you “Be One, Bring One”?  We can no longer wait for “the other guy” to do it. If the “Object of Rotary is to encourage and foster the ideal of service as the basis of worthy enterprise” — and we know that we could do more with more Rotarians — then it stands to reason that our worthy enterprise in the Capital Region will be greater, deeper, and more impactful. And, more fun.

“Be the One,” please.

End of an era

SRC volunteers cleaning out club memorabilia at the former Quigley’s restaurant.
And, the cupboards are bare.

The former Quigley’s restaurant in East Greenbush, closed since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, has been sold and no longer is available as SRC’s dinner meeting venue.

As a result, we had to remove our collection of memorabilia from the cabinetry installed by the club several years ago and put it in storage. Thanks to everyone who was able to help the effort on Saturday despite short notice. The task was accomplished in less than an hour.

SRC thanks former Quigley’s owner John Walsh for his support over the years.

As members have been informed, we now are alternating our weekly gatherings between 7 p.m. virtual meetings via Zoom, and 6:15 p.m. dinner meetings at Moscatiello’s Italian Family Restaurant in East Greenbush. The schedule is always available on the club website’s calendar page.

Meeting Clipboard: 9/16/21

Members Attending (15): Debbie Rodriguez, Kevin Leyhane, Dick Drumm, Terry Brewer, Debbie Brown, Peter Brown, Pat Bailey, Phil Kellerman, Charlie Foote, Becky Raymond, Jim Leyhane, Murray Forth, Roberto Martinez, Andy Leyhane (plus Bill Dowd proxy submitted).

Guests: None.

President Debbie Rodriguez presided over our first meeting at Moscatiello’s Italian Family Restaurant in North Greenbush.

• Murray Forth reported that Quigley’s has been sold, but no longer is a meeting-venue option for us despite earlier reports. We need to remove our memorabilia from the meeting room and put it in storage space Murray will secure. He will need help on Saturday to attend to that chore and will advise members of the time. All who can volunteer to assist are asked to please do so.

• Three SRC-sponsored foursomes will be participating in Monday’s Gift of Life Golf Tournament at Pinehaven Country Club in Guilderland.

• The NYSCR Danes Rotaract (the initials are for “New York State Capital Region”) we sponsor at UAlbany is working on several fall projects. Information on the efforts will be shared as they are firmed up.

• For the foreseeable future, we will be alternating dinner meetings at Moscatiello’s with Zoom meetings. Thus, next Thursday we will meet virtually from 7 to 7:30 p.m. (the Zoom access link will be available as usual on the club website calendar page), and the following week (September 30) we will be at Moscatiello’s with District Governor Bruce McConnelee as our guest (5:30 social period, 6:15 p.m. dinner meeting).

Registration open for Rotary-Peace Corps webinar

Rotary partners with a number of other public service-oriented organizations at various times. One upcoming event involves the Peace Corps.

Rotary-Peace Corps Week is coming up, with a webinar kickoff event called “Rotary-Peace Corps Partnership: The Future is Bright.” It is available to all Rotarians and Peace Corps members.

The event, set for 6:30 p.m. next Monday (September 20), will feature Rotary International General Secretary John Hewko and Acting Peace Corps Director Carol Spahn discussing the possibilities for partnering and their vision for the future.

Advance registration, which can be done online is required.

Circles, Maria College want to walk with you

Our friends at Circles of Mercy are teaming up with students and staff at Maria College for a “Walk for Mercy” and they are inviting you to join them as volunteer walkers.

The flyer, cover letter, and signup sheet below have plenty of details, but the gist of it is:

The walk will take place from 2 to 4 p.m. Tuesday, September 28, starting at the Albany school located at 700 New Scotland Avenue. Proceeds earned through pledges will go to supporting programs and services at Circles and at the college.

Details for upcoming SRC events

Goal No. 1 for SRC in the 2021-22 Rotary Year is to regain some semblance of normality by resuming personal interaction among members, and continuing our record of 60+ years of community service.

To that end, resuming a schedule of in-person events among our fully vaccinated members was a major component. It gained some momentum during the “Summer Casual” period, and will ramp up as of this coming Thursday, September 16.

That’s when we will gather at Moscatiello’s Italian Family Restaurant on Route 4 in North Greenbush, just south of Hudson Valley Community College. (Allow for a bit of traffic at the under-construction traffic circle there; for those coming from the south, we advise trying I-90 Exit 8.)

Arrangement have been made to meet there on that date as well as on Thursday, September 30, when our new District Governor Bruce McConnelee will visit us. The details are the same for both events — a $25 fixed price covering dinner (your entree choice this week of chicken marsala or cheese lasagna), a social period beginning at 5:30 followed by dinner and meeting at 6:15 p.m. No advance reservations necessary.

In between these two in-person events will be a Zoom meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday, September 23. Just check our club website’s calendar page for the hyperlink that gains access to the session.

We hope to see the people we haven’t seen in a long time as well as the regulars we always enjoy seeing. Please join us.

Meeting Clipboard: 9/9/21

MEMBERS ATTENDING (9): Debbie Rodriguez, Kevin Leyhane, Jim Leyhane, Becky Raymond, Debbie Brown, Peter Brown, Charlie Foote, Roberto Martinez, Pat Bailey.

Guests: None.

President Debbie Rodriguez called the virtual meeting to order via Zoom. We did not have a quorum, so no official business could be conducted. However, a number of informational and scheduling topics were addressed, and Debbie thanked the various members who filled in for her during her absence to attend to a family emergency:

SCHOLARSHIPS — Roberto reported that District 7190 has informed the club it approved a grant of $1,000 toward our annual scholarship awards for graduating seniors at Columbia, Maple Hill, and Rensselaer high schools next June.

MEETING ARRANGEMENTS — A club committee scouted out potential in-person dinner meeting sites and decided to try Moscatiello’s Italian Family Restaurant on a trial basis. We will meet there on September 16 and 30 (5:30 p.m. social period, 6:15 dinner and meeting). In between, we will meet via Zoom at 7 p.m. Thursday, September 23. The club needs to formalize the sort of schedule we will follow through the fall (all in-person, all-virtual, alternating the two). Details of the Moscatiello’s meetings (times, cost, etc.) will be emailed to all members and posted on the website as usual. Likewise, the link to access the Zoom meeting on September 23 will be on the website calendar page as always.

GOL FUNDRAISER — The club has put together three foursomes to participate in the annual 7190 Gift of Life Golf Tournament on September 20 at Pinehaven Country Club in Guilderland.

RLI SIGNUPS — Links to register for the virtual Rotary Leadership Institute (RLI) sessions are available on the club website story on the topic. As always, the club will reimburse members for any registration fees incurred.