Home Cooking updates: A social on Saturday, plus surf-and-turf date change

Screen Shot 2018-03-13 at 12.53.59 AMTerry Brewer has put out a last-minute call for reservations for this Saturday’s Rotary Home Cooking event — “A Brewer Social, Plus” — at his residence beginning at 6:30 p.m.

The evening, open to Rotarians, Rotaractors, friends and family, including kids, is planned to appeal to “oldtimers” and “newbies” alike in Rotary, and will encompass hors d’oeuvres, trivia, socializing, plus wine, beer and root beer tastings. We’re asking just $10 per person, with an extra $5 to participate in the tastings. Proceeds will benefit the new Rotaract club’s activities.

Please let Terry know immediately if you plan to attend.

A DATE CHANGE — The “Surf & Turf” dinner planned by Murray and Maggie Forth at their East Greenbush residence has been rescheduled for  Saturday, April 14, from the original April 7 date. If you’d like to attend, please contact Murray.


Get the word out, Recycling Day is coming!

The date for our next “Recycling Day,” a major fundraiser in support of our club’s youth scholarship programs, has been set — Saturday, May 5.

To help make it a success, we have to get the word out!

We’ll be buying some print ads, we’ve posted the flyer below and its on our Facebook page, and we’re asking each and every SRC member to make an effort to distribute the flyer via office and commercial establishment bulletin boards, by sharing copies with friends and neighbors, in local stores, etc.

Let everyone you know that this is a great opportunity to clear out basements, home offices, and garages of unwanted items.

SRC Recycling Flyer

Shelterbox’s myriad efforts, as seen through photographers’ eyes

Screen Shot 2018-03-16 at 9.03.21 PM

Many people tend to think of ShelterBox as an organization specializing in getting emergency aid to victims of earthquakes, floods, and the like. In reality, is shows up wherever people are in any kind of need because of things beyond their control.

To document that, four British photographers traveled with volunteers from Shelterbox to meet families the organization is helping live through drought in Somaliland and hurricane devastation in the British Virgin Islands, as well as to persecuted Rohingya Muslim families living in refugee camps in Bangladesh after fleeing their native Myanmar.

BBC.com created a gallery of photos excerpted from their work. Click here to view it.


Join us at Rotaract for ‘International Night’

Screen Shot 2018-03-16 at 2.59.52 PMRather than our usual meeting at Quigley’s next Thursday, March 22, we will be attending a very special Rotaract “International Night” fundraiser dinner scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. at the UAlbany School of Public Health.

In addition to the dinner, entertainment, and a silent auction, a speaker from the Save the Children organization will attend to discuss post-hurricane relief efforts in Puerto Rico. You can click here for some information in advance of that presentation.

Screen Shot 2017-10-27 at 6.59.04 PMThere is no charge for the dinner, although contributions would be appreciated. Items for a silent auction still are being solicited. Contact Debbie Rodriguez or Becky Raymond, our liaisons with Rotaract, ASAP if you would like to donate auction items.

Meanwhile, Debbie Brown will be taking names of club members and guests who plan to attend the event, so please be sure you contact her no later than Monday, March 19.

The School of Public Health is located just off Columbia Turnpike in East Greenbush on the Health Sciences Campus (formerly known as the East Campus). Click here if you need more directions.


Meeting of 3/15/18: ‘A 1936 tour revisited’

screen-shot-2016-10-16-at-7-10-54-pmMeeting at Quigley’s Restaurant
593 Columbia Turnpike
East Greenbush, NY
March 15, 2018

Members Attending (14): Jim Leyhane, Murray Forth, Pat Bailey, Terry Brewer, Peter Brown, Debbie Brown, Debbie Rodriguez, Bill Dowd, April Dowd, Phil Kellerman, Dick Drumm, Charlie Foote, Carole Spencer, Phil Nasca.

Guests (5): Lou and Pat Rubenstein, Betty Brewer, Joan Bishop, John Wadeleski.


OPENING — Jim Leyhane, presiding in the absence of President Roberto Martinez,
welcomed members and guests. He also noted that the morning’s monthly breakfast meeting was well attended for a presentation by Guiliana Cianfarrani on support dogs — “A Puppy With a Purpose at Your School.” And, he noted that Marty Mahar, principal at Belltop Elementary School and a former SRC member, attended and expressed interest in rejoining.


OLEY FOUNDATION DONATION — A $400 check created by proceeds from the “Loose Change” donation jar was presented (photo above)  to Joan Bishop of the Oley Foundation tonight, with club member Phil Kellerman, an Oley empoloyee, doing the honors. The next recipient of proceeds from the jar for the next six months or so will be the Rotaract club.

Screen shot 2018-03-16 at 1.03.04 PMINTERNATIONAL NIGHT — Rather than our usual meeting at Quigley’s next Thursday, March 22, we will be attending a Rotaract “International Night” fundraiser dinner scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. at the School of Public Health. Items for a silent auction still are being solicited. A speaker from Save the Children will be attend to discuss post-hurricane relief efforts in Puerto Rico. Contact Debbie Rodriguez or Becky Raymond, our liaisons with Rotaract, if you would like to donate auction items. … The April 19 breakfast meeting will be a joint one with the Rotaract club at the UAlbany School of Public Health. It will begin at 8:30 a.m. rather then our usual 7 a.m. … SRC volunteers will be preparing dinner at Ronald McDonald House in Albany on Sunday, May 6. Bill Dowd will create the menu and head the kitchen crew. Another set of volunteers will be preparing breakfast there at a date to be determined. … The Blue Star Mothers will hold their annual Blue Jeans Ball on April 25. Details are on our website. Anyone who wishes to attend should contact Debbie Rodriguez who will try to arrange an SRC table.

EASTER BASKET PROJECT — Completed Easter baskets will be delivered by March 26 to Circles of Mercy for distribution to underprivileged kids. Anyone who has not yet donated items can check out the shopping list on the website. Items may be dropped off at the Greenbush YMCA where Shannon Romanowski is heading part of the effort.

BYLAWS CHANGES — All members have been emailed copies of proposed modifications to our Club Bylaws. We will discuss them and vote on their passage during our March 29 working session. The full text of current Bylaws is available on our website.

Screen Shot 2017-05-24 at 4.13.48 PMROTARY HOME COOKING — Next up in the series of member-hosted events is a 6 p.m. Saturday, March 24, “Cocktail Social” at the Brewer residence. It will feature hors d’oeuvres, plus wine, beer and root beer tastings and a trivia quiz (a nice practice session before our “4th annual Great North American Whizbang Trivia Test” set for our May 17 meeting!). Rotarians, friends, and families are welcome, and attendees are asked for a $10 admission plus a nominal extra for the grownup tastings. Please contact Terry ASAP if you’d like to attend but have not yet signed up. … We also have a “Surf & Turf Night” scheduled for the Forth residence on Saturday, April 7, and an “International Wine & Cheese Tasting” event hosted by Jim Leyhane, Bill Dowd, and Roberto Martinez at Roberto’s residence on Saturday, May 19.

CONVENTIONS — Registration deadline looms for the Rotary International Convention to be held in Toronto on June 23-27. And, the District 7190 Convention will be held June 1-3 at the Rivers Casino & Resort in Schenectady. Click on the links for registration details.

RECYCLING — Murray Forth suggested, and attendees concurred, that our next “Recycling & Shredding Day” be held in May to avoid conflict with a county event in April, and to have a better chance for good weather. He will check with Josh Wainman about the availability of the Wainschaf Associates warehouse site before formalizing a date.

PROGRAM — “A Retrospective: Capital District Landscapes, Houses and Gardens through the eyes of 1936 residents.”

Speaker Debbie Brown

Club member Debbie Brown presented selected slides curated from a collection of more than 100 that were used in a 1936 program by the Fort Orange Garden Club.

The original program was created to honor the 250th anniversary of the Dongan Charter, the document signed in 1686 by Governor Thomas Dongan that officially created the City of Albany from what had been known as Fort Orange. (Albany and New York City were the only formal cities in New York State until Hudson was chartered in 1785 and Schenectady in 1798.)

The slides were a mix of paintings, engravings, photos, and glass prints depicting onetime or then-current locations around the Capital Region, primarily in Albany, Troy, and Schenectady.

They range from mountain vistas to private gardens and historic homes, including the  Catskills, the Helderbergs, Rensselaerville Falls, the Normanskill, Whitehall Mansion, Schuyler House at the Flats (now a 12-acre park), Fort Crailo, Glen Sanders Mansion, Abraham Yates House, Coeymans Bronk House, Schuyler Mansion, Van Rensselaer Manor House Garden, Vile House, Cherry Hill Mansion, Ten Broeck Mansion, and numerous others. Also included was the Greenbush Cantonement that housed soldiers during the War of 1812 and presently is home to our own Carol Orvis.

Debbie’s full slide show is available on the Program Presentation Archive page of our website.

NEXT MEETING REMINDER: 5 p.m. Thursday, May 22, with the Rotaract club at the UAlbany School of Public Health.

Rotaract in retrospect, 50 years young

Screen Shot 2018-03-13 at 8.54.48 PMThe Southern Rensselaer County Rotary Club is proud to be the sponsor of what may be the world’s newest Rotaract club, especially now during the 50th anniversary year of the Rotary organization intended for young adults ages 18 to 35.

Some of you already have met many of the new Rotaractors who are graduate students studying at the UAlbany School of Public Health. (Their Facebook page is Danes Rotaract.) Quite a few of them have already have joined us at meetings, fundraisers, and service days.

To help spread the word about Rotaract around the globe, Rotary International has put together some very personal looks at Rotaract through the decades. That story follows.

The year is 1968.

A wall divides East and West Berlin as the Cold War rages on. The U.S. and the Soviet Union are locked in a space race, and Apollo 8 becomes the first manned spacecraft to orbit the moon, sending back pictures of Earth from deep space.

And Rotary members in North Carolina charter the first Rotaract club, to provide young people opportunities for service.

A half-century has passed since the first Rotaract clubs began inspiring young leaders to take action to improve their communities. The world has changed, as has the way Rotaractors connect with one another. But the underlying values of the program, and what attracts people to it, remain remarkably the same.

To celebrate Rotaract’s 50th anniversary, we asked former Rotaractors from six decades to share their experiences of the program and explain how it shaped their lives.

Click here for their stories.