District Training Assembly has something for all

Screen shot 2018-06-15 at 2.37.21 PMWe are hoping to have three or four SRC members attend the upcoming “District Training Assembly, Grants Management Seminar, and New Member Orientation,” the activity with perhaps the longest title in Rotary, scheduled for Saturday, April 6, in Schenectady.

The lengthy title comes about  because rather than having one or maybe two components to the event as in the past, it has been expanded this year. As a result, it now is open to all Rotarians.

The curriculum will include leadership development training, the various Rotary websites, use of Facebook, District Youth Programs, Rotary grants management, and new member orientation. Plus, critical training for both treasurers and secretaries, pertinent because of the many changes going on within Rotary. So, please contact Terry Brewer if you are interested in participating.

First of all, we need a minimum of two members to take the grants management program to be eligible to apply for a grant the following year. More than two would be ideal.

As to new member orientation, this is perfect for new or returning Rotarians because Rotary sometimes can be a rather dense subject to delve into. It will help newcomers engage with the club and its activities more comfortably and quickly.

A few other things to remember:

• There is no charge to attend.

• You get fed for free.

• You may attend any of the modules. It is possible to attend up to five if you’re curious enough.

• Some of the modules require only a 90-minute commitment.

• The whole shebang wraps up by 3 p.m., so you have the rest of your Saturday free.

For more details, just click here.

Meeting Clipboard: 3/21/19

SRC ClipboardHeld at Quigley’s Restaurant
573 Columbia Turnpike
East Greenbush, NY 12061

Members Attending (12): Andy Leyhane, Murray Forth, Pat Bailey, Bill Dowd, Debbie Rodriguez, Debbie Brown, Peter Brown, Jim Leyhane, Dick Drumm, Carol Orvis, Peter Berry, Roberto Martinez.

Guests (3): Jack Conway, Dennis Cicchino, Jeff Morris.

Recycling IconMEETING NOTES — President Andy Leyhane presided and welcomed guest speaker Jack Conway and BSA Troop 41 reps Dennis Cicchino and Jeff Morris. … Reminders of two Saturday, April 13, events — our “Recycling & Shredding Day” at Wainschaf Associates warehouse in Rensselaer (behind Target) from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and the “Rotary Home Cooking” Hungarian dinner being hosted at 6 p.m. by Dean and Doris Calamaras. We need volunteers to work the recycling event. Please contact Murray Forth if you’re willing to help out with this major fundraising effort. And, if you are interested in attending the dinner, please contact the Calamarases ASAP via email (dcalamaras@verizon.net) or phone (518-477-4694). … Jim Leyhane is organizing a driver safety course to be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 11, at Quigley’s. The cost will be $35 per person. Completion of the course will result in receipt of a certificate that usually earns a substantial three-year reduction in one’s auto insurance rate. This class, taught by a professional driving safety instructor, will be open to non-Rotarians. Anyone interested is asked to contact Jim. …

Screen Shot 2019-02-21 at 9.49.46 PMEaster basket project coordinator Debbie Brown reminded everyone that items to go into the baskets need to be brought to either or both of our next two meetings, or items may be dropped off at the Greenbush YMCA during normal business hours. Jim and Roberto Martinez reported that items sufficient for 25 baskets have been dropped off for Len Leonidas’s Cub Scouts to assemble, and Debbie Rodriguez said Rotaract is willing to have several members assemble baskets as well. (Not sure what items to buy? Simply click here for the shopping list.) … Bill Dowd, our club’s ShelterBox liaison officer, reported that ShelterBox workers were among the first responders in Malawai, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe in the wake of cyclones and floods currently devastating that region of East Africa. He thanked all who financially contribute to ShelterBox. … Anyone who was a sponsor of the recent Community Recognition Awards dinner is asked to turn in their $100 payment to Treasurer Murray Forth no later than March 31. …

Screen Shot 2018-11-14 at 6.45.49 PMQuigley’s owner John Walsh and his wife dropped in to express appreciation for the work SRC members did in renovating the meeting room. As a gesture of gratitude, John said,  a free dinner will be provided at next week’s meeting. Members also were reminded that we need to have a quorum (12 members) at that meeting to allow us to vote on Bylaws modifications. Details have been emailed to all members in accordance with the 10-day advance notification requirement. … Our speaker next Thursday will be Ruth Samuels on “Teaching Gifted High School Students.”


Jack Conway, first-term supervisor of the Town of East Greenbush, was our speaker. He discussed the learning curve necessary for someone such as he, a non-politician, to work into the position. He said he was greatly helped by hiring a staff of people who were well qualified for their positions, rather than simply being political appointments.

He outlined changes made to professionalize the town administration, get the police department certified, purchase a fleet of police cruisers using money from criminal property seizures rather than tax dollars, make improvements in town infrastructure, and work to encourage and attract new businesses to the town.

Conway also noted that, despite much public misconception, only about 20% of taxes anyone pays goes to the town. The vast bulk goes to the school district.


Scoutmaster Dennis Cicchino (wearing hat in photo above) visited to present his annual report on Troop 41 activities. SRC has been a financial sponsor of the troop since its inception in 1961. Dennis said there now are only six Scouts, but because two of them are Den Chiefs with Cub packs, they expect them to funnel new members into the troop over the next two years. Meanwhile, the troop maintains a busy schedule of camping events, field trips, and public service efforts such as bottle collecting, food pantry drives, and community cleanups.


Bylaws vote scheduled for March 28

Screen Shot 2018-11-14 at 6.45.49 PM• The following message was emailed to all SRC Rotarians on March 18, putting it within the required 10-day notification requirement to schedule a vote on changes in club Bylaws:

Fellow Rotarians:

The SRC Board’s recent decision to end, for now, the monthly breakfast meetings necessitates changes in the club Bylaws as described below. Per President Andy Leyhane, we will be voting on the proposed changes at our dinner meeting on Thursday, March 28.

Here are the specifics:

Article 5: Meetings

Section 1: The principal regular meetings of this club shall be held at 6:15 p.m. each Thursday, holidays excepted, from September through June at a location so designated for that purpose by the Board. Breakfast meetings held on the third Thursday of the month at 7 a.m. at a location so designated by the Board also shall be defined as official meetings. During July and August, informal activities may be scheduled in place of formal meetings. (NEED TO ELIMINATE THE WORDS IN RED)

Section 3: Twelve (12) members constitute a quorum at the regular evening meetings of this club. Seven (7) members constitute a quorum at the third Thursday breakfast meetings. (NEED TO ELIMINATE THE WORDS IN RED)

Article 13: Member Definitions / Method of Electing Members

Section 4: The applicant shall be introduced in person to the general membership by the sponsor at both a regularly scheduled dinner meeting and a regularly scheduled breakfast meeting before formal submission and acceptance of a membership application. (NEED TO ELIMINATE THE WORDS IN RED)

We will be proposing these changes at the meeting and, assuming we have a quorum, voting on them.

Our therapy dog Auggie has T-shirts for sale

Auggie the doggie goes to class at Bell Top Elementary.

Auggie the doggie, the therapy dog the Southern Rensselaer County Rotary Club is helping fund at Bell Top Elementary School in East Greenbush, is keeping very busy.

Jaime Gibbs, school counselor at Bell Top and Columbia High School and one of Augie’s chief handlers, tells us today, “Our friend Auggie is doing great at school! I keep his blog/website updated regularly and hope you’ve been able to keep track of his progress there.

“We now have our spring apparel up for sale, including a very special T-shirt for Auggie which has his donors listed on the back. You might want to check it out. It is another way we can thank all of the donors, like the SRC Rotary, for their generous contributions to our therapy dog in training. All money raised through the sale of these shirts goes back to his fund, too.”

As part of his training to take the therapy dog international test this summer, Auggie has daily practices and weekly training sessions for preparation.

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You, too, can buy an Auggie T-shirt off his blog.
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The back-of-the-shirt sponsors.

Another look at Amazon, other developments

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Jack Conway

Curious about the current state of business development — Amazon and much more — in the area?

You’re in luck. SRC in recent weeks has hosted Rensselaer County Executive Steve McLaughlin and Schodack Town Supervisor David Harris speaking on such projects and how they affect the region.

This Thursday, we will hear from the final speaker in the series, East Greenbush Town Supervisor Jack Conway, who will be our guest at the 6:15 p.m. dinner at Quigley’s.

Join us to welcome our guest and to take a look at our recently renovated meeting room. Just RSVP top dinner coordinator Debbie Brown when she sends out her weekly email.


‘Rotary Home Cooking’ series is under way

dinner d
From left: guests Ray and Lois Hannan, Roberto Martinez, Terry and Geoff Brewer.

Home Cooking logoMurray, Maggie and Jeremy Forth hosted the first “Rotary Home Cooking” dinner of 2019 on Saturday evening, serving a roast beef dinner to guests Jim Leyhane, Roberto Martinez, Ray and Lois Hannan, and Terry, Betty and Geoff Brewer. Thanks to the Forths for their hospitality which resulted in funds for the club treasury.

The next “Rotary Home Cooking” event will be a Hungarian dinner hosted by Dean and Doris Calamaras at their East Greenbush residence on Saturday, April 13, the same day we hold our “Recycling & Shredding Day.” Please email them at dcalamaras@verizon.net as soon as possible if you’d like to reserve a seat.

Note: We still have openings for May and June dinner events. If you’re interested in hosting, please contact President Andy Leyhane to let him know your preferred date and dinner theme.

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Guests Betty Brewer (left) and Jim Leyhane (right) flank our hosts, the Forth family.


Meeting Clipboard: 3/14/19

SRC ClipboardHeld at Quigley’s Restaurant
573 Columbia Turnpike
East Greenbush, NY 12061

Members Attending (14): Murray Forth, Pat Bailey, Bill Dowd, Debbie Rodriguez, Debbie Brown, Peter Brown, Jim Leyhane, Dick Drumm, Phil Kellerman, Charlie Foote, Carol Orvis, Carole Spencer, Peter Berry, Roberto Martinez.

Guests (2): Russ Myer, Nina Seviyaga.

A celebratory cake for the debut of our renovated meeting room.

MEETING NOTES: Phil Kellerman presided in Andy Leyhane’s absence. He welcomed members plus guests Russ Myer of the Capital Region Nordic Alliance and Nina Seviyaga who was visiting to learn more about Rotary. … Tonight was the unveiling of the refurbished meeting room (and here) — complete with a celebratory cake (see above) — and all who were involved in the project were thanked, with particular note made of the work by Murray Forth who built storage space and a display case. … Terry Brewer was thanked in absentia for his work in leading organization of the recent 3rd annual Community Recognition Awards dinner. No report yet on the profit made from the event. …

Screen Shot 2019-03-14 at 8.56.26 PMBill Dowd reminded everyone that bags and barcode stickers for people participating in our ongoing Clynk beverage container recycling project are available at every meeting. He asked that anyone interested in participating in the ongoing fundraiser but unfamiliar with the details can check with him and/or check out this video. …. Murray said he can accommodate one or two more people for this Saturday’s Rotary Home Cooking roast beef dinner he and Maggie are hosting at their residence. … Next week we will begin circulating a signup sheet for volunteers to work the April 13 Recycling & Shredding Day. …

Screen Shot 2019-02-21 at 9.49.46 PMDebbie Brown asked members to begin bringing items next week for our annual Easter basket effort for needy local kids. Items also can be dropped off at the Greenbush YMCA which is partnering with us in the effort. Not sure what items to contribute? Just click here for the shopping list. …Our latest class of high school juniors completed the 2018-19 Rotary Youth Leadership Awards program, and received certificates last Saturday at the RYLA dinner. We will extend the usual invitation for the students we sponsored, all from Maple Hill High School, to attend our dinner meeting to share with us thoughts about their experience. … Next week’s speaker will be East Greenbush Town Supervisor Jack Conway.


Russ Myer, founder and director of the Capital Region Nordic Alliance, visited to provide an update on CRNA’s activities in the field of adaptive sports for veterans and others with physical and emotional impairments.

Russ noted that CRNA’s lineup of four sports programs — cross-country skiing/roller skiing; biathlon; orienteering; snowshoeing/trail running — has been expanded to include para-bobsled/skeleton.

As a followup to representing the U.S. in the World Orienteering Championships held in Latvia last year, CRNA will be heading a team in the same event in Portugal this year. CRNA also continues its numerous programs at various sites around the Northeast.

SRC has been a financial contributor to CRNA for the past three years. President-elect Phil Kellerman announced the “Spare Change Jar” program will be dedicated to CRNA during his term beginning on July 1. Since April Dowd began that fundraising program in 2013, incoming presidents designate recipients of the jar.