‘Amazing Race,’ sort of, to aid recovery center

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The Colonie-Guiderland Rotary Club is looking for help in fighting the widespread addiction and opioid crisis in the Capital Region.

To do so, it is planning a fundraising event to promote awareness of the issue and to raise funds to support the organization Second Chance Opportunities Inc. that is planning to open a community recovery center in Albany.

The center will be a safe and centralized location where people with an addiction, their families and loved ones can go to get support, direction and guidance while they are dealing with abuse disorders. Among the services will be learning how to gain employment, housing and life skills, being part of the recovery community, and learning to have fun and enjoy themselves without the use of substances, which greatly reduces the risk of relapse.

The fundraiser, “Amazing Race to Recovery,” is set for 9 a.m. Saturday, January 26, at
Crossgates Mall in Guilderland, w
ith a community forum and awards at 12:30 p.m.

A $20 donation per team member and pre-registration are required to participate. Registration deadline is Saturday, January 19. Teams can range from one to five people, and each team must have at least one person over age 18. A mobile phone is required and will be used during the event.

The event will be modeled on the long-running CBS series “The Amazing Race,” with detours, roadblocks, pitstops, etc. Teams will earn points for completing tasks throughout the mall and some tasks may be judged on time. Note: This is not a foot race, and no running is allowed in the mall is.

Some ways individuals, businesses, and groups can help:

  • Register a team to participate in the event and pre-event fundraising

  • Be a sponsor or help obtain sponsors

  • Raise funds using the events Firstgiving site

  • Provide prize donations

  • Volunteers to help the day of the event

  • Forward this information to anyone you think might be interested

  • Share the Facebook Event  page with Facebook friends

  • Help promote this event

SRC Santa stops early this year at Circles of Mercy

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One view of the Subaru “sleigh” full of presents.

This year’s special delivery of SRC donations for the Adopt-a-Family program was made Friday to Circles of Mercy in Rensselaer.

Coordinators Bill and April Dowd packed up a Subaru sleigh full — and we do mean full — of the individual presents for the Seymour family and the dozens of personal hygiene kits various members created at the request of Circles for distribution during the holiday period.

Bill noted that even though only about a third of our membership participated in the drive to make Christmas better for those less fortunate, their generosity and that of several non-Rotarians helped us exceed both the family’s wish list and the hygiene kit total pledged to Circles of Mercy.

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Meeting Clipboard: 12/13/18

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

Members Attending (18): Andy Leyhane, Murray Forth, Phil Kellerman, Pat Bailey, Ron Annis, Terry Brewer, Debbie Brown, Peter Brown, Bill Dowd, Dick Drumm, Ray Hannan, Jim Leyhane, Kevin Leyhane, Debbie Rodriguez, Carol Orvis, Becky Raymond, Roberto Martinez, Jeff Simons.

Guests (2): Brad DiPietro, NYS Mentoring Program; Amy Lent.

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Double entree choices for Holiday Party!

We’re near the time for our latest social event — the annual Holiday Party & Themed Gift Basket Silent Auction, set for 6 p.m. next Thursday at Quigley’s. Event coordinator Debbie Brown is accepting reservations until Monday evening via email to mdbrown@nycap.rr.com. Please note, that is a day earlier than usual. The price is just $25 each for a loaded buffet — roast beef and eggplant parm entrees, chef’s choice of side dishes, mashed potatoes, antipasto salad, bread, an assortment of desserts, and a surprise appetizer — PLUS a self-serve bar with wine, beer, and soft drinks. Guests are welcome as always, but an RSVP is necessary. … Phil Kellerman continues to sell three different kinds of specialty coffees for the holidays as a fundraiser for the Capital Region Nordic Alliance which offers adaptive sports for disabled vets and others. …

… Bill Dowd thanked all who contributed to our annual Adopt-a-Family project in conjunction with Circles of Mercy. He reported that even though only about a third of SRC members got involved, with the assistance of some non-members we managhed to exceed  both the family’s wish list and our target number of 50 personal hygiene kits for Circles of Mercy to distribute during the holiday period. … President Andy Leyhane said we are considering holding another raffle for a private wine dinner for 10 at Cafe Capriccio in Albany in the winter. The initial raffle this fall grossed more than $4,000 in sales, with a net to the club of about $2,700. The consensus of those present was that it would be good to proceed, and Andy said we would do so, with Pat Bailey and Debbie Brown working on obtaining items for additional drawing prizes. …

Calendar: Because of the busy holiday period, this was our final regular meeting of 2018. We will, of course, have our holiday dinner event, but there will be no December breakfast meeting, and no dinner meetings during the Christmas and New Year’s weeks.

Speaker Brad DiPietro shares anecdotes about the Mentoring Program.

Screen Shot 2018-12-11 at 11.30.18 AMBrad DiPietro, eastern director of the New York State Mentoring Program, was our guest speaker. He described the program and his efforts to recruit and retain more adult mentors for the East Greenbush Central School District.

As the Mentoring Program explains it, children who succeed despite overwhelming personal, economic and social obstacles often do so because of a caring adult in their lives. Mentoring outcomes include greater participation in school, improved attendance, higher graduation and college admission rates, and better overall performance.

The program creates supportive mentor relationships for students at risk of dropping out of school or having difficulty succeeding. This unique program takes place in a school-based setting, one-to-one between the mentor and mentee with a school coordinator present who is selected by the principal. The current aim is to find mentors for Bell Top Elementary.

The program provides background checks and training for volunteer mentors and mentees. Brad said once past the training period, mentors contribute about 45 minutes to an hour once a week from October through May at the school. The program also supports the mentors with activity ideas and materials to help generate relationships with the children.

Anyone interested in being a mentor can begin the process by filling out an online application or calling 844-337-6304.


Monday RSVP deadline for our Holiday Party

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SRC Holiday Party’s double-entree buffet attractions.

Our umpteenth annual “Holiday Party & Themed Basket Silent Auction” is nearly upon us, set for this coming Thursday, December 20, at Quigley’s.

While the organizers are putting the final touches on the gala, all you have to do is be sure you have RSVP’d to Debbie Brown (mdbrown@nycap.rr.com) no later than this coming Monday, December 17.

As always, guests are welcome. As always, however, we need to have an accurate headcount by the deadline, so please … !

The price is just $25 per person, which covers a holiday spread of two entrees — roast beef and/or eggplant Parmesan — and chef’s choice of veggie side dishes, mashed potatoes, breads, salad, a dessert selection, and a surprise appetizer. PLUS, a self-serve bar will be stocked with wine, beer, and sodas. (Mixed drinks will be available at the main cash bar.)

Screen Shot 2018-12-14 at 12.53.18 PMIn addition  to socializing, dining, and fun, you can do some Christmas shopping throughout the evening from an assortment of themed gift baskets SRC members will be bringing for the silent auction. All proceeds will go to the club treasury to help support our may public service projects.

So, please don’t forget to create and bring your themed baskets, and establish a minimum starter bid to get things rolling. If you’re stumped as to possible themes, just click  here for suggestions. (Two of them appear here.)

P.S. If you haven’t attended a dinner meeting lately, this is an opportunity to see the ongoing renovation project Murray Forth has been spearheading for our meeting room at Quigley’s.

Don’t forget to RSVP by Monday, and we’ll see you at 6 p.m. Thursday at Quigley’s!



Student mentoring on Thursday’s agenda

Screen Shot 2018-12-11 at 11.30.18 AMThe New York State Mentoring Program is aimed at making a difference in the lives of many of our school-age children.

According to its founders, “the comprehensive program matches students with adult mentors who have been screened and trained for the task. They guide the students in developing self-esteem and healthy lifestyles, appreciating diversity, increasing financial literacy, and making positive life choices.”

Brad DiPietro, director of the program for eastern New York, will provide us with a deeper look at its our guest speaker at Thursday’s 6:15 p.m. dinner meeting at Quigley’s. Guests are welcome to attend, but please be sure you let dinner coordinator Debbie Brown (mdbrown@nycap.rr.com) know no later than Tuesday if you are attending and if you are bringing a guest.

The following Rotarians and guests already have made their reservations:

1. Ron Annis
2. Pat Bailey
3. Pat’s guest
4. Terry Brewer
5. Debbie Brown
6. Peter Brown
7. Brad DiPietro, guest speaker
8. Bill Dowd
9. Murray Forth
10. Ray Hannan
11. Phil Kellerman
12. Andy Leyhane
13. Jim Leyhane
14. Kevin Leyhane
15. Roberto Martinez
16. Carol Orvis
17. Debbie Rodriguez

Thursday deadline for hygiene kit donations

Screen Shot 2018-12-10 at 12.57.57 AMThe deadline is this Thursday to contribute “personal hygiene kits” to the annual Circle of Mercy family efforts we at the Southern Rensselaer County Rotary Club augment in many ways.

It’s a simple matter to be involved in this one. All you have to do is shop for items on the list below that we’ve circulated to you numerous times, put them in one-gallon Ziploc plastic bags, and drop them off at this Thursday’s meeting or with another Rotarian you are positive will attend that meeting, the deadline for helping.


Each kit should contain all the items below and be small enough to fit into a backpack pocket with ease. Odorless products are best due to allergies. Items to be placed in Glad-brand Zip Lock heavy duty bags (the one gallon size). All should be travel-sized containers:

hair conditioner
dental floss
breath strips
small first-aid kit (i.e. assorted Band-Aids and antiseptic such as Neosporin)
very small travel-size sewing kit (minimum thread and needle)
soap or body wash
hand sanitizer
lip balm (such as Chapstick)
combs, brushes and hair bands

Thanks so much for your participation. You’ll see this is an especially easy way for those of you who seldom attend dinner meetings or participate in service projects to get involved at minimum cost and effort.

Thanks to all you do.

Bill Dowd
Project Coordinator