Breakfast meeting of 1/18/18

SRC Breakfast Logo Breakfast Meeting
Greenbush YMCA
20 Community Way
East Greenbush, NY
January 18, 2018

Members Attending (6): Roberto Martinez, Shannon Romanowski, Jim Leyhane, John Justino, Matt Smith, Murray Forth.

Guests (1): Prospective member Kasie Burrello.

Kasie Burrello
Kasie B.

MEMBERSHIP — President Roberto welcomed Kasie Burrello, who has submitted her application to become our newest Rotarian. Some members know Kasie from her attendance at a variety of our meetings with boyfriend Adam Roberts, who himself joined our ranks several months ago. She has fulfilled the meeting requirements, and turned in her dues check and application. Welcome, Kasie!

ROTARY HOME COOKING — The member-hosted dinner series begins this Saturday with “A Taste of New Orleans” being hosted by Debbie and Peter Brow. Contact them ASAP if you wish to attend.

EXCHANGE STUDENT — Although not part of the Rotary Youth Exchange program, student Alessandra Barbarossa from Rotary Club Cosenza, Italy, this week enrolled at Columbia High School under a private exchange scholarship. A.J. Amato, our Youth Exchange officer, has been in contact with her father, and we will issue an invitation for Alessandra to attend one of our meetings.

INDOOR GOLF EVENT — The first of our Mid-Winter Indoor Simulator Golf Tourneys is scheduled for Saturday, February 10, at Burden Lake Country Club. Members are asked to share the flyer sent to them and posted on our website and Facebook page as much as they can through social media, bulletin boards, etc., to spread the word about this major fundraiser.

Screen shot 2017-03-19 at 1.06.02 PMBOWLING FOR VETS — The annual bowl-athon fundraiser has been scheduled for Sunday, March 4, at the East Greenbush Bowling Center on Columbia Turnpike. We will be coordinating the activity with the new Rotaract club at the UAlbany School of Pubic Health which we are sponsoring. Jim Leyhane reported that a goal of the event is to raise $1,000 to cover the cost of a support dog.

YMCA MIRACLE LEAGUE DINNER — This event, which will involve the Greenbush YMCA, Rotary, Rotaract, and Kiwanis clubs, is set for Sunday, February 11. It will feed about 30 families. Preparations will begin at the Y at 9 a.m. and dinner will be served from 2 to 4 p.m.

YOUTH PROGRAMS — As part of the current restructuring of the club committee system, Shannon Romanowski and Matt Smith have expressed interest in co-chairing the Youth Programs Committee.

BOTTLE & CAN REDEMPTION — Bill Dowd will be explaining the Clynk recycling program at tonight’s dinner meeting as a club fundraising possibility. The breakfast group is very supportive of the idea, as is the Board.

Screen Shot 2017-09-14 at 9.28.13 PMOFFICER CHANGES — We are looking for someone interested in serving as Vice President for the 2018-19 Rotary Year that begins July 1. Current VP Ray Hannan is stepping away from that role. Also, Andy Leyhane has moved from an At-Large board seat to become President-elect for the remainder of this year after Jim Butterworth and Ron Annis stepped away from sharing that role. Andy, thus, is in line to become club president on July 1, and will participate in the PETS (Presidents-Elect Training Seminar) series that begins this month.

BRANDED TOTE BAGS — The tote bags branded with SRC logos now are available at $10 each, proceeds going to Club Sustenance. Several were sold today, and one was given to newest member John Justino.

MISCELLANY — Mention was made of the passing of Richard Hodge, a 41-year Rotarian who has worked with many of us on such projects as Gift of Life. He was a member of the Colonie-Guilderland club. … The Capital Region Rotary Club’s 6th annual Bins of Fun toy collection for the Children’s Hospital at Albany Medical Center is under way. Details are on a posting on our club website. … District Governor Fred Daniels has announced a tree-planting program for Arbor Day. Details to come The breakfast group expressed interest, and suggested looking at some of our town parks as well as trying to involved Boy Scout Troop 41 which we co-sponsor with the Rensselaer Elks Club.  involving the Boy Scouts.

NEXT BREAKFAST MEETING — 7 a.m. Thursday, February 15, at the Greenbush YMCA.

SRC indoor golf coming back (updated)


Start spreading the news. It’s time to let everyone know that a staple of the Southern Rensselaer County Rotary Club’s winter schedule is back.

Yes, the first of our Mid-Winter Simulator Golf Tourney extravaganzas has been set for Saturday, February 10.

You can begin helping your club achieve yet another successful fundraiser by sharing this flyer — through emails, social media accounts, hard-copy bulletin board postings … any other method that comes to mind. Proceeds go to support our many endeavors in the community.

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RSVP needed for monthly breakfast meeting

SRC Breakfast LogoOur monthly Third Thursday breakfast meeting is set for 7 a.m. this week at the Greenbush YMCA.

Shannon Romanowski will host us, and President Roberto Martinez will discuss club accomplishments to date, the restructuring of our committees, and changes in the slate of officers.

We need to provide Shannon with a participation count by noon Wednesday. Please contact her, Terry, or Roberto by then.

Some fundraising food for thought

Bill Dowd will be sharing details at Thursday’s dinner meeting about Clynk, a container redemption program that can work both as a fundraiser and a recycling service for our club — an example of “doing well by doing good.”

Clynk is a Maine-based reycling company that has expanded into New York State through a partnership with the Hannaford supermarket chain. Utilizing it would provide SRC with a revenue stream at a near-zero cost. All SRC would be liable for is buying the recycling bags ($17.50 per 100 bags) and a quarterly processing fee ($4.95).

Clynk projects potential income this way: “If your organization has 20 supporters, and each one returns a bag (average bag worth $3) every two weeks, you’ll make over $1,500 every year.

Special guest for Thursday dinner meeting

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Richard S. Zazycki

After holding a series of intraclub business meetings, we will have a special guest speaker at this Thursday’s 6:15 p.m. dinner meeting at Quigley’s.

Richard S. Zazycki, executive director of Circles of Mercy, will join us for the evening. Our club  has for a number of years worked to support Circles with holiday adopt-a-family, Easter basket, back-to-school supplies, and other efforts, and Richard will be updating us on our impact and the overall services his organization provides to local families in need.

While some of you have met Richard, many have not, especially our newer members. So, this will be an excellent opportunity to get to know more about this charitable organization whose principles are closely aligned with those of Rotary. Feel free to come armed with questions for him.

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Star of the menu

The dinner menu will include lasagna, antipasto salad, chef’s choice of sides, bread, dessert, and beverages. As always, the cash bar is available. And, also as always, we need to know how many of you plan to attend and whether you are bringing a guest. So please be sure to let dinner coordinator Debbie Brown know by email ( no later than Tuesday evening.

Here’s who has signed up so far:

  • Bailey, Pat
  • Brewer, Terry
  • Brown, Debbie
  • Brown, Peter
  • Dowd, April
  • Dowd, Bill
  • Drumm, Dick
  • Forth, Murray
  • Frankel, Julius
  • Hannan, Ray
  • Kellerman, Phil
  • Leyhane, Jim
  • Martinez, Roberto
  • Rodriguez, Debbie
  • Zazycki, Richard (guest speaker)

Richard Hodge: In memoriam

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Richard Hodge (Photo: Dawn Vavala)

Richard Hodge, 82, a Rotarian for literally half his life and a tireless worker on behalf of the District 7190 Gift of Life, has died after a years-long battle with cancer.

During his 41 years as a Rotarian, Rich became known for his energetic efforts in public service at the club, regional, and global levels. He was a board member of the Colonie-Guilderland club, and a past president of the former Latham club. Over the years he served in numerous board positions with GOL, including president.

He also was active with other community organizations. For example, he was an active board member of the Colonie Youth Center for a number of years.

We will pass along any other details as they become available.

Fellow Rotarian Denise DiNoto shares this anecdote in remembrance of Rich:

“When the former Latham Rotary Club merged with Colonie-Guilderland, I served as president-elect for the first year of the new club. The first time I met Richard, I thought, ‘Oh, he doesn’t like me and doesn’t think I can do this job.’ I was so wrong! Richard became a dear friend, someone who always told me he believed in me. He was a person I could always trust to give me his honest thoughts and opinions.

“He came to visit me when I was in the hospital, and offered to do errands for me while I was recuperating — while he was going through his own health struggles. He was dedicated, caring, and FUN! I wish I had known him in his younger years — marching for civil rights, driving race cars, and bungee jumping.

“The Richard story that still makes me laugh involves Rotary, of course. I ordered a fleece Rotary vest from Dawn Vavala just before I broke my leg. The order came in while I was still out of commission and not attending meetings. Richard was ‘volunteered’ to bring me my vest, but …. not knowing he was supposed to, I just bought a new one from Dawn. A few months later, he asked Dawn why he had a woman’s vest. Richard had been wearing mine all that time!

“Thank you, Richard, for reminding me to laugh through difficult times, to find fun in everything, and to always do for others whenever you have the energy to do so.”

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Richard Hodge (left) with other Gift of Life board members, visited SRC in 2015 to accept our $11,000 donation to the medical philanthropy. (Photo: Bill Dowd)