Meeting at Quigley’s Restaurant
593 Columbia Turnpike
East Greenbush, NY
October 13, 2016
Members Attending (15): Roberto Martinez, Murray Forth, Pat Bailey, Terry Brewer, Bill Dowd, Jim Leyhane, Andy Leyhane, Dick Drumm, Peter Brown, Debbie Brown, Julius Frankel, Jim Butterworth, Charlie Foote, A.J. Amato, Stewart Wagner.
Guests (4): John Mucha, Nina Mucha, Rafaella (Ella) Real Cancio, Ann Amato.
PROGRAM: The District Governor’s Visit
District Governor John Mucha paid his first official visit of the 2016-17 Rotary Year, accompanied by wife Nina. He noted that they had visited us several months ago and participated in our blanket-making workshop for Blue Star Mothers.
John reported that worldwide RI gained members in 2015-16 but the District lost some members despite the success of some clubs such as ours that had strong recruiting and retention results. He also reported excellent financial support, with the District exceeding $100,000 in Foundation donations.
He also spoke about major upcoming events — the District’s annual Foundation Dinner, and the annual District Conference, this year set for May 5-7 in Lake George. And, he spoke about the annual RI Convention, scheduled for this summer in Atlanta. (Details on all events are on our club website.)
John outlined changes made by RI as far as membership qualifications, meeting frequency and so on, in an effort to broaden the membership globally. Clubs now have much more flexibility in how they structure these areas.
To support that initiative, he announced that as a result of the energetic participation of Rotarians, particularly younger ones, at last month’s “Next Gen Membership Conference” a permanent Membership Council has been formed. Its purpose is to maintain the momentum engendered by that workshop and to create a continuity of recruitment and retention efforts over the years.
He said Rotary has two areas of emphasis this year, external (continuing the battle against polio) and internal (membership recruitment and retention.) In addition, he also has asked all Assistant District Governors — ours is Jack Faddegon — to work with their clubs to come up with a joint project.
Nina Mucha spoke about Rotary being part of their family for 30 years and about meeting Rotarians from around the world at conventions and other events. She also offered raffle tickets and specially-designed T-shirts ($20 each) for sale, with proceeds going to the Foundation. Our club immediately purchased 45 shirts, a $900 windfall for the Foundation, and several members purchased raffle tickets.
OPENING — President-elect Roberto Martinez presided in the absence of President Debbie Rodriguez. He welcomed the guests and A.J Amato, our Youth Exchange Officer, introduced Brazilian exchange student Ella Cancio.
REMINDERS — Next Saturday, October 22, will be the Rotary Leadership Institute (RLI) at Siena College. Several club members are enrolled … Bill Dowd will be one of the featured speakers at the District Public Relations Summit in Clifton Park on Saturday, October 29. … The annual Rotary International Convention returns to the U.S. this summer when it will be held in Atlanta. Details and registration information are available online. … The District’s annual Foundation Dinner s now accepting reservations. The event will be held on November 17 at Saratoga National Golf Club. Tickets are available now at several price levels…. The organization Girls On the Run that our club has financially assisted will hold its annual 5K run on Saturday, November 12, at the Corning Preserve in Albany for kids and adults. Details and registration information are available online.
SHELTERBOX UPDATE — Bill Dowd, our ShelterBox Liaison, reported that ShelterBox teams were assisting hurricane victims in Haiti within 48 hours of the disaster. He also asked anyone who has not yet made a donation to ShelterBox this year to please consider doing so. Numerous disasters around the globe are putting a strain on ShelterBox’s resources.
RI PRESIDENT VISITING NYS — Rotary International President John Germ will be the keynote speaker at the 91st annual Eastern Cities Fellowship scheduled for Tuesday, December 6, in Rochester. Reservations may be made online.
BOWLING FOR VETS — The annual family- and community-oriented fundraiser is scheduled for Sunday, November 6, at the East Greenbush Bowling Center. Same offer as in prior years: $20 covers all-you-can-bowl during one of a pair of two-hour sessions. We again will be selling lane sponsorships to individuals, organizations and businesses. See Treasurer Murray Forth if you are interested in helping.
RECYCLING FUNDRAISER — Plans are being made for a Recycling Day to be held on Saturday, November 5, for both paper items and electronics. Site to be announced. Participants will be asked to pay according to the weight of the items they bring.
MISCELLANEOUS — Debbie Rodriguez may be away for several weeks while her grandson Xavier undergoes chemotherapy in Hartford, CT, to combat leukemia. Roberto will fill in for her. … Murray Forth read a letter of thanks from the Rensselaer City School District for our club’s very strong assistance once again in the annual School Supplies Drive. … Dick Drumm proudly announced the arrival of a new granddaughter. Mother and baby are doing well.
2 MEETINGS NEXT WEEK
• The monthly “Third Thursday” breakfast meeting will be held at 7 a.m. Thursday, October 20, at the Greenbush Area YMCA. Contact Terry Brewer or Shannon Romanowski by Wednesday if you plan to attend. Educators from Columbia High School will speak.
• Then, at 6:15 p.m. at Quigley’s Food & Drink, we’ll hold our weekly dinner meeting, with Chicken Marsala as the menu centerpiece. Contact Debbie Brown by Tuesday if you plan to attend. The founder of the Capital Region Nordic Alliance that deals with adaptive sports for all will speak.