Meetings of 10/20/16: ‘Adaptive Nordic Sports,’ plus breakfast talk

screen-shot-2016-10-16-at-7-10-54-pmMeeting at Quigley’s Restaurant
593 Columbia Turnpike
East Greenbush, NY
October 20, 2016

Members Attending Dinner (21): Debbie Rodriguez, Roberto Martinez, Terry Brewer, Murray Forth, Pat Bailey, Jim Leyhane, Bill Dowd, April Dowd, Debbie Brown, Peter Brown, Dick Drumm, Dean Calamaras, Ray Hannan, David Taylor, Julius Frankel, Carol Orvis, Ron Annis, Monika Annis, Becky Raymond, Phil Kellerman, Stewart Wagner.

Dinner Guests (2): Russ Myer, Becky Myer.

Members Attending Breakfast (12): Shannon Romanowski, Ron Annis, Melissa Bill, Terry Brewer, Jim Butterworth, Mike Dewey, Murray Forth, Andy Leyhane, Jim Leyhane, Roberto Martinez, John Sawchuk, Matt Smith.

Breakfast Guests: Several Columbia High School students.

Program: “Adaptive Sports Year-round for All”

Russ Myer displays a device used for adaptive sports training.

Peter Brown introduced Russ Myer, founder and director of the Capital Region Nordic Alliance (CRNA). The two-year-old nonprofit creates and runs a variety of sports programs for people with all sorts of physical and developmental needs.

Russ provided several foldout displays showing images of athletes overcoming physical problems to be involved in adaptive versions of skiing, snowboarding, biathlon, soccer-on-snow, orienteering, and so on. In addition, he showed a variety of devices for off-season training.

He explained that he travels internationally as a member of the International Para-Olympics Committee, as well as working with the CRNA. He shared anecdotes about various athletes and events, and said his organization works with a range of schools and health care organizations to present half-day and day-long events for people with developmental problems in addition to those with missing limbs, paralysis, blindness, hearing deficits and the like.

Russ said CRNA is funded by organizational and individual contributions, as well as a Go Fund Me account. The 501 (c) 3 organization is looking for board members and advisors.


WELCOME — President Debbie Rodriguez presided, and thanked Roberto Martinez for presiding in her absence during the past two weeks. She said her grandson, Xavier, was doing well with his chemotherapy for leukemia, and thanked all for their expressions of support.

HOLIDAY PARTY — It was decided that the originally-proposed December 22 date for our annual Holiday Party & Theme Basket Silent Auction will be accepted. Murray and Maggie Forth will host the event, and members were asked to begin working on their baskets,  a strong fundraising device to support our public service programs.

BREAKFAST MEETING — Terry Brewer reported that this morning’s monthly breakfast meeting at the Greenbush Area YMCA drew 14 people. Several Columbia High School students visited to share information on their community service projects. And, further

Students discuss service projects at our breakfast meeting.

discussions were held concerning the club’s paper and electronics recycling efforts. There will be an advance list of items acceptable and not acceptable for the electronics recycling. In addition, the morning group is working to support the Caring Community Basket Brigade with 10 baskets of food. A signup list specifying items to be donated was circulated to the evening attendees.

rotary-foundation-logoFOUNDATION SUPPORT — Roberto noted that four club members are underwriting the purchase of 45 special T-shirts being sold at $20 each by the District as a Rotary Foundation fundraiser. That means that $900 will go directly to the Foundation from that effort. However, if individual members wish to help defray that cost, they can donate to the club treasury and that money will stay with us. … The District has requested that each club provide a themed gift basket to be used in a silent auction at the Foundation Dinner next month. Debbie Rodriguez, Pat Bailey and Debbie Brown will be handling the chore this year.

BOWLING FOR VETS — We are seeking lane sponsors as well as participants for the annual event, scheduled for Sunday, November 6, at the East Greenbush Bowling Center. Event details and sponsorship information are on the club website.

FISTULA PROJECT — Becky Raymond reported that the Freedom From Fistula Foundation has suggested we direct any contributions received as part of our club’s effort to aid the organization to programs in Afghanistan or Africa. Bill Dowd explained that funds may be available through a Rotary grant, which would be a good way to expand a contribution rather than simply passing along whatever we collect on our own.  He noted that to receive a grant we would need a co-sponsoring club from the area being targeted, and the effort would have to be a sustainable one since grants are not given for one-shot initiatives. Becky said she will look into more details.

screen-shot-2016-10-21-at-12-36-14-pmREMINDERS — A dedication of a new flagpole and American flag will take place at 2 p.m. Wednesday, November 2, at Eastwyck Village where several of our members reside. Those wishing to attend need to contact Ray Hannan in advance. … A “World Polio Day” live-streaming event will take place at 5:30 p.m. Monday at the School of Public Health in Rensselaer. Details and a video are on the website. Anyone wishing to attend is asked to email Debbie Rodriguez ASAP. … A District 7190 Membership/Public Relations Summit will be held at the Clifton Park-Halfmoon Public Library on Saturday, October 29. All clubs are asked to send representatives. Bill Dowd will be one of the speakers.

NEXT MEETING: screen-shot-2016-10-21-at-12-47-22-pm

6:15 p.m. Thursday, October 27, at Quigley’s Restaurant. Dean Calamaras will present an Alaskan travelogue. Please be sure to RSVP no later than Tuesday to dinner coordinator Debbie Brown at

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