Meeting at the Schodack Diner
1842 Columbia Turnpike
December 1, 2016
Members Attending (20): Debbie Rodriguez, Roberto Martinez, Murray Forth, Pat Bailey, Jim Leyhane, Andy Leyhane, Carole Spencer, Terry Brewer, Peter Brown, Jim Butterworth, Dick Drumm, Debbie Brown, Bill Dowd, April Dowd, Dean Calamaras, Julius Frankel, A.J. Amato, Charlie Foote, Stewart Wagner, Phil Kellerman.
Guests (1): Dawn Vavala.
WELCOME — President Debbie Rodriguez welcomed the members and guest Rotarian Dawn Vavala who delivered the special Rotary shirts the club had ordered from her marketing company in support of the Rotary Foundation. Debbie also thanked members for attending despite the short notice of a change of venue. Quigley’s owner John Walsh recently underwent cardiac procedure and could not accommodate us at our usual meeting place. She will keep everyone posted about that situation as we go forward, but at the moment we are planning to return to Quigley’s next week.
FOUNDATION DINNER — Roberto Martinez reported that SRC had a group of eight (six members, a spouse, and our Youth Exchange student) in attendance at the recent dinner at Saratoga National Golf Course. Our silent auction basket of items made in Rensselaer County was purchased for $80 — by our own Carole Spencer!
SPECIAL T-SHIRTS — Jim Leyhane said the special T-shirts purchased by three club members for the entire club will be available for pickup at the December 8 meeting. He said that although the total cost of the 45 shirts was a contribution to the Rotary Foundation, any contributions individual members wish to make toward the project at $10 per shirt will go directly to our club treasury.
RECYCLING DAY — Member Josh Wainman has volunteered the use of his company warehouse as the venue for this fundraiser on Saturday, January 14. We will be accepting both paper items and electronics for recycling, with a per-pound fee charged. In addition, we may sell some of the collected items for salvage fees, with all profits going to the club treasury.
SIMULATOR GOLF — Murray Forth and Terry Brewer are in the process of scheduling indoor simulator golf tournaments at Burden Lake Country Club for January and March. Details will be provided once they are finalized, and Bill Dowd again will create the flyers for the fundraising event.
ROTARY HOME COOKING — Our annual winter series of member-hosted casual dinners will resume in 2017. Dean and Doris Calamaras will host in January, Debbie and Peter Brown in February, Terry and Geoff Brewer in March, and Bill and April Dowd in April. The hosts will provide details of theme, dates, prices, etc., closer to each event. All proceeds will go to the club treasury.
COFFEE SALE — Phil Kellerman delivered packages of specialty coffees he is selling as a fundraiser for the Capital Region Nordic Alliance adaptive sports program, an organization the club recently began supporting as well. Coffee is priced at $15 per bag, or two for $25. See Phil directly if interested.
CAR WASH TICKETS — Murray has Hoffman’s Car Wash tickets available for sale. They make excellent holiday stocking stuffers and presents, and all proceeds go to the club treasury. The tickets have no expiration date.
HOLIDAY SHOPPING FOR FAMILIES — We have three distinct “adopt a family” efforts going on for the holidays. April Dowd is heading up the effort with Circles of Mercy, Terry Brewer with Doors of Hope, and John Sawchuk will head a Columbia High School effort. Check the club website for details. All presents must be gift-wrapped, labeled as to recipient, and delivered at club meetings on December 8 and 15 at the latest.
YOUTH EXCHANGE STUDENT UPDATE — A.J. Amato, our Youth Exchange Officer, reported that Brazilian student Ella Real has been keeping very busy during her year at Maple Hill High School. He recently treated her and several others to a trip to see the sights of New York City, and she attended the Rotary Foundation dinner. A.J. said we still are in need of a second host family for Ella, to begin in February 1. Anyone who may be able to help out or suggest potential hosts is asked to contact him ASAP.
HOLIDAY PARTY PLANS — Murray Forth is hosting our annual Holiday Party & Theme-Basket Silent Auction on Thursday, December 22, at his East Greenbush residence. He needs to know no later than December 20 who plans to attend and how many will be in their party. Jim Mendrysa is catering the dinner. Members are urged to create themed baskets as a fundraiser. Bill Dowd mentioned that anyone looking for ideas for baskets should check the website where he has posted several examples.
FREEDOM FROM FISTULA FOUNDATION — Debbie Rodriguez reported that she and Becky Raymond have been working on our effort to aid this women’s-health program and will target the organization’s efforts in the African nation of Sierra Leone for support. Our current “Pocket Change” jar proceeds will go toward this effort.
DISTRICT GOVERNOR CANDIDATES — District 7190 is looking for candidates for District Governor for 2019-20. Anyone interested in getting information on the process and the role should contact current DG John Mucha. Bill Dowd is on the DG Screening Panel and also can provide some information.
ROTARY INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION — Roberto Martinez and Jim Leyhane are planning to attend the convention in Atlanta on June 10-14. They ask that any other members who may want to attend contact them in the next week or so and travel and accommodation plans can be coordinated.
NEXT MEETING — 6:15 p.m. Thursday, December 8, at Quigley’s unless otherwise notified. Club member Melissa Bill will speak on “How Today’s Banking Affects You.”