Meeting of 3/23/17: ‘YMCA Global Immersion Vietnam’

screen-shot-2016-10-16-at-7-10-54-pmMeeting at Quigley’s Restaurant
593 Columbia Turnpike
East Greenbush, NY
March 23, 2017

Members Attending (15): Debbie Rodriguez, Roberto Martinez, Murray Forth, Pat Bailey, Terry Brewer, Bill Dowd, Phil Kellerman, Ray Hannan, Monika Annis, Ron Annis, Phil Nasca, Bonnie Nasca, Jim Leyhane, Julius Frankel, Dick Drumm.

Guests (1): Josephine Reeder.

PROGRAM: “YMCA Global Immersion Vietnam”

Screen Shot 2017-03-23 at 9.39.43 PM
Speaker Josephine Reeder describing her Vietnam experience.

Josephine Reeder, Director of Health and Wellness at the Greenbush YMCA for three-plus years, spoke on her experience with the “YMCA Global Immersion” program during a work project in Vietnam.

She was among a group of Y staffers and volunteers from this area, Houston and Vietnam to help put the finishing touches — painting, sanding, caulking,etc. — on a new elementary school built by local contractors under Y grants. The existing school facilities had been insufficient to handle the number of children, and the community had fallen behind government regulations on how much schooling had to be supplied.

The group also helped students expand their English language skills, provided light sports equipment for the school, and distributed backpacks filled with notebooks, pencils, crayons and other school supplies. Because few of the children have access to cameras or cellphones and seldom have many photos of themselves, the group took cellphone pictures of each child, made hard copies with portable printers they had brought along, then showed them how to create picture frames that contained items personal to them.

The Y group also did some sightseeing, and Josephine showed slides of local markets, as well as scenes in Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) that contrasted modern life  — such as a five-story Starbucks and modern vehicles — with old methods of transportation and commerce. She also showed slides illustrating architecture from the French colonial period, and tunnels used by Viet Cong forces during the war with the U.S., as well as examples of some of the intricate silk embroidery used in clothing and decorative arts.

Josephine said the next such trip planned by local volunteers is “YMCA Global Immersion Peru,” to be undertaken this summer.


screen-shot-2016-12-05-at-10-40-01-pmCONVENTION DELEGATE VOTE — Each club is eligible to cast one vote from among its attendees on any business coming before the Rotary International Convention in Atlanta in June. Our club will be represented by Jim Leyhane, Roberto Martinez and Dick Drumm. Jim moved that Roberto be the voting delegate with Dick as the alternate. Murray Forth seconded the motion, and the club voted unanimously in favor.

EASTER BASKET DRIVE — Bill Dowd said donations for the annual Easter basket project for the Circles of Mercy family assistance organization are going strong. Columbia High Scbool has been supplied with about 30 baskets for its part of the drive, and we expect the club members’ donations to require 20 to 30 additional baskets that will be assembled by Len Leonidas’ Scouts. Next Thursday, March 30, is the donation deadline.

screen-shot-2017-02-14-at-8-22-18-pmA ROTARY COCKTAIL PARTY — Terry Brewer reminded everyone that this Saturday’s social event he and Geoff are hosting at their residence will include cocktails and “high class hors d’oeuvres.” It will run from 4 to 7 p.m., and friends of Rotary are welcome. At some point in the evening, Matt Smith will emcee a trivia contest. Admission is $10 per person, which will go toward the club treasury. Dress is casual.

BOWLING SOCIAL — The District’s Next Gen Council is sponsoring another family-friendly  mixer at the Lucky Strike Social Club at 11:30 a.m. this Saturday at Crossgates Mall. Admission is $15 for adults and $9 for kids 12 and under.$495.

COOKING FOR RONALD McDONALD — Volunteers are needed for two meals the club is scheduled to prepare at Ronald McDonald House in Albany. Please contact Terry Brewer if you can help with the breakfast on Saturday, April 22, or Bill Dowd if you can help with the dinner on Wednesday, May 31.

FOOD DRIVE — Bill Dowd reported that the Rotary Clubs of the Capital Region team was the No. 1 donor to the “CANstruction Hunger Hero” drive for Food Pantries of the Capital Region, collecting 2,434 cans of food and $495. Last year, Rotary was No. 2.

NEXT MEETING — 6:15 p.m. Thursday, March 30. Jeff Simons, superintendent of the East Greenbush Central School District, will speak on the upcoming capital budget referendum.

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