Minutes of 5/18/17: ‘RYLA Night’

SRscreen-shot-2016-10-16-at-7-10-54-pmMeeting at Quigley’s Restaurant
593 Columbia Turnpike
East Greenbush, NY
May 18, 2017

Members Attending (16): Debbie Rodriguez, Roberto Martinez, Murray Forth, Pat Bailey, Jim Leyhane, Bill Dowd, Ron Annis, Jim  Butterworth, Dick Drumm, Julius Frankel, Peter  Brown, Debbie Brown, Mike Bennett, Becky Raymond, Phil Kellerman, Carole Spencer

Guests (4): Visiting Rotarian Rachel Marlene Stark of the Capital Region Club; RYLA graduates Meg Albanese, Kassidy Berger and Matt Riordan.

PROGRAM: “RYLA – 2016-17”

Screen Shot 2017-05-18 at 8.49.55 PM
Meg Albanese
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Matt Riordan
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Kassidy Berger

Club member Mike Bennett, an assistant superintendent of the Schodack Central School District, introduced three members of the Maple Hill High Scbool junior class who recently completed the 2016-17 Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) program.

Mike said RYLA participation has become an important part of the Maple Hill experience and each year draws numerous applicants. He thanked SRC for its continued financial support that pays for the students’ tuition fees.

The students — Meg Albanese, Kassidy Berger and Matt Riordan — each spoke briefly about their experience, and the skills it helped them develop in leadership, physical activities, communications, and consenus building. As far as applying their RYLA training to their everyday school life, they noted that their ability to communicate and work in group activities has been much improved.

RYLA was devised to work with high school juniors identified by their schools as having leadership potential that could be realized through training geared to their ages and backgrounds. The program runs from September through March each school year, with students from throughout Rotary District 7190 gathering each Saturday at Skidmore College and elsewhere for classroom work, zipline confidence course, group projects, and other team-building activities. They finish the course with a gala dinner they plan themselves.

SRC also sponsored Maple Hill students Allison Felts and Shirah Strock, who did not attend the meeting. SRC pays $375 per student for tuition.



NEW OFFICER SLATE — Because John Sawchuk will be unable to serve as president-elect for 2017-18 due to retiring earlier than projected and leaving the area, new officers were proposed by President Debbie Rodriguez. All changes were approved without dissent. Ron Annis and Jim Butterworth have been designated as co-presidents-elect during Roberto Martinez’s term as president, and Ray Hannan will be designated as vice president in line for the presidency in the 2018-19 Rotary Year. 

MULTI-CLUB WORK PROJECT — Debbie Rodriguez said more volunteers are needed to participate in this Saturday’s Area 8 multi-club work session at the Shaker Heritage Site in Colonie. Painting, landscaping and other work will be done under the direction of Assistant District Governor Jack Faddegon, with a picnic to end the day. If you are interested  but have not yet signed up, please contact Debbie ASAP.

Screen shot 2016-07-03 at 4.58.14 PMSUMMER ACTIVITIES — A signup sheet for summer club activities is being circulated.  We have the following on the list:

• July 20, cookout at the Forth residence, and the pool will be open;

• July 27, pavilion picnic and ValleyCats baseball game at Bruno Stadium;

• August 3, cookout at Roberto Martinez’s residence;

• August 10, Jim and Andy Leyhane will host a cookout at Jim’s residence, and the pool will be open;

• August 17, a performance of “Spamalot” at the Mac Haydn Theatre in Chatham.

Dates still open (although you can select other days besides Thursday in the weeks in which these dates fall): July 13, August 24, August 31.

RONALD McDONALD HOUSE DINNER — Roberto Martinez reported that Bill and April Dowd will not be able to head up the team cooking dinner there on Wednesday, May 31, because of Bill’s upcoming surgery. However, Bill will create the menu and several additional volunteers have stepped up to round out the team. Currently signed up: Roberto, Debbie Rodriguez, Debbie Brown, Peter Brown, Carole Spencer, Phil Kellerman.

rotary-home-cooking-logo-2ROTARY HOME COOKING SERIES — Murray Forth said he and Maggie can squeeze in one or two more guests for this Saturday’s surf-and-turf dinner they are hosting. If interested, please contact Murray ASAP. As always, reservations for this series are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

VIKING GYM PROJECT — Ron Annis gave an update on the club-supported Viking Gym construction under way at Schodack Town Park. He said it is on schedule for completion in time for the project deadline for Lorenzo Gonzalez’s Eagle Scout credit. Ron will be making a presentation on the effort at the June 13 meeting of our sister club in Sweden that is assisting the project.

NEXT MEETING: 6:15 p.m. Thursday, May 25. Stewart Wagner will be speaking on — brace yourself — “Toilet Paper and Its Connection to Albany.

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