Minutes of 6/15/17: Oley Foundation & Scholarship Night

screen-shot-2016-10-16-at-7-10-54-pmMeeting at Quigley’s Restaurant
593 Columbia Turnpike
East Greenbush, NY
June 15, 2017

Members Attending (15): Debbie Rodriguez, Murray Forth, Pat Bailey, Jim Leyhane, Roberto Martinez, Peter Brown, Debbie Brown, Charlie Foote, Ray Hannan, Julius Frankel, Jim Butterworth, Phil Kellerman, A.J. Amato, John Sawchuk, Becky Raymond.

Guests (14): Joan Bishop, Oley Foundation Executive Director; Brandy Cenci, Rensselaer High School guidance counselor; Mary and Natalia Wooten; Marisa Hochberg and mother; Joshua Kenna and parents Mary and John; Noah Roberts and mother; Exchange student Ella Real and host parents the Desparts.


PROGRAM: The Oley Foundation

Screen Shot 2017-06-19 at 1.46.36 PM
Guest speaker Joan Bishop (right) poses with Oley program assistant Mary Wooten and Mary’s daughter Natalia.

SRC member Phil Kellerman introduced Joan Bishop, executive director of the Oley Foundation, and Oley associate Mary Wooten. Joan  explained that Oley’s mission is to enhance through education, advocacy and networking the lives of people who are living with intravenous nutrition and tube feeding.

The organization was founded 1983 and is located at Albany Medical Center. It has a community of resources and people, and there now are more than 17,000 people worldwide working with it. Its outcome data shows that due to the foundation there are improved results and more successes. Foundation programs include Lifeline Clearinghouse, consumer networking, conferences, and an ambassador network.

Mary is a volunteer and an Ambassador and has now become a Program Associate, as has Phil Kellerman. She spoke with emotion about Natalia’s situation. Natalia is nine years old and is unable to normally eat food, a condition she has had since birth. Mary talked about attending an Oley convention where they met others with similar concerns and how it changed their lives. They learned about many things that have helped them deal with Natalia’s medical problems and that have helped the child thrive.

They showed a video about “short-gut or short-bowel syndrome” made by an engineer with the Goddard Space Flight Center. He went to the Oley Foundation for help and it changed his life. The video is being put in our Video Presentation Archive.

Winners of SRC Scholarships for post-high school study and education, and local educators, from left: Noah Roberts ($1,000), Maple Hill High School; Marisa Hochberg ($500), Columbia High School; John Sawchuk, Columbia principal;  Debbie Rodriguez, SRC president; Joshua Kenna ($1,000), Rensselaer High School; Brandy Cenci, guidance counselor, Rensselaer;
Absent: Tucker Zwanka ($500), Columbia.

SCHOLARSHIP AWARDS — Three of the four local high school students selected to receive SRC Scholarships for post-graduate study or training attended with various parents and several school staffers (see above). Marisa Hochberg of Columbia, who will enroll at Siena College in Loudonville in the fall, spoke about her work with the homeless in the community and with Ronald McDonald House in Albany. Joshua Kenna, the Rensselaer class vice president who will attend Keuka College in the Finger Lakes, spoke of his volunteer work with his parish youth, and he spoke about his brother who has autism. He also wrote a play that will be produced this summer. Noah Roberts of Maple Hill, who will attend Wooster Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts, said he has worked with his Boy Scout troop and is about to achieve Eagle rank. He also is a junior firefighter.


HEALTH UPDATE — A fruit basket has been ordered for Bill Dowd, who is recovering at home from triple cardiac bypass surgery. It will be delivered next week.

FISTULA GRANT — President Debbie Rodriguez and Becky Raymond journeyed to New York City this week to present a check for $1,800 from SRC to the Freedom From Fistula Foundation (FFFF) that we have helping this Rotary Year. Click here for coverage of their trip.

CONVENTION REPORT — Roberto Martinez, Jim Leyhane, Dick Drumm and Mary Drumm just returned from attending the Rotary International Convention in Atlanta. Among the highlights there was a pledge from entrepreneur Bill Gates announcing a new $300 million in additional funds for polio eradication. (Click here for details.) Roberto said more than 35,000 Rotarians attended. Jim explained about the joint effort to end polio worldwide.


INVITATION TO ROTARY — Peter Brown, noting how many guests were in attendance, asked those individuals to think of what they have learned about Rotary then consider joining us in the near future.

NEXT MEETING — 6:15 p.m. Thursday, June 22, at Quigley’s. Our guest speaker will be Jeff Tooker, assistant chief of the East Greenbush Fire Department,


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