Meeting at Quigley’s Restaurant
593 Columbia Turnpike
East Greenbush, NY
October 26, 2017
Members Attending (19): Roberto Martinez, Pat Bailey, Ray Hannan, Jim Leyhane, Bill Dowd, Terry Brewer, Debbie Brown, Peter Brown, Debbie Rodriguez, Phil Kellerman, Becky Raymond, Phil Nasca, Bonnie Nasca, Julius Frankel, Kevin Leyhane, Carol Orvis, Dean Calamaras, Charlie Foote, Dick Drumm.
HURRICANE RELIEF — A report was received from John Sawchuk that about $1,800 was raised for the Save the Children Hurricane Relief Fund via food sales at last Friday’s Questar Regional Professional Learning Day hosted by Columbia High School. SRC was a community sponsor of the event, along with Price Chopper and the East Greenbush Police Department.
ROTARY LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE — SRC’s eight-person contingent was the largest of any club participating in the RLI workshop training sessions held last Saturday. Overall, participation was strong, in part because tuition was cut by 50% thanks to CASDA making venue arrangements that moved the session from its longtime spot at Siena College to the UAlbany School of Public Health.
CRNA LUNCHEON — Peter and Debbie Brown, Debbie Rodriguez, and Pat Bailey represented the club at a fundraising luncheon for the Capital Region Nordic Alliance. SRC is a financial supporter of CRNA which provides sports programs for disabled vets and others.
THANKSGIVING BASKET — A reminder that Shannon Romanowski is coordinating collection of donations to create Thanksgiving gift baskets for the Caring Community Basket Brigade drive. Details on what is needed are available by clicking here.
WORLD POLIO DAY / ROTARACT — President Roberto reported that nearly 60 people attended the 5th annual World Polio Day event at the UAlbany Health Sciences Campus on Tuesday. Twenty-one people received flu immunizations offered there. SRC provided refreshments for attendees. … Three School of Public Health graduate students inquired at the event about creating a chapter of Rotaract (a Rotary program for people ages 18 to 30). They will need a faculty advisor as well as a sponsoring club and liaison. Phil Nasca volunteered to work with John Justino at the school, and Debbie Rodriguez and Becky Raymond volunteered to be liaisons for SRC, which has offered to be a Rotaract sponsoring club. Details of Rotaract are available online by clicking here.
WEBSITE NOTIFICATIONS — Webmaster Bill Dowd reported that, acting on a decision made by the Board, he sent notifications to all members that they would automatically be notified any time anything is posted on the website, but that they had to respond to the invitation to activate it. He said only about nine people of the 30+ he wrote to responded. Roberto asked Bill to see if he could resend the invitations.
EAGLE SCOUT — Troop 41’s Leonardo Gonzales will be receiving his Eagle rank at a Court of Honor Ceremony on Sunday, December 10, at the East Greenbush Elks Lodge. His Eagle project was the Viking playground built under Ron Annis’s supervision at the Schodack Town Park, with financial support from SRC.
BRANDING — Roberto announced that we are working on making branding of our club and its initiatives more consistent as to logos, colors, type fonts, etc. Members working on projects are asked to run any flyers, letters, etc., past Bill Dowd, who heads the Public Relations Committee, for editing in advance of distributing anything. We already have added the website address to the club’s official logo, and we are working on creating branded merchandise to use as ongoing fundraising.
BOWLING FOR VETS — The consensus at the meeting was that the annual event this year is too close to other events, such as the Community Recognition Dinner, and we would be seeking essential sponsorships from the same pool of local businesses and individuals too often in too short a window. It was decided not to hold the event until early in the new year when there is less competition. The topic will be on next week’s agenda for further discussion.
HOLIDAY PARTY — We are in need of someone to host the annual Holiday Party & Gift Basket Silent Auction, the latter an important fundraising effort for our general treasury and a major social event. The club calendar currently has reserved Thursday, December 21, for the party, but it can be held on any day a sponsor is available. Anyone interested is asked to contact Roberto ASAP.
FOUNDATION DINNER DEADLINE — Reservations for the November 16 Foundation Dinner, themed “Persons of Action,” must be made online by next Wednesday, November 1. So far, eight SRC members have made reservations and/or indicated interest in attending. We are hoping to have at least 10 so we can reserve a table.
CALENDAR ITEMS — Terry Brewer, a member of the district committee, and Ray Hannan will represent the club at the District Membership Training Meeting on Wednesday, November 8. Any other members who wish to attend should inform Terry. … The 2nd Community Recognition Dinner will be held on Tuesday, December 5, at Moscatiello’s Restaurant in North Greenbush. Save the date.
NEW MEMBER — Jeff Simon, superintendent of the East Greenbush Central School District, was approved as our newest Rotarian. He has met the minimum requirements of submitting an application, paying dues, and attending at least one dinner meeting and one breakfast meeting. We welcome Jeff to Rotary.
NEXT MEETING — We will hold a club working session based on items identified during the recent SRC Board retreat. The usual time of 6:15 p.m. Thursday, November 2, at Quigley’s.
Program: “The Wonders of Iceland”
Club member Dean Calamaras presented a slide show on a multi-day visit he and Doris made to Iceland during a larger cruise that included Denmark, Norway, and Scotland.
He explained the geology of the island nation and its glaciers, volcanoes, shifting landscape and ever-present fog cause in part by the many geothermal inversions.
Dean showed images of fertile areas, bleak rocky swaths, and busy harbors that dot the island. He said the infrastructure of Iceland took a major leap forward during World War II when Americans and British, seeing the island’s strategic location, built highways and airports there.
Iceland has only about 335,000 residents, inhabiting an area of 40,000 square miles, making it Europe’s most sparsely populated country. Most of the population speaks English as well as Icelandic, and many work in technology as well as many in fishing and farming. Despite the climate, an extensive web of greenhouses and ready access to geothermal energy allows for a successful year-round agricultural industry. In addition, low energy costs made it possible to create the world’s largest aluminum manufacturing plant, which uses bauxite ore imported mainly from the Caribbean.
Dean also presented looks at local lore, such as trolls; sod-roofed houses; the modern capital of Reykjavík with its population of 123,000, about size of Hartford, CT; and scenes of various natural landmarks.