Meeting of 1/25/18: ‘Sean Strong’

screen-shot-2016-10-16-at-7-10-54-pmMeeting at Quigley’s Restaurant
593 Columbia Turnpike
East Greenbush, NY
January 25, 2018

Members Attending (15): Roberto Martinez, Murray Forth, Pat Bailey, Debbie Rodriguez, Peter Brown, Debbie Brown, Dick Drumm, Phil Kellerman, Ray Hannan, A.J. Amato, Terry Brewer, Dean Calamaras, Marco Koshykar, Carole Spencer, Maggie Forth.

Guests (3): Robert Jucha, Alessandra Barbarossa, Jeremy Forth.


Screen Shot 2017-05-24 at 4.13.48 PMROTARY HOME COOKING — President Roberto Martinez extended thanks to Peter and Debbie Brown for hosting “A Taste of New Orleans,” Saturday’s start to our member-hosted series. Next up is a Saturday, February 17, “Greek Evening” dinner at the home of Dean and Doris Calamaras. The menu will include leg of lamb, roasted potatoes, green beans a la Grecque, Greek salad, and — but not limited to — homemade baklava and other assorted sweets. Drinks and hors d’oeuvres at 5 p.m., dinner at 6. Then, on Saturday, March 24, the Brewer residence will be the site of a “cocktail social” open to all Rotarians and family members. Terry says the time frame will be 6 to 10 p.m., and cost will be $10-20 per family. The evening will include a beer tasting, a wine tasting, and team trivia. April and May events, with dates and themes to be announced, will be hosted by Murray and Maggie Forth then by Jim Leyhane and Roberto.

INDOOR GOLF TOURNEY — Murray Forth reports that signups are slow so far for the Saturday, February 10, event at Burden Lake Country Club. (Cick here for details and to obtain a copy of the event flyer to share on social media or via hard-copy postings.) Further planning will depend on projected turnout.

screen-shot-2017-01-13-at-2-17-25-pmOFFICER NEEDED — We still are looking for someone to succeed Ray Hannan as vice president when he steps down from that post on June 30. His successor would be in line for the club presidency for the 2019-20 Rotary Year. Please see Roberto ASAP if you are interested.

COMMITTEE RESTRUCTURING — Shannon Romanowski and Matt Smith have agreed to co-chair the Youth Programs Committee.  Next steps are signing committee members, creating mission statements, and updating our bylaws to align with the new structure.

POLIO WORKERS’ DEATHS — A mother and daughter who were volunteers in Rotary’s immunization efforts in Pakistan have become the latest such people to be murdered while performing this humanitarian duty. Click here for details on the website.

Screen Shot 2018-01-14 at 8.50.06 PMRICHARD HODGE FOLLOWUP — Terry Brewer shared a letter from District Governor Fred Daniels concerning Richard Hodge of the Colonie-Guilderland Club, who died on January 9 after a years-long battle with cancer. It said, in part, ” … Richard was much loved and deeply committed to the Gift of Life in our District. It would appear that there are no living relatives. We are continuing to search for anyone to contact, and believe there may be a sister, but as of now Richard’s body is still at the morgue, waiting to be claimed. This should not continue any longer. … We are undertaking an effort to raise the funds necessary to cremate Richard’s remains. Rotarian Eric Catricala of Catricala Funeral Home in Clifton Park is assisting with this process and observing the necessary state regulations. I have asked our District Treasurer to set up a memorial fund and am asking for contributions toward the funds necessary to bring Richard to his final rest. Checks can be made payable to Rotary District 7190 with ‘Hodge Memorial Fund’ referenced on the memo line. Checks should be mailed to District 7190, P.O. Box 306, Clifton Park, NY 12065. Any funds donated in excess of the amount necessary (about $2,300) will be donated in Richard’s memory to the district’s Gift of Life. Any shortfall will be made up by donors who have already offered to make additional gifts.” (FOLLOWUP FOOTNOTE — After the meeting, the District informed us that the donation goal has been reached. No further donations are needed from our membership.)

STUDENT GUEST — Alessandra Barbarossa, who just enrolled at Columbia High School as an exchange student, was our special guest. She brought us a flag and medallion from her father’s Rotary Club in Cosenza, Italy.

PROGRAM: ” Sean Strong”

Robert Jucha explains his organization Sean Strong. (Photo: Roberto Martinez)

Marco Koshykar introduced East Greenbush resident Robert Jucha of the organization Sean Strong. Sean was Robert’s son, who lost his battle with a rare form of brain cancer last August at the age of 13.

Robert spoke about the progression of the disease — officially named Gliamatosis Cerebri — and treatment options, although there is no cure at present.

He said Sean originally was given a life expectancy of six months after he was diagnosed at age 10. However, he underwent radiation treatment and continued with school and sports as much as possible. Unfortunately, his tumor continued to grow even though they tried other cancer treatments and other treatment centers to no avail.

Research is almost nonexistent for this disease as there are only 54 known cases worldwide. His family set up the Sean Fund through the Dana-Farber Jimmy Fund organization, and has raised more than $100,000 so far. Upcoming fundraisers will include a comedy night in March, a 10K run in June, and an event to be announced for August. We will post those dates on our club calendar as details are provided.

NOTE: There are several other organizations with names the same as, or similar to, Sean Strong. To access information on the East Greenbush organization, click here for its Facebook page.

NEXT MEETING — 6:15 p.m. Thursday, February 1, at Quigley’s. Our speaker will be Sue Goold Miller, owner of Goold Orchards and the Brookview Station Winery in Castleton.


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