Meeting at Quigley’s Restaurant
593 Columbia Turnpike
East Greenbush, NY
April 19, 2018
Members Attending (12): Roberto Martinez, Murray Forth, Pat Bailey, Jim Leyhane, Dick Drumm, Ray Hannan, Bill Dowd, April Dowd, Charlie Foote, Phil Kellerman, Becky Raymond, Terry Brewer.
Guests (2): Sue Austin, Harriet Noble.
OPENING — President Roberto welcomed members and guests representing the District 7190 liaison with the Rotary Foundation. He also gave a brief review of that day’s breakfast meeting. (Click here for minutes.) And, he thanked Murray and Maggie Forth for hosting a “Rotary Home Cooking” series surf-and-turf dinner that raised $315 for the club treasury, and thanked Ray and Lois Hannan for filling in for Debbie Brown to coordinate the dinner meetings while Debbie is traveling. … In addition, we received a thank-you letter from the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society for our $500 grant to local student Olivia Sterantino’s effort to raise funds. All students participating in the regional effort raised a total of $72,000.
THERAPY DOG PROJECT — The effort in support of Bell Top Elementary School (which is separate from the military service dog we also are helping finance) appears to be moving ahead quickly. The dog will be used to help a reading teacher and a counselor interact with children in need. The school is scheduled to make a presentation to the EGCSD School Board in May, with plans to make the dog purchase in June. Terry Brewer made a motion, seconded by Jim Leyhane, that SRC provide a $1,700 grant toward the purchase. It was approved without dissent. (Click here to find the link for project details.)
RONALD McDONALD HOUSE MEALS — We have seven club members signed up to prepare breakfast at Ronald McDonald House in Albany on April 29, and four club members plus two Rotaract members to prepare dinner there on May 6. We need at least one more member for the dinner team. Anyone interested should contact Bill Dowd.
DISTRICT SUMMIT — Terry Brewer reported on the recent District 7190 Summit he attended as chairman of the District Membership Committee. The event dealt with ways to fight the opioid crisis in our communities; with ongoing membership recruitment and retention efforts — this year was the first time in recent years the District saw a net increase in membership; and, it included the annual District Grants Program training. Debbie Rodriguez attended the grants portion on behalf of SRC. Terry will complete that training in the near future so we have the required two trained members to be eligible for a grant in the 2018-19 Rotary Year.
NEW-MEMBER INDUCTION — All those who joined SRC in the 2017-18 year, and all charter members of the new Rotaract Club we sponsor at the UAlbany School of Public Health have received invitations from President Roberto to the Thursday, May 3, joint induction dinner. All members are strongly urged to attend.
TREE PLANTING PROJECT — Students from Columbia High School have expressed interest in working on the Star of Hope garden memorial on the East Greenbush Public Library grounds as part of SRC’s role in the global Rotary tree-planting effort. The memorial was created some years ago in memory of Columbia students who died before graduation. Shannon Romanowski, of SRC and the Greenbush YMCA, has pledged on behalf of the Y additional watering and care for the memorial.
SHELTERBOX FUNDRAISER — Bill Dowd, SRC’s ShelterBox liaison, reminded members who wish to make small donations to the relief agency that anyone who pledges anything from $1 to $100 online between noon on May 1 and noon on May 2 will have their donations matched dollar-for-dollar. (Click here for details on how to do that.)
RECYCLING & SHREDDING DAY — Murray Forth is looking for volunteers to help staff our “Recycling Day III” event scheduled for Saturday, May 5. Please contact him ASAP to see if there is anything you can do to help. (Click here to see the event flyer for details.)
ROTARY HOME COOKING SERIES — Next up, and the last of the series in this Rotary Year, will be “An International Wine & Cheese Tasting” event — that’s for adults; there also will be games and goodies for kids. The nevening is being put together by Roberto, Jim Leyhane, and Bill Dowd, and will be held on Saturday, May 19, at Roberto’s residence in East Greenbush. All proceeds will go to the club treasury. Please contact Roberto, Jim, or Bill if you would like to attend. Kids and guests are welcome — and encouraged.
PROGRAM: “Explaining the Rotary Foundation
Visiting Rotarians, and Past District Governors, Sue Austin and Harriet Nobel presented a talk on the ins-and-outs of the Rotary Foundation, which they represent in District 7190.
Sue became Foundation chair in 2016. Her role, she said, is to give away money to clubs in the form of grants to support a wide variety of initiatives. One current example is the $500 check she presented to SRC in support of the recently-completed Viking Gym installation at Schodack Town Park.
She described the various components of the Rotary Foundation: the PolioPlus fund, with donations it receives matched 2-for-1 by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; the Endowment fund, to which Rotarians can leave bequests of money in their wills; and, the Share fund which earns interest and returns funds to Districts every three years to fund local grants.
Harriet spoke about a two-year master’s degree Peace Fellowships program funded by the Foundation. It is geared toward people with undergraduate degrees plus real-world work experience. It comes at no cost to clubs or Districts. Applications for the next round are now available. (Click here for details about the program.)
NEXT MEETING — 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 26, at Quigley’s. The speaker will be Allessandra Barbarossa, an Italian student currently studying at Columbia High School.