Held at Quigley’s Restaurant
573 Columbia Turnpike
East Greenbush, NY 12061
Members Attending (17): Andy Leyhane, Jim Leyhane, Doris Calamaras, Dean Calamaras, Ray Hannan, Bill Dowd, Roberto Martinez, Carol Orvis, Murray Forth, Pat Bailey, Debbie Rodriguez, Peter Brown, Debbie Brown, Becky Raymond, Phil Kellerman, Dick Drumm, Maggie Forth.
Guests (5): Ruth Samuels Russell, Ruthann Flick, Jessica Beskid, Zaid Shehzad, Jeremy Forth.
MEETING NOTES: President Andy Leyhane welcomed Rotarians and our guests, including a contingent from the Questar III New Visions program. …A recent Board decision to stop the monthly breakfast meetings due to poor attendance resulted in the need to amend the club’s Bylaws in the areas directly relating to those meetings — approved meetings, quorum requirements, and new-member requirements. All members had been sent proposed language via email at least 10 days earlier as required to allow a vote, then sent a followup email, and the language also was posted on the website. Bill Dowd moved, and numerous people seconded, a vote in favor of the changes. It was approved without dissent. (Click here to see the updated Bylaws.) …
Andy asked for, and received, member approval to make a $250 grant to help underwrite the costs of the Greenbush YMCA’s annual appreciation dinner for the Capital Region Miracle League that provides a variety of athletic programs for people with disabilities. The Y is seeking volunteers from SRC, Danes Rotaract, and anyone else interested in helping set up and serve the dinner. … Seats still are available for the “Rotary Home Cooking” Hungarian beef dinner being hosted at 6 p.m. Saturday, April 13, by Dean and Doris Calamaras. Please contact them by email or by calling 518-477-4694 if you would like to attend. … That same day, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., we will hold our latest “Recycling & Shredding Day” at the Wainschaf Associates warehouse facility in Rensselaer behind Target. We have a fair number of volunteers signed up to staff this major fundraiser but can always use more. Please contact Murray Forth if you are interested. …
Next Thursday’s meeting is the deadline for contributing items for our annual Easter basket drive. Coordinator Debbie Brown reported that the YMCA will assemble 50 baskets, the Cub Scouts 25 baskets, and SRC members and Danes Rotaract any contributions beyond that in time to meet the deadline for the Circles of Mercy organization. … District 7190 will hold a multi-faceted training day in Schenectady on Saturday, April 6. We need a minimum of two SRC members to attend the grants training portion of the day, and Becky Raymond and Bill Dowd have stepped up to participate. However, because we need a minimum of two and in the past have had last-second dropouts, it would be best to have one or two more. Please contact Bill if willing to attend. …
The Danes Rotaract group has extended an invitation for SRC members to join them in a short work session from 10 a.m. to noon this Sunday at the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York, 965 Albany Shaker Road, Latham, near the Albany International Airport. … Jim Leyhane is taking reservations for a driver education course (open to non-Rotarians as well) set for 11 .m. Saturday, May 11, at Quigley’s. The price is $35, and we’ll chip in a few bucks each for pizza and soft drinks. If you want to earn a discount on your auto insurance, see Jim ASAP. … Next Thursday’s meeting will feature Dr. Valerie Rapson, outreach astronomer from the Dudley Observatory. … The SRC Board of Directors will meet following the regular meeting on Thursday, April 18.
Ruth Samuels Russell, PhD, a specialist in pathobiology and molecular medicine who works with students in the Questar III New Visions “Scientific Research & World Health” program, introduced a trio of high school seniors who described their work in the curriculum and their plans for future study.
They were: Jessica Beskid and Ruthann Flick of Averill Park High School and Zaid Shehzad of Shenendehowa High.
They all are involved in scientific research involving large problems and how they affect the population. At the end of their course. they receive up to 15 college credits. While Ruthann will be attending Binghamton University in the fall, Jessica and Zaid have not yet finalized their college plans.
The New Visions course is a highly selective college level educational experience offered to academically advanced high school seniors living in the Capital Region. It involves hands-on lab research in emerging biotechnologies, scientific literacy, and global health.
Their home venue is the UAlbany School of Public Health at the Health Sciences Campus in Rensselaer, although they maintain connections with their home schools. Students examine emerging biological research efforts and global health issues. They support their studies by reading some of the literary works that changed the world and by studying current scientific and medical journals. Students work independently and collaboratively to explore solutions to real-life issues.
In summary, their work as presented:
Jessica: Studied endocrine-disrupting chemicals on the increased prevalence of hypothyroidism in America (mostly white women, runs in the family).
Zaid: Studied the environmental impact on AFM (acute flaccid myelitis), which usually occurs in children (average victim is a six-year-old boy) after an upper respiratory infection. It can cause some paralysis, and there is no known preventative. Easily confused with polio. It is a very rare disease that has gone up to 500 cases since 2014, after being seen only once every decade or so. Very little research has been done on it. His next project is to study thrombosis in cancer patients and why anticoagulants don’t always work well to prevent or break up clots.
Ruthann: Studied how does exposure to organophosphate pesticides before age five affect neuro-development of children. The pesticides have been around since World War I. Victims tend to be male because the cortical layer of brain develops slower in boys than in girls and cannot protect as well. Her next project is to study the blood/brain barrier and increased impaired permeability after strokes (87% of strokes are ischemic).