MEMBERS ATTENDING (19): Debbie Rodriguez, Pat Bailey, Bill Dowd, Kevin Leyhane, Terry Brewer, Becky Raymond, Andy Leyhane, Shannon Romanowski, Peter Brown, Charlie Foote, Phil Kellerman, Jim Leyhane, Roberto Martinez, Dick Drumm, Tony Morris, Carol Orvis (by proxy), Debbie Brown (by proxy), Dean Calamaras (by proxy) Doris Calamaras (by proxy).
GUESTS (2): Richard Zazycki, Debbie Morris.
President Debbie Rodriguez called the meeting to order at Moscatiello’s Italian Family Restaurant. A quorum was present, plus four members by proxy.
• Debbie announced that the District is seeking candidates for District Governor 2024-25. Anyone interested in being nominated and interviewed for the post is asked to let her know. All candidates go through an interview process by a panel appointed by the District.
• Becky Raymond reported that the NYSCR Danes Rotaract club we sponsor is working on a joint effort with the Mooncatcher Project to create and ship feminine hygiene kits to young women in Africa. The club supported a smiliar effort, headed by the Niskayuna club, in 2020 (see details here). She also said several new Rotaract members have been recruited.
• Shannon Romanowski reported that the Greenbush YMCA’s annual Community Basket Brigade, to which SRC donated $250, provided 502 families with full Thanksgiving meal baskets, including turkeys.
• Bill Dowd reported that our annual “Adopt-a-Family” effort for Circles of Mercy was going well, with a half-carload of donated gifts received before the meeting. (The Greenbush Y is handling efforts to supply another family for us.) He said he will be in the Moscatiello’s parking lot from 5:30 to 6 p.m. next WEDNESDAY to receive the remainder of gifts. He reminded attendees that he is regularly refreshing the website chart with gifts still needed and including a red banner on the post that lets people know when the list was last updated.
• Bill also reported that the club will be sending a $500 check to ShelterBox from proceeds from our ongoing Clynk container recycling program. He also noted that several members made individual donations during “Giving Tuesday” which are matched dollar-for-dollar. SRC has been a longtime strong financial supporter of the ShelterBox organization. Past District Governor Larry Jones, our District’s liaison with ShelterBox, will be our guest speaker on February 24 with an update on ShelterBox’s activities.
• Discussion was held about the Holiday Party & Theme Basket Raffle. It is scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday December 16, at Moscatiello’s. All fully vaxxed members and their fully vaxxed guests are invited. Cost will be about $35 per person (still being negotiated) with a cash bar.
• In a post-meeting note, Roberto Martinez reported that we have sold $300 in Hoffman Car Wash tickets, proceeds going to the club treasury.
• Next Meeting: 7 p.m. Thursday, December 9, via Zoom. As always, go to the website calendar page and click on the link for that date to access the session.
• PROGRAM: Richard Zazycki, executive director of Circles of Mercy, was our guest speaker. He discussed the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on funding his organization, which provides family services to people in need. Despite the limitations on in-person fundraisers, Circles has been able to secure a number of grants as well mantain ties with other service organizers such as Rotary.
Richard also provided a rundown on the number of families and individuals served in the past 12 months through the clothing thrift shop, income tax prep services, job interview techniques, financial counseling, computer instructions, etc. He also noted that Circles continues to be interested in purchasing a building to house its thrift shop, offices and class spaces rather than continuing to pay rent.