Meeting Clipboard 1/5/23

MEMBERS ATTENDING (13): Kevin Leyhane, Jim Leyhane, Charlie Foote, Andy Leyhane, Roberto Martinez, Pat Bailey, Ray Hannan, Debbie Rodriguez, Peter Brown, Debbie Brown, Phil Kellerman, and Dick Drumm, By Zoom: Murray Forth.

GUESTS (1): Richard Zazycki 

President Kevin Leyhane called the meeting to order.


Theme for the Year: Growing Fellowship and Service Locally and Globally.” 

Hybrid Meeting:  Please let Kevin Leyhane, Jim Leyhane or Roberto Martinez know if you plan to join the weekly meeting via Zoom.

Proxy Votes:  If unable to attend please submit your proxy votes to Kevin Leyhane. Proxy votes can also be submitted using the Remind App. Text to the number 81010.

Circles of Mercy Adopt a Family:  Once again, members provided all the gifts from both family’s lists along with additional gift cards. All gifts were delivered to Circles of Mercy on December 19, 2022.  We are looking forward to continuing this Holiday tradition in 2023.

Holiday Party:  Thank you to everyone that invited guests and supported the gift basket auction. The auction raised $675 dollars.

Cafe Capriccio Raffle: Tickets for a dinner for 12 at Cafe Capriccio are still available from Andy Leyhane. All members are asked to sell ten raffle tickets for $20 each. The drawing is planned for January 19th. The dinner will be held sometime in February on a date mutually agreeable with the Restaurant and the raffle winner.

Student Exchange Program: Peter Brown and Jim Leyhane will be meeting with Jeff Simons, Superintendent of the East Greenbush Central School District, next week.

Guest Speakers and Calendar:  The calendar has been updated and we are looking to book speakers for the upcoming year:  If you know someone that would be interested, please reach out to Kevin Leyhane, Peter Brown or Becky Raymond.

Next Meeting: Thursday, January 12, dinner at 6:00 pm at Moscatiello’s Italian Family Restaurant, Route 4, North Greenbush. Also, you can join the by Zoom using the link on the websites calendar page.

Entree choices will be Eggplant Parmesan, Chicken Caesar Salad or Chicken Marsala.

Circles of Mercy

Richard Zazycki, Executive Director of Circles of Mercy, spoke about the services and programs provided to the Rensselaer Community.

During 2021, Circles of Mercy assisted “over 1,600 clients who required over 7,000 service transactions.” The thrift store Catherine’s Closet provided more than 150 grants for clothing for adults and children and for baby supplies. For every dollar donated, 87 cents go directly to programs and services. Due to COVID, they were unable to conduct the Walk for Mercy and the Irish Night Out, two of their major fundraisers.

Through the Cate’s Kid Program, Cirles of Mercy collaborate with other non-profit agencies such as the Rensselaer School District, the Rensselaer Boyes and Girls Club, the Rensselaer Street Soldiers, and the CEO Rensselaer Family Resource Center’s Head Start Program. They are able to share resources and/or donated materials.

Eight grade students from the Doane Stuart School in Rensselaer participate in the “First Friday Club” where they come to Circles of Mercy once a month to perform community service.

In partnership with the IRS, the annual VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) Program will begin on or after January 23rd. Low-income clients and seniors will be able to access both in-person and virtual tax preparation services. Last year “377 tax returns filed resulted in combined refunds and tax credits of $524,565.”

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