Meeting Clipboard 2/2/23

MEMBERS ATTENDING (14): Jim Leyhane, Andy Leyhane, Roberto Martinez, Debbie Rodriguez, Phil Kellerman, Peter Brown, Debbie Brown, Becky Raymond, Dick Drumm, Ray Hannan, Charlie Foote. John Justino, and Pat Bailey. By Zoom: Terry Brewer.

GUESTS (1): Cathy Stone.

President-Elect Peter Brown called the meeting to order.

Theme for the YearGrowing 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 President Kevin Leyhane or any board member who will be attending the meeting. Proxy votes can also be submitted using the Remind App. Text to the number 81010.


District Reorganization:  Our three upstate NY districts (7150, 7170, and 7190) will become one district as of July 1, 2024. We are not looking at this as a “merger,” but as an opportunity to create something new, called CNY Rotary. Roberto Martinez, Jim Leyhane and Dick Drumm joined the District Zoom session this past Monday night to learn more about the direction CNY (Central New York) Rotary is heading.  The new District will have a President instead of a Governor. The CNY District will encompass 100 clubs. They are working out the details of the executive and club structures. The districts will be combining their expertise. District 7190 does a lot of projects, whereas the other two Districts excel at attracting new members. The Exchange Programs, Shelter Box, Polio and donations to the Foundation all remain unchanged. The district’s financing will have to merge. Many things are still in the discussion stage. There are a few more opportunities to find out about the District Reorganization. The next Zoom meeting will be held on February 9th. We also encourage you to visit the CNY Rotary Website (CNY, District 7190 website and visit the FAQ, and the Facebook page.

Rotary Bowling Event:  Per Phil Kellerman, April 2nd (Sunday) is available. The lanes open at noon. It will cost $16 per person for 2 hours of bowling and this includes the shoes. We can do noon to 2 pm and/or 2:15 pm to 4:15 pm. If we choose two sessions, then we have to change sides and lanes. We can accommodate 48 to 80 participants per session. We can also do a food drive for the local food pantry and offer a discount for each food item donated. Phil requested a decision by next week.

Bylaw Change: The Bylaw changes were read again and put to a vote. The changes were unanimously approved.

          Current Bylaw:  Section 3: Twelve (12) members constitute a quorum at the regular meetings of this club. Written proxy votes submitted to the president in advance of a meeting may be counted toward achieving a quorum.

          Proposed Bylaw:  Section 3: Ten (10) members constitute a quorum at the regular meetings of this club.  Written and electronic proxy votes submitted in advance of the meeting to any board member attending the meeting may be counted toward achieving a quorum.

Viking Gym: Ron Annis Zoomed in from Sweden to join Roberto Martinez, Jim Leyhane, Dick Drumm and Debbie Rodrigez at the meeting at the Schodack Town Hall. Rotary members met with Charles Peter, Schodack Town Supervisor, and Kevin Konig, Parks Supervisor. Ron Annis had emailed some pictures of equipment from a company he identified. The equipment ranges in from $1100 to $3200 per piece. Shipping is included and we can do the installation. The equipment is guaranteed for 10 years. Per Mr. Peter, he has had a preliminary discussion with the Town Board about the project. Beside the current location at the Schodack Town Park, Mr. Peter also offered the land next to the Town Hall for the Viking Gym. Mr. Peter also wants to explore corporate sponsorships for the project which could be acknowledged on the donated pieces of equipment. Ron will send a pricing request for 5 to 10 pieces of equipment to the company. He will also draft a donation letter and a short description of the project.

Albany Water Project Presentation: Len Tantillo, noted historical artist, and B.J. Costello will speak on March 9th about the proposed waterway in downtown Albany. Family and friends are encouraged to attend.

Plaque at Moscatellos: It was suggested that a “Rotary Meets Here” plaque be purchased for Moscatellos. Per Roberto Martinez, the Restaurant management will need to see what it looks like.

One District One Book: Jeff Simons, Superintendent of the East Greenbush Central School District, sent a letter on behalf of their Global Education Committee requesting that Rotary consider purchasing 400 copies of “The Elephant in the Room” for approximately $1500. The Committee is sponsoring a District Wide Project to have the entire District read “The Elephant in the Room” by Holly Goldberg Sloan.

Next Meeting: Thursday, February 9, 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. Our speakers will be students from the Maple Hill International Club.

Entree choices will be Chicken Caeser Salid, Penne in Pesta Cream Sauce and Linguini with Baby Clams in White Wine Sauce.

Cathy Stone presents on The Importance and Benefits of Therapy Dogs.

Cathy Stone has two therapy dogs, Henry Charles and Piper. Both are standard poodles. Poodles do not shed and are hypoallergenic. She has been working as a therapy dog owner for eight years. She got involved with having her dogs be therapy dogs because she wanted to volunteer and have it be meaningful. Owners and their therapy dogs are not paid. It is strictly a volunteer service.

Therapy dogs support people’s mental and physical well-being by providing affection and comfort. Dogs of any age can be a therapy dog. Dogs are temperament screened after birth and they must be very calm, friendly, not afraid of loud noises and not bark all the time. Their owner trains them to sit, stand, lay down, and come when called. They should meet the standards for the Canine Good Citizen Certification. Therapy dogs provide instant satisfaction and calmness. They are uplifting, bring joy, release strain and tension, can lower blood pressure and help with depression. Therapy dogs are used in such settings as pediatric clinics, hospitals, nursing homes and schools. Therapy dogs are not emotional support dogs.

Therapy dogs must be licensed by organizations such as Therapy Dogs International and Bright and Beautiful. These organizations screen the volunteer and the dog, provide liability insurance and memorandums of understanding with hospitals, schools and other organizations that use therapy dogs. They also provide education about the importance of having therapy dogs. The dog must be at least one year old to take the Therapy Dog test. There are 13 elements to the test and the dog must pass every element to receive a license. Such elements include food refusal, not responding to loud noises and being able to focus only on the owner in the presence of other distractions. Once licensed, the rest is on the job training. Licenses must be renewed every year.

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