Foundation Bowl-a-Thon fun for all

The Southern Rensselaer County Rotary Club’s “Foundation Bowl-a-Thon” drew about 50 participants to the East Greenbush Bowling Center on Sunday.

The event was billed as a fundraiser for both the Oley Foundation and the Freedom From Fistula Foundation, organizations SRC helps support on an ongoing basis.

In addition to the bowlers, we had several event volunteers from the club and from the Danes Rotaract club we sponsor at the UAlbany School of Public Health. And, we had 24 lane sponsors at $100 each.

Here is a slideshow of some scenes from the day:

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You can help spread the word about our ‘Foundation Bowl-a-Thon’


Here again is a copy of the official flyer for the “SRC Foundation Bowl-a-Thon” we will be holding on Sunday, March 1, to benefit the Freedom From Fistula Foundation and the Oley Foundation.

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All members have been sent a (corrected) copy of this flyer. Please circulate it as much as you can to help publicize the event to the public — on social media, office bulletin boards, schools, grocery store notice boards, etc. We encourage people to put together 4-person teams from their churches, schools, places of work, neighborhoods, families, etc.

We also are seeking lane sponsorships at $100 each. Sponsors — businesses, individuals, etc. — will have their names displayed over the lanes, and they will be placed on the SRC website sponsors page for a full year. If you wish to become a sponsor and/or can sell a sponsorship, checks made payable to “SRC Rotary Club” should be given to Treasurer Murray Forth.

Thank you for your efforts in supporting our community services.


Save the date for our Foundation Bowl-a-Thon

Microsoft Word - Foundation Bowl-a-Thon flyer.docx

Over the years SRC has held bowl-a-thons to raise funds for a variety of causes — Rotary’s PolioPlus, Blue Star Mothers, Capital Region Nordic Alliance, student scholarships, etc. After a one-year hiatus, it’s coming back as “Foundation Bowl-a-Thon,” scheduled for March 1, 2020.

Please save the date!

Here’s the official flyer with all the details. We will be emailing copies to all SRC members so you can help share it on social media, print out dis distribute it via bulletin boards or as handouts at various events, and any other way you can think of to help publicize the fundraiser for the Oley Foundation and the Freedom From Fistula Foundation.

Our sponsors

Screen Shot 2020-03-19 at 9.37.01 PMWe thank the following organizations and individuals for being $100 lane sponsors for our Foundation Bowl-a-Thon event, held on Sunday, March 1, at the East Greenbush Bowling Center.


Top Form
Capital District YMCA
Forth Sports Floors
Amato Wealth Management
Recovery Sports Grill
Schodack Internal Medicine & Pediatrics / Community Care


Bill and April Dowd
James Leyhane Family
Team Leyhane
Richard Drumm
Debbie and Peter Brown
Roberto Martinez
Phil Kellerman
Terry and Betty Brewer
Geoff Brewer
Forth Family
Debbie and Chuck Rodriquez
Lois and Stewart Wagner
Carol Orvis

Meeting Clipboard: 2/27/20

SRC ClipboardHeld at Quigley’s Restaurant
573 Columbia Turnpike
East Greenbush, NY 12061

Members Attending (16): Phil Kellerman, Murray Forth, Terry Brewer, Pat Bailey, Debbie Brown, Peter Brown, Dean Calamaras, Doris Clamaras, Dick Drumm, Charlie Foote, Ray Hannan, Andy Leyhane, Jim Leyhane, Carol Orvis, Wells Packard, Debbie Rodriguez.

Guests (1): Ali.

Bowling logoMEETING MINUTES: President Phil welcomed everyone and introduced his guest, Ali. … Terry Brewer reported that the Foundation Bowl-a-Thon scheduled for this Sunday at the East Greenbush Bowling Center now has 23 sponsors at $100 each, and 28 pre-registered bowlers. Volunteers are needed for the two shifts. We will have a 50/50 raffle as an additional fundraiser. The Danes Rotaract club, which is sending nine bowlers, also will hold a 50/50 raffle. …

Screen Shot 2020-03-01 at 12.43.59 AMPhil, Debbie Rodriguez, and . and Becky attended a recent Freedom From Fistula Foundation event, and reported that there will be a fundraiser from 5 to 8 p.m. Monday, April 20, at the UAlbany School of Public Health to support Foundation-backed clinics in Africa. The event will include a silent auction. The club approved using the event as a substitute for our regularly scheduled dinner meeting of that week. Debbie Rodriguez requested that the club approve funds for silent auction items for the  event. Murray moved, Andy Leyhane seconded, and members approved without dissent a motion that $200 be used for that purpose. …

Screen Shot 2020-03-01 at 12.47.33 AMWells Packard reported that he has been certified as a Rotary Youth Exchange representative. Since it is not in our budget for this year and he wants to be sure we do everything correctly, Wells recommended we not host an exchange student until next year. Murray moved, Peter Brown seconded, and members approved without dissent a motion that Wells be officially designated our Club Exchange Officer. … Murray Forth reminded members that he still has Hoffman Car Wash tickets for sale. All proceeds go to the club treasury. …

60th logoBill Dowd reported via Murray that 45 members, guests, and children have made reservations to the Thursday, March 5, SRC 60th Anniversary Dinner at the Comfort Inn on Miller Road. The event will begin with a 6 p.m. meet-and-greet period. … Calendar reminders: There will be no dinner meeting on April 16 due to school vacations that week. … All members with March program assignment dates are asked to let Bill Dowd know details of their programs ASAP so they can be publicized.

Screen Shot 2020-02-24 at 1.24.14 PMPROGRAM:  “Journey to the Golan Heights”

Dean Calamaras presented an illustrated talk on his visit, with son Michael, to the beleagured area of the Middle East occupied  by Israel from Syria during the Six Day War in 1967.

His photos included a topographical map of the Golan area, the Nimrod ruins, and a Druze Village on the heights. He explained that resorts are being built in the area as it is a much higher elevation and, therefore, cooler than most parts of the hot, arid country.

Additional photos included those of the Golan Reservoir, a bunker on the heights, a collection of listening antennas, the view toward Syria and Lebanon, and a line of several tanks ready to defend Israel.


Meeting Clipboard: 2/13/20

SRC ClipboardHeld at Quigley’s Restaurant
573 Columbia Turnpike
East Greenbush, NY 12061

Members Attending (19): Phil Kellerman, Pat Bailey, Terry Brewer, Bill Dowd, Murray Forth, Roberto Martinez, Peter Brown, Debbie Brown, Dick Drumm, Ray Hannan, Jim Leyhane, Kevin Leyhane, Wells Packard, Carol Orvis, Dean Calamaras, Doris Calamaras, Becky Raymond, Debbie Rodriguez, Charlie Foote.

Guests (2): Noah Albanese, Hans Albanese.


Bowling logoMEETING NOTES: President Phil welcomed members and father-son guests Hans and Noah Albanese. … Terry Brewer reported that we have about 10 lane sponsors so far for the March 1 Foundation Bowl-a-Thon, and urged members to continue spreading the word about the event. He also encouraged people to create teams to compete in the fundraiser at the East Greenbush Bowling Center. … We received a handmade “thank you” gift and note from one of the Hazzard children we sponsored through Circles of Mercy in our annual Adopt-a-Family for Christmas program. …

60th logoOur annual Recycling/Shredding Day date has been changed to April 25. Members are again asked to share the official flyer they have been sent with their social media accounts, on bulletin boards, etc. … Coordinator Bill Dowd reminded everyone that Friday, Valentine’s Day, is the deadline for reserving seats at earlybird prices for our March 5 60th Anniversary Dinner at the Comfort Inn on Miller Road. Prices are $45 for adult, $10 for children 12 and under. After Friday, they go to $50 and $15 through the final deadline of the Thursday, February 20. Reservations must be made by email to Bill Dowd (, and checks made payable to SRC Rotary Club given to Treasurer Murray Forth. … Raffle tickets are being sold for our 3rd Cafe Capriccio Wine Dinner to be held on Saturday, March 28. The drawing is scheduled for our March 19 meeting. Tickets are $20 each for the private-room chef’s dinner valued at $1,300. …

Becky Raymond reported that a memorial for Rotarian Phil Nasca is planned at the UAlbany School of Public Health  from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 7. … Two board members from the Freedom From Fistula Foundation will visit the area on Monday, April 20, for a series of events involving SRC, Danes Rotaract, the School of Public Health, and Returned Peace Corps Volunteers. Details will be announced closer to the event. … There is no regular club meeting next week, but there will be a 6 p.m. Board of Directors meeting at Quigley’s. … We will resume weekly dinner meetings on Thursday, February 27.


PROGRAM: “The Tides of Fundy”

Dean Calamaras presented a travelogue on his and Doris’s visit to the Bay of Fundy, places of the highest tides in the world.

The bay is located between the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, with a small portion touching the state of Maine.

In addition to photos of the landscape between high and low tides and various waterways, Dean’s photos showed such things as waterside caves carved out of sedimentary rock over the centuries by the power of the tides; a hotel employee who took advantage of the tides for some regular surfing activities, and boats perched on muddy land at low tide.

Meeting Clipboard: 1/30/20

SRC ClipboardHeld at Quigley’s Restaurant
573 Columbia Turnpike
East Greenbush, NY 12061

Members Attending (18): Phil Kellerman, Pat Bailey, Terry Brewer, Bill Dowd, Murray Forth, Peter Brown, Debbie Brown, Dick Drumm, Ray Hannan, Jim Leyhane, Kevin Leyhane, Wells Packard, Carol Orvis, Dean Calamaras, Doris Calamaras, Becky Raymond, Debbie Rodriguez, Ray Hannan.

Guests (2): Jack Conway, Joshua Smith.

MEETING MINUTES: President Phil welcomed members and guests. … He reminded members that Bill Dowd has refreshed the supply of Clynk recycling bags and bar code stickers that help support ShelterBox and encouraged participation in the redemption-and-recycling program via Hannaford supermarkets. … Murray Forth noted that raffle tickets are being made available for the club’s 3rd Cafe Capriccio private wine dinner. …

Bill Dowd reminded members that discounted reservations for the club’s 60th Anniversary Party, scheduled for Thursday, March 5, are available through Valentine’s Day — $45 for adults, $10 for children under 12. After that, reservations are $5 more per category. Anyone wishing to attend is asked to contact Bill and make payment to Murray. … Terry Brewer reported that we are soliciting lane sponsorships and participants for our Foundation Bowl-a-Thon, scheduled for Sunday, March 1, at the East Greenbush Bowling Center. … Our next recycling/shredding event is set for Saturday, April 18. Members are asked to share the flyer via social media. …

Wells Packard presented an update on the Rotary Youth Exchange program, which he is working to resuscitate this academic year and next. His primary effort is to to establish a support system of host families through local schools. … Next week’s program will be Dean Calamaras with a travelogue on the “Tides of Fundy.”

PROGRAM: “The State of East Greenbush”

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Jack Conway

Jack Conway, just entering his second — and, as he proclaims, his final — term as supervisor of the Town of East Greenbush, presented his view of the “State of the Town.”

Jack concentrated on the rebirth of Columbia Turnpike, particularly its expanding lineup of ethnic restaurants he said he believes creates a more cosmopolitan tone from the addition of Asian fusion, Indian, and other ethnicities he said contradicts the idea that East Greenbush has no good restaurants. Rather, he said, there are at least 50 different choices.

Conway also provided details on a number of housing developments under way or proposed, and the broad scope of new businesses and the economic boom in development payments from corporations such as Regeneron that has paid more than $1 million to the town in recent months.

He also paid homage to several SRC members, calling Terry Brewer the best school superintendent in the county during his tenure with the East Greenbush Central School District and Dr. Dick Drumm as a compassionate businessman and veterinarian.




Meeting clipboard: 1/16/20

SRC ClipboardHeld at Quigley’s Restaurant
573 Columbia Turnpike
East Greenbush, NY 12061

Members Attending (15): Phil Kellerman, Pat Bailey, Terry Brewer, Geoff Brewer, Peter Brown, Debbie Brown, Dean Calamaras, Doris Calamaras, Dick Drumm, Murray Forth, Ray Hannan, Andy Leyhane, Jim Leyhane, Roberto Martinez, Wells Packard

Guests (6): Ruth Samuels Russell, Ryan Nowak, Madison Rifenberick, Mrs. Rifenberick, Madison Shumpert, Noah Mujalli

MEETING MINUTES: President Phil welcomed members and guests. … He reported that he and Wells Packard had attended the recent District Membership Training session and will discuss the information at the next Club Assembly, set for next Thursday, January 23. … Terry Brewer reported that the new Finance Committee will meet on Friday with A.J. Amato to discuss club investments and bookkeeping practices. …

Screen Shot 2020-01-18 at 3.37.57 PMWells Packard, who has accepted the role of club Youth Exchange Officer, explained that a student from Maple Hill High School has completed the process to be a Rotary Youth Exchange student next year. Now our club must decide whether to sponsor an incoming student as required by Rotary. He said he believes Maple Hill is receptive and will provide homes to the visiting student. This also will be a topic for the Assembly next Thursday. ….

60th logoCo-chairs Murray and Terry reported that lane sponsorship forms will be available next week for the March 1 Foundation Bowl-a-thon to benefit the Oley Foundation and the Freedom From Fistula Foundation. Businesses and/or individuals are invited to sponsor at $100 per lane. … Members are asked to contact Bill Dowd ASAP to make reservations for the club’s March 5 60th Anniversary Party. … Murray issued a save-the-date reminder that the next SRC Recycling & Shredding Day is scheduled for Saturday, April 18.

PROGRAM: New Visions Students’ Science Research Projects

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Ruth Russell with her New Visions students. From left: Madison Shumpert, Ryan Nowack, Madison Rifenberick, Noah Mujalli.

Debbie Brown introduced Ruth Russell, a professor of chemistry, biology, and mathematics. She is the project leader of the New Visions program’s Scientific Research and World Health Program, located at the UAlbany Health Sciences Campus in Rensselaer.

This program involves seniors from high schools in the region who spend five mornings each week researching scientific studies in addition to their usual class load. The program involves 15 to 18 students each academic year.

Ruth introduced four students to explain their projects:

• Madison “Maddy” Rifenberick, valedictorian for Troy High School, discussed mercury toxicity through ingestion or dental fillings and the risk of developing Parkinson ’s disease. Mercury can lead to the loss of dopamine receptors in the brain. Her study shows the majority of her subjects also had exposure to coal and often had a genetic factor. She explained that environmental risks clearly are a concern.

• Noah Mujalli, from Rensselaer High School, discussed his work on the pulmonary effects of hydrogen sulfide contamination from the Dunn Landfill in Rensselear. While the state Department of Environmental Conservation has said that hydrogen sulfide levels should not exceed .010 parts per million, tests show that levels around the landfill often exceed this, yet use permits have been given up to the year 2035. He explained his methods and talked about the risk of tumors and sarcoids (skin tumors)  that increases with higher limits. He recommended that those concerned speak up and attend town hall meetings.

• Ryan Nowak, a senior at Taconic Hills High School, discussed private wells near dairy farms and the risk of E. coli contamination in Columbia County. He said the increase in agriculture, while a good thing, also has added problems due to animal waste, the use of manure as fertilizer, and runoff into local streams. His surveys showed that nitrates were getting into local wells and water supplies, and he discussed possible symptoms of contamination. Ryan also spoke about the use of antibiotics in farming and the concern that this, too, can lead to new, resistant E. coli strains, so more study is needed.

• Madison Shumpert, a student at Shenendehowa High School, spoke on the effects of tetrahydrocannabinol — better known as THC, the primary psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis: i.e., the stuff in marijuana that gets you high — on the development of schizophrenia. Her study covered four countries that have liberal laws on the use of THC products. She said she is 90% confident that the higher use of cannabis can lead to the development of schizophrenia, but study is complicated by the variety of laws and regulations in each country.




Meeting clipboard: 1/9/20p

SRC ClipboardHeld at Quigley’s Restaurant
573 Columbia Turnpike
East Greenbush, NY 12061

Members Attending (18): Jim Leyhane, Kevin Leyhane, Dean Calamaras, Ray Hannan, Dick Drumm, Debbie Rodriguez, Pat Bailey, Wells Packard, Roberto Martinez, Murray Forth, Charlie Foote, Carol Orvis, Terry Brewer, Geoff Brewer, Phil Kellerman, Peter Brown, Debbie Brown, Jeff Simons.

Guests (5): Ida-Marie Lindberg, Jennifer Carraher, Jim McHugh, Michelle Hall, Alexandra Omicinsky.

MEETING MINUTES — President Phil Kellerman presided, welcoming members and guests to the first dinner meeting of 2020. … Phil will represent the club at the District 7190 Membership District Training sessions. … Treasurer Murray Forth reported that the themed gift basket silent auction at the recent Holiday Party he and Maggie hosted raised $500 for the club treasury. … Bill Dowd delivered $3,525 in member contributions to ShelterBox to the District SB liaisons Jack and Nancy Faddegon. …

Prices were set for the March 1 Foundation Bowl-a-Thon to raise funds for two organizations we regularly support — the Oley Foundation for people using tube feeding and the Freedom From Fistula Foundation that deals with women’s obstetrical issues in sub-Saharan Africa. Admission will be $15 per person, and lane sponsorships will be $100 each. … The date for the 2020 Gift of Life Golf Tournament fundraiser will be Monday, September 14. … New member Wells Packard reported that his daughter has been selected as a Rotary Exchange Student. She will spend an academic year in Germany. … Next week’s program involves Ruth Samuels and the New Visions project at the UAlbany School of Public Health.

Screen Shot 2020-01-09 at 10.22.52 PMPROGRAM: EGSCD English Language Learners

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Jeff Simons

Jeff Simons, superintendent of the East Greenbush Central School District and a former SRC Rotary member, was the guest speaker.

He introduced staffers involved in the languages programs. The number of  students involved in such study is growing faster Upstate than in other parts of New York. Nevertheless, the courses encourage students and their families to maintain their native languages while they increase their fluency in English.

The New York State Seal of Bi-Literacy is affixed to the diplomas of all students who are proficient in more than one language.