Meeting Clipboard: 1/13/22

MEMBERS ATTENDING (18): Debbie Rodriguez, Bill Dowd, Charlie Foote, Becky Raymond, Roberto Martinez, Jim Leyhane, Dick Drumm, Terry Brewer, Geoff Brewer, Peter Brown, Debbie Brown, Phil Kellerman, Pat Bailey, Tony Morris, Kevin Leyhane, Carol Orvis (by proxy), Dean Calamaras (by proxy), Doris Calamaras (by proxy).

GUESTS (2): District Assistant Governor C.G. Frink, guest speaker Mike Stahl.


• President Debbie Rodriguez called the meeting to order via Zoom, and noted the presence of a quorum.

• Debbie shared the outcome of her discussion with Schodack town officials concerning the collapse of the viking gym that was constructed in 2017 at Schodack Town Park as a co-op venture of SRC, then-Eagle Scout candidate Lorenzo Gonzalez, Top Form, and the town. She said she was told the normal wear-and-tear on the installation wore it down, and much of it has been hauled away by the town. The town said it was popular with park visitors, and would like to rebuild, and perhaps expand, it. A grant from Amazon toward park facilities is available to help pay for the initiative. SRC member Ron Annis, who will be returning from Sweden in the spring, will again work with the town and the club on resurrecting the facility.

• Debbie reiterated that we have put in-person meetings on pause through January as we continue to asses the local COVID situation. Members again were advised to check our events on the website calendar page which is regularly updated. And, anyone who wishes to reserve a date for a speaker should contact Becky or Kevin.

• Mike Stangl presented a program on his work around the globe on design and installation of solar energy arrays. For the past 11 years, he has been working on such projects in Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, and North America. Much of it involves U.S. embassies.

He noted that while solar energy provides only about 3% of our domestic energy production today, it is an important part of our total energy grid. In some other countries, it is more desired because of local conditions. His slideshow covered examples of projects in Cambodia and Nigeria as well as graphic descriptions of the process of creating and utilizing solar systems. Some examples:

Meeting Minutes: 1/6/22

MEMBERS ATTENDING (18): Debbie Rodriguez, Bill Dowd, Becky Raymond, Charlie Foote, Peter Brown, Debbie Brown, Pat Bailey, Murray Forth, Roberto Martinez, Jim Leyhane, Ray Hannan, Andy Leyhane, Dick Drumm, Kevin Leyhane, Carol Orvis (by proxy), Dean Calamaras (by proxy), Doris Calamaras (by proxy), Tony Morris (by proxy).


President Debbie Rodriguez, presiding over our first session of 2022, called the meeting to order via Zoom and declared the presence of a quorum.


• Becky Raymond reported that she visited the Schodack town park on Route 150, site of the Viking gym and playground built there in 2017 and co-sponsored by SRC, then-Eagle Scout candidate Lorenzo Gonzales, member Ron Annis’s Top Form company, and the Town of Schodack. She said the rustic gym appears to have been dismantled and parts carried off. Debbie Rodriguez said she would check with the town to see what happened to the gym and will report back to the club. We also will contact Ron, now spending the winter in Sweden, to see if he has any knowledge of the playground/gym tentatively scheduled for an expansion later this year.

• President Debbie said the club has sent a $500 check to the Mayfield (KY) Rotary Club to be put toward relief efforts for the area hardest hit by recent tornadoes.

• Bill Dowd volunteered to serve on a screening committee selecting candidates for District Governor. He has represented the club in the same capacity in the past.

• Debbie verified that we raised $650 through the silent auction of themed gift baskets at the annual Holiday Party & Basket Auction in December. The money goes to the club treasury to help underwrite community service projects.

• Roberto Martinez said he spoke with District Governor Bruce McConnellee today about assistance for purchasing audio-visual equipment to facilitate meetings, and that $150 is available to any club undertaking such an effort. The money will be supplied if the club sends the district a receipt for any such microphone/camera purchases.

• Because of the current upsurge in COVID cases locally, member consensus tonight was to suspend in-person meetings until at least February. Instead, we will meet each Thursday at 7 p.m. via ZOOM, and give our scheduled speakers the option of rescheduling or making their presentations virtually. Roberto Martinez will contact management of Moscatiello’s restaurant to let them know about the change and lock in February dinner meeting dates.

Nearly time to get your party hat on!

Well, another messy year is nearly down the drain. So, don your party hat — and probably your face mask, depending on what you plan on doing — and jump into 2022 in just a little over two days from now.

We’re not sure what the world has in store for us in the new year, but we do know some of the things the Southern Rensselaer County Rotary Club has lined up.

Such programs as a travelogue to a forgotten city, the resumption of our annual trivia competition, and presentations by a variety of speakers all are on tap. You can get the details by regularly visiting our club calendar online.

And remember, we’re always looking for more programs. Just check the calendar to see what’s available, then contact Becky Raymond or Kevin Leyhane to lock in the date you want and provide them with the details.

Meanwhile, begin the countdown, and … Happy New Year!

God bless us, everyone!

Alastair Sim as Scrooge in ‘A Christmas Carol’

Well, that’s what Tiny Tim said at the conclusion of the classic 1951 film “A Christmas Carol.” But, Ebeneezer Scrooge had more memorable lines.

For example, this all-encompassing commentary that tells us all it’s never too late to become a better person:

“I don’t know anything. I never did know anything. But now I KNOW that I don’t know anything. I never did know anything. But now I know that I don’t know. All on a Christmas morning.”

And, as we all continue to evolve and gain wisdom, a very Merry Christmas to all of us.

Thanks again for your generosity!

Just a part of the bounty of gifts you donated this year.

Imagine thinking your young children would be waking up tomorrow morning to a very sparse Christmas. Now, imagine as a single parent receiving a call from Circles of Mercy, telling you not to be concerned, the Southern Rensselaer County Rotary Club has come through once again.

That’s what happened thanks to our “Adopt-a-Family” effort for 2021, with a big boost from the Greenbush YMCA. Two moms and six kids are receiving a variety of “needs to have” and “nice to have” items donated by the generous folks of both of these organizations, and a few of their friends.

To all who helped in one way or another — wrapped gifts, gift cards, pickups, deliveries, etc. — thank you, thank you, thank you.

What’s our Clynk impact (besides money)?

Have you wondered about our collective environmental impact from recycling through Clynk?

The accompanying graphic gives you a bit of an idea. That’s in addition to the money we raise for ShelterBox (our most recent contribution was a check for $500.)



Remember, all you need to participate in our Clynk effort is an official collection bag (buy ’em at any Hannaford customer service counter), a bar code sticker (get ’em from Bill Dowd) and … oh, yes, some redeemable beverage containers.

No need to rinse or sort the glass, metal, or plastic containers. Simply stick them all in the same bag, stop in at a Hannaford market, use the bar code reader and drop the bag in the chute. Voila! Money for ShelterBox and less clutter in your house.

So, pack up all those holiday beverage containers. And, you don’t have to be a Rotarian to join the club’s effort.

Holiday frivolity, and welcome to a new member

A seasonal salute to Rotary.

After a year off because of you-know-what, the “SRC Holiday Party & Basket Silent Auction” returned on Thursday evening, with a large group assembling at Moscatiello’s Italian Family Restaurant for dinner, fellowship, and some catching up among people who hadn’t seen each other in a while.

In addition to the fun, we raised more than $600 for the club treasury through the silent auction.Thanks to all who contributed themed baskets, and to those who bid on them.

Another one of the highlights was the official induction of Tony Morris as a member of Rotary, with Jim Leyhane doing the honors. Tony has been part of SRC for a while, but COVID restrictions delayed the formality. Welcome, Tony!

The dinner was the last SRC event of 2021, but we are lining up plenty of activities for the new year. Just make a practice of regularly checking the website calendar page to stay in the loop.

Meanwhile, here are a few more scenes from the evening captured by Bill Dowd and Roberto. Special thanks to Debbie Brown for providing the floral table decorations. And, thanks to Roberto Martinez and Jim Leyhane for arranging the dinner.

It may look something like The Last Supper, but it isn’t. We’ll have more.

Tony raises the flag after his induction by Jim.

Bidding early, bidding often.

Tangible proof that the basket fundraiser was paying off.

Mary Drumm and the Brewers catching up.
Bill & April Dowd pose for the camera.
Phil Kellerman and Andy Leyhane exchange beer tips.
April visits with (some of) the Leyhanes.
Roberto Martinez and his infectious smile.
Tony & Debbie Morris await his induction.
Debbie Brown ponders a bid.
Pat Bailey and Chuck Rodriguez deep in financial discussion.
Some more relaxed chat.

A picture of contentment.

Some late Christmas shopping?

How to help Kentucky tornado relief

Part of the tornado damage in Mayfield, KY.

The Southern Rensselaer County Rotary Club will be sending a $500 check to a Kentucky Rotary club to go toward relief efforts in the wake of devastating tornadoes there.

Any individual Rotarians and friends of Rotary who wish to send checks in any amount large or small are asked to:

(1.) Make checks payable to “Mayfield Rotary Club”

(2.) Enter the phrase “Tornado Relief” in the memo line

(3.) Mail checks to John William Carrico, Administrator, 300 Wexford Court, Paducah, KY 42003

Thanks for all you do.