Boat House selloff to benefit Rotary Foundation

A Glenville Rotarian is using his business closing as a way to raise funds for The Rotary Foundation.

Bud Halsey is the owner of the Boat House in Niskayuna. He is closing the operation, located on the Mohawk River, near the Rexford Bridge, where he sells a wide range of kayak/canoe/crew accessories and water sports equipment. 

Bud says he is selling everything, and all money raised will be donated to The Rotary Foundation.

So, for you water sports enthusiasts, this is a great opportunity to help this fellow Rotarian sell down his inventory while at the same time making an investment in Rotary at the same time.  If you do visit, be sure to identify yourself as a Rotarian.

The Boat House is located at 2855 Aqueduct Road. Phone: 518-393-5711.

Meeting Clipboard: 2/18/21

MEMBERS ATTENDING (17): Dick Drumm, Bill Dowd, Murray Forth, Jim Leyhane, Debbie Rodriguez, Terry Brewer, Carol Orvis, Ray Hannan, Phil Kellerman, Roberto Martinez, Peter Brown, Debbie Brown, Tony Morris, Pat Bailey, Charlie Foote, Dean Calamaras, Doris Calamaras.

GUESTS: None.

MEETING NOTES: President Dick Drumm welcomed members and led a brief discussion of COVID vaccine experiences. Most members have had at least one shot, several have had both, and several have not been able to get on a list. Members shared possibilities and contact points. … Roberto Martinez, speaking on behalf of project coordinator Shannon Romanowski, reported that progress is being made toward the goal of providing 150 Easter baskets for kids through Circles of Mercy. Donated basket items are being accepted during regular hours at the Greenbush YMCA. The shopping list and project timeline are on the club website. Shannon said anyone not comfortable shopping for items can send a check payable to the Greenbush YMCA to cover the cost of baskets: 20 Community Way, East Greenbush NY 12061. (Be sure to include a note saying the check is for Easter baskets. …

Reminder that the deadline for registration for the virtual March 27 Rotary Leadership Institute is March 20, and the club will reimburse registrants for the $25 fee. Bill Dowd noted that anyone interested in this and other signups can simply go to the clkub website’s calendar page and click on the event rather than search through the website postings if they haven’t bother reading them as they are posted. … Reminder that Jim and Roberto still have some handcrafted scented soaps to sell, and Murray still has Hoffman Car Wash tickets. … Bill suggested that, since we have not had a major fundraiser this year, we begin looking into the possibility of a spring recycling/shredding event in case the pandemic eases enough to allow it to be held. Murray said he will check with our usual vendors to ascertain their availability and report back to the club next week. …

Terry Brewer reported on this week’s Foundation Subcommittee meeting. He explained some of the pros and cons of creating a foundation compared to attaching to RI’s Foundation. Continued study is under way, and another meeting is scheduled for 2/22. … Debbie Rodriguez noted that a meeting of the Danes Rotaract board was held this week, which prompted Bill to report that the club has received an email

Happy birthday to us!

Sixty-one years ago on this date, the foundation for what now is the Southern Rensselaer County Rotary Club was laid when the newly-chartered East Greenbush club met for the first time.

The name was changed in the 1990s to reflect the expansion of its area of membership and service, and the organization continues to this day to be one of the premier community service entities in the Capital Region.

So, if you’re baking or grocery shopping today, why not include a cake in your plans, and light a bunch of candles in honor of SRC?

Meeting Clipboard: 2/25/21

MEMBERS ATTENDING (17): Dick Drumm, Bill Dowd, Tony Morris, Murray Forth, Ray Hannan, Peter Brown, Debbie Brown, Roberto Martinez, Kevin Leyhane, Debbie Rodriguez, John Justino, Dean Calamaras, Doris Calamaras, Charlie Foote, Phil Kellerman, Andy Leyhane, Pat Bailey.

GUESTS: None.

MEETING NOTES:

President Dick Drumm welcomed members. …

• Danes Rotaract faculty adviser John Justino reported on a meeting with Rich Welty of the Albany club and UAlbany student Erica Strand, a former Interact member, who want to form a Rotaract club on the school’s Uptown Campus, primarily for undergraduates. John noted that the Danes Rotaract club on the East Campus that we sponsor is composed of graduate students and alums, and that a cooperative effort of two such clubs might extend Rotary’s reach into the college demographic. …

• Dick appointed a Nominating Committee consisting of himself, Bill Dowd, and Roberto Martinez. They will meet, establish a slate of Board candidates for the 2021-22 Rotary Year, disseminate the list via e-mail to members over the weekend, then hold a vote next Thursday, March 4. That will firm up our incoming Board in time for the Presidents-elect PETS training scheduled for March 6 and the Treasurer and Secretary training session scheduled for March 13. …

• The Foundation Subcommittee is scheduled to meet with an RI representative on Monday to complete research on our decisions on financial futures. The group will report to the members at the March 4 virtual meeting . …

• Last week, Bill Dowd suggested we work on setting a date for a Recycling-and-Shredding Day since we have not had a major fundraising effort in more than a year. Murray Forth reported that since then he has checked with the recyclers we have used before and that both are available. We now will work on setting a date for the event, bearing in mind how COVID vaccinations and infection rates are going locally.

PROGRAM: Tony Morris, our newest member, presented the details of his Your CBD Store franchise, as well as the emerging field of CBD health products.

Tony explained that cannabidiol, popularly called CBD, sold as part of his company’s product line is obtained from industrial hemp, a cousin of the marijuana plant that does not contain halucinogenics. It has been a legal substance nationwide since passage of the federal 2018 Farm Bill. He said it works through the cannabinoids signaling system present in mammalian bodies, with CBD products supplementing natural cannabinoids. Products are formulated for both humans and pets.

He said that this is a “virtually unregulated industry, so there’s a lot of crap out there.” He described the process his 600-store parent company, SunFlora, goes through rigorous process to source and create a line of capsules, oil-based tinctures, and topically-applied supplements. Prices range from as little as $35 to as much as several hundred dollars depending on CBD concentration (20% discount for Rotarians). Uses can be for localized pain relief, skin care, sleep aids, anxiety, inflammation, and more.

Tony’s store is located in the Hannaford Plaza in East Greenbush. Phone: 518-650-7117.

‘Young People Speak’ about life in Rotary

If you missed Monday’s multi-district panel discussion called “Young People Speak,” an insight into what young people experience in Rotary, you may want to give it a try by clicking on the video above.

The panelists, who were from Upstate New York districts, talked about what attracted them to Rotary, what turned them off about Rotary, and what Rotary clubs can do to connect with youths — provide guidance (loosely!), have a strong orientation program, be welcoming, encourage teamwork, be flexible, and be people of action.

Give it a try. You may find the video enlightening and helpful as we try to refresh our club membership.


A very merry unbirthday

Those with a knowledge of the “Alice In Wonderland” stories know one celebration typical in her topsy-turvy world was an “unbirthday” party, of which you can have 364 a year. Unfortunately, Rotary District 7190 may have inadvertently duplicated the idea.

An email sent out to all Rotarians in the District, and copied and distributed by various clubs’ websites and Facebook pages such as ours, provided a zoom link to the virtual 116th birthday celebration of Rotary International and the accompanying online auction fundraiser. Regretably, the email was in error as to the proper link.

A late correction was sent out in an email blast, but there’s no telling how many people didn’t see it in time to particptae in the event. Luckily, the auction had been going on for several weeks before the party, and wound up raising about $4,000, according to District Governor Richard Griesche.

So, apologies if you were misled and missed the party, but thanks if you were one of the auction bidders who helped make the fundraiser a success.


Meeting Clipboard: 2/11/21

MEMBERS ATTENDING (19): Dick Drumm, Bill Dowd, Debbie Rodriguez, Dean Calamaras, Doris Calamaras, Ray Hannan, Pat Bailey, Roberto Martinez, Jim Leyhane, Tony Morris, Phil Kellerman, Peter Brown, Debbie Brown, Carol Orvis, Becky Raymond, Murray Forth, Kevin Leyhane, Charlie Foote, Andy Leyhane.

GUESTS (2): Gift of Life International CEO Rob Raylman, Assistant District Governor C.G. Frinke.

MEETING NOTES: President Dick Drumm welcome members and our guests, Gift of Life International CEO Rob Raylman, Assistant District Governor C.G. Frinke of the Albany club. … Members were reminded to register for the Rotary Leadership Institute (RLI) virtual workshop before the February 20 deadline (click here for details) and the February 22 multi-district “Young People Speak” panel discussion (click here for details). …

Guest Speaker: Rob Raylman, who has held the GOL post since February 2008, graduated from Hobart College in 1984 with a degree in political science. Directly out of college, he went to work for then-U.S. Senator Alphonse D’Amato (R-NY) from 1984 to 1986. He worked for Browning Ferris Industries (BFI) in Albany from January 1987 until 1999, where he was a vice president, and from 1999 to 2007 managed his own political consulting business. As CEO of Gift of Life International, Rob has focused on the creation of sustainable pediatric cardiac surgery programs in developing countries. Presently he is working to develop programs in Bolivia, Panama, the Philippines, Romania, Jamaica, and the Dominican Republic.

Rob provided a thumbnail of GOL’s activities since its inception in 1975 by the Manhasset, Long Island, Rotary Club. Over the years, it has provided cardiac and other lifesaving medical treatment for 38,000 children from 80 countries, thanks in large part to the efforts of 80 GOL chapters, including one in our own District 7190.

He noted that a congenital heart defect occurs in one of every 100 live births worldwide, and more than half of those require surgical intervention. Over the years, GOL has emphasized training missions to many countries in an effort to expand the knowledge base for surgical techniques and medical aftercare. That provides a much more cost effective way of handling far more cases than relying as heavily on bringing children to the U.S. for surgeries.

Rob answered a variety of questions from attendees, and he and eight members signed back in after the ZOOM meeting cutoff for an “extended session” of discussion.

NEXT MEETING: 7 p.m. Thursday, February 18, via ZOOM. Check the website calendar for the link to access the meeting.


Sign up now for ‘Young People Speak’ panel

Curious about why some younger Rotarians stay, or why they left?

“Young People Speak,” a multi-district membership panel discussion that should help us learn the answers to both questions, is scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday, February 22. It certainly should provide some insights in how we can attract, nurture, and hold younger members for the Southern Rensselaer County Rotary Club.

While admission to the discussion is free, advance registration is required. The process is simple. Just click here and fill in the form to reserve your virtual seat.


GOL International CEO our Thursday guest

Rob Raylman wth a Gift of Life child.

Rob Raylman, a resident of Germantown, Columbia County, who is the Chief Executive Officer for Gift of Life International, will speak to us at our 7 p.m. Thursday meeting this week via ZOOM.

Rob, who has held the GOL post since February 2008, graduated from Hobart College in 1984 with a degree in political science. Directly out of college, he went to work for then-U.S. Senator Alphonse D’Amato (R-NY) from 1984 to 1986. He worked for Browning Ferris Industries (BFI) from January 1987 until 1999, where he was a vice president, and from 1999 to 2007 managed his own political consulting business.

As CEO of Gift of Life International, Rob has focused on the creation of sustainable pediatric cardiac surgery programs in developing countries. Presently he is working to develop programs in Bolivia, Panama, the Philippines, Romania, Jamaica, and the Dominican Republic.

As always, you can gain access to the meeting simply by going to the club website calendar page and clicking on the appropriate meeting link.


Meeting Clipboard: 2/4/21

MEMBERS ATTENDING (20): Dick Drumm, Bill Dowd, Murray Forth, Kevin Leyhane, Dean Calamaras, Doris Calamaras, Ray Hannan, Pat Bailey, Terry Brewer, Geoff Brewer, Carol Orvis, Peter Brown, Debbie Brown, Charlie Foote, Phil Kellerman, Roberto Martinez, Jim Leyhane, Tony Morris, John Justino, Andy Leyhane.

GUESTS: None.

MEETING NOTES: President Dick Drumm welcomed attendees. … Bill Dowd reminded all that this week was the start of Easter basket donation drop-offs at the Greenbush YMCA. Anyone who has misplaced the preferred shopping list as well as the project timeline and details can find it on the club website by clicking here. … A reminder that the deadline for online registration for the February 27 virtual Rotary Leadership Institute is February 20. Details on the event and a link to registration are available on the club website by clicking here. … Dean Calamaras announced that the Gift of Life is looking for two board members who have an interest in fundraising for the medical charity. If interested, please contact him. … A reminder that rather than sending out several emails with links to weekly meetings, all members need to do is go to the website calendar page and click on the link for the appropriate date to gain meeting access.

PROGRAM: Kevin Leyhane, who teaches at the Genet School which has approximately 450 students in grades K-5, spoke on how the physical education curriculum is being handled there during the pandemic.

The difficulties of social distancing during physical activities and the need to create alternative activities to the usual sports was emphasized.

Taped-off “boxes” in the gymnasium are used to designate activity space for the students and keep them apart. As Kevin pointed out, anything a student touches — including the “boxes” — has to be cleaned before anyone else can use them. Teachers have integrated calisthenics, dance, and video-led activities to keep the students’ interest while providing good physical training.

He took a series of questions from members, and stayed on in an extended session after the meeting to discuss anything else attendees wished to know.

NEXT MEETING: 7 p.m. Thursday, February 11, via ZOOM.