News of this New York State club that practices "Service Above Self"
A volunteer service club located in Rensselaer County, NY, that is part of Rotary International, the 1.23 million-member international organization of men and women serving their community and their world.
The annual District 7190 Conference, a virtual event for the second straight year, will take place Saturday. If you haven’t registered but have had a change of heart and would like to participate, you still can do so even though you’re cutting it close.
All you have to do tonight or Friday by 1 p.m. is go online to sign up, and the event organizers will send you an access link.
The event will take place in three phases:
• The social gathering beginning at 8 a.m.
• The business meeting, which includes a roll call of clubs, a number of committee reports, a vot by the clubs on the proposed district budget for the 2021-22 Rotary Year, and “a few surprises.”
• After a short break, the Remembrance Ceremony will honor Rotarians in the district who have passed away since last year’s convention. That will be followed by recognitions and awards.
Note: The agenda and the proposed budget both have been attached to emails sent to all Rotarians by DG Rich Griesche.
MEMBERS ATTENDING (14): Dick Drumm, Debbie Rodriguez, Bill Dowd, Ray Hannan, Phil Kellerman, Debbie Brown, Peter Brown, Pat Bailey, Roberto Martinez, Jim Leyhane, Andy Leyhane, Dean Calamaras, Doris Calamaras, Murray Forth.
• IN-PERSON MEETING — Our first in-person meeting of the 2020-21 Rotary Year will be a subs-and-soda picnic at Roberto Martinez’s East Greenbush residence, co-hosted by Jim Leyhane, at 6 p.m. (note the time) Thursday, June 3. Anyone who is fully vaccinated and wishes to attend is asked to let Roberto know no later than Tuesday, June 1.
• MEETING VENUE SEARCH — Several members are checking on the possibilities of various places to host our weekly meetings since Quigley’s is out of business. Dick Drumm is checking on the Schodack Diner, Debbie Rodriguez on Moscatiello’s Restaurant, Ray Hannon on the Crisp Cannoli, Jim Leyhane on the American Legion in Rensselaer. (We queried the East Greenbush Elks, but it already hosts a Thursday event.) All will report back to the membership.
• SPEAKERS: David Harris, Schodack Town Supervisor, will review the state of the town at our May 20 Zoom meeting. Christian Multunas, a doctoral student in nanotechnology at RPI, will speak at our May 27 Zoom meeting.
• FINANCIAL GRANTS: Treasurer Murray Forth reported that checks have been sent for money designated by club donors for specific organizations: Circles of Mercy ($600) and a trio of food pantries — The Anchor, Doors of Hope, and CoNSERNS-U ($185 each).
• SUMMER CASUAL EVENTS: Three of our eight “Summer Casual” events for July and August have been scheduled: Thursday, July 8, 6 p.m., picnic at the Brown residence; Thursday, July 15, 6 p.m, at the Calamaras residence; Thursday, July 22, 6 p.m., the Leyhane residence. Debbie Rodriguez is looking into a possible outing to Bruno Stadium for a ValleyCats baseball game. Anyone else wishing to reserve a date to host or arrange an event is asked to let Debbie and/or Bill Dowd know so the date can be reserved and publicized.
Now that most adults have been vaccinated against COVID-19 and state attendance restrictions on in-person gatherings are being eased, we’re nearing the return of SRC outdoor gatherings.
Our first will be at 6 p.m. Thursday, June 24, with a picnic at the Drumm farm to mark our annual “Presidential Changeover,” when Dick will be handing the gavel to Debbie Rodriguez.
And, we now have the first of eight “Summer Casual” dates reserved in July and August. Jim Leyhane and Roberto Martinez will co-host a picnic and pool party at 6 p.m. Thursday, July 22, at Jim’s residence.
Details and signup dates for both events will be shared closer to those dates. Meanwhile, reserve them on your calendar.
According to the latest CDC guidance, people who are fully vaccinated can associate with other fully vaccinated people with only “miniscule” chance of a COVID problem. Thus, we’re asking any club members and significant others who wish to attend any events to do so only if fully vaxxed.
Meanwhile, if you would like to hold some sort of “Summer Casual” event or to plan an outing for the club, please let incoming president Debbie and/or webmaster Bill Dowd know so the date can be reserved and publicized.
Traditionally, each July and August we suspend our weekly formal meetings in favor of a “Summer Casual” schedule.
For those of you who are among our newer members, that simply means we like to socialize, renew acquaintances with members’ families, and share a picnic, a drink, a game, a field trip, or anything that works as a summertime activity.
In normal times — remember those? — we have had pool parties, picnics and a baseball game at the Joseph L. Bruno Stadium in Troy, an evening of summer theater at the Mac-Haydn Theatre in Chatham, etc. This summer, we’ll be pressed to come up with some alternatives, given the state’s pandemic-era restrictions. (However, the ValleyCats will be playing this summer in the Frontier League, and Mac-Haydn says it will have some sort of season starting in mid- to late-summer rather than in May as usual.)
What helps is that, to the best of our knowledge, all club members have been fully vaccinated. According to the latest CDC guidance, people who are fully vaccinated can associate with other fully vaccinated people with only “miniscule” chance of a COVID problem. Thus, we’re asking anyone who wishes to attend any events — significant others included — to do so only if fully vaxxed.
We have four Thursdays each in July and August to fill. We already have word from Debbie and Peter Brown that they will host an outdoor get-together at their home and from Roberto Martinez and Jim Leyhane that they will do likewise at one of their residences. No specific dates have yet been announced, but we now know we have at least six dates open.
If you would like to hold some sort of “Summer Casual” event or to plan an outing for the club, please let incoming president Debbie Rodriguez and/or webmaster Bill Dowd know so the date can be reserved and publicized.
MEMBERS ATTENDING (14): Dick Drumm, Murray Forth, Bill Dowd, Debbie Rodriguez, Dean Calamaras, Doris Calamaras, Tony Morris, Debbie Brown, Peter Brown, Terry Brewer, Phil Kellerman, Pat Bailey, Charlie Foote, Roberto Martinez.
• DISTRICT CONFERENCE: The annual event is scheduled for Saturday, May 15, but the keynote speaker will be appearing via Zoom on Tuesday, May 11. Both events are available to all Rotarians, but advance registration is required. To do so, simply go to the club website to (a) read the details, and (b) click on the appropriate links on the calendar page.
• DONOR ADVISED FUND (DAF): Our new financial unit, officially designated The Dr. Richard Drumm Fund, has received more than $10,000 from the club general fund and several member donations. That money has been invested via the Rotary Foundation, and we continue accepting donations.
• DISTRICT GRANTS: Roberto Martinez said he and Jim Leyhane have submitted an application for a District 7190 grant to support our scholarship fund effort for 2022. Once we receive the names of the graduating seniors at Rensselaer, Columbia, and Maple Hill high schools who will receive our scholarships in June, they will complete the grant paperwork for 2021. Our scholarships total $3,000, and the district grant equals a 50% reimbursement.
• RI CONVENTION: Roberto reminded members that registration is open for the virtual event. Go to the club website for details and a registration link.
• IN-PERSON EVENTS: Because virtually the entire club has received COVID-19 vaccinations, we will begin phasing in a resumption of in-person events with an outdoor Presidential Changeover picnic at the Drumm residence at 6 p.m. Thursday, June 24, when Dick hands over the presidency to Debbie Rodriguez. Details to come. … We still are looking for hosts for outdoor events for July and August, traditionally our “Summer Casual” period. So far, Peter and Debbie Brown and Roberto Martinez and Jim Leyhane have volunteered, although no specific dates have yet been announced. … We also discussed potential indoor meeting sites, but came to no conclusions. The restaurant industrywide problems with staffing, seating protocols, pricing in the face of rising food and labor costs are making it difficult to find and secure a spot. No word yet on the fate of Quigley’s, our former meeting site that is permanently closed and up for sale. It also was discussed whether to alternate in-person meetings with Zoom sessions.
If you’re the first person in the world to do something, chances are you’re a pretty unusual individual.
Any Rotarian who would like to meet such a person is invited to a virtual event at which Dr. Sylvia Whitlock will be the keynote speaker.
In 1987, Whitlock became president of the Rotary Club of Duarte, CA, making her the first woman to hold such a position within Rotary International. That club’s charter had been revoked in 1978 after it violated RI’s policy by admitting women. The club filed suit in a California court, claiming that Rotary Clubs are business establishments subject to regulation under a California civil rights act that bans discrimination based on race, gender, religion, or ethnic origin. It won the case and RI appealed the decision to the Supreme Court of the United States.
On May 4, 1987, the Supreme Court confirmed the Californian decision supporting women, in the case Board of Directors, Rotary International v. Rotary Club of Duarte. After the ruling, Rotary International ended its policy of gender restrictions.
According to a Wikipedia entry, Whitlock was born in New York City and educated in Kingston, Jamaica. She returned to New York City after high school and earned a B.A. in psychology from Hunter College. She later moved to California where she earned a master’s degree in education from Cal Poly Pomona and a Ph.D. in education from Claremont Graduate School. Whitlock earned a second master’s, in marriage and family therapy, from Azusa Pacific University. She also was an elementary school principal in Duarte, CA.
She will be speaking at 7 p.m. tonight (May 3). Register here for access.
MEMBERS ATTENDING (14): Dick Drumm, Bill Dowd, Murray Forth, Debbie Rodriguez, Pat Bailey, Peter Brown, Debbie Brown, Charlie Foote, Andy Leyhane, Roberto Martinez, Jim Leyhane, Dean Calamaras, Doris Calamaras, Kevin Leyhane.
DONATIONS: Treasurer Murray Forth reported that the club is holding money designated by donors for specific organizations to be dispersed before June 30, the end of the current Rotary Year. It was the consensus of attendees to expedite checks to Circles of Mercy ($600) and a trio of food pantries ($185 each), The Anchor, Doors of Hope, and CoNSERNS-U.
SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM: We have sufficient designated funds in the club treasury to cover this year’s scholarship program consisting of $1,000 awards to one graduating senior each at Maple Hill, Columbia, and Rensselaer high schools. Terry Brewer is in the process of contacting administrators at those schools to ascertain the awardees and to invite them to visit the club via a ZOOM meeting.
SECRETARY TRAINING: Pat Bailey reported on the annual District Club Secretary Training she attended virtually last Saturday. She said much of the 90-minute session went over material not new to first-time secretaries, but she did say emphasis was put on (a) NOT carrying non-dues payers on the club membership rolls until they actually meet their financial commitment, (b) utilizing the online District calendar to publicize club events that may be of interest to others, and (c) creating a backup person for the club treasurer in case of emergency. To that end …
… TREASURER BACKUP: Maggie Forth was designated by consensus of tonight’s attendees to serve as emergency backup to Murray to provide information continuity as needed.
SPEAKERS SOUGHT: President Dick Drumm is seeking speakers to address the club via ZOOM. Anyone who has a potential speaker/program may contact Dick.
IN-PERSON EVENTS: Because virtually the entire club has received COVID-19 vaccinations, we will begin phasing in a resumption of in-person events with an outdoor Presidential Changeover picnic at the Drumm residence at 6 p.m. Thursday, June 24, when Dick hands over the presidency to Debbie Rodriguez. … Peter and Debbie Brown volunteered to host an outdoor event during the “Summer Casual” period (July and August) when traditionally the club does not hold formal weekly meetings. Anyone else who wishes to do the same is asked to let Bill Dowd and/or Debbie Rodriguez know so we can reserve the date(s) on our calendar.
Barry Rassin, past president of Rotary International, will be the featured speaker at a pre-District Conference multi-district Zoom event on Tuesday, May 11.
The 7 p.m. session is open to all Rotarians in District 7190 as well as Districts 7120, 7150, and 7170, although advance registration is required. Rassin will be speaking on new changes in Rotary that affect us all. Attendees also will hear from RI Director-elect Drew Kessler on changes being proposed for our Zone 5.
As announced earlier, the District 7190 Conference, still will be held on Saturday, May 15, with details to be announced.
To register for the pre-conference May 11 session, click here. You then will be sent an email containing the link to enter the Zoom meeting.
MEMBERS ATTENDING (16): Dick Drumm, Jim Leyhane, Bill Dowd, Debbie Rodriguez, Dean Calamaras, Doris Calamaras, Terry Brewer, Ray Hannan, Charlie Foote, Phil Kellerman, Pat Bailey, Peter Brown, Debbie Brown, John Justino, Kevin Leyhane, Murray Forth.
• SCHOLARSHIPS — Vice President Terry Brewer said he received an inquiry from Maple Hill High School asking whether the club planned to continue its annual scholarship program for graduating seniors. Because the club has the funds to do so, and earlier in the year designated this as a program to continue, Terry will make formal contact with administrators at Maple Hill, Columbia, and Rensselaer high schools to obtain names of one scholarship recipient each and their names so we can invite them to address the club at a ZOOM meeting as we did last year.
• FINANCIAL REPORT — Treasurer Murray Forth updated attendees on money received in the current Rotary Year via small fundraisers and donations from members and friends. Some donors specified programs and recipients, some donated to the general fund. Specific amounts are on hand for food pantries, Circles of Mercy, and Mooncatcher. Terry suggested sending checks to the designated recipients before the end of the Rotary Year in June since that is what many people made the donations for. Bill Dowd requested Murray review the club checkbook to see what regular recipients we have (Miracle League, Boy Scouts, Blue Star Mothers, etc.) and provide a list at our next meeting to ascertain whether (a) members wish to send checks to such organizations and, if so (b) whether the general fund can accommodate that. Murray agreed to do so. He also said our general fund now has about $20,000 after transferring $5,000 to the new Donor Advised Fund (see below) as approved by the Board.
• DONOR ADVISED FUND (DAF) — Our new fund, officially designated The Dr. Richard Drumm Fund and holding tax deductible status for contributors, is now able to accept donations from members, family, friends, and others in the community. Murray and Bill will create and distribute a letter to all members explaining the procedure for donating, the proper way to make out checks, mailing information, etc.
• ROTARY GRANTS — President-elect Debbie Rodriguez reported that she and fellow Board members Bill Dowd, Phil Kellerman, and Roberto Martinez participated in last week’s virtual District 7190 Grant Management Training. Clubs needed to have at least two attendees to be eligible to apply for grants in the 2021-22 Rotary Year, so SRC had twice that number. She said the club would be applying again for a grant to assist in our annual scholarship program and asked Jim Leyhane and Roberto, who handled the chore last year, to draft the grant submission letter again.
• ROTARACT UPDATE — John Justino, faculty adviser for the Rotaract club we sponsor at the UAlbany School of Public Health, reported that Rotaract International had accepted the updated bylaws and name change recently submitted after being approved by the SRC Board. The club, which will seek members from among young professionals in the community rather than just the graduate school, now is called the NYSCR Danes Rotaract (the initials denoting “New York State Capital Region”). He thanked Debbie Rodriguez and Becky Raymond, SRC’s Rotaract liaisons, and Danes Rotaract President Dustin Moore for their efforts.
• PRESIDENTIAL CHANGEOVER — Our last scheduled meeting of the current Rotary Year — on Thursday, June 24 — will mark our annual changeover, with Debbie Rodriguez succeeding Dick Drumm. Since most, if not all, of our members have received the COVID-19 vaccine and government-imposed restrictions on outdoor gatherings are being eased, we have tentatively set an outdoor picnic at the Drumm residence to mark the event. Details will be shared as they are worked out.
Rotary International has opened online registration for its virtual 2021 Convention. Just click here to take advantage.
Attendees will be able to network in virtual lounges, meet new partners in service, and join fun activities with Rotary members from around the world. The event is scheduled to be held from June 12 through 16.
Registration fees: $49 through May 7, $65 through June 16 (Registration must be paid in full by May 7 to receive the lower fee)
Registration also is open for the Rotaract, Youth Exchange Officer, and Inter-Country Committee pre-conventions, which will be held on June 10-11. 2021. The cost of each pre-convention event is $20.
Both the convention and pre-convention events include access to the virtual House of Friendship. That is where convention attendees gather to learn about Rotary products and services, share project information, and shop.