Our Facebook presence has been restored

Screen Shot 2017-11-19 at 8.42.19 PMIn its infinite wisdom, Facebook last week unilaterally decided to deactivate our club’s Facebook page without advance notice. That resulted in the inability for anyone to access what had been a very rich resource.

We believe we’ve begun rebounding from that setback by creating a wholly new Facebook page. Please bear with us as we gradually replicate some information such as calendar entries from our original page. If you have received a Friend request that might seem redundant, it isn’t. We need you to re-Friend us since this is a whole new venue.

To access our new Facebook page, simply click on the link at the top of the SRC website that says “Us On Facebook,” or cut-and-paste the following address into the URL slot on your search engine:


Thanks for your patience, interest, and support.


Our Adopt-a-Family shopping list


We’ll keep updating this gift list spreadsheet from Circles of Mercy as we get pledges so everyone will know what remains needed. Anything shaded in yellow has been pledged, but duplicates are OK for clothing items.

Please bear in mind that we soon will post the needs of a second family, provided by Doors of Hope, for whom we will be asking for gifts. So, you will have a variety of presents from which to choose.

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Undecided about attending Toronto convention? Read this

Screen Shot 2017-11-18 at 12.06.35 AMBy John Mucha
7190 Past District Governor

We are about 10 months away from a very exciting opportunity for Rotarians and friends from District 7190 to attend an RI Convention close to home.

The convention will be held in Toronto, Canada, less than a day’s drive from anywhere in District 7190. No need for plane tickets, or long international flights. No language issues. This chance likely will not come again in many years.

The District is encouraging all Rotarians to make the effort to attend this event. Many Rotarians believe you cannot truly understand the worldwide impact of Rotary without attending a convention. You can simply register online for a fee of just $345 per person until December 15 when the price will increase.

Perhaps more important than registering now is securing a place to stay in Toronto. Many hotels already are sold out or are close to it. District 7190 has designated the Courtyard Marriott Downtown, on Yonge Street, as the District hotel.  Staying there will allow our District folks to be together if they wish.

You can register for a hotel on the website by clicking on “Convention Hotels.” There are rooms available at the “official” hotel as of this writing. Or you can, of course, register for any other hotel or any other housing you prefer. The important thing is to attend the convention. You won’t regret it!

Breakfast meeting of 11/16/17

SRC Breakfast Logo Breakfast Meeting
Greenbush YMCA
20 Community Way
East Greenbush, NY
November 16,2017

Members Attending (12): Roberto Martinez, Jim Butterworth, Shannon Romanowski, Matt Smith, Marko Koshykar, Terry Brewer, Geoff Brewer, Murray Forth, Andy Leyhane, Jim Leyhane, Jeff Simons, Adam Roberts.

Guests (1): Wes Slyke.

breaakfast 1

breakfast 2

Program — The ongoing series of discussions of club workings centered on funding for the many community service efforts the club regularly undertakes. (See minutes of November 2 and 9 dinner meetings for details.)

Followup Items

Rotaract Club — Two guests, Ashley Beaulieu and Kaitlin Driesse, attended the November 9 dinner meeting. They are graduate students at the UAlbany School of Public Health and are forming a Rotaract Club there. (Rotaract is for young adults ages 18 to 30.) SRC is the sponsoring club for the new entity, and Debbie Rodriguez and Becky Raymond will be our liaisons with Rotaract.

Membership Training — Terry Brewer and Ray Hannan represented SRC at the second District Membership Training Workshop, held on November 8. Terry, who is the Membership Training Committee lead, said the District is developing a cadre of eight instructors who will visit individual clubs to help them improve membership recruitment and retention. The goal for 2017-18 is a 10% increase in net membership.

Community Celebration Night — Work is progressing on the December 5 fundraiser being coordinated by John Sawchuk with the support of Murray Forth and Terry Brewer. The event, the second such this calendar year to honor students, first responders, educators, Scouts and others in the commuinity, will be held at Moscatiello’s Italian Family Restaurant in North Greenbush. We still are seeking individual, family, or business sponsors at $100 each. See Murray if interested.

Calendar Items — “Drop the Puck On Polio,” a professional hockey Rotary night in Glens Falls, has been scheduled for December 9. Click here for details. … Donations of non-perishable food items for The Anchor Food pantry should be dropped off at Columbia High School no later than Monday, November 20. … Our latest Eagle Scout, Leonardo Gonzales, will be invested at a 2 p.m. Sunday, December 10, Court of Honor at the Rensselaer Elks Lodge on Columbia Turnpike. All are invited to attend. … No SRC meetings next week due to Thanksgiving. The next dinner meeting will be at 6:15 p.m. Thursday, November 30. The next breakfast meeting will be at 7 a.m. Thursday, December 21, the same day our annual Holiday Party & Gift Basket Silent Auction will be held at the Forth residence. (Need ideas for gift baskets? Click here to begin.)



Foundation Dinner: ‘People of Action’

The SRC contingent (from left foreground): Dick Drumm, Mary Drumm, Maggie Forth, Murray Forth, Jim Leyhane, Caroler Spencer, Roberto Martinez, Bill Dowd, April Dowd, Debbie Brown, Peter Brown.
Program Cover
Program cover

District 7190’s annual Foundation Dinner drew a crowd of about 175 Rotarians and guests to downtown Albany on Thursday night.

The site of the gala was the 90 State Street event space; the keynote speaker was Rotary Peace Scholar Anne Riechert who is currently providing technical job training to Syrian refugees in Germany; the honorees were individual club members designated by the District and by their clubs as “People of Action” (Bill Dowd was SRC’s designee), and major donors to the Rotary Foundation were introduced.

Southern Rensselaer County had 10 members and one guest in attendance (see photo above) and contributed a theme basket to the lineup of donated items for the silent auction.

Here are a few other scenes from the evening:

Seven of the 10 Rotary Youth Exchange students currently living and studying in the District joined Rotarians and other guests for the festivities.
SRC’s silent auction gift basket.
A touch of atmosphere at the eponymous 90 State Street event space, formerly home to the Mohawk National Bank.
new speaker
Rotary Peace Scholar Anne Riechert delivers remarks.
A strolling barber shop quartet performs for attendees.
A lot of smiles all around.
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Ready for their closeup.

Getting to know the Rotary Foundation and how it works

Screen Shot 2017-11-15 at 3.38.49 PMSeveral weeks ago, our club began a series of “working meetings” designed to better inform and involve SRC Rotarians in the workings of their club, a particularly important effort because we have welcomed so many new members over the past few years. (The next one will be the 7 a.m. Thursday breakfast session hosted by the Greenbush YMCA this week.)

Part of that has, of course, to do with the local finances that pay for the many public service initiatives we undertake in a regular basis. And, part of the financial information is what we are required to provide to Rotary International for the Rotary Foundation.

We often find that even veteran Rotarians are not entirely clear on the status, reach, and reputation of the Rotary Foundation. Here are a few salient points:

• In 2016, for the ninth consecutive year, the Foundation received the highest possible score — 100 of a possible 100 points — from Charity Navigator for its strong financial health and commitment to accountability and transparency, a distinction only 1% of charities have attained.  (Charity Navigator is the leading independent evaluator of charities across the U.S.,)

• The Association of Fundraising Professionals likewise named the Foundation the World’s Outstanding Foundation for 2016, an award previously given to other familiar names such as Kellogg and MacArthur.

• Even the smallest of gifts to the Foundation can be donated to a specific fund –- a global grant, polio immunization, or an area of focus within the World Fund.

• In the 2015-16 Rotary Year, 91% of the money the Foundation spent went to programs and grants, with only 9 % of expenses going toward administration.

These are only a quick sampling of things you may want to know about the Foundation.  But, there is so much more. If you would like to know more you can educate yourself by clicking here.



Cellphone push helping polio immunization efforts

The prevalence of cellphones in our daily lives can make us forget there are many parts of the world where such devices are a luxury, even a rarity.

When it comes to the three largely-rural countries where polio still exists — Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Nigeria — getting cellphones to the right people is playing a growing role in the Rotary-led immunization campaign that has taken polio from a global scourge to an isolated disease.

In Pakistan, for example, providing cellphones to the people carrying out the immunizations is replacing the traditional paper record keeping and allowing wider and faster access to vaccines.