SRC qualifies for District Grants

Four SRC members participated in Saturday’s District 7190 Grant Management Training program via ZOOM.

A minimum of two members’ participation was required for our club to be eligible to apply for district or global grants during the 2021-22 Rotary Year, so we are doubly qualified, thanks to President-elect Debbie Rodriguez and current club board members Bill Dowd, Phil Kellerman, and Roberto Martinez going through the training session.

The club will be discussing potential grant undertakings for the new Rotary Year, which begins July 1. In essence, all grant efforts are handled on a very tight time schedule, so Debbie and current President Dick Drumm will be working to be sure SRC is fully in compliance with all requirements.

There are different procedures and requirements for district and global grants. District grants go to individual clubs (sometimes two or three clubs cooperating on a single project), while global grants go to projects with both domestic and foreign Rotary clubs, and sometimes non-Rotary organizations, partnering in the initiative.

Join Becky on a virtual trip to Niskayuna

Becky Raymond

SRC’s Becky Raymond will be addressing the Niskayuna Rotary Club at 7 o’clock this evening. Her topic, which will reflect her volunteer involvement nationally and internationally, is “Partnering For Peace: The Rotary-Peace Corps Partnership.”

To attend, all you need to do is click here sign in to the meeting. The process is the same as we use for our Thursday virtual meetings each week.

Alternately, you can dial in on a mobile phone to 929-205-6099. The meeting ID is 543 488 1418, and the password is 12309.

RI seeks survey input from all Rotarians

If you have a spare few minutes and are looking to fill them, Rotary International needs you.

Jim Barnes, who is RI’s Chief Programs and Member Services Officer, is asking all Rotarians to participate in the “2021 Rotary Programs & Offerings Survey.”

“We know that this has been an atypical year, and this survey is an important opportunity for us to learn how the events of the past year have changed the ways you interact with Rotary,” Jim says. “For this reason, we are asking you to complete this 20- to 25-minute survey about your familiarity and use of Rotary’s many programs, networking groups, and offerings.”

(Note: One SRC member who took the survey said it took less than 10 minutes.)

To begin the survey, click here.

Only one survey can be submitted using this link, so please do not forward or share the email you receive from Jim.

Meeting Clipboard: 4/8/21

MEMBERS ATTENDING (15): Dick Drumm, Bill Dowd, Debbie Rodriguez, Murray Forth, Terry Brewer, Pat Bailey, Ray Hannan, Roberto Martinez, Phil Hannan, Tony Morris, Charlie Foote, Peter Brown, Debbie Brown, Dean Calamaras, Doris Calamaras.

GUESTS (1): Herb Klotz.

In lieu of our regular business agenda, we turned over the meeting time to Herb Klotz, Past Governor of District 7430 (Allentown, PA, area), the Zone 3 membership coordinator and trainer. He was invited to address the club by our President-elect Debbie Rodriguez who enjoyed his presentation on “Successful Data-Driven Club Membership Growth Strategies” at the recent PETS training.

Herb, who analyzed SRC’s membership ebbs and flows over the past few years, presented a slideshow describing multi-Zone studies and surveys about membership matters. Most of the attendees stayed on after the formal part of the session for a Q&A round with Herb. Here are examples of the slides’ content:

Tax-deductible donations to our new fund

Vice President Terry Brewer, who has been doing yeoman work as part of our Subcommittee On Foundations, today shared the following official information on donating to our in-development Donor Advised Fund (DAF), recently approved by the SRC Board:

“If you wish to donate to the Donor Advised Fund, here’s how: Make your check payable to ‘TRF Donor Advised Fund,’ and in the memo line write ‘The Dr. Richard Drumm Fund,’ and mail your check to Southern Rensselaer County Rotar Club, P.O. Box 71, East Greenbush, NY 12061.”

Donations made in this manner are fully tax deductible. Our DAF, named in honor of our current club president and charter member, is administered through the Rotary Foundation, although we retain control over financial grants and awards made by it.

Cause-based clubs? It’s a virtual forum

Rather than having all individual clubs address a wide range of concerns, Rotary is advocating for the creation of cause-based entities. To that end, a virtual workshop next week will address the particulars of how to go about doing that.

Our District 7190 Governor Rich Griesche tells us, “We are changing things up and we have an interactive workshop planned for you at 7 p.m. Monday.  We have enlisted the help of District 5950 (Minnesota) Governor Tom Gump to give us real examples and time to start to plan ways to reimagine our clubs or start new clubs.

“We will … collaborate on things that would be relevant to our communities here in New York, we will share a lot of content, and make it easy for all of us to form a plan to put into action. I mean, who doesn’t want to join a koala lovers or an international traveling enthusiast club?”

Rich has emailed all Rotarians in the district about the event, and attached to his email a worksheet titled “Making Your Club Vibrant” to use or refer to during the session.

Although the event is free, advance registration is required. Just click here for details.

Meeting Clipboard: 4/1/21

MEMBERS ATTENDING (14): Dick Drumm, Murray Forth, Jim Leyhane, Roberto Martinez, Ray Hannan, Pat Bailey, Charlie Foote, Terry Brewer, John Justino, Debbie Brown, Peter Brown, Andy Leyhane, Debbie Rodriguez, Phil Kellerman.



Easter Baskets: The club delivered, courtesy of drivers Jim and Roberto, 126 baskets to Circles of Mercy in Rensselaer for the annual “Easter Baskets for Cate’s Kids” drive. Thanks to Shannon Romanowski for coordinating the drive this year, and to all Rotarians, families, friends, and Greenbush YMCA staff and members for their generous donations of baskets, contents, time, and money.

Upcoming programs: On Thursday, April 8, Herb Klotz, PDG District 7430 in Pennsylvania, will speak on “Successful Data Driven Club Membership Growth Strategies” (thanks to Debbie Rodriguez). On April 15, Dave Hannan, PDG District 7021 in western New York, will speak on progress in polio eradication (thanks to Ray Hannan).


After the weekly club session, the SRC Board met via ZOOM. The full Board was in attendance, two by proxy. It discussed and approved, without dissent, two items:

The Dr. Richard Drumm Fund: This is a Donor Advised Fund (DAF), operated within the Rotary Foundation but with local control. Details have been discussed at various club meetings and has been the subject of a Board subcommittee’s research, consultation, and discussion for several months. Once in place, it will allow members and others to make financial contributions that are fully tax deductible, and provide an avenue for formal grants and awards to other 501(c)3 organizations in Rensselaer County and elsewhere in conjunction with then club’s community service efforts. It is named in honor of our current club president and lone remaining charter member.

Rotaract: In line with recent changes at the national level, the Danes Rotaract club recently voted to change some items in its own bylaws and submit them to us for sponsor approval. Included are the removal of an upper age limit for members, and a name change to NYSCR Danes Rotaract (the initials denoting “New York State Capital Region). The target demographic for membership will continue to be graduates and graduate students at the UAlbany School of Public Health, plus young professionals in the community.

Easter baskets delivered to Circles of Mercy

Jim Leyhane and Roberto Martinez, shown above, delivered a gajillion — OK, 126 — Easter baskets to Circles of Mercy to conclude the annual “Baskets for Cate’s Kids” drive.Project coordinator Shannon Romanowski and a team at the Greenbush YMCA where she is executive director assembled the baskets, which will be distributed to children in need in the Rensselaer area.

“I can’t say enough about the amazing community we live in,” Shannon says. “Rotarians, Greenbush Y members and our dedicated volunteers came together to provide this amazing gift to the children in Rensselaer. 

“Thank you to all who helped make these baskets special, and a huge shout-out to Roberto and Jim for their help in making the delivery.  Our community continues to deliver when it comes to helping those in need.”

Thanks to all who participated by donating baskets, basket contents, and money to purchase some necessary items. We have been partnering with Circles of Mercy for about seven years on this particular effort and have created and donated approximately 800 baskets.

We need you for District Training & Grants Management

The annual District Training and Grants Management event is set for Saturday, April 10, and all SRC Rotarians are invited to participate.

In particular, the second part of the day requires our attention. It’s the Grant Management training session, and any club that hopes to apply for financial grants in the 2021-22 Rotary Year is required — without exception — to have at least two (2) participants.

Past presidents and current SRC Board members Bill Dowd and Phil Kellerman have volunteered to represent SRC. However, the more people we have the better, especially if one of our participants has to bow out at the last minute. It also is an excellent opportunity for members wishing to learn more about the inner workings of the District.

If you’re interested but cannot commit to the full day of training (8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.), you can always commit to just the 90-minute Grants Training scheduled for 1 to 2:30 p.m. that day. However, advance registration is required no matter the length of participation.

To sign up, simply go online and fill out the easy form. Once you do, please inform President-elect Debbie Rodriguez so she knows who is qualified to work with her in the next Rotary Year, which will begin on July 1.

As District Governor Rich Griesche says, “All Rotarians are encouraged to attend, especially all club executives (president, president-elect, treasurer, secretary, committee chairs and members, and all board members). This training is prepared to help you during the upcoming year.  It is extremely important that you attend.”

This session will begin at 8:30 the morning of April 10. There will be a lunch break, and the Grants Training will begin promptly at 1 p.m.

“This is being presented under one ZOOM meeting,” Rich explains, so if you are attending both morning and afternoon you do not need to sign off as the meeting will be kept open during lunch.  If you do leave after the morning session, just use the same link to re-enter for the afternoon session.”