DG speaks ahead of guest appearance

District 7190 Governor Richard Griecshe will join us as our special guest at 6 p.m. this Thursday via the ZOOM teleconferencing app.

So, what does he think about our COVID-19 pandemic world? Here’s his latest essay online:

This may not seem like a time for great optimism, but it must be. Every great challenge is an opportunity for renewal and growth. The COVID-19 crisis has forced all of us to adapt.

“Rotary clubs are adapting to the current situation and overcoming the obstacles that once appeared to be in the way. August is ‘Membership and New Club Month’ on our Rotary calendar, and brings great opportunity.

“Membership is an opportunity. Retention is an opportunity. Service and Fellowship are opportunities –- all to grow Rotary and support its core values. Ask current members, community leaders, extended family, and business associates to find prospective members.

“Our current members are passionate about the work we are doing. What are your dreams for your community? It may be the right time for a club’s virtual meeting rather than in-person. You won’t know unless you ask. 

“Our clubs have been challenged to grow in new directions. Are you ready to help a club grow for the future? New resources on satellite clubs, passport clubs, and corporate membership can help you create an experience that works for every member (Learn more at Rotary.org/Flexibility). 

“As a final note this month, I would like to share the following statement from Rotary International to help promote peace and justice worldwide, something all Rotarians strive for: 

“At Rotary, we have no tolerance for racism.  Promoting respect, celebrating diversity, demanding ethical leadership, and working tirelessly to advance peace are central tenets of our work.We have more work to do to create more just, open and welcoming communities for all people.We know there are no easy fixes and that challenging conversations and work lie before all of us.  Rotary’s strength has long been our ability and commitment to bringing people together.  We will tap into that strength now as we stand with those who are working for peace and justice.Rotary will do our part to listen, learn and take action to ensure that we continue to contribute to making positive change.” 

I leave you with this thought: Attitude is a choice. Happiness is a choice. Optimism is a choice. Kindness is a choice. Giving is a choice. Respect is a choice. Whatever choices you make, make YOU. Choose wisely.”

Bylaws vote scheduled for Sept. 10

We have scheduled a vote for our Thursday, September 10, ZOOM meeting, on a proposed modification of our Club Bylaws.

Specifically, the Board of Directors is unanimously endorsing a change to “Article 6: Fees & Dues.” 

The intent is to change the dues payment deadline from June 30 to June 1 and, for those who pay in two installments, from December 31 to December 1. Non-payment by the deadline(s) would result in being taken off the club rolls.

Here is the logic behind the proposed change. 

Rotary requires each Club to pay a fee for every member on the roster as of June 30 and December 31 no matter whether they have paid their local dues. We have been experiencing two situations that have unnecessarily cost our club money that should have gone toward supporting our community service projects: (1.) People who are seriously tardy in delaying payment, thus forcing the Club to put up money to cover their Rotary fee, and (2.) people who drop out but don’t bother informing us wind up wasting Club money without reimbursement. 

By changing the timing of payments, we will gain a firm handle on paid-up status and on precisely who remains part of the club roster.

The current Bylaws language reads:

Article 6: Fees and Dues

Club annual dues will be based on dues levels set by Rotary International and District 7190 plus a Club membership fee of $20 above RI and District dues for first-year members and $30 above RI and District dues for all members after their first year. A $5 deduction from each member’s dues will become an annual contribution to the Rotary Foundation. All club fees are subject to modification by subsequent votes of the membership. Fees are payable annually no later than the last day of June, or semiannually no later than the last day of June and no later than the last day of December. Per Rotary International regulations, a portion of each payment shall be applied to each member’s subscription to the RI official magazine.

The proposed new language that would be inserted in place of the current Sentence 4 reads:

“Fees are payable annually no later than the first day of June, or semiannually no later than the first day of June and no later than the first day of December. All members who have not paid 100% of their dues for the upcoming Rotary Year by June 1 of each year, or 50% installments by June 1 and December 1, will be deemed to have resigned from membership.”

Please mark your calendar for the September 10 vote and plan to participate in the vote, no doubt via ZOOM.

Join us via ZOOM for our Thursday meeting

SRC’s next general meeting is set for 6 p.m. this Thursday (September 3) via the ZOOM virtual meeting app. We have a lot to discuss, and President Dick Drumm will keep everyone in the loop by providing a report on a variety of decisions made at this week’s Board meeting .

A connecting link will be sent to you in advance of the session, at which our special guest will be District 7190 Governor Richard Griesche. He will provide an update on what is going on throughout the District during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

At a meeting of the SRC Board of Directors this evening (Monday), it was decided that we will continue gathering via ZOOM for the forseeable future since it is impossible to hold in-person dinner meetings given the state restrictions on such gatherings, the closing and impending sale of Quigley’s where we have been meeting for a number of years, and the apprehension of many members about such gatherings, given the health concerns engendered by the pandemic.

While we have been experiencing strong attendance at our ZOOM meetings throughout the summer, we urge those of you who have not participated to re-involve yourselves in Rotary. Our community and international service will not end because of the pandemic. Rotary endures no matter what, as it has for more than 115 years.

The process of staying involved is simple. Just download the ZOOM app and you’ll be able to sign in. If you have any questions about the process or the etiquette of getting involved via the virtual process, Board member Roberto Martinez has volunteered to guide members through it. Contact him via email (rrmtz@aol.com) or by phone (518-396-7250) in advance of the Thursday session.

Stay well, stay hopeful, and stay involved.

Here’s why we keep supporting polio effort

The flareup of polio in parts of Africa where terrorists decided to kill volunteers providing vaccinations to stop the spread of the dread disease apparently has failed to end the Rotary-supported effort.

The region has officially again been certified free of the wild polio virus, leaving only Afghanistan and Pakistan as centers of polio which cripples and kills people of all ages, but particularly the young.

This week, the Africa Regional Certification Commission certified the World Health Organization’s 47-nation African Region as wild polio-free after four years without a case. With this historic milestone, five of the six WHO regions -– representing more than 90% of the world’s population -– now are free from the wild poliovirus, moving the world closer to achieving global polio eradication.

“During a challenging year for global health, the certification of the African Region as wild poliovirus-free is a sign of hope and progress that shows what can be accomplished through collaboration and perseverance,” said Rotary International President Holger Knaack. “Since 1996, when Nelson Mandela joined with Rotary, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, and governments of the African region we’ve achieved something remarkable.

“Today’s milestone tells us that polio eradication is possible, as long as the world remains committed to finishing the job. Let us work together to harness our collective energies to overcome the remaining challenges and fulfill our promise of a polio-free world.”

Meeting Clipboard: 8/27/20

Held via ZOOM conference

Members Attending (16): Dick Drumm, Bill Dowd, Roberto Martinez, Jim Leyhane, Debbie Brown, Peter Brown, Ray Hannan, Dean Calamaras, Doris Calamaras, Kevin Leyhane, Charlie Foote, Terry Brewer, Murray Forth, Phil Kellerman, Pat Bailey, Debbie Rodriguez.

Guests: None.

MEETING NOTES: Roberto Martinez reported that he has spoken with people at the District level who say that most of the clubs in 7190 are not meeting in person. Most are using ZOOM, as SRC has been utilizing. We are making efforts to have District Governor Rich Griesche join us at an upcoming virtual meeting. … President Dick, reporting on the search for a new meeting venue since Quigley’s has closed and is up for sale, said he has a 1,520-square-foot space in his Drumm Veterinary Hospital that is being re-floored and could be a candidate for hosting meetings with socially distanced space. …

Debbie Rodriguez reported that the UAlbany Rotaract organization is working to resume its activities now that the university is back in session. She and Becky Raymond, our Rotaract liaisons, will keep us up to date. … Kevin Leyhane said he reports back to work on Monday and can provide a program by the end of September on what life is like in the “trenches” of a local school district in this era of COVID-19. … Roberto offered to assist anyone having difficulty accessing ZOOM with a brief tutorial. …

Bill Dowd said he has been mailing out bar code stickers for the CLYNK container recycling program and said anyone who needs more should contact him. He pointed out that the way CLYNK is set up, only one person can access the stickers at a CLYNK kiosk machine, although anyone can purchase at Hannaford markets the official bags needed to participate. … The club’s Board of Directors is scheduled to meet at 6 p.m. Monday at Jim Leyhane’s residence. … The club will have a regular ZOOM meeting at 6 p.m. next Thursday, September 3.

Thanks to all school supplies donors

Despite the restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic, SRC’s involvement with the “School Supplies Drive” organized by Circles of Mercy for needy students in elementary and high school grades was a success.

Our project coordinator, Debbie Rodriguez, made three deliveries of donated supplies to Circles’ headquarters in Rensselaer, the final one on Friday at the deadline.

Special thanks to Debbie for her work, and major thanks to all of you who contributed to the push that is one of our important public service projects each summer.

Final summer event a fun (pizza) party for all

Sixteen SRC members and friends gathered under sunny skies on Thursday for an outdoor pizza party that completed our abbreviated “Summer Casual Events” calendar.

The event, co-hosted by Pat Bailey and Debbie Rodriguez, also was attended by President Dick Drumm, Peter Brown, Debbie Brown, Murray Forth, Maggie Forth, Doris Calamaras, Dean Calamaras, Roberto Martinez, Ray Hannan, Phil Kellerman, Jim Leyhane, and guests Mary Drumm, Jeremy Forth, and Lois Hannan.

Our next event will be a ZOOM teleconference general meeting at 6 p.m. next Thursday, August 27. Among other items, Roberto will speak on Zoom etiquette. Those having problems with ZOOM should feel free to contact Roberto before then.

Thereafter, there will be an in-person Board meeting at Jim Leyhane’s residence at 6 p.m. Monday, August 31.

Meanwhile, here are some scenes from the pizza party.

RI makes a historic selection

Rotary International

Jennifer E. Jones, a member of the Rotary Club of Windsor-Roseland, Ontario, Canada, has been nominated to become Rotary International’s president for 2022-23. The groundbreaking selection will make her the first woman to hold that office in the organization’s 115-year history.

Jones officially will become president-nominee on October 1 if no other candidates challenge her.

Jones says she sees Rotary’s Action Plan as a catalyst for increasing Rotary’s impact.

“As we reflect upon our new strategic priorities, we could have never envisioned that our ability to adapt would become our North Star during what is inarguably the most profound time in recent history,” Jones said in her vision statement. “Silver linings rise out of the most challenging circumstances. Using metric-driven goals, I will harness this historic landscape to innovate, educate, and communicate opportunities that reflect today’s reality.”

As the first woman to be nominated to be president, Jones understands how important it is to follow through on Rotary’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Statement. “I believe that diversity, equity, and inclusion begins at the top, and for us to realize growth in female membership and members under the age of 40 — these demographics need to see their own reflection in leadership,” Jones said. “I will champion double-digit growth in both categories while never losing sight of our entire family.”

Jones is founder and president of Media Street Productions Inc., a media company in Windsor. She was chair of the board of governors of the University of Windsor and chair of the Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce. She has been recognized for her service with the YMCA Peace Medallion, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, and Wayne State University’s Peacemaker of the Year Award, a first for a Canadian. Jones also holds a Doctor of Laws (LL.D.).

A current Rotary Foundation trustee, Jones has been a member of Rotary since 1997 and has served Rotary as RI vice president, director, training leader, committee chair, moderator, and district governor. She played a lead role in Rotary’s rebranding effort by serving as chair of the Strengthening Rotary’s Advisory Group. She is the co-chair of the End Polio Now Countdown to History Campaign Committee, which aims to raise $150 million for polio eradication efforts.

Jones recently led the successful #RotaryResponds telethon, which raised critical funds for COVID-19 relief and was viewed by more than 65,000. Jones has also received Rotary International’s Service Above Self Award and The Rotary Foundation Citation for Meritorious Service. She and her husband, Nick Krayacich, are members of The Rotary Foundation’s Arch Klumph Society, Paul Harris Society, and the Bequest Society.

The members of the Nominating Committee for the 2022-23 President of Rotary International are:

Kenneth M. Schuppert Jr. (chair), Decatur, AL; Robert L. Hall, Dunwoody, Atlanta, GA; Bradford R. Howard, Oakland Uptown, CA; Michael K. McGovern (secretary), Cape Elizabeth, ME; Per Høyen, Aarup, Gelsted, Denmark; Peter Iblher, Nürnberg-Reichswald, Zirndorf, Germany; Ashok Mahajan, Mulund, Mah., India; Sam Okudzeto, Accra, Accra, Ghana; Eduardo San Martín Carreño, Majadahonda, Madrid, Spain; Takeshi Matsumiya, Chigasaki-Shonan, Chigasaki Kanagawa, Japan; José Alfredo Pretoni, São Paulo-Sul, São Paulo, Brazil; Saowalak Rattanavich, Bang Rak, Bangkok, Thailand; Hendreen Dean Rohrs, Langley Central, Surrey, British Columbia, Canada; Ravindra P. Sehgal, Belur, West Bengal, India; Noel Trevaskis, Merimbula, Tura Beach, Australia; Giuseppe Viale, Genova, Genova, Italy; and Chang-Gon Yim, Daegu-West, Daegu, Korea.

Outdoor pizza party RSVP needed

The outdoor pizza party co-hosted by Pat Bailey and Debbie Rodriguez at Pat’s residence has been moved from August 27 to next Thursday, August 20, at 6 p.m.

We already have a lineup of “yes” responses, but we didn’t want anyone to miss the opportunity to contact Pat (pbailey7@nycap.rr.com) or Debbie (debannrod@yahoo.com) no later than this Sunday.

Social distancing and masks will be required. People are asked to bring their own beverages and lawn chairs if so desired.

Meeting Clipboard: 8/13/20

Held via Zoom video conference

Members Attending (15): Dick Drumm, Debbie Rodriguez, Murray Forth, Bill Dowd, Roberto Martinez, Jim Leyhane, Debbie Brown, Peter Brown, Ray Hannan, Dean Calamaras, Doris Calamaras, Kevin Leyhane, Charlie Foote, Phil Kellerman, Pat Bailey.

MEETING NOTES: President Dick called the meeting to order. … The main topic of discussion was assessing possible new meeting venues since John Walsh, owner of Quigley’s, has decided to sell his restaurant and has no plans to reopen in the meantime. Dick said he has made a preliminary inquiry at the Schodack Diner, which has a private meeting room. He, along with Debbie Rodriguez, Roberto Martinez, and Jim Leyhane, will re-visit the diner for a detailed discussion with ownership. Bill Dowd cautioned that selecting any new venue in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic could be problematic, given the state’s restrictions on group sizes. In particular, restaurants may not host parties of more than 10 people (which would prevent us from having a quorum); buffets are not allowed, etc. He also suggested we should look for meeting places that do not charge a use fee, and have wi-fi capability. Quigley’s did not charge for the meeting room, which saved the club about $1,200 a year. … Murray Forth will check on the possibility of leaving club property at Quigley’s until the building is sold. …

Roberto said he will contact the District about the status of reimbursements for our college scholarship awards via a District Grant. … Murray reported that a number of members have not paid 2020-21 dues. They will be contacted again. … Jim reported that at Wednesday’s Gift of Life committee meeting it was decided not to have the awards dinner that usually is part of the annual GOL Golf Tournament. As of this date, the Monday, September 21, event at Pinehaven Country Club in Guilderland will go on, however, with the raffle held while golfers still are on the course. SRC plans to sponsor a trio of foursomes. …

The outdoor pizza social to be co-hosted by Pat Bailey and Debbie Rodriguez at Pat’s residence has been moved from August 27 to next Thursday, August 20, at 6 p.m. While the majority of those attending tonight’s ZOOM meeting made their reservations, anyone else who wishes to attend is asked to contact Pat or Debbie no later than this Sunday. Social distancing and m asks will be required. People are asked to bring their own beverages and lawn chairs if so desired. Debbie reminded all that the event will be the final opportunity to drop off donations to our “School Supplies Drive.” Until then, donations can be dropped off at Drumm Veterinary Hospital during normal office hours.