Thursday’s dinner meeting is ‘Scholarship Night’

Please be sure to join us to create a strong turnout for Thursday’s 6 p.m. dinner meeting at Moscatiello’s. That’s when we will be honoring several recipients of our annual “SRC Scholarship Awards.”

As always, we’ll begin our social time at 5:30, followed by dinner (and a cash bar). The entree choices will be a chicken Caesar salad or spaghetti with meat sauce or marinara and meatballs.

Our student guests, who will receive $1,000 scholarships, will be accompanied by a parent and a school representative. so we’d like to have as many Rotarians on hand as possible so we can continue to spread the word about Rotary’s commitment to local, regional, and global community service.

RI, ShelterBox renew partnership pact

• From Rotary International

HOUSTON, TX — Rotary International and the disaster relief charity ShelterBox today announced a three-year partnership renewal that will help the organization support more people, in more places, in more ways.

ShelterBox currently has teams working to support communities in Ukraine, Yemen, Burkina Faso, Mozambique, the Philippines, Syria, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Haiti, and Nigeria. In addition, it maintains equipment depots around the globe to enable it to quickly respond to disasters.

ShelterBox was founded by the Rotary Club of Helston-Lizard in Cornwall, England, in 2000, forming a special humanitarian alliance that has made a tangible difference to the lives of people around the world. Based in the U.K. and with offices around the world — including a United States division — ShelterBox provides emergency shelter and other essential items to people who have lost their homes to conflict and disaster.

With growing collaboration with Rotary members and clubs across the globe, ShelterBox became Rotary’s official project partner in disaster relief in 2012. The partnership has helped transform ShelterBox into an internationally recognized disaster relief charity, together supporting more families when they need it most.

“Rotary has been beside us on our journey from day one and we are reminded of the significance of the partnership each time we mobilize,” said ShelterBox Chief Executive Sanj Srikanthan. “What began as a local connection with one Cornish Rotary Club has led to an extraordinary international movement that has provided emergency shelter to millions of people around the world.”

The official partnership has been renewed for another three years. The agreement will be announced at the annual Rotary International Convention, this year hosted in Houston, where Srikanthan will give a keynote speech to more than 10,000 Rotary members attending the event.

“Rotary members are involved in ShelterBox as volunteers, staff or response team members. Our responses can stretch us logistically and often it’s the Rotary network that help us navigate the import challenges that delay our lifesaving aid or provide us with warehousing space while we wait to distribute shelter kits,” Srikanthan added. “Rotary members also help ShelterBox response teams make vital community contacts and reach disaster-affected families in remote areas who might otherwise go without.”

Most recently, in addition to their own significant response to the Ukraine crisis, Rotary members have supported ShelterBox’s relief effort. Using their networks in Poland, Moldova, and Ukraine, Rotary members have provided invaluable situational awareness and connections enabling ShelterBox to provide aid to those in need.

The charity is providing mattresses to people in collective centers, tarpaulins, rope, tools, and other essentials to help people living in damaged buildings; in addition to supporting women and children fleeing Ukraine into neighboring Moldova.

The Rotary partnership often gives ShelterBox the flexibility and scale to respond in fast changing emergencies, including in the Philippines after Typhoon Rai made landfall last December.

The Philippines is ravaged so often by tropical storms that ShelterBox has adapted the way it works — pre-positioning aid in the country with a team on the ground ready to go when the next disaster strikes. With the help of the Rotary Club of Cebu, ShelterBox provided emergency shelter aid to 100,000 people in the aftermath of the super typhoon.

“Rotary is a global network whose members make a lasting difference in their communities – and worldwide. We are people of action, which is why our disaster relief partnership extends far beyond financial support,” said Rotary International General Secretary and CEO John Hewko. “Rotary clubs worldwide offer valuable, practical assistance to help ShelterBox reach more families fleeing disaster or conflict.”

Hewko added: “In Haiti last year, the Rotary Club of Les Cayes provided situational updates and helped ShelterBox understand local context so they could start work sooner. In Honduras, the Rotary Club of San Pedro Sula, helped to find the communities where ShelterBox could make the biggest difference following Hurricanes Iota and Eta. They unloaded shipping containers, travelled to remote communities to distribute aid, and delivered shelter training.”

ShelterBox has a global network of 14 offices worldwide that evolved from Rotary relationships. ShelterBox USA is based in Santa Barbara, CA.

“Rotary and ShelterBox will continue to collaborate, better supporting communities in need by improving preparedness, and prepositioning aid in areas prone to disaster,” Hewko said.

The renewal of the partnership comes at a decisive time against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the impact it has had on communities worldwide. But, that crisis will be dwarfed by the impact of a changing climate in the years ahead, with ShelterBox research highlighting how 167 million homes could be lost to climate change in the next 20 years. 

Flooding will be a leading cause of weather-related disaster, warming oceans will bring heavier rain to places that can’t cope with it, and other parts of the world will face ever more deadly droughts like the one East Africa is currently confronting.

To better meet the needs of the people who need support, ShelterBox is continuously evolving to find durable solutions. It no longer provides aid only in boxes, instead providing combinations of aid, packaged in a variety of ways to make a tangible difference.

A tarpaulin is the difference between a family staying dry in their makeshift home or not. Solar lights help families spend time together when electricity supply is impacted. A mosquito net helps families worry less about their children’s health in areas known to have malaria or dengue fever. Cash empowers local communities to hire skilled labour or buy the materials they need to rebuild their houses.

More information about ShelterBox is available online.

‘Music in the Park’ volunteers needed

Schodack Town Park

The Rotary Impact Committee needs a few more volunteers to staff the Rotary table at the Town of Schodack’s “Music in the Park” during June. Ideally, three people are needed for each event.

All events are held on Tuesdays from 5 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. If it rains, the event will be held on Wednesday. If you can help out, please contact Pat Bailey. Thank you to the following who have volunteered to date.

Meeting Clipboard: 6/2/22

MEMBERS ATTENDING (15): Debbie Rodriguez, Pat Bailey, Murray Forth, Kevin Leyhane, Andy Leyhane, Jim Leyhane, Phil Kellerman, Roberto Martinez, Dick Drumm, Charlie Foote, Ray Hannan. By proxy: Bill Dowd, Carol Orvis, Dean Calamaras, Doris Calamaris.


President Debbie Rodriguez called the meeting at Moscatiello’s Restaurant to order and noted the presence of a quorum.


• ShelterBox Fundraising — Jim Leyhane and Roberto Martinez were given approval to purchase a $250 starter pack of SB rechargeable lights if available at the Rotary International Conference in Houston this month. Reportedly, more than 20 Rotarians from District 7190 will be attending.

• SRC Impact Committee — The second phase of our public outreach will begin next Tuesday during the Town of Schodack’s “Music In the Park” series. (Rain date each week is Wednesday.) Anyone who cares to help staff the club’s table at the event is asked to contact Pat Bailey.

• Summer Casual Calendar — As announced earlier, the first two dates of our July-August social calendar have been claimed — a July 14 picnic at the Browns’ residence, and a July 21 pool party at Jim Leyhane’s residence co-sponsored by Kevin and Andy Leyhane and Roberto Martinez. As other dates (see the website calendar) are spoken for, we’ll provide details. Please contact Bill Dowd to reserve a date if you wish to host or plan an event.

• Driver Safety Training — Response to a survey asking about interest in a one-day course this summer was very weak. Presently, it appears we will try again in the fall to sponsor such a course.

• Gift of Life raffle — The District 7190 GOL Board members are selling $20 raffle tickets to win a “Barrow of Booze.”  The drawings will be July 1.  See Dean or Doris Calamaras or Jim Leyhane if you are interested in purchasing tickets.

• Scholarship Dinner — The graduating seniors from Rensselaer, Columbia, and Maple Hill high schools who have been chosen to receive $1,000 SRC Scholarships and their guests have been invited to join us at our Thursday, June 9, dinner meeting at Moscatiello’s. Entree choices are chicken Caesar salad or spaghetti with meatballs or sausage, or marinara or meat sauce.

2nd ‘Summer Casual’ event scheduled

We now have events scheduled for the first two Thursdays of our annual “Summer Casual” schedule.

The Leyhanes — Jim, Kevin, and Andy — and Roberto Martinez have set Thursday, July 21, as a jointly sponsored pool party and cookout at Jim’s East Greenbush residence. It’s a family-friendly event with kids welcome and encouraged.

See the schedule below for remaining July-August dates for you to host or plan field trips. If you want one of the dates locked in, please contact the club at

Thinking younger thoughts, from our DG

By BRUCE CONNELLEE / Governor, District 719

When you think of Rotary, do you think of PMS? You know, Pale, Male and Stale? 

When you visit a Rotary club, maybe thinking about joining or coming as a speaker or friend and you cast your eye around the room, what do you see? A mix of younger and older Rotarians, maybe a couple of different colors, and a nice male/female balance? Certainly, if you are a younger visitor, you expect to see a mix. If you don’t, it will stand out in your mind.

All of us who are members of this great organization of Rotary understand that to survive we need to attract new and younger members to our ranks. Yet, one of the attraction strategies we often overlook is integration with Rotary’s youth programs.

Rotary has a built in ladder of development in the organization that allows us to engage young members at all ages. EarlyAct, InterAct, and Rotaract can engage young potential members from grade school through college and early adulthood.

Part of our goal to get new young members is to get the word out of what Rotary is, what it does, and the impact we have on our community locally and globally. 

I recently spoke with a friend who did not know what Rotary was all about, so I showed him the “Four-Way Test,” explaining how this guides what we think, do, and say. We chatted about it and he said: “Yeah!  That is really good!” My friend then went on to donate to Rotary and is looking at clubs in his area to join.

We need to live and talk Rotary and encourage young people to join us in whatever capacity. Then it’s much easier to encourage them to become members. All of us know and interact with younger people — our kids, our grandkids, and people at our workplaces. As people see how they can join with us to help their communities and at the same time enjoy the fellowship of like-minded individuals, they will be much more likely to commit to membership. 

Think about visiting your local high school and inviting young people, maybe the student government leaders or the international club to join Rotarians in your next community project. How about the various youth levels at your church? Is there a solid after school program in your nearby diverse neighborhood? Consider coordinating through them to clean their park, and then ask them to help clean yours.  

For young folks to believe in us, we have to live Rotary not just talk Rotary. Because Rotary is a way of life, not another activity or thing to do. We need to get Rotary into individuals, not just individuals into Rotary.  

RI President Shekhar Mehta’s primary theme this year is “Be one, Bring One, and Serve To Change Lives.” At your next club meeting ask the person next to you if they can think of a way to engage with youth and change a life or two. We can do this!

Opening for 6/2 program presenter

A late withdrawal by our scheduled speaker has created an opening for a program presenter for our Thursday, June 2, dinner meeting at Moscatiello’s.

If you have a program yourself or can supply a speaker, please contact Kevin Leyhane or Becky Raymond ASAP.

As always, the meeting will begin with a 5:30 p.m. social period, then a 6:15 call to order. The entree choices are linguine with white clam sauce or the ever-popular chicken Caesar salad. And, of course, the cash bar is always open.

Driver training survey needs your response

We are looking into the possibility of sponsoring a one-day driver training workshop this summer. We need a minimum of 20 participants (non-Rotarians may sign up as well) to qualify.

Below are potential dates. If you (a) are interested in participating, and (b) prefer one of these specific cates, please respond to this email ASAP with that information. 

P.S. As anyone who has availed themselves of this opportunity in the past knows, successful completion of the workshop qualifies them for a discount on their auto insurance.

• Saturday, July 9

• Saturday, July 23

• Saturday, August 6

Thank you for your cooperation.

Meeting Clipboard: 5/26/22

MEMBERS ATTENDING (16): Debbie Rodriguez, Bill Dowd, Roberto Martinez, Jim Leyhane, Dick Drumm, Kevin Leyhane, Charlie Foote, Andy Leyhane, Murray Forth. By proxy: Carol Orvis, Peter Brown, Debbie Brown, Dean Calamaras, Doris Calamaras, Tony Morris, Becky Raymond.


President Debbie Rodriguez called the Zoom meeting order and noted the presence of a quorum due to the number of proxies.


• SCHOLARSHIP WINNERS — We have received the names of graduating seniors from Rensselaer, Maple Hill, and Columbia high schools who each will receive a $1,000 SRC Rotary Scholarship. The students have been invited to join us at our June 9 dinner meeting at Moscatiello’s. The club will pay for meals for each student, one parent for each of them, and one representative of each school. All others guests will be asked to pay the same $25 dinner fee as members. Our thanks to Terry Brewer for coordinating the program.

• SUMMER CASUAL SCHEDULE — We have one event scheduled so far for our July-August informal period — a picnic on July 14 at the Browns’ residence in Castleton. Anyone else who wishes to host or arrange an event is asked to select a date from the club calendar then email the club at to lock in the date and details.

• IMPACT COMMITTEE — We finished our series of appearances at Kristy’s Barn in Schodack to meet the public and get out the word about Rotary. Thanks to Becky Raymond, Jim Leyhane, and Roberto Martinez for volunteering on Saturday. We now switch to appearances at the Town of Schodack’s “Music In the Park” Tuesday series on June 7, 14, 21, and 28 from 5 to 7:30 p.m. (Rain dates are Wednesdays.) Anyone who can volunteer to staff the table is asked to contact Pat Bailey ASAP.

• DRIVER TRAINING — We are polling members to ascertain interest in having a summer session of training by a professional (and getting an auto insurance discount in the process). The potential dates are July 9 and 23 and August 6. Interested members are asked to email the club at with the preferred date. (Rotarians may invite non-members to participate.)

• NEXT MEETING — We will host local business owner Dan Welch of Sweater Ventures at 6 p.m. Thursday, June 2, at Moscatiello’s.

District changeover event registration opens

You probably know that SRC’s Presidential Changeover dinner is scheduled for Thursday, June 30. But, two days before that you can attend a Rotary changeover picnic.

That event is the transition of the District 7190 leadership team for the new Rotary Year 2022-23. The family-friendly event is scheduled for the Orenda Pavilion at Saratoga Spa State Park. Here are the details: