Meeting Clipboard: 11/5/20

Meeting held virtually via ZOOM videoconferencing.

MEMBERS ATTENDING (15): Dick Drumm, Dean Calamaras, Doris Calamaras, Pat Bailey, Jim Leyhane, Roberto Martinez, Murray Forth, Ray Hannan, Debbie Rodriquez, Debbie Brown, Peter Brown, Charlie Foote, Becky Raymond, John Justino, Phil Kellerman.


MEETING NOTES: President Dick Drumm welcomed members. He urged them to check the club website for information and registration links that have been posted there (and on our Facebook page called “SRC Club”) ertaining to two upcoming events:

• The latest Rotary Leadership Institute (RLI) virtual training session, scheduled for this Sunday,

• The November 24 virtual Foundation Gala for District 7190 that will feature Jennifer Jones. She will become president of Rotary International for 2022-23, the first woman to hold that office in the organization’s 115-year history.

The remainder of the meeting consisted of John Justinio presenting a video made in conjunction with World Polio Day, and facilitating a discussion on the topic afterward.

The link to our 7 p.m. Thursday, November 12, ZOOM meeting will be sent via email to all members on Monday.

Meeting Clipboard: 10/29/20

Meeting held virtually via ZOOM videoconferencing.

MEMBERS ATTENDING (14): Dick Drumm, Bill Dowd, Terry Brewer, Debbie Rodriguez, Ray Hannan, Charlie Foote, Pat Bailey, Jim Leyhane, Roberto Martinez, Becky Raymond, Kevin Leyhane, John Justino, Peter Brown, Debbie Brown.

GUESTS (6): Lon Penna and Alice Marcus; Rotaractors Dustin Moore, Aubrey Racz, Lindsey Ribac, Felipe Xavier Costa.

Screen Shot 2020-10-29 at 7.36.06 PM ALICE MARCUS

MEETING NOTES: President Dick Drumm welcomed a group of Danes Rotaract members from the UAlbany School of Public Health, as well as special guests Lon Penna of the Niskayuna Rotary Club and Alice Marcus from Nigeria. The bulk of the meeting was given over to an explanation of the Mooncatcher Project and educational efforts Lon, Alice, and others are working on for a Rotary Global Grant.

The project is intended to provide feminine hygiene training and items to young women in Nigeria for whom menstruation and its attendant needs is sometimes a health and cultural problem.

It also is intended to expand on the theme “How To Uplift a Village” by  empowering women through educational efforts using memory cards with vocational videos, supplying refurbished laptop computers, and providing large containers of books; plus, gathering micro-loans for business enterprises.

After the presentation by Lon and Alice, 10 SRC members and three of the Rotaractors stayed online following the regular meeting for additional discussion with them. Rotaract will consider taking on efforts to help the project because it has two connections to its members — Rotary public service and their connection to public health.

Meanwhile, anyone wishing to make individual monetary donations in support of the Mooncatcher and educational efforts may send checks made payable to “William Green III – Niskayuna Rotary DAF#451” to:

Lon Penna
39 Saint Stephens Lane East
Glenville, NY  12302

Every $10 pays for three Mooncatcher hygiene kits after Rotary’s 50% match.


A special link for 11/5 meeting

We will, as has become our practice during the ongoing pandemic, continue to meet virtually via ZOOM, but our Thursday, November 5, session will be a bit different.

John Justino has scheduled a session during which we can view and discuss “RI’s World Polio Day Global Update.” He will host the meeting and will play the video of the October 24 event and guide a brief discussion.

Our club’s ZOOM account limits us to 40-minute sessions, but John’s UAlbany account is more robust and, thus, will enable us to get any club business out of the way at the beginning of the session, then allow him to present the full 32-minute video and field questions.

Please save and use this link to gain access to the November 5 meeting:

Foundation Gala going virtual next month


In place of the annual Foundation Gala dinner event sponsored by District 7190 each November, the event is going virtual and including more than just our district because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thus, it’s a “Virtual Empire Multi-District Foundation Event.”

Anyone is welcome to attend at no charge, although there is a suggested donation of $25.  All donations will be credited as a Foundation donation to the individual Rotarian.  

Registration is required. All participants who register will receive a ZOOM link in an email prior to event. Click here to access the registration form.

The 90-minute event will begin at 7 p.m. Tuesday, November 24, two days before Thanksgiving Day. As a fundraising effort, a special reception will be held with Jennifer Jones for a donation of $250 to The Rotary Foundation.

Jennifer, who will present the evening’s keynote address, will become president of Rotary International for 2022-23, the first woman to hold that office in the organization’s 115-year history.

District Foundation awards will be announced at 7:30 in separate breakout rooms.

RLI’s next virtual session coming up

The second virtual Rotary Leadership Institute session of the year is scheduled for 4 to 5 p.m. Sunday, November 8.

Rather than a single day-long session as is traditional with RLI, this year in a nod to the restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic organizers are holding an ongoing series of brief virtual sessions.

As of now, no pre-registration will be necessary. And, rather than being divided into first-, second-, and third-year breakout sessions, it will be open to all attendees as a group. Organizers will send via email a link to the session. The SRC website will publicize it, once received, so we are sure all who may be interested have all the details needed.

For this session, you can join the District Training Team to learn more about the Rotary Foundation , Gift of Life, and Shelter Box — what they are, what they do, and how they serve people all over the world.

A project for African women and girls

If you’re not familiar with the MoonCatcher Project, you will be after joining us next Thursday for our ZOOM meeting. That’s when Lon Penna of the Niskayuna Rotary Club and his co-presenter Alice Marcus  will provide a look at the project being nominated for a Rotary Global Grant.

Says Lon, “Like most Rotarians, my wife Helen and I are dismayed by hunger, thirst, extreme poverty, illness, fistula, slavery, injustice, etc. We have completed multiple Rotary Grants on five continents. Our current thinking is instead of giving fish (man eats for a day) or giving a fishing pole (man eats for a lifetime) that we want to give the fishing poles to the village women (her family and community are uplifted for generations.).”

He explains that the symbolic “Fishing Pole” has three components:

1. A MoonCatcher Kit so schoolgirls can handle their menstruation, and are better able to stay in school.
2. K-12 education, vocational education, and vocational ideas.
3. Micro-loans

The MoonCatchers are $5. The education provided electronically is $7.

“My co-presenter, ‘Awesome Alice,’ was born in extreme poverty, was once homeless, and lives frugally (Alice doesn’t own a washing machine; she still uses a bucket.) Yet, when she heard these ideas she immediately put up $25,000, a substantial portion of her life savings.

“So, Niskayuna Rotary drafted a Global Grant to obtain TRF match money and we are hoping Southern Rensselaer might like to chip in. Every $10 pays for three MoonCatchers after The Rotary Foundation’s 50% match, and earns Paul Harris credits.”

NOTE: We will, as usual, be sending a ZOOM link to all SRC members for access to the meeting.

Meeting Clipboard: 10/22/20

Meeting held virtually via ZOOM videoconferencing.

MEMBERS ATTENDING (13): Dick Drumm, Bill Dowd, Roberto Martinez, Jim Leyhane, Ray Hannan, Charlie Foote, Debbie Rodriguez, Peter Brown, Debbie Brown, Pat Bailey, Phil Kellerman, Murray Forth, Kevin Leyhane.

GUESTS (1): Anthony Morris.

MEETING NOTES: President Dick Drumm welcomed 13 members and member-applicant Anthony Morris. … Phil Kellerman, who headed the effort with Terry Brewer and Murray Forth, reported that we have received a preliminary communication from the IRS asking for several minor additions to our application for renewal of our tax-exempt status. He expressed optimism that we are a step closer to success. Treasurer Murray Forth noted that the club’s IRS filing deadline this year is November 15. He will submit our paperwork to meet that requirement. …

Jim Leyhane and Roberto Martinez updated attendees on the sale of scented soaps. Almost all of the initial order of 100 bars has been sold, and another order of 100 bars has been submitted. Receipt is expected within two to three weeks. … Planning continues for viewing of the World Polio Day streaming video. At the moment, we expect something to be available for our November 5 virtual ZOOM meeting. The Danes Rotaract club will join us, according to Debbie Rodriguez. …

A brief discussion was held concerning food pantry contributions. Individual donations of good or money was encouraged, but President Dick said we would further evaluate direct donations/club collections of items for local pantries. … Tony Morris spoke about the effort he and other Your CBD Store franchisees are making to raise funds for HicksStrong, an organization dedicated to assisting suicide prevention programs for military veterans and active duty personnel. He will present a program on the topic at a later date. ….

Next week’s ZOOM meeting will feature a Niskayuna Rotarian speaking on the Mooncatcher Project, a feminine hygiene effort in Africa. Webmaster Bill Dowd said he would post on our website details of the program so SRC members could have a basis for questions.

Meeting Clipboard: 10/15/20

Meeting held virtually via ZOOM videoconferencing.

MEMBERS ATTENDING (15): Dick Drumm, Bill Dowd, Jim Leyhane, Roberto Martinez, Debbie Rodriguez, Terry Brewer, Pat Bailey, Phil Kellerman, Murray Forth, Ray Hannan, John Justino, Becky Raymond, Peter Brown, Debbie Brown, Charlie Foote.

GUESTS (1): Anthony Morris.

screen-shot-2020-10-10-at-1.58.01-pm-1MEETING NOTES: President Dick Drumm welcomed members as well as prospective member Anthony Morris. … Bill Dowd reported on the status of our annual “Adopt-a-Family” holiday effort with Circles of Mercy. Circles presently is interviewing applicants for the program (we posted the criteria on our website, available by clicking here). Once families are selected, ours will be assigned and Bill will create and share a shopping list grid with SRC members as well as establish dropoff/pickup sites and dates. …

Becky Raymond reminded members that Lon Penna of the Niskayuna Rotary Club will join us on Thursday, October 29, to explain that club’s Rotary global grant effort in support of the Mooncatcher Project, a feminine hygiene program in Africa. (Click here for the project website.) … John Justino said he is meeting weekly with the Great Danes Rotaract and hopes to set up a streaming session for the October 24 World Polio Day program. Tentatively, we will join Rotaract via ZOOM at our November 5 meeting. …

Anthony Morris, who will be submitting a membership application this week, said he has space in Your CBD Store, his shop in Columbia Plaza, to serve as a dropoff point for food pantries when the club holds such drives. He also said he would be able to assist in the soap sale created by Jim Leyhane and Roberto Martinez if desired. … Our next meeting, via ZOOM, is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday, October 22.

From the DG: Rotary is open for business

By RICH GRIESCHE, 7190 Governor

“Are you open for business?” This is a question many of us are asking our local businesses these days.

As we are in the sixth month of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are focusing attention this month on “Rotary on Economic and Community Development.” So many of our local businesses have been forced to close, or cut hours along with employees. But, Rotary does not shut down, or stop, or reduce workloads or production. We welcome new members, especially now as we globally take on the challenges that have been placed before us.

We need to support our local businesses and our community leaders. Be proactive in helping to keep these business’s open. Many Chambers of Commerce can advise you of businesses that may need help and support. At the same time, this is an ideal opportunity to join Rotarians and become more involved in your community. Rotarians know an engaged community member is a simply Rotarian in disguise. 

Saturday, October 24, marks a very significant day on our Rotary calendar: World Polio Day. As Rotary prepares to mark this day, members know that even in the face of a pandemic the important work of fighting polio must continue. Now more than ever, the support of all Rotary members is needed to help win the fight for a polio-free world. 

So, as we enter the second quarter of the 2020-21 Rotary Year, I leave you with these thoughts:  

• When a new day begins, dare to smile gratefully.

• When there is darkness, dare to be the first to shine a light.

• When there is injustice, dare to be the first to condemn it. 

• When something seems difficult, dare to do it anyway.

• When life seems to beat you down, dare to fight back.

• When there seems to be no hope, dare to find some.

• When you’re feeling tired, dare to keep going.

• When times are tough, dare to be tougher. 

• When love hurts you, dare to love again.

• When someone is hurting, dare to help them heal.

• When another is lost, dare to help them find the way.

• When a friend falls, dare to be the first to extend a hand.

• When you cross paths with another, dare to make them smile.

• When you feel great, dare to help someone else feel great too.

• When the day has ended, dare to feel as you’ve done your best.

Dare to be the best you can. At all times — Dare to be!