Hamming it up at a ‘Summer Casual’ event

Members Attending (9): Debbie Rodriguez, Dick Drumm, Jim Leyhane, Roberto Martinez, Tony Morris, Pat Bailey, Ray Hannan, Dean Calamaras, Doris Calamaras.

Guests (3): Lois Hannan, Mary Drumm, Debbie Morris.

Doris and Dean Calamaras hosted a sit-down dinner as our second “Summer Casual” event of the year, preparing a menu of baked ham, new potatoes, vegetables, fruit, and desserts galore. Our thank to them for another nice event.

Business Items:

• Ray and Lois Hannan have volunteered to coordinate our club’s participation in the annual school supplies drive for Circles of Mercy. Bill Dowd already has mailed copies of the preferred shopping list to all members, as well as posting it on the club website (https://srcrotary.org/2021/07/12/annual-back-to-school-supplies-drive-begins/). Details on dropoff/pickup dates and locations will be provided at a later time.

• New club president Debbie Rodriguez is preparing to schedule a Board meeting to discuss possibilities for meetings in September, as well as any other items that might arise.

• Our next “Summer Casual” event is scheduled for next Thursday, July 22, co-hosted by Jim Leyhane and Roberto Martinez at Jim’s residence. All kids and vaccinated adults are welcome, but need to RSVP to either co-host no later than Monday, July 19. We are asking for a contribution of $20 per member, $10 per adult guest, and $5 for kids, with all proceeds going to the club treasury to help support our man y community service activities. Hot dogs and hamburgers will be provided; please bring an appetizer or a dessert. And remember, the pool will be open to all. Please scroll down for the updated “Summer Casual” calendar of events and their RSVP deadlines.

Meanwhile, here are several scenes from the Calamaras dinner:

Our hosts, Dean and Doris, serving up some goodies.

Some of the usual suspects

… and, the rest of them.

Guess which country visits SRC the most?

Periodically, we like to see who has been visiting our SRC website from around the world.

The latest count says we have had one or more — in some instances MANY more — visitors from 55 different foreign nations in the past 12 months.

Curiously, we have the most visits from people in China, more than four times as many as we have from the Netherlands. our No. 2 visitor.

Here are the double-digit visitors:

• China, 271

• The Netherlands, 59

• Nigeria, 39

• Canada, 36

• United Kingdom, 32

• India, 31

• South Africa, 31

• Germany, 29

• Austria, 23

• Australia, 21

• France, 20

• Ireland, 17

• Bangladesh, 14

• Ecuador, 11

• Philippines, 10

Registration opens for virtual RI Convention

Rotary International has opened online registration for its virtual 2021 Convention. Just click here to take advantage.

Attendees will be able to network in virtual lounges, meet new partners in service, and join fun activities with Rotary members from around the world. The event is scheduled to be held from June 12 through 16.

Registration fees: $49 through May 7, $65 through June 16 (Registration must be paid in full by May 7 to receive the lower fee)

Registration also is open for the Rotaract, Youth Exchange Officer, and Inter-Country Committee pre-conventions, which will be held on June 10-11. 2021. The cost of each pre-convention event is $20.

Both the convention and pre-convention events include access to the virtual House of Friendship. That is where convention attendees gather to learn about Rotary products and services, share project information, and shop.

RI Convention going virtual this year

Because of the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic, the Rotary International Convention originally scheduled to be held in Taipei, Taiwan, has been changed to a virtual event June 12-16.

The Rotary Board of Director says the decision “is necessary to protect the health of everyone involved. We will share more details about the 2021 Rotary International Virtual Convention soon. Here’s what you need to know now:

Registration

The Virtual Convention will be open to all Rotary members and participants. Registration will open in mid-April and will include a promotional fee of $49 for the first 21 days of the registration period, increasing after that to $65. The cost of each pre-convention event is $20. Both the convention and pre-convention events include access to the House of Friendship. Please continue to check back for more details and updates.

Convention, pre-convention, and ticket refunds

RI is in the process of automatically cancelling and refunding all existing registrations. This includes purchases made for Rotaract, Youth Exchange, and Intercountry Committees pre-convention events, and ticketed meal events.

We kindly ask that you NOT contact RI Registration to inquire about registration, ticket, or housing cancellations as they work diligently on finalizing the process of those cancellations and refunds. Those who had already canceled prior to today will receive a refund of the $50 processing fee. 

Host Organization Committee (HOC) ticketed event registrations

The HOC event ticket fees will be refunded by the Taipei HOC. For more information, please visit rotarytaipei2021.org.

Hotel rooms

No action is required from those attendees who made accommodations secured within Rotary’s official housing block. Maritz, formerly Experient and Rotary’s official housing partner, has already cancelled all individual and group room block reservations and refunded the groups who made partial payments. 

We will post more details as they become available.

Who needs Hawaii? This month you can attend the RI Convention virtually

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Have you ever wondered what it is like to attend a Rotary International Convention? While a few SRC members already have participated in the annual event held at various places around the world, most have not. This month, you’ll have the opportunity to do so  without any of those pesky travel plans.

That’s because this year’s June 22-26 convention was planned for Honolulu, but because of the global ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic it has been reconfigured to become a virtual experience you can access via computer.

Plans call for a busy schedule you can drop in and out of to experience the topics that interest you most.

In addition to the the wide-ranging General Sessions and the traditional House of Friendship that facilitates mingling with people from around the world, a host of breakout sessions are planned with topics ranging from conservation initiatives to rethinking how Rotary meets and serves its members, strengthening Rotaract, digital trends for 2020-21, and on and on. Some of them even will be held in July as a sort of extended convention attraction.

You do have to register (you can do that by clicking here) to gain access to the events. When you use that link, you’ll see a full schedule to help you choose what you want to experience. Don’t delay. Do it today and mark the dates on your calendars.


 

Touring the globe in a time of pandemic

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A portion of the list of online Rotary meetings worldwide.

Travel obviously has been severely curtailed during the covid-19 pandemic, and international travel is nearly non-existent.

However, you can be a globetrotter once again by using the Internet to connect to more than 200 online Rotary meetings around the world.

There’s a staggeringly-detailed spreadsheet available to you that lists all the regularly-scheduled online meetings and activities of clubs throughout the world, live links to visit them, plus password information where needed.

Even if you don’t join in, simply looking at the amount of activity Rotarians offer in the virtual world will be worth a minute or two of your time.

CLICK HERE to access the chart.


 

How to join Rotary’s COVID-19 live telethon

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Our Rotary meetings may be on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic guidelines, but you still can be in the loop through Rotary.

Join the #RotaryResponds “COVID-19 Livestream Telethon” at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 2 to hear stories of hope, inspiration and gratitude from Rotarians, Rotaractors, and friends of Rotary from across the globe as they share what they are doing to help their communities.

Just click on the special link — https://on.rotary.org/fb2may — to RSVP.


 

Joint statement from RI and other service groups

Woven through the fabric of virtually every community on Earth, service clubs of Rotary International, Kiwanis International, Lions Clubs International, and Optimist International are working safely and diligently to maintain connections with each other and our neighbors so we can cope with and overcome the effects of COVID-19.

We are leveraging the strength of our combined networks of 3.2 million members to provide comfort and hope to those feeling the effects of isolation and fear. And, we are focusing our collective skills, resources and ideas to support frontline health workers and first responders as they battle this disease and save lives.

In these times of uncertainty, your local service clubs remain committed to meeting the challenge of finding innovative ways to take action together to help communities around the globe heal and thrive — and become more united than ever.

“The global effort against COVID-19 depends on actions taken in every country. As people of action, this is our time to connect with each other to offer immediate help to people in need,” says Mark Daniel Maloney, RI 2019-20 president.

“The scale and magnitude of this global pandemic requires our world’s citizenry to heed the advice and cautions of the experts. The work and plans of our collective members and volunteers must not cease.  Our immediate response after the crisis will be necessary to support local Governments respond to the many social and economic challenges that will ensue in its aftermath,” says Adrian Elcock, Optimist International president for 2019-2020.

“Great challenges test us, but they also bring us together. Lions are finding new ways to safely serve. Our Lions Clubs International Foundation has granted over one million dollars to help communities facing extreme rates of COVID-19, and additional grant requests are being received daily.  Our communities depend on service clubs, and we will be there, supporting and strengthening them just as we always have together,” said Dr. Jung-Yul Choi, Lions Clubs International president for 2019-2020.

“During these difficult times, we’re seeing everyday heroism across the globe. I encourage us all to recognize the health and safety professionals who are putting their own health at risk for the greater good. To the educators, grocery workers, delivery drivers and the countless professionals who can’t stay home, the Kiwanis family thanks you. We all play an important role in keeping our friends and neighbors safe. Please follow the advice of the World Health Organization, your local health agencies and the instructions given by your Government. Please, stay safe,” said Daniel Vigneron, Kiwanis International president, 2019-2020.


 

What Rotarians are doing globally about COVID-19

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Photo for Rotary.org by Fiorani Fabio/Alamy

From Rotary International

As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads uncertainty and hardship around the world, Rotary members and participants are innovating, caring for those affected, and showing that even at a distance there are ways to help.

As people of action, Rotary members are engaged in their communities — gathering for projects and offering help to those in need. But in many areas, life is changing drastically. Health experts are urging people to maintain distance from others or even isolate themselves to slow the spread of the highly contagious virus.

Fighting disease is one of Rotary’s main causes, so members already support efforts to promote proper hand washing techniques, teach people other ways to stay healthy, and supply training and vital medical equipment to health care providers. Now they’re helping health authorities communicate lifesaving information about COVID-19 and donating protective gear and other supplies to clinics and hospitals that are under strain because of the pandemic.

These are just some of the ways members are supporting their communities right now:

  • In Italy, one of the countries that has been most affected, clubs in District 2080 are raising funds to purchase ventilators and protective gear for overstretched hospitals. And when the worst of the outbreak was raging in China, the district’s clubs there raised more than $21,000 for protective masks to prevent spread of the disease there.
  • Clubs in District 2041, also in Italy, raised funds online to buy protective gear for health workers who will care for COVID-19 patients at a 400-bed hospital being built at Milan’s fairgrounds.
  • In Hong Kong, Rotary clubs have raised funds, packed medical supplies, and visited public housing to distribute masks and sanitizers.
  • Rotary clubs in Sri Lanka installed thermometers in airport bathrooms and produced posters to raise awareness about the coronavirus for schools across the country.
  • The Rotary Club of Karachi Darakhshan, Sind, Pakistan, distributed thousands of masks to people in Karachi.
  • Clubs in District 3700 in South Korea)have donated $155,000 to the Red Cross.
  • Rotary clubs in Nigeria’s Akwa Ibom state conducted a campaign to raise awareness about the threat of the virus. Members shared information about the illness and how to keep safe at two schools and distributed materials about using good hygiene to stay healthy.
  • The Rotary club of Metro Bethesda, MD, is contacting neighbors who live alone and are quarantined. Volunteers are asked to contact at least five of those people each week to ask how they are and if they need anything. Members also are leaving flowers on their doorsteps.

Using technology to address the crisis

  • Although clubs and districts are canceling or postponing their in-person meetings and events, they still are finding ways to keep up their fellowship, re-imagine their service efforts and respond to the pandemic:
  • The Rotary E-Club of Fenice del Tronto in Italy invited the public to a March online meeting to raise awareness about the coronavirus. A virologist spoke about the virus, how it spreads, and how to keep safe.
  • The Rotary Club of Singapore hosted a webinar in which an epidemiologist and an infectious disease expert addressed questions and concerns about the coronavirus and the pandemic.
  • The Rotary Club of East Jefferson County in Washington state used crowd-sourcing to create an online listing of area grocery stores, pharmacies, and restaurants that offer home delivery.
  • Rotary members in Hereford, England, created a Facebook group for Rotary members and others to use to link people who need support with people or organizations that can help. More than 6,900 people have joined the group since it was started on March 14.
  • Two days before its annual fundraiser, the Rotary Club of Schaumburg-Hoffman Estates, Illinois, moved the event to Facebook. It auctioned more than 100 items and raised more than $100,000, about the same amount as in previous years. Food set to feed 350 people at the event was delivered to those in need.
  • The Rotary E-Club of Silicon Valley, California, held an online meeting for members of other clubs to share advice on using digital tools to remain connected. The club recorded the meeting so members could watch it later and share it with others.
  • Rotary clubs in Zone 34 (Georgia, Florida, and the Caribbean) created a guide to help members stay connected online. The Rotary E-Club of the Caribbean 7020 is helping clubs in the zone arrange online meetings.

Global Grant OKd for Honduras Clean Water Project

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Marker shows Honduran town receiving Rotary clean water aid.

The Rotary Foundation global grant effort for the Honduras Clean Water Project that began last year has received approval.

Last fall, the Colonie-Guilderland Rotary Club got the ball rolling with a goal of building a community bio-sand filter that would provide clean water to more than 1,500 people and a school with more than 500 children in Trojes, Honduras. The total project cost is approximately $77,000.

Southern Rensselaer committed $500 to the effort, with the help of students in the East Greenbush schools who held a kickball fundraiser. District 7190 agreed to commit $19,733 of District Directed Funds to the project. By this January, the project was fully funded with more donations coming in, so it was decided to expand the project to include WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene) programs at four schools. Those programs would include construction of water filters and latrines at the schools, and provide curriculum and education on sanitation and hygiene. As more funds were raised, the project expanded to include a study of the water boards and best practices in the region.

Kirk Pogge of the Colonie-Guilderland club explains the process thereafter.

“The grant application was first submitted in July 2019, and was returned to draft mode about a month later. In addition to several requests for more information and details, the Rotary Foundation rejected the study portion and suggested that the WASH program be eliminated for the application to simplify it.

“Initially, we had determined that we could fund the filter project using the club and district donations that qualified for Foundation matching funds and fund the WASH programs without the help of the Foundation matching funds. Since that time, the WASH programs for the schools received funding from another source.

“So now, Pure Water for the World will be using the $18,500 in excess funds we raised to provide training in hygiene, install 35 individual home filters, and construct 21 latrines and five rainwater harvesting tanks in Las Mieles.

“The grant was resubmitted at the end of August, based on the filter project alone. On October 25, we were notified that the grant was approved. Funds for the project will be transferred to our local Global Grant Project account in the next few weeks.”

The contributors or pledged funds:

District 7190
Southern Rensselaer County Rotary Club
Rotary Club of Springfield, IL
Trinity, FL, Rotary Foundation
Poultney, VT, Rotary Club
Colchester Milton, VT, Club
Rutland South, VT, Rotary
Past District Governor 2012-2013
Rotary District 7870
Capital City, NH, Sunrise Rotary
Albany Rotary Club
Shenendehowa Rotary
Rotary Club of New Port Richey, FL
Rotary Club of Saratoga Springs
Rotary Club of Glens Falls
Scotia Rotary
Twin Bridges Rotary Foundation
Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Rotary
Niskayuna Rotary
Colonie-Guilderland Rotary
Grassland Equipment
Loudonville Presbyterian Church