Site picked for 1st dinner meeting of the year

All members already have received word that after next week’s hiatus leading into the Labor Day weekend we’ll be meeting via Zoom at 6 p.m. Thursday, September 9.

Now we have details about the following week — September 16 — when we will have our first in-person dinner meeting of the 2021-22 Rotary Year. Arrangements have been made by a committee of four (Roberto Martinez, Jim Leyhane, Pat Bailey, Debbie Rodriguez) to meet at Moscatiello’s Italian Family Restaurant, located on Route 4 in North Greenbush just south of Hudson Valley Community College. We’ll have a “re-get-acquainted” session from 5:30 to 6:15 p.m., then dinner in a private room that we’ll have until 7:30.

Attendees will be able to select an entree of cheese ravioli marinara or chicken marsala. A fixed price of $25 will include your entree, bread and butter, water, soda, iced tea or lemonade. Coffee is extra. A cash bar will be available. No advance reservations are necessary.

We hope to have a solid turnout as we attempt to return to some semblance of normalcy, and discuss our programs and community service efforts for the remainder of the Rotary Year. Please make a note of the RSVP deadline so we can get an accurate headcount.

‘Summer Casual’ ends with a sunshine picnic

MEMBERS ATTENDING (12): Debbie Rodriguez, Debbie Brown, Peter Brown, Ron Annis, Ray Hannan, Murray Forth, Pat Bailey, Dick Drumm, Jim Leyhane, Roberto Martinez, Andy Leyhane, Kevin Leyhane.

GUESTS (8): Monika Annis, Lois Hannan; Mary Drumm; Kara, Ashton, and Allistair Leyhane; Kara and Emma Leyhane.

The final event of our annual July-August “Summer Casual” schedule was held Thursday under sunny skies, rather than the overcast/rainy ones we’ve been experiencing.

Debbie and Peter Brown graciously hosted a patio dinner of appetizers, chicken, cole slaw, potatoes, salad, desserts and beverages. Plus, the pool was open and freshly stocked with kids.

BUSINESS ITEMS:

• President Debbie Rodriguez thanked those who filled in for her recently, as well as those working on finding a new meeting home for the club while the Quigley’s sale situation remains unresolved.

• We’re off next week for the long Labor Day holiday period, but will resume weekly meetings with a 6 p.m. Zoom session on Thursday, September 9. Members should check the club website calendar page and click on the link for that date to gain access to the meeting.

• Our first in-person dinner meeting of the 2021-22 Rotary Year is scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday, September 16, at Moscatiello’s Italian Family Restaurant on Route 4 in North Greenbush just south of Hudson Valley Community College. Details on menu, pricing, etc., will be shared as they are firmed up.

Meanwhile, here are some images from Thursday’s event, courtesy of Roberto:

We’ll be back on Zoom after Labor Day

The headline says it all. Well, most of it, anyway.

We’ve scheduled a 6 p.m. Zoom session for Thursday, September 9, our first club meeting of the fall. As was the case for most of the past Rotary Year, simply go to the website’s calendar page and click on the meeting link for that date to automatically gain access to the meeting.

Efforts are under way to find a temporary venue for our in-person weekly dinner meetings. If all goes well, that activity could begin the following week, September 16. Details will be provided to all members once arrangements are finalized.

However, we still are discussing other possibilities — various dining sites, alternating in-person and Zoom sessions, etc. — because of the vagaries of the ongoing pandemic strictures.  So, keep checking the website for updates.

Meanwhile, several etiquette items to remember to avoid confusion and give everyone a chance to be heard when we hold virtual meetings.

• When the meeting is called to order by President Debbie Rodriguez, or other presiding officer, please mute your audio.

• If you wish to make a comment, ask a question, etc., please raise your hand to gain the presiding officer’s attention. When called upon, then unmute your audio. When you are finished, re-mute.

• Please try to participate from a location without a lot of background noise (TV volume, barking dogs, clamoring kids, random gunfire, snoring, etc.). ZOOM has very good sound pickup and extraneous noise can be heard by everyone.

Thanks for your attention. We hope to see everyone on September 9.

Next ‘Summer Casual’ deadline Friday

Only a few events remain on our “Summer Casual” schedule, and the RSVP deadline for one of them is tomorrow (Friday).

This evening, our “Dinner & a Show” outing in New Lebanon found SRC members and friends treating themselves to dinner at Mario’s Restaurant followed by the opening night performance of “Night & Day,” a Cole Porter musical, at The Theater Barn.

Next up is a dinner at the Schodack Diner hosted by Ray and Lois Hannan. If you plan to attend but haven’t yet contacted them, please do so by Friday via email (ray110b@yahoo.com) or by calling 585-315-1385.

Here’s the remainder of the summer schedule before we resume weekly member meetings.

Pizza, ice cream, a pussycat, and rain

Members Attending (7): Pat Bailey, Dick Drumm, Jim Leyhane, Roberto Martinez, Ray Hannan, Debbie Brown, Peter Brown.

Guests (3): Lois Hannan, Mary Drumm, Susie the Cat

Pizza, ice cream, socializing … and a pussycat. And, or course, rain. In this odd summer after the worst of all summers in 2020, it almost always is rain. You never know what you’re going to come across at an SRC “Summer Casual” event.

Our ‘Summer Casual’ logo

That’s what was involved at the Thursday event hosted by Pat Bailey — for which the club thanks her. In addition, plenty of donations were dropped off for our annual role in Circles of Mercy’s school supplies drive for kids in the Rensselaer City School District.

By the way, the next opportunity to drop off school supplies donations is at the Thursday, August 12, dinner being hosted by Ray and Lois Hannan at the Schodack Diner, 1842 Columbia Turnpike. If you’re fully vaxxed and plan to attend, be sure to call or email the Hannans no later than Friday, August 6. Contact info: ray110b@yahoo.com or 585-315-1385 (note this is NOT a 518 area code number).

A couple of housekeeping notes:

• The Thursday, August 5, outing in New Lebanon begins at 5 p.m. at Mario’s Restaurant, after which we will head for The Theater Barn for a musical play. Theater tickets will be distributed by event coordinator Bill Dowd at the dinner.

• If you won’t be attending the August 12 dinner at the Schodack Diner but want to drop off donated school supplies, please make a point of contacting the Hannans to arrange it so we don’t miss the deadline for drop-off at Circles of Mercy.

• We have filled the lone open slot in our July-August “Summer Casual” with Debbie and Peter Brown volunteering to host the club on Thursday, August 26, our last social event before resuming formal meetings in September. Details to come. (Make a point of checking the website.)

• President Debbie Rodriguez will hold a Board meeting in the next week or two to discuss, among other topics, our meeting arrangements for the fall. At last report, owner John Walsh is about to close a deal to sell the Quigley’s sports bar, and he told Murray Forth the prospective buyer is interested in having SRC continue meeting there. However, the timetable is unclear. Details on whether we will meet via Zoom or in person, or a combination of the two, will be announced once finalized.

Meanwhile, here are some images from Thursday:

Dr. Jim holding court.

Susie, the co-host for the evening.

Wonder what caught their attention?
Guess who our photographer was on Thursday.

Here are the dropoffs for school supplies drive

OK, you’ve been shopping for school supplies as part of our annual drive to aid kids in the Rensselaer City School District in partnership with Circles of Mercy. So, now what do you do with those supplies?

• Drop them off with Ray and Lois Hannan at Thursday’s pizza and ice cream social at Pat Bailey’s residence. (If you haven’t yet RSVP’d to Pat, please do so no later than Tuesday by calling 518-766-0215 or emailing her at baileyps26@gmail.com.)

• Drop them off at the Schodack Diner on Thursday, August 12, where the Hannans will be hosting a dinner for Rotarians and guests. (If you haven’t yet RSVP’d to them, please do so by August 6  by phoning 585-315-1385 (note this is NOT a 518 area code number) or by emailing them at ray110b@yahoo.com.)

• The Hannans may be setting up another date or two for accepting donations from those of you unable to make either of the two events listed above. Stay tuned for that info.

Once again, we’re listing the preferred shopping list provided by Circles of Mercy. In lieu of shopping, you can donate a check made payable to “Circles of Mercy,” with “SRC Rotary Club” in the memo line so the folks at Circles know how to apply the money.

Thanks again for your generosity.

• Pencils (regular lead #2 and color)
• Pencil sharpener
• Erasers for pencils
• Pens (black or blue)
• Markers (dry erase)
• Sharpies (assorted colors)
• Pocket folders (assorted colors)
• 3-ring binders (2” and 3” sizes)
• Loose leaf paper (college ruled)
• Graph paper
• Spiral subject notebooks (1-, 3-, and 5-subject, all college ruled)
• Notebook subject dividers
• Plastic zipper pencil cases / boxes
• 3”x5” index cards
• Yellow highlighters
• Rulers (regular with metric)
• Facial tissue packets
• Hand sanitizer (small bottles)
• Post-It notes
• Backpacks (no rollers/wheels)
• Hole reinforcement labels
• Combination lock (for gym lockers)
• Electronic items such as flash drives, computer ear buds, scientific calculators

A ‘Summer Casual’ pool party: 7/22/21

MEMBERS ATTENDING (14): Kevin Leyhane, Jim Leyhane, Andy Leyhane, Bill Dowd, Roberto Martinez, Charlie Foote, Dick Drumm, Dean Calamaras, Doris Calamaras, Phil Kellerman, Debbie Brown, Peter Brown, Murray Forth, Maggie Forth.

GUESTS: Mary Drumm, Jeremy Forth, Carrie Leyhane, Kara Leyhane, Lauren Carnahan, plus several other guests and kids.

Jim Leyhane and Roberto Martinez co-hosted the “Summer Casual” pool party and catered picnic at Jim’s residence. A special thanks to both of them for their generosity in underwriting the cost of the event. All monetary donations made by attendees go to the club treasury to help support our many community service efforts.

Items of business:

• Murray Forth reported that he has been in contact with John Walsh at Quigley’s. John told him he was “within days” of finalizing the sales of his sports bar and said the new owners are interested in having SRC return to its meeting space there. However, because the building needs to undergo extensive renovations, no timeline is available for now. We will continue looking for alternative meeting venues.

• Next week’s “Summer Casual” event — a pizza and ice cream social — has been moved to Pat Bailey’s residence at 244 Boyce Road in Nassau. Food and some beverages will be provided. Attendees may bring any desserts or apps they wish to share. All fully vaxxed Rotarians and friends are invited, along with the kids. The deadline for reservations is Tuesday, July 27. You can contact Pat at 518-766-0215 or baileyps26@gmail.com.

• Anyone who needs bar code stickers for Clynk container recycling bags can contact Bill Dowd. Just let him know how many stickers are needed, and he’ll mail them to you. Proceeds of the recycling program go toward the club’s support of ShelterBox.

• We’re in the midst of our annual collection of back-to-school supplies for kids in the Rensselaer City School District. The preferred shopping list and other details are on the website.

Meanwhile, a few images from Thursday’s get-together, taken by Bill and Roberto.

Our co-hosts, Roberto and Jim.
Murray and Kevin setting up the chow line.
A colorful array.

Dinner time. Abandon all floats!

Do you think this chat might be about beer?
A water sprite takes a break for land-based grub.
Could they look any more relaxed?
A true summertime scene.
OK, what are they smiling about?

Location change for 7/29 ‘Summer Casual’ event

A ‘Summer Casual’ menu
We’re switching the location of our Thursday, July 29, pizza and ice cream “Summer Casual” event.

Pat Bailey will be hosting it at her residence, 244 Boyce Road, Nassau, beginning at 6 p.m. The RSVP deadline is this coming Tuesday, 7/2. Please be sure to let Pat know your plans by that date.

All fully vaxxed adults plus kids are welcome to attend. Please plan to bring your own beverages. (If the weather is hot, Pat said she’ll set up the sprinkler for the kids — and any adventuresome adults —  to enjoy.)

Annual back-to-school supplies drive begins

Each summer, the Southern Rensselaer County Rotary Club participates in a drive to provide school supplies for students in the Rensselaer City School District. That time has arrived once again.

Why Rensselaer kids? Besides the fact they all reside in SRC’s area of service, of the approximately 1,034 students, 64% qualify for either free or reduced price lunch program — a number much higher than the state average of 52%; and, 28% of the kids live near or below the poverty level, compared to the state average of 21%.

Due to the high cost of preparing a child for school, Circles of Mercy, the Rensselaer-based family services organization we team with in projects all year ’round, has a program available in which low-income parents may pick up free school supplies for their kids. The project is known as “Cate’s Kids Back to School Program” and we need your assistance again to help us help others.

Our new president, Debbie Rodriguez, is looking for a volunteer to coordinate SRC’s role in this drive that focuses on pre-school and grades 9-12. But, even before such a person steps up, we can began buying supplies from the following list. For example,Target has a back-to-school sale this week. Rotarians can stockpile items now, and collection times and times will be forthcoming as soon as we get a volunteer coordinator.

The preferred shopping list:

• Pencils (regular lead #2 and color)
• Pencil sharpener
• Erasers for pencils
• Pens (black or blue)
• Markers (dry erase)
• Sharpies (assorted colors)
• Pocket folders (assorted colors)
• 3-ring binders (2” and 3” sizes)
• Loose leaf paper (college ruled)
• Graph paper
• Spiral subject notebooks (1-, 3-, and 5-subject, all college ruled)
• Notebook subject dividers
• Plastic zipper pencil cases / boxes
• 3”x5” index cards
• Yellow highlighters
• Rulers (regular with metric)
• Facial tissue packets
• Hand sanitizer (small bottles)
• Post-It notes
• Backpacks (no rollers/wheels)
• Hole reinforcement labels
• Combination lock (for gym lockers)
• Electronic items such as flash drives, computer ear buds, scientific calculators

Circles of Mercy has requested that all donated items, or checks in lieu of supplies, be delivered no later than August 23, so SRC will be collecting items and/or checks through Friday, August 20. Our eventual project coordinator will take care of collecting donations and getting them to Circles in time for families to pick them up.