Cause-based clubs? It’s a virtual forum

Rather than having all individual clubs address a wide range of concerns, Rotary is advocating for the creation of cause-based entities. To that end, a virtual workshop next week will address the particulars of how to go about doing that.

Our District 7190 Governor Rich Griesche tells us, “We are changing things up and we have an interactive workshop planned for you at 7 p.m. Monday.  We have enlisted the help of District 5950 (Minnesota) Governor Tom Gump to give us real examples and time to start to plan ways to reimagine our clubs or start new clubs.

“We will … collaborate on things that would be relevant to our communities here in New York, we will share a lot of content, and make it easy for all of us to form a plan to put into action. I mean, who doesn’t want to join a koala lovers or an international traveling enthusiast club?”

Rich has emailed all Rotarians in the district about the event, and attached to his email a worksheet titled “Making Your Club Vibrant” to use or refer to during the session.

Although the event is free, advance registration is required. Just click here for details.

‘Young People Speak’ about life in Rotary

If you missed Monday’s multi-district panel discussion called “Young People Speak,” an insight into what young people experience in Rotary, you may want to give it a try by clicking on the video above.

The panelists, who were from Upstate New York districts, talked about what attracted them to Rotary, what turned them off about Rotary, and what Rotary clubs can do to connect with youths — provide guidance (loosely!), have a strong orientation program, be welcoming, encourage teamwork, be flexible, and be people of action.

Give it a try. You may find the video enlightening and helpful as we try to refresh our club membership.

A very merry unbirthday

Those with a knowledge of the “Alice In Wonderland” stories know one celebration typical in her topsy-turvy world was an “unbirthday” party, of which you can have 364 a year. Unfortunately, Rotary District 7190 may have inadvertently duplicated the idea.

An email sent out to all Rotarians in the District, and copied and distributed by various clubs’ websites and Facebook pages such as ours, provided a zoom link to the virtual 116th birthday celebration of Rotary International and the accompanying online auction fundraiser. Regretably, the email was in error as to the proper link.

A late correction was sent out in an email blast, but there’s no telling how many people didn’t see it in time to particptae in the event. Luckily, the auction had been going on for several weeks before the party, and wound up raising about $4,000, according to District Governor Richard Griesche.

So, apologies if you inadvertently were misled by the District and missed the party, but thanks if you were one of the auction bidders who helped make the fundraiser a success.

Registration now open for virtual RLI event

Despite the vagaries of the COVID-19 pandemic era restrictions, District 7190 plans to go ahead with the annual Rotary Leadership Institute (RLI) training in February. It will, of course, be done virtually, which means a lower per-person fee.

Assuming sufficient participation, training will be offered in Classes 1, 2, 3, and Graduate level. The training is open to all Rotarians in good standing, but the classes must be take sequentially: i.e., you need to have completed Class 1 to attend Class 2, Class 2 to attend Class 3, etc. Anyone who has completed 1 through 3 may enroll in the Graduate level even if they have attended Graduate sessions before. The content is continually evolving.

This year’s RLI will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, February 27. Registration, which will be be reimbursed by SRC, is $25 and must be done online no later than February 20. Class sizes are limited.

RLI is particularly recommended for all club officers and people new or relatively new to Rotary, although everyone is welcome. SRC has a history of strong RLI participation, and we hope to maintain that record this year.

District offering enhanced Zoom training session

Brady BunchIt has been a challenging year for everyone around the world as we all have felt the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in some manner. But, with those challenges came new opportunities and ways for our Rotary clubs to operate and help our communities locally and around the world.

One major change of our Rotary clubs was the inability to hold our club meetings in person. However, almost all clubs in District 7190 were able to continue to meet and operate using virtual methods, primarily the Zoom video-conferencing application.

The District, in an effort to help all clubs use virtual methods efficiently and effectively. will be holding training on Zoom meetings on June 23rd. It will cover:

HOW TO ZOOM — Covering basics and initial setup, screen sharing, presentations, visitors/guests, recording, and troubleshooting/concerns.

LIVING WITH ZOOM — Successful meetings, finding speakers, including new members, and retaining members.

Time: 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 23
How: Click on the Zoom link
Meeting ID: 859 1757 4902
Password: 660611

You’re invited to virtual DG Changeover

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The 2020-21 Rotary Theme & Logo

Richard Griesche will be inducted as District 7190 Governor on July 1, the first day of the 2020-21 Rotary Year.

Past DG Tammy Heckenberg will be inducting Griesche in the virtual event as well as Bruce McConnelee as District Governor Elect and Denise DiNoto as District Governor Nominee. We also will have the traditional pin exchange.

“I will be making a short presentation outlining my goals and vision for our year, as we ‘Open the Doors of Opportunity’,” Griesche said.

The 2020-21 Rotary theme — “Rotary Opens Opportunities — “is such a great theme for this year, faced with the challenges we are now dealing with. But, these challenges present opportunities for us to do more service in our communities and around the globe. So, please join us on July 1, and let’s start this new Rotary Year off right.”

The virtual event will be accessible via the Zoom video-conferencing service. Details:

Time: 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 1
How: Click on the Zoom link
Meeting ID: 817 1064 1133
Password: 173739


Some coronavirus-induced District shuffling

Screen Shot 2020-03-16 at 4.46.47 PMGrowing government restrictions on public events because of the coronavirus pandemic have necessitated some changes on the District 7190 calendar. Here are actions taken by the District Board:

• The Foundation Dinner scheduled for March 26 has been cancelled. Refunds will be available for those who registered, although the Board is asking that Rotarians consider leaving their payments in place for credit to the Foundation. “If you were planning to make a donation to the Foundation, please consider accelerating that payment so it can start earning while the financial markets are down,” said District Governor Larry Jones.

• The District Training Assembly/Grant Management Seminar scheduled for April 4 will be reformatted to become an online experience. Details will be announced.

• The District Conference scheduled in Albany for May 15-17 has been suspended. “While we do not anticipate being able to hold even a scaled-down conference, we have not worked out the final details on cancellation,” Jones said. “We will continue to hold a raffle for a ‘Wheelbarrow of Booze’ that was to be a fundraiser for the conference.” At the least, we will have an online meeting to conduct the business required by our District By-laws, to recognize outstanding service, and to remember those who have passed on to higher service.

• All other District face-to-face sessions will be delayed at least through May 31.

Details outlined for District Conference in Albany

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Usually, SRC members have to make a bit of a drive to attend the annual District 7190 Conference. This year, things will be different.

The conference, scheduled for Friday, May 15, through Sunday, May 17, will be held at several venues in Albany, a quick trip for all of us, which should make attendance a breeze.

Here’s the schedule:


• 1:30 to 4 p.m. — Day of Service Projects

Continuing an annual tradition, attendees can choose to volunteer at one of these three optional projects on Friday afternoon.  No cost to attend or participate, but we ask you to please sign up during registration so we can plan accordingly:
Option 1 — Northeast Regional Food Bank farm, Altamont:  Wear your work clothes for gardening and help the staff at the Northeast Regional Foodbank’s Farm in Altamont with some spring planting.   Farm supplies local foodbanks during the growing months. NERFB also will sell produce to support its Foodbank programs.
Option 2 — NERFB Warehouse, Latham: Join your fellow Rotarians for indoor volunteer work at the  warehouse near the Albany International Airport.  Help the staff by sorting donations and boxing for distribution to worthy groups and individuals.
Option 3 — Ronald McDonald House, Albany: Work together helping residents at the facility located near the Albany Medical Center.
• 5:30-7 p.m. — Re-Connecting Dinners
Optional event –– Meet up with fellow Rotarians at various venues in the Albany area and “Re-Connect” with friends.  Venue selection and dinner cost is on your own. Some suggested locations and hosts are listed as options to consider during registration.   Please specify your preference during registration so appropriate space can be reserved.
• 7:30-9:30 p.m., International Taste Tour: 4 to 5 pubs in Albany’s North End
Optional event — The North End , also known as the city’s Warehouse District, has a number of venues featuring various international themes — German, Irish, Asian, etc. This event ($20 per person) includes some light fare to go with cash bars at each of the venues.  Plan accordingly to use hotel shuttles or support local Uber/Lyft drivers for a fun and safe evening.
  • 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Albany Capital Center, 55 Eagle Street
    Business meeting and breakout sessions; showcase of club projects; lunch program; club awards
• The new Capital Center building near the Governor’s Mansion is our venue and host on Saturday for District Conference.   District Governor Larry Jones will officially call our conference to order, followed by role call of participating clubs. Meet our Rotary International President’s Representative,  Michael Angelo Caruso, attend our annual meeting/business sessions, and enjoy the lunch program featuring our keynote speaker. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner meals are included as part of the full conference registration, as is Sunday brunch.
1:30 to 4 p.m., Discover Albany
  • Options: Treasure Hunt of Albany sites, the New York State Museum, tour the historic Ten Broeck Mansion, and more
• Select from a number of options on Saturday afternoon to enjoy the Downtown Albany area.  Please specify your preference during conference registration so we can plan accordingly.  Tours are being arranged at some nearby historic sites, or choose to  join teams to participate in our treasure hunt in the neighborhood near the Albany Capital Center, the Empire State Plaza, and Renaissance Albany. This fun activity is a favorite with our Exchange students and Rotarians who join up with them.
  • 5:30 – 9:00 pm – International Street Fair: International drink tastings, Mazzone Hospitality’s international food stations, cultural activities, and entertainment. This program will feature tastings and activities from different countries as part of the full conference registration. Mix, mingle, and connect with Rotarians and friends.
  • 9:30 Sunday Brunch: The “Remembering Rotarians” memorial service
Join us for a brunch at our official district conference hotel, which is included with the full conference registration. The program will include our annual tribute to “Rotarians called to Higher Service” during the past year. Governor Larry Jones will close the conference following the brunch and program.
Simply click here to go to the online registration page for the conference.

Rotary’s 115th birthday party, and you’re invited

Screen Shot 2020-01-21 at 10.38.57 PMYou are invited to a very special birthday party.

Rotary will turn 115 this year, and District 7190 will celebrate the milestone with a party including light snacks, music, and, of course, a birthday cake — plus a few surprises.

The details: 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, February 23, at the Glenville Senior Center, 32 Worden Road, Glenville. Tickets are just $12 for adults (18 and over), $7 for kids 7 to 17, and those under 6 will be admitted free.

Go here to sign up for the fun.


Congratulations to latest 7190 RLI graduating class

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The RLI graduating class of 2019. See anyone you know?

Ten Rotarians were honored on Saturday as the graduating class of Rotary Leadership Institute’s District 7190 training session held in Schenectady.

Last year, SRC had a district-leading 10 people participating, but this year the number dropped off precipitously with Dick Drumm our lone attendee. Dick completed Level 1 of the three-level program needed to receive a graduation certificate. After finishing the three levels, Rotarians may participate in graduate-level classes.