Annual school supplies donations delivered

SRC’s annual participation in the Circles of Mercy “Back-to-School Supplies” drive has been completed, and donations delivered to the family-aid organization.

Ray and Lois Hannan were this year’s project coordinators. They report that nine members donated supplies and two others donated checks to the effort for needy students in the Rensselaer City School District.

The club thanks the Hannans and those who contributed to the project.

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

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.

Meeting clipboard: 6/18/20 – Scholarship winners

SRC ClipboardHeld at Quigley’s Restaurant
573 Columbia Turnpike
East Greenbush, NY 12061  virtually

MEMBERS ATTENDING (11 – no quorum): Phil Kellerman, Dick Drumm, Debbie Rodriguez, Pat Bailey, Bill Dowd, Roberto Martinez, Jim Leyhane, Charlie Foote, Debbie Brown, Peter Brown, Mike Bennett.

GUESTS (3): Brandy Cenci, Mackenzie Brown, Shannon Tacy.



MEETING NOTES: Two of our three $1,000 Rotary Scholarship Awards winners (shown above) joined us in a virtual Zoom meeting on Thursday.

Shannon Tacy (left), a Rensselaer High School senior, told us she plans to attend St. Lawrence University in the fall, majoring in government. She hopes to be in a public decision-making role of some sort upon completion of her university studies. Mackenzie Brown, a Maple Hill High School senior, told us she plans to attend the University at Albany in a “3 and 3” program in which students can earn a bachelor’s degree in three years then move directly to Albany Law School for her next three years of study. She hopes to be a criminal defense attorney, perhaps eventually joining the FBI. The third recipient, Lindsey Conboy of Columbia High School, was unable to join us. …

No official business was transacted because of the absence of a quorum. … Phil Kellerman thanked Peter Brown, Roberto Martinez, and Jim Leyhane for setting up Zoom meetings over the past few weeks. … Debbie Rodriguez reported she recently spoke with owner John Walsh of Quigley’s, who said he does not plan to reopen until Phase 4 because of difficulties reconfiguring the restaurant to conform to social distancing. …

Members were reminded to check the club website for details on how to attend the virtual RI Convention at no charge and the virtual District Training on Zoom use. … Dick Drumm said plans have been completed for next Thursday’s outdoor Presidential Changeover event at his Valatie residence. That will be the last meeting of the 2019-20 Rotary Year. We will not meet on July 2 because of the long Fourth of July weekend. …

While we have no “Summer Casual” events on the calendar for July and August, Debbie Rodriguez said she would volunteer to host an outdoor event on a date to be decided. Bill Dowd reiterated that two of our usual outings have been scratched — Mac-Haydn Theater, which has cancelled its season, and ValleyCats baseball, because no decision has been made on whether the New York-Penn League season will be played this year.


What’s going on in the local schools?

Screen Shot 2020-01-02 at 9.47.44 PM
Jeff Simons

Jeff Simons, who is nearing his fourth anniversary as superintendent of the East Greenbush Central School District, will be our first guest speaker of 2020 when he visits the club on Thursday, January 9.

Jeff, a former SRC member who was appointed superintendent in March 2016, will be speaking on initiatives within the school district and its connections to the community at large.

When you receive your weekly RSVP note next week from dinner coordinator Debbie Rodriguez, please consider inviting a friend, family member, or business colleague who may have an interest in the local schools to join us as your guest.


 

Finish line near for school supplies drive

Screen Shot 2019-07-12 at 12.04.19 PMSRC members, family, and friends are once again helping less-fortunate students prepare for their return to school — yes, it’s getting that close! — by participating in the annual Circles of Mercy Back-to-School Supplies Drive.

The program, as in other years, focuses on all high school grades (9-12) and on pre-school students, and SRC is always a major contributor. The shopping list recommended by Circles of Mercy:

• pencils (regular lead #2 and color)
• pencil sharpener
• erasers (for pencils)
• pens (black or blue ink)
• markers (dry-erase and Sharpies, assorted colors)
• pocket folders (assorted colors)
• 3-ring binders (in 2” and 3” sizes)
• loose leaf paper (college ruled)
• graph paper
• spiral subject notebooks (1-, 3- and 5-subject, college ruled)
• subject dividers
• plastic zipper pencil cases/boxes
• 3”x5” index cards
• highlighters (yellow)
• rulers (regular with metric)
• Kleenex tissues
• hand sanitizer (small bottles)
• Post-It notes
• backpacks (no rollers/wheels)
• hole reinforcement stickers
• combination lock (for gym lockers)
• flash drives
• ear buds (for computer use)
• scientific calculators

We have one final drop-off date for your donations: 6 p.m. Thursday, August 8, at the Drumm residence in Valatie.

If you do NOT plan to attend that get-together, please contact President Phil Kellerman to arrange a dropoff/pickup for your donations so we can meet the necessary delivery schedule. We are hoping to at least meet the level of help we have provided in past years, but we can do it only with your generosity.


Time to chip in for the annual school supplies drive

Screen Shot 2019-07-12 at 12.04.19 PMIt’s time for SRC members, family and friends, to once again help less-fortunate students prepare for their return to school — yes, it’s getting that close! — by participating in the annual Circles of Mercy Back-to-School Supplies Drive.

The program, as in other years, focuses on all high school grades (9-12) and on pre-school students, and SRC is always a major contributor. The shopping list recommended by Circles of Mercy:

• pencils (regular lead #2 and color)
• pencil sharpener
• erasers (for pencils)
• pens (black or blue ink)
• markers (dry-erase and Sharpies, assorted colors)
• pocket folders (assorted colors)
• 3-ring binders (in 2” and 3” sizes)
• loose leaf paper (college ruled)
• graph paper
• spiral subject notebooks (1-, 3- and 5-subject, college ruled)
• subject dividers
• plastic zipper pencil cases/boxes
• 3”x5” index cards
• highlighters (yellow)
• rulers (regular with metric)
• Kleenex tissues
• hand sanitizer (small bottles)
• Post-It notes
• backpacks (no rollers/wheels)
• hole reinforcement stickers
• combination lock (for gym lockers)
• flash drives
• ear buds (for computer use)
• scientific calculators

Donations can be dropped off at the following two SRC Summer Casual events, after which we will deliver them to the Circles of Mercy headquarters in Rensselaer in time to meet its August 19 deadline:

Thursday, July 25 — “Pool Party & Cookout,” Jim Leyhane residence, East Greenbush, co-hosted by Roberto Martinez.

Thursday, August 8 — “Picnic at Fox Hollow,” the Drumm residence in Valatie.


 

Meeting Clipboard: 6/13/19 (Scholarship Night)

SRC ClipboardHeld at Quigley’s Restaurant
573 Columbia Turnpike
East Greenbush, NY 12061

Members Attending (16): Andy Leyhane, Murray Forth, Phil Kellerman, Pat Bailey, Debbie Brown, Peter Brown, Dick Drumm, Bill Dowd, Terry Brewer, Doris Calamaras, Ray Hannan, Roberto Martinez, Jim Leyhane, Geoff Brewer, Mike Simon, Mike Bennett.

Guests (9): Megan Shiffer, Max Brady, Abigail Utter, Brandy Cenci, Jim Brady, Mr. & Mrs. Utter, Mrs. Shiffer and interpreter.


PROGRAM: ANNUAL SCHOLARSHIP AWARDS

Screen Shot 2019-06-03 at 4.46.57 PMAll three winners of our $1,000 SRC Scholarship Awards were present along with school representatives and parents.

President Andy prefaced the presentation by announcing that special awards were being given to three members who were largely responsible for the fundraising efforts to underwrite the awards, and they in turn would make the check presentations to the students. They were Murray Forth for running our recycling program, Terry Brewer for coordinating the community awards dinner, and Roberto Martinez for securing the necessary district grant.

The scholarship awardees, and their chosen colleges: Megan Shiffer of Columbia High School (New England College in Henniker, NH), Max Brady of Rensselaer High School (Siena College in Loudonville), and Abigail Utter of Maple Hill High School (Marist College in Poughkeepsie).

mike bennett and abigail utter
Mike Bennett and Abigail Utter of Maple Hill flank presenter Roberto Martinez.

brandy cenci and max brady
Rensselaer HS counselor Brandy Cenci and Max Grady flank presenter Terry Brewer.

Meghan & Jeff
Presenter Murray Forth congratulates Columbia’s Meghan Shiffer as Jeff Simon looks on.


RI Gold LogoMEETING NOTES: President Andy welcomed members and guests. … Jeff Simon reported on the East Greenbush elementary school kickball tournament that raised $441 for the EG Student Advisory Council. The proceeds were donated to Rotary International’s Clean Water Project. … Bill Dowd gave an update on the creation of a Troy Rotary Club that SRC is sponsoring. Bill and Terry Brewer are on the steering committee for the new entity. Its first public meeting generated about 30 attendees, three corporate sponsors were pledged, and several people volunteered to be charter officers. He said all are welcome to participate in Troy activities, and that its summer schedule would be incorporated into our own website calendar page for easy reference. …

Screen Shot 2019-06-03 at 4.29.32 PMSignup sheets were circulated for two events on our Summer Casual Calendar — a July 11 private-room dinner at the Schodack Diner, 1842 Columbia Turnpike, sponsored by Ray and Lois Hannan, and the July 18 pavilion picnic and ValleyCats baseball game at Bruno Stadium being coordinated by Terry Brewer. Also, Jim Leyhane said he will be hosting a pool party and cookout on July 25, with members of the EG Student Advisory Council as special guests. For the diner event and pool party, the sponsors are picking up the food costs, while guests are asked to contribute $15 per person or $25 per family to the club treasury. All available July dates on the Summer Casual Calendar now are spoken for. Anyone wishing to host or coordinate events the weeks of August 8, 15, and 22 is asked to let Bill Dowd know the date and details so they can be publicized ASAP. …

Screen Shot 2019-06-13 at 9.15.34 PMNext Thursday’s meeting will be “Musical Trivia, Part Deux,” with Kevin Leyhane as the quizmaster once more. … The following Thursday, June 27, Jim Leyhane will host the annual Presidential Changeover Dinner when Andy will pass the gavel to Phil Kellerman for the 2019-20 Rotary Year and Dick Drumm will become president-elect for 2020-21, our 60th year as a club. It will be a catered dinner, so RSVPs are quite important.


 

Checking in on Augie, our Bell Top pal

It’s been a while since we last looked in on Augie, the therapy dog SRC is helping support at the Bell Top Elementary School. It seems he has been very busy.

If you visit Augie’s blog, “Puppy With a Purpose,” you can catch up on what he’s been doing, from training sessions (see video above) to classroom and library visits, to fun times with the kids during a rather messy “color run,” to getting a haircut. In addition, you can find out how to purchase Augie T-shirts (see below) online. Soon, he’ll be celebrating his first birthday (June 8).

Here are just a few scenes of what Augie has been doing:

Library
Spot the canine in the library.

Trio
Kind of messy fun in the color run.

Writing
When you’re finished, can we play?

shirts
Auggie is selling his T-shirts. (Note the name at the top of the list!)