Meeting Clipboard 6/16/22: Scholarship Night, Part 2

MEMBERS ATTENDING (17): Debbie Rodriguez, Kevin Leyhane, Ray Hannan, Pat Bailey, Debbie Brown, Peter Brown, Phil Kellerman, Murray Forth, Roberto Martinez, Jim Leyhane, Dick Drumm, Andy Leyhane. By proxy: Bill Dowd, Tony Morris, Carol Orvis, Dean Calamaras, Doris Calamaras.

GUESTS (4): Scharlette Wilkins of Unity House, student Chelli Lopez and mother, RHS Counselor Chris Labatagglia.

President Debbie Rodriguez called the meeting to order at Moscatiello’s Italian Family Restaurant, noting the presence of a quorum.

MEETING NOTES:

Scholarship winner Chelli Lopez and mom pose with RHS counselor Chris Labatagglia.

• SCHOLARSHIP AWARDS — Last week, we honored the winners of $1,000 SRC Scholarship Awards to students from Columbia and Maple Hill high schools. Tonight, we honored the third student — Chelli Lopez of Rensselaer High School, who was accompanied by school counselor Chris Labatagglia. Chris described Chelli as someone dedicated to community service that is integral to having the school and public communities function together. She tries to provide tools for projects to succeed.  Because it is a smaller school district, she feels connections are more personal than in some others. Chelli also is a member of her school’s varsity softball team.

Chelli, who was presented with a $1,000 cashier’s check and a certificate of achievement from the club, plans to attend SUNY Oswego. 

President Debbie with Scharlette WIlkins from Unity House, holding a check from SRC.

• GUEST SPEAKER — President Debbie introduced Scharlette Wilkins, assistant director of domestic violence services for Unity House of Troy, where she has worked for 17 years.

Debbie presented Scharlette with a check from the club for $382. The money was collected via the “Pocket Change” contribution jug that is passed around at in-person SRC meetings. That method of fundraising for a different, specific purpose each Rotary Year as designated by the current president was instituted in 2013 under then-President April Dowd.

Scharlette explained that Unity House gets its funding from grants and donations. Its programs include assisting women and men in such areas as poverty, domestic violence, and mental illness. Unity House has a regular staff and the assistance of three attorneys plus a cadre of volunteers, serving people from all ethnic, racial, and socio-economic backgrounds. They even have a gun violence program. Most of their clients pay 30% of the cost of given services. 

• NOTES OF GRATITUDE — We received thank-you notes from ShelterBox and Capital Roots, our two most recent financial recipients.

• SHELTERBOX — Roberto Martinez and Jim Leyhane are in the process of acquiring a $250 Lumaid starter kit for rechargeable lights offered by ShelterBox, to be sold by the club as a ShelterBox fundraiser. We continue our Clynk container recycling effort to help support the emergency aid organization. Anyone needing bar code stickers for that purpose may contact Bill Dowd.

• IMPACT COMMITTEE — The most recent public meet-and-greet effort was staffed by Debbie and Peter Brown at Schodack Town Park on Tuesday during the town’s summer concert series. Anyone wishing to volunteer a few hours to help at additional weekly events is asked to contact Pat Bailey.

• NEXT MEETING — 7 p.m. Thursday, June 23, via Zoom. As always, use the link in the club’s website calendar page to access the session.

Thursday’s dinner meeting is ‘Scholarship Night’

Please be sure to join us to create a strong turnout for Thursday’s 6 p.m. dinner meeting at Moscatiello’s. That’s when we will be honoring several recipients of our annual “SRC Scholarship Awards.”

As always, we’ll begin our social time at 5:30, followed by dinner (and a cash bar). The entree choices will be a chicken Caesar salad or spaghetti with meat sauce or marinara and meatballs.

Our student guests, who will receive $1,000 scholarships, will be accompanied by a parent and a school representative. so we’d like to have as many Rotarians on hand as possible so we can continue to spread the word about Rotary’s commitment to local, regional, and global community service.

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.