The torch has passed, once again

Past, present, future — Outgoing President Andy Leyhane (left) and Incoming President Phil Kellerman exchange gifts while President-elect Dick Drumm looks on.

An annual rite of Rotary, the Presidential Changeover, took place Thursday evening when President Andy Leyhane figuratively passed the torch to Phil Kellerman for the 2019-20 Rotary Year that begins July 1.

Witnessing the peaceful transfer of power were Jim Leyhane, event host and Andy’s father, President-elect Dick Drumm (who will move up for the 2020-21 Rotary Year), Board members Bill Dowd and Pat Bailey, April Dowd, Dean Calamaras, Doris Calamaras, Kevin Leyhane, Carol Orvis, Ray Hannan, Charlie Foote, and a large variety of adult and smaller friends and relatives.

This was the final SRC event of the Rotary Year. After a week off to mark the July 4th holiday, we’ll begin the annual “SRC Summer Casual Calendar.” First up will be a private-room dinner and chatfest at 6 p.m. Thursday, July 11, at the Schodack Diner, 1842 Columbia Turnpike. Reservations, priced at $15 per person or $25 per couple, should be reserved no later than July 4 by emailing Ray Hannan at or by calling Ray or Lois at 585-315-1385.

Brothers Kevin and Andy Leyhane are SRCs newest Paul Harris Fellows.
Carol Orvis displays a multiple-Paul Harris Fellow award presented by another SRC multiple-multiple awardee, Jim Leyhane.
Kevin and Phil model indestructible sunglasses that may become the official SRC eyeware.

Meeting Clipboard: 6/20/19

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

Members Attending (12): Andy Leyhane, Dick Drumm, Jim Leyhane, Ray Hannan, Roberto Martinez, Kevin Leyhane, Pat Bailey, Doris Calamaras, Peter Brown, Debbie Brown, Peter Berry, Charlie Foote.

Guests (1): Phillipa Martin.

Kevin Leyhane presented a musical trivia quiz from the 1970s, ’80s, and ’90s.

MEETING NOTES: President Andy welcomed members and guest Phillipa Martin, spouse of our newest member, Peter Berry. … Treasurer Murray Forth had a second knee replacement surgery and is doing well. He thanks everyone for their support. … Andy urged participation by SRC members at the East Greenbush Board of Education meeting on Tuesday, June 25. Jaime Gibbs will be making a presentation on the impact of Augie the service dog at Bell Top Elementary School. SRC is one of the major financial sponsors for Augie. …

The SRC Summer Casual schedule for July and August was reviewed. Details are available by clicking here. Only one date (8/25) remains to be filled. … The annual Presidential Changeover Dinner is scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday, June 27, the final day of the 2018-19 Rotary Year. President Andy will be turning over the gavel to Phil Kellerman. Please (a) contact host Jim Leyhane at ASAP, and (b) plan to bring an appetizer or dessert.




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.


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.


Meeting Clipboard: 6/6/19

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

Members Attending (12): Andy Leyhane, Murray Forth, Phil Kellerman, Pat Bailey, Debbie Brown, Peter Brown, Dick Drumm, Dean Calamaras, Doris Calamaras, Ray Hannan, Roberto Martinez, Jim Leyhane.

Guests (2): Tom Burdick, Dawn Vavala.

MEETING NOTES: President Andy welcomed 12 members (a quorum) and two guests. … Doris Calamaras announced that she wants to raffle several afghans she has purchased and donate the money to Gift of Life. There was a suggestion to sell the raffle tickets at the Gift of Life Golf Tournament in September. … Phil Kellerman provided an update on proceeds from the sale of CDs released at the recent SRC concert to benefit the Oley Foundation have reached $1,100. Mike McCarthy, one of the performers on the CD, will perform on the back patio at My Place & Co. (1640 Columbia Turnpike) on Sunday, July 7. …

Visiting Rotarian Dawn Vavala, who provides Rotary-branded clothing merchandise throughout the District, reported that sales of the special Rotary Foundation shirts has raised $1,500 for the Foundation. … Jim Leyhane talked about the Rotary Run & Festival for Good, to be held at the Columbia County Fairgrounds in Chatham on Saturday, October 10. The event will include 5K and 10K runs, and offer attendees  food and beer trucks as well as events for kids and families. Profits will go to GOL and ShelterBox.

Screen Shot 2019-06-08 at 1.07.44 AM
Tom Burdick

PROGRAM: The District’s Gift of Life President Tom Burdick presented a video about District 7190 and GOL. He noted how much our club has supported the Gift of Life over the years.

He noted that the District helped fund three medical teaching missions to Bucharest, Romania, donating $15,000 for each of the missions. GOL now has become the largest pediatric cardiology non-profit organization in the world.

The District is arranging and funding one or two such operations a year at Albany Medical Center. The GOL feels it is financially better to send teams abroad to train medical personnel, but some children continue coming to Albany because they do not have sufficient facilities in their home country. The Samaritan’s Purse philanthropic organization is being used as a partner because it can have patients fly into Albany instead of New York City. They also bring in an interpreter.

Tom said the District’s second GOL run held several weeks ago drew 200 runners and raised $2.500.  A lot of the work was done by the students.

Dawn Vavala spoke about GOL’s clothing donation bins and the need to get more out of Rotary members and friends. Also, people can donate through Amazon Smile and Amazon donates 0.5% of purchases.

In other activities, the GOL is looking for board members.  Interested parties can contact Tom. The organization also is considering a rum tasting fundraiser. The annual GOL Golf Tournament is scheduled for Monday, September 16.

NEXT MEETING: We will present $1,000 scholarship checks to a number of graduating high school seniors, an activity postponed from this week. Plus, Kevin Leyhane will present “Music Trivia, Part Deux.”

Meeting Clipboard: 5/30/19

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

Members Attending (14): Andy Leyhane, Pat Bailey, Peter Berry, Geoff Brewer, Terry Brewer, Debbie Brown, Peter Brown, Dean Calamaras, Dick Drumm, Charlie Foote, Murray Forth, Jim Leyhane, Becky Raymond, Debbie Rodriguez.

Guests: None.

Screen Shot 2019-06-03 at 4.46.57 PMMEETING NOTES: President Andy Leyhane welcomed members, who constituted a quorum. … It was reported that selections have been finalized for our annual youth scholarship awards. We will be presenting $1,000 checks to one graduating senior each from Columbia, Maple Hill, and Rensselaer high schools. … Students at Goff Middle School are planning to host a kickball tournament at 10 a.m. Sunday, June 9, to raise money for their clean water project.  All teams are signed up, but they could use some help from SRCmembers in manning signup, scoreboard, and concession tables. …

Screen Shot 2019-06-03 at 4.29.32 PMWe now have two dates filled on our July-August Summer Casual Calendar — a Thursday, July 18, pavilion picnic and ValleyCats pro baseball game at Bruno Stadium on the Hudson Valley Community College campus (Terry Brewer is taking reservation requests); a performance of “Ragtime: The Musical” at Mac-Haydn Theatre preceded by dinner at Yiannis at the Chatham House on Thursday, August 1 (Debbie Brown is taking reservations for both). Dates still up for grabs: July 11 and 25, and August 8, 15, and 22. … Our annual Presidential Changeover, scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday, June 27, will be hosted by Jim Leyhane at his residence, when his son Andy hands over the presidency to Phil Kellerman for the 2019-20 Rotary Year. …

The under-development Troy Rotary Club will hold its first public information-and-recruitment session from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 12, at the Troy Kitchen food hall,  77 Congress Street. All are welcome since SRC is the sponsoring club for Troy, and Bill Dowd and Terry Brewer are part of the steering committee for the effort. … A Danes Rotaract contingent — SRC members John Justino, the faculty adviser,and Becky Raymond, one of the liaisons, plus Immediate Past President Lindsey Riback — plans to  visit the Freedom From Fistula Foundation office in New York City to learn about fundraising opportunities.

PROGRAM: Peter Berry, SRC’s newest member and a longtime Rotarian who recently moved here from South Africa, gave an interesting talk about the history of South Africa and how it tied into his own experiences in Rotary.

Screen Shot 2019-06-05 at 11.01.31 PM

Meeting Clipboard: 5/23/19

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

Members Attending (13): Andy Leyhane, Murray Forth, Phil Kellerman, Bill Dowd, Jim Leyhane, Debbie Brown, Dick Drumm, Ray Hannan, Roberto Martinez, Ron Annis, Peter Berry, Charlie Foote, Julius Frankel.

Guests (5): Monika Annis, Effie Frankel, Chris Jones, Kelly Walborn, Vivian Behm.

MEETING NOTES — President Andy welcomed members and guests. … Murray Forth reported that the club’s take for the recent Recycling & Shredding Day would come to about $1,250 for our scholarships and other programs. He noted that once again we had trouble with the company doing the shredding, and that we may be looking for a new vendor before the next such event. … Phil Kellerman updated us on revenue produced for the Oley Foundation fundraiser from the recent concert. Counting CD sales, it now is just short of $900. …

Jim Leyhane reported that the planned Rotary Run & Festival of Good, scheduled to be held in September, was being moved to October 10, 2020, due to the inability of local law enforcement to complete planning for its role in the event to be held in Chatham. … Bill Dowd reported that the second planning meeting for potential creation of a Troy Rotary Club had been held, and that a public information and signup meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 12, at the Troy Kitchen food court, 77 Congress Street in downtown Troy. Bill and Terry Brewer are serving as mentors for the new club and SRC is its sponsoring organization. … Tom Burdick, president of the board of the District 7190 Gift of Life, will be our guest at next week’s meeting, June 6.

pix 1
Attendees listen to speaker Chris Jones.
Chris Jones

PROGRAM — Chris Jones, certified in a relatively new medical field by the American Board of Lifetyle Medicine (its inaugural exam was held in 2017), presented a look at how new research and practices in the healing and preventative medical arts are being used to improve health and quality of life for people of all ages.

While stressing that this field is not “alternative medicine,” Chris said it is a holistic approach to treatment. He touched on the benefits of healthy eating patterns, exercise, regular coaching sessions with a Lifestyle Medicine provider, meditation, behavioral modification, the realization that the process is an ongoing one, and numerous other points.

Among his “quick tips” for a healthy lifestyle:

• Get off the dieting roller-coaster by eliminating refined sugar and processed foods

• Make an appointment and be expected

• Don’t quit trying to quit

• Reduce stress by keeping it simple

• Remember that pills are never the answer

• Practice random acts of kindness.



Meeting Clipboard (and RYLA): 5/16/19

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

Members Attending (12): Andy Leyhane, Murray Forth, Phil Kellerman,  Bill Dowd, Jim Leyhane, Pat Bailey, Debbie Brown, Peter Brown, Dick Drumm, Ray Hannan, Debbie Rodriquez, Roberto Martinez.

Guests (7): RYLA students Shannon Tacy, Derrick Rosetti, and Emily Smith; parents Paul Tacy, Terry Smith, and Karen Rosetti; teacher Jackie Hill.

MEETING NOTES: President Andy Leyhane welcomed members, RYLA students, their parents and teacher Jackie Hill. … Event coordinator Murray Forth reminded everyone the Recycling & Shredding Day this Saturday begins at 9 a.m. at the Wainschaf Associates facility behind Target. Anyone who can volunteer to help staff the day is asked to contact him ASAP. … Phil Kellerman thanked the club for supporting last week’s concert that raised $450 for the Oley Foundation. …

Jim Leyhane provided an update on plans for the Rotary 10K/5K Run in September. We have been working with the chief of the Chatham Police Department to coordinate security and safety from the Columbia County Fairgrounds with the sheriff’s department and State Police. He now advises that five months is not sufficient lead time to adequately plan for a 10K run and that we should consider reducing the event to only a  5K run. The problem with that is that 5K runs are extremely commonplace throughout the region, bring in far less money, and probably would put us in the red. The inclination is to postpone until the fall of 2020. Jim asks that anyone wishing to comment on the situation contact him ASAP.

Screen Shot 2019-05-16 at 8.17.40 PM
Recent RYLA grads (from left) Shannon Tacy, Emily Smith, and Derrick Rosetti.

Three of the four Maple Hill High School juniors who SRC sponsored for the 2018-19 Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) session visited to talk about their experience.

They were Shannon Tacy, Derrick Rosetti, and Emily Smith. A fourth student, Emily Burns, was unable to attend.

Their participation in the course, which included students from throughout District 7190 as well as several Rotary Exchange students studying here for the academic year, covered numerous individual and group dynamic activities. For example: team building exercises, a public service project (making lap blankets for elderly invalids), planning and time management, public speaking, and improving self-esteem.

Their faculty advisor, Jackie Hill, expressed Maple Hill’s appreciation for SRC’s support over the years for RYLA participation.