What is Rotary doing worldwide right now?

We just completed World Vaccine Week, and the turmoil and human suffering continues in Ukraine.

Two very different crises, but Rotary International is hard at work lending a hand in both initiatives.

Check our club’s Facebook page (there’s a link to it at the top of our website) to read two stories on efforts to aid Ukrainians, and a third story detailing the latest vaccine efforts.

As a reminder, we always add our website posts to our Facebook page for quick access, but Facebook sometimes contains stories and announcements not seen anywhere else. If you’re a member of Facebook, all you have to do is type “SRC Club” in the search box to gain access.

Hamming it up at a ‘Summer Casual’ event

Members Attending (9): Debbie Rodriguez, Dick Drumm, Jim Leyhane, Roberto Martinez, Tony Morris, Pat Bailey, Ray Hannan, Dean Calamaras, Doris Calamaras.

Guests (3): Lois Hannan, Mary Drumm, Debbie Morris.

Doris and Dean Calamaras hosted a sit-down dinner as our second “Summer Casual” event of the year, preparing a menu of baked ham, new potatoes, vegetables, fruit, and desserts galore. Our thank to them for another nice event.

Business Items:

• Ray and Lois Hannan have volunteered to coordinate our club’s participation in the annual school supplies drive for Circles of Mercy. Bill Dowd already has mailed copies of the preferred shopping list to all members, as well as posting it on the club website (https://srcrotary.org/2021/07/12/annual-back-to-school-supplies-drive-begins/). Details on dropoff/pickup dates and locations will be provided at a later time.

• New club president Debbie Rodriguez is preparing to schedule a Board meeting to discuss possibilities for meetings in September, as well as any other items that might arise.

• Our next “Summer Casual” event is scheduled for next Thursday, July 22, co-hosted by Jim Leyhane and Roberto Martinez at Jim’s residence. All kids and vaccinated adults are welcome, but need to RSVP to either co-host no later than Monday, July 19. We are asking for a contribution of $20 per member, $10 per adult guest, and $5 for kids, with all proceeds going to the club treasury to help support our man y community service activities. Hot dogs and hamburgers will be provided; please bring an appetizer or a dessert. And remember, the pool will be open to all. Please scroll down for the updated “Summer Casual” calendar of events and their RSVP deadlines.

Meanwhile, here are several scenes from the Calamaras dinner:

Our hosts, Dean and Doris, serving up some goodies.

Some of the usual suspects

… and, the rest of them.

Another ‘Summer Casual’ event created

HOT OFF THE PRESS (appropriate for summer, if not for today’s cool, rainy weather), we have details of another “Summer Casual” social event for members, family, and friends of SRC.

President Debbie Rodriguez and Secretary Pat Bailey will co-host a “Pizza & Ice Cream Party” at the Rodriguez residence, 121 Lape Road, Nassau, at 6 p.m. Thursday, July 29, for all fully-vaccinated adults and their kids.

The pool and other child-appropriate stuff will be available for this family-friendly event.

Please RSVP to Debbie (debannrodyahoo.com) or Pat (baileyps26@gmail.com) no later than Monday, July 26.

P.S. If you’d like to attend the Browns’ event on Thursday, RSVP by today if you haven’t already done so.

Here’s the updated “Summer Casual” schedule:

Filling out our ‘Summer Casual’ calendar

We already have the first month of our July-August “Summer Casual” social calendar filled, but we need your help rounding out the August dates.

We have the possibility of resuming our annual picnic-and-baseball game outing to see the ValleyCats play at Bruno Stadium (tentative date Thursday, August 19), but we need your feedback very quickly. The two packages available:

$30 for adults/$25 for children under 12:

Each person would receive a game ticket, souvenir, BBQ chicken, pulled pork, hot dog, pasta salad, coleslaw, dinner roll, soda or water.

$15 package for all ages:

Each person would receive a game ticket, souvenir, hot dog, chips, soda or water.  

What we need to know from you is (a) Will you attend? (b) Will you bring guests, and how many? (c) Which package would you prefer?

Please send your feedback to event organizer Debbie Rodriguez (debannrod@yahoo.com) ASAP so we can ascertain the potential size of our group and what package the majority prefers, and can reserve the date with the ValleyCats office.

Meanwhile, the chart below shows what we have scheduled so far. If you wish to host or arrange an outing on any of the remaining August dates, please let Debbie or webmaster Bill Dowd (SRCrotary@gmail.com) know so the date can be reserved for you.

Update: Lining up ‘Summer Casual’ schedule

Now that most adults have been vaccinated against COVID-19 and state attendance restrictions on in-person gatherings are being eased, we’re nearing the return of SRC outdoor gatherings.

Our first will be at 6 p.m. Thursday, June 24, with a picnic at the Drumm farm to mark our annual “Presidential Changeover,” when Dick will be handing the gavel to Debbie Rodriguez.

And, we now have the first of eight “Summer Casual” dates reserved in July and August. Jim Leyhane and Roberto Martinez will co-host a picnic and pool party at 6 p.m. Thursday, July 22, at Jim’s residence.

Details and signup dates for both events will be shared closer to those dates. Meanwhile, reserve them on your calendar.

According to the latest CDC guidance, people who are fully vaccinated can associate with other fully vaccinated people with only “miniscule” chance of a COVID problem. Thus, we’re asking any club members and significant others who wish to attend any events to do so only if fully vaxxed.

Meanwhile, if you would like to hold some sort of “Summer Casual” event or to plan an outing for the club, please let incoming president Debbie and/or webmaster Bill Dowd know so the date can be reserved and publicized.

The July-August schedule:


01 — Holiday lead-in, no meeting

04 — Fourth of July holiday

08 — Summer Casual event (TBD)

15 — Summer Casual event (TBD)

22 — Summer Casual: Picnic & Pool Party, 6 p.m., Leyhane residence

29 — Summer Casual event (TBD)


05 — Summer Casual event (TBD)

12 — Summer Casual event (TBD)

19 — Summer Casual event (TBD)

26 — Summer Casual event (TBD)

The gavel is passed on a stormy evening

SRC ClipboardHeld at Drumm residence,
Fox Hollow Road, Valatie

Members Attending (18): Phil Kellerman, Dick Drumm, Debbie Rodriguez, Murray Forth, Terry Brewer, Andy Leyhane, Bill Dowd, Pat Bailey, Murray Forth, Geoff Brewer, Dean Calamaras, Doris Calamaras, Jim Leyhane, Kevin Leyhane, Peter Brown, Debbie Brown, Maggie Forth, Ray Hannan.

Guests Attending (10): Numerous friends and relatives.


The figurative gavel was passed on Thursday evening, with lone charter member Dick Drumm (1960) assuming the presidency of the Southern Rensselaer County Rotary Club for the 2020-21 Rotary Year from Phil Kellerman as dozens of members and guests looked on.

The al fresco dinner event, hosted by Dick and Mary Drumm at their rural Valatie manse, was the first in-person SRC event since March because of the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. Although well attended, the crowd fell well within the 50-person limit imposed by the state. All social distancing protocols were observed.

Catering was by Talk of the Town, owned by former Rotarian Jim Mendrysa who served a dinner of his signature chicken Parm, plus appropriate sides, salad, rolls, coffee, and chocolate mousse. All went well until a sudden storm blew up the event around 7 p.m., upending the catering canopy and drenching many attendees before they moved indoors. Typically, the Rotary spirit was undampened.

Outgoing President Phil thanked several members for their varied effort in the pandemic-curtailed Rotary Year. In particular, he made note of the trio of $1,000 scholarships presented a week earlier, the work done on filing for reinstatement by the IRS of our club’s tax-exempt status, and hosting of virtual events via Zoom.

While no firm dates have been set for “Summer Casual” events during July and August, members were encouraged to let incoming President Dick Drumm and incoming President-elect Debbie Rodriguez know of any thoughts on planning and scheduling such events. Members were encouraged to visit the club website’s Calendar page regularly to stay apprised of events.

The fate of our normal weekly dinner meetings for September through June 2021 remains in limbo until we learn owner John Walsh’s plans for Quigley’s restaurant, which has been closed since mid-March.

Thanks from the entire membership was proffered to Dick and Mary Drumm for hosting the event.

Here are more scenes from the event, including the scramble to anchor the catering tent upended by the blustery winds.



Bill & Debbie




Chow Line







Guidelines and forecast for Changeover event

picnicThe National Weather Service forecast for Thursday is a high of 85 degrees and sunny skies. That bodes well for our 6 p.m. al fresco Presidential Changeover dinner that day.

A reminder to those who made reservations by the deadline for the event.

Guidelines have been established for the safety and comfort of all involved:

• Everyone is asked to wear a face mask, and bring hand sanitizers and wipes.
• Social distancing of at least six feet is requested.
• Everyone is asked to bring their own lawn chairs (and small snack tables if desired).
• While the main meal and coffee will be served by our caterer, anyone wishing other beverages is asked to bring their own (coolers are OK). We’re trying to limit the number of shared-touch surfaces.

The site remains the Drumm residence on Fox Hollow Road in Valatie. Dinner will be $15 each (no charge for children). However, we are hoping to make this a fundraiser for the club treasury, so if you would like to make a contribution on top of the $15 it will be appreciated.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact our hosts, Dick and Mary Drumm, at 518-470-0808.

Details for our Presidential Changeover event

picnicPlans for our al fresco Presidential Changeover dinner on June 25 are evolving.

The site remains the Drumm residence on Fox Hollow Road in Valatie.

However, in these uncertain times we all want to stay safe so, after consulting with two eminent doctors, we have come up with some “novel” ideas. Could everyone please bring their own lawn chair and, if you have one, a TV snack table, masks, wipes, and sanitizer?

We will dine on chicken Parm with spaghetti, a salad, and chocolate mousse. Coffee will be served with dessert. The caterer, Jim Mendrysa of Talk of the Town, will be handling all the food and coffee serving to minimize risk. If you wish a beverage beside coffee (cocktails, wine, soda, water) please bring that and an ice bucket if you’d like.

Dinner will be $15 each (no charge for children). However, we are hoping to make this a fundraiser for the club treasury, so if you would like to make a contribution on top of the $15 it will be appreciated.

We hope that these serving practices plus avoiding surface contact, along with using masks and practicing social distancing will minimize risk and make everyone more comfortable in these days of COVID-19. They might even be a gateway for future summer get-togethers.

We hope to see those of you who responded with an RSVP by last week’s deadline at 6 p.m. Thursday, June 25. (Rain date Friday.)  If you have any questions or comments, please contact Dick or Mary at 518-470-0808.

RSVP now for Presidential Changeover picnic

picnicAs we slowly and carefully emerge from the “stay home” portion of the COVID-19 pandemic, life gradually is getting back to some semblance of normalcy.

Although our club has not met in person since March 12, we are hoping to change that by ringing out the 2019-20 Rotary Year with an outdoor catered picnic on Thursday, June 25. It will be hosted by Dick and Mary Drumm at their Fox Hollow home, and will serve as our annual Presidential Changeover event.

We hope you can join us to witness the passing of the gavel from Phil Kellerman to Charter member Dick who will serve as president during SRC’s milestone 60th year of community service.

All recommended social distancing protocols will be observed — gathering outdoors with plenty of room to avoid crowding; one person (chef Jim Mendrysa) serving the food; everyone asked to wear face masks, etc.  The menu will include Chicken Parmigiana, Italian mixed salad, bread, beverages, and desserts from the Crisp Cannoli. No one will be asked to bring any food items.

To be sure we have at least the caterer-required minimum of 20 people, Mary has asked anyone planning to attend to either email (RMdrumm176@aol.com) or call (518-339-7459) her no later than this coming Monday evening (June 8). Please be sure to tell her whether you are bringing a guest or guests.

We hope to see you on the 25th.


Another virtual social is in the books

Screen Shot 2020-04-03 at 5.56.21 PMSRC’s latest virtual social hour drew 10 people Thursday night via Zoom: Dick Drumm, Phil Kellerman, Debbie and Peter Brown, Andy Leyhane, Kevin Leyhane, Charlie Foote, Pat Bailey, Jim Leyhane, and Roberto Martinez.

That means the Leyhanes topped the Browns by a 3-2 score, and everyone else tied for third place.

What did we learn in this first few days of the state’s reopening? That our members are their families seem to be doing OK in this time of COVID-19, keeping busy with gardening, lawn care, reading, etc., and a few still working.

The next official meeting via Zoom is scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday, June 4. Members will receive via email the link to the meeting site.

Until then, as we head into the long Memorial Day weekend, a happy holiday to all!