Happy New Year! We’re all set for the first SRC virtual meeting of 2021. We hope to see you, literally, at the 7 p.m. meeting this Thursday via ZOOM teleconference that kicks off the second half of the 2020-21 Rotary Year.
Just use this link to join your fellow Rotarians as we resume a successful year of service to the community despite the obstacles posed by the COVID-19 pandemic:
In case the rain this week removed most of the snow where you live, let this scene provide you with the proper mood for a white Christmas. The happiest of holidays to all from the Southern Rensselaer County Rotary Club, and a healthy and better 2021!
Chuck Chera, a well-known District 7190 Rotarian who was the charter president of the Twin Bridges Rotary Club, died on Saturday after a long illness.
As the club, which serves the Halfmoon/Clifton Park area, announced on its Facebook page: “Chuck was the force that started the Twin Bridges Rotary Club. Chuck also gave birth to our signature community service project, ‘The Spirit of Thanksgiving.’
“As a true Rotarian, Chuck treasured serving our community. Chuck was involved with the Gift of Life, helping to heal children’s hearts. His passion for Rotary knew no bounds. Chuck made Rotary a family affair, involving his children and his grandchildren. To say that he will be missed is an understatement.
“Services will be limited to immediate family until something can be planned after COVID-19. Donations can be made in his name to the Twin Bridges Rotary Club Foundation.”
Rich Griesche, 710 district governor, said, “He touched the lives of so many of us in District 7190 and beyond. Many of our current Rotarians were brought into Rotary by Chuck. … May you rest in peace, my dear friend.”
The District 7190 Nominating Committee has selected a leader for the 2023-24 Rotary Year.
“It gives me great pleasure today to inform you that the Nominating Committee has completed the task of choosing our District Governor Nominee Designee — Whitney Pangburn, of the Scotia Rotary Club,” said current DG Richard Griesche.
Whitney currently is chair of the district’s Next Gen committee that works to recruit and retain new Rotarians and help all of us adapt to changing times for service organizations.
Meeting held virtually via ZOOM videoconferencing.
MEMBERS ATTENDING (15): Dick Drumm, Bill Dowd, Charlie Foote, Debbie Rodriguez, Murray Forth, Ray Hannan, Roberto Martinez, Pat Bailey, Jim Leyhane, Phil Kellerman, Kevin Leyhane, Peter Brown, Debbie Brown, Terry Brewer, Geoff Brewer.
MEETING NOTES: President Dick Drumm welcomed members. He noted that this is the final meeting of 2020 since we will be on hiatus for the Christmas and New Year’s weeks, and that due to pandemic restrictions we are not holding our annual Holiday Party & Theme Basket Auction. … Coordinator Bill Dowd thanked members, family, and friends for their extreme generosity to the annual Adopt-a-Family project, undertaken in conjunction with the Circles of Mercy family aid organization. He collected and delivered “two packed-to-the-gills carloads of gifts” for the two families we adopted this year. …
Treasurer Murray Forth reported that checks for grants in varying amounts have been sent out to four local food pantries (The Anchor, Doors of Hope, CoNSERNS-U, Food for Families) totaling $1,840; ShelterBox, $1,300; Mooncatcher Project, $500, and Goff Middle School Staff Appreciation, $250 via an individual gift. … Jim Leyhane reported that sales of scented soaps as holiday gifts are going strong and projects $1,400 to $1,500 for the club treasury because he and Roberto Martinez front the initial setup costs. … Phil Kellerman reported $50 from sales and his matching amount resulted in $100 for the treasury from coffee sales. …
Debbie Rodriguez mentioned that the Medical Reserve Corps of the Rensselaer County Department of Health is looking for volunteers. The MRC’s mission is to improve the health and safety of our community by organizing and training volunteers to supplement existing emergency response resources when public health is threatened. MRC volunteers are local citizens interested in helping their community during large-scale public health emergencies. They may include licensed medical professionals such as physicians, nurses, pharmacists, dentists, and veterinarians, as well as non-medical community members with an interest in public health who fill key support positions.
Back in early November, District 7190 Governor Rich Griesche invited all SRC members to participate in a “Rotary Opens Opportunities” multi-district event involving Rotarians from 7190 as well as 7170, 7150, and 7120.
What’s that, you say? You missed it because of the busy Thanksgiving weekend? Well, Rich is inviting you again, this time on your own schedule via ZOOM.
“Here is the link for anyone who was unable to join us, or if you want to review the information that was presented. There is very valuable information included here, with a couple of attachments that were part of the meeting. Please review and let me know if you have any questions,” Rich says.
Sharing this season together is the greatest gift of all. And, once again, the members and friends of the Southern Rensselaer County Rotary Club have been overwhelmingly generous.
Two carloads of gifts for our two “adopted” families have been delivered to Circles of Mercy headquarters in Rensselaer, the final one this afternoon to wrap up our sixth consecutive year of cooperating with that family aid organization.
Thanks to all who chipped in with gift items and gift cards for the adults and children of the two families, be it from their wish lists or additional ideas you devised. You have assured these needy families of a Christmas much better than what they could have accomplished on their own.
As our friend Richard Zazycki, executive director of Circles of Mercy, put it today: “I’m overwhelmed. You people are truly amazing.”
(NOTE: Anyone not thoroughly familiar with the works of Circles of Mercy can get the details by clicking here.)
One of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic is food insecurity, with families ordinarily not in need now experiencing shortages because of lost income.
The Southern Rensselaer County Rotary Club has identified four (4) food pantries in our area of service. Some members who already have mailed in lump-sum contributions as part of this year’s fundraising effort (click here to refresh your memory on that process) have designated food pantry support as one thing they would like part of their donations to help underwrite.
However, other members still can contribute during this holiday period when food pantries experience particularly heavy demand.
A food pantry donation can be made through the club with a check made payable to “SRC Rotary Club” and “food pantry” in the memo line. But, please let Treasurer Murray Forth know ASAP that you plan to contribute so he can figure in that amount to the pool of pantry dollars he’s about to send out to the pantries. If you prefer, you can send checks directly to the pantries. But, if you do so, we ask that you please put “SRC Rotary Club” in the memo line.
The four pantries:
• Food for Families (headquartered at Columbia High School, but serving families throughout the entire district at all grade levels)
Checks should be made payable to “Michael Leonard,” and mailed to:
Michael Leonard Athletic Director / Food for Families Coordinator Columbia High School 962 Luther Road
East Greenbush, NY 12061
• CoNSERNS-U (a food pantry operated out ot the City of Rensselaer by Catholic Charities Tri-County Services )
Checks should be made payable to “CoNSERNS-U,” and mailed to: Jessica ZintCoNSERNS-U Program CoordinatorCatholic Charities Tri-County ServicesP.O. Box 28, 50 Herrick StreetRensselaer, NY 12144
•The Anchor Food Pantry (a pantry and thrift store service of the Cooperative Christian Ministries of Schodack)
Checks should be made payable to “The Anchor Food Pantry,” and mailed to:
Paula Sancomb, Manager
The Anchor Food Pantry
P.O. Box 92, 35 Boltwood Avenue,
Castleton on Hudson, NY 12033 • Doors of Hope (a community-based food pantry and thrift store that recently moved to new quarters)
Checks should be made to payable to “Doors of Hope Food Pantry,” and mailed to: Doors of Hope Food Pantry P.O. Box 522, 12 Mall Way West Sand Lake, NY 12196