Meeting Clipboard: 4/1/21

MEMBERS ATTENDING (14): Dick Drumm, Murray Forth, Jim Leyhane, Roberto Martinez, Ray Hannan, Pat Bailey, Charlie Foote, Terry Brewer, John Justino, Debbie Brown, Peter Brown, Andy Leyhane, Debbie Rodriguez, Phil Kellerman.

GUESTS: None.

MEETING NOTES:

Easter Baskets: The club delivered, courtesy of drivers Jim and Roberto, 126 baskets to Circles of Mercy in Rensselaer for the annual “Easter Baskets for Cate’s Kids” drive. Thanks to Shannon Romanowski for coordinating the drive this year, and to all Rotarians, families, friends, and Greenbush YMCA staff and members for their generous donations of baskets, contents, time, and money.

Upcoming programs: On Thursday, April 8, Herb Klotz, PDG District 7430 in Pennsylvania, will speak on “Successful Data Driven Club Membership Growth Strategies” (thanks to Debbie Rodriguez). On April 15, Dave Hannan, PDG District 7021 in western New York, will speak on progress in polio eradication (thanks to Ray Hannan).

BOARD MEETING NOTES:

After the weekly club session, the SRC Board met via ZOOM. The full Board was in attendance, two by proxy. It discussed and approved, without dissent, two items:

The Dr. Richard Drumm Fund: This is a Donor Advised Fund (DAF), operated within the Rotary Foundation but with local control. Details have been discussed at various club meetings and has been the subject of a Board subcommittee’s research, consultation, and discussion for several months. Once in place, it will allow members and others to make financial contributions that are fully tax deductible, and provide an avenue for formal grants and awards to other 501(c)3 organizations in Rensselaer County and elsewhere in conjunction with then club’s community service efforts. It is named in honor of our current club president and lone remaining charter member.

Rotaract: In line with recent changes at the national level, the Danes Rotaract club recently voted to change some items in its own bylaws and submit them to us for sponsor approval. Included are the removal of an upper age limit for members, and a name change to NYSCR Danes Rotaract (the initials denoting “New York State Capital Region). The target demographic for membership will continue to be graduates and graduate students at the UAlbany School of Public Health, plus young professionals in the community.

Easter baskets delivered to Circles of Mercy

Jim Leyhane and Roberto Martinez, shown above, delivered a gajillion — OK, 126 — Easter baskets to Circles of Mercy to conclude the annual “Baskets for Cate’s Kids” drive.Project coordinator Shannon Romanowski and a team at the Greenbush YMCA where she is executive director assembled the baskets, which will be distributed to children in need in the Rensselaer area.

“I can’t say enough about the amazing community we live in,” Shannon says. “Rotarians, Greenbush Y members and our dedicated volunteers came together to provide this amazing gift to the children in Rensselaer. 

“Thank you to all who helped make these baskets special, and a huge shout-out to Roberto and Jim for their help in making the delivery.  Our community continues to deliver when it comes to helping those in need.”

Thanks to all who participated by donating baskets, basket contents, and money to purchase some necessary items. We have been partnering with Circles of Mercy for about seven years on this particular effort and have created and donated approximately 800 baskets.

We need you for District Training & Grants Management

The annual District Training and Grants Management event is set for Saturday, April 10, and all SRC Rotarians are invited to participate.

In particular, the second part of the day requires our attention. It’s the Grant Management training session, and any club that hopes to apply for financial grants in the 2021-22 Rotary Year is required — without exception — to have at least two (2) participants.

Past presidents and current SRC Board members Bill Dowd and Phil Kellerman have volunteered to represent SRC. However, the more people we have the better, especially if one of our participants has to bow out at the last minute. It also is an excellent opportunity for members wishing to learn more about the inner workings of the District.

If you’re interested but cannot commit to the full day of training (8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.), you can always commit to just the 90-minute Grants Training scheduled for 1 to 2:30 p.m. that day. However, advance registration is required no matter the length of participation.

To sign up, simply go online and fill out the easy form. Once you do, please inform President-elect Debbie Rodriguez so she knows who is qualified to work with her in the next Rotary Year, which will begin on July 1.

As District Governor Rich Griesche says, “All Rotarians are encouraged to attend, especially all club executives (president, president-elect, treasurer, secretary, committee chairs and members, and all board members). This training is prepared to help you during the upcoming year.  It is extremely important that you attend.”

This session will begin at 8:30 the morning of April 10. There will be a lunch break, and the Grants Training will begin promptly at 1 p.m.

“This is being presented under one ZOOM meeting,” Rich explains, so if you are attending both morning and afternoon you do not need to sign off as the meeting will be kept open during lunch.  If you do leave after the morning session, just use the same link to re-enter for the afternoon session.”

Meeting Clipboard: 3/25/21

MEMBERS ATTENDING (16): Dick Drumm, Bill Dowd, Dean Calamaras, Doris Calamaras, Ray Hannan, Roberto Martinez, Jim Leyhane, Terry Brewer, Pat Bailey, Phil Kellerman, Tony Morris, Debbie Rodriguez, Peter Brown, Debbie Brown, John Justino, Murray Forth.

GUESTS (1): Dustin Moore.

MEETING NOTES:

• Shannon Romanowski, coordinator of our Easter baskets drive, requests assistance assembling baskets at the Greenbush YMCA from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. this Friday and/or 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday. Last-minute donations of small toys, toothbrushes, and toothpaste would be appreciated. She estimates we will be donating 150-175 baskets to Circles of Mercy to be distributed to needy children.

• President-elect Debbie Rodriguez reported on last week’s PETS (Presidents-Elect Training Sessions) virtual workshops. She said the Rotary motto for 2021-22 is “Serve To Change Lives.” She also noted that RI has added an area of focus: “supporting the environment.”

• Debbie R. asked for at least two volunteers to participate in the 90-minute Grant Management virtual training on Saturday, April 10. (That is the minimum needed to allow SRC to apply for Rotary grants in the 2021-22 Rotary Year.) Bill Dowd and Phil Kellerman volunteered. Debbie suggested anyone else who wishes to participate to contact her ASAP so we have backup in case someone drops out.

• Dustin Moore, president of the Danes Rotaract, joined us to provide an update on Rotaract locally and proposed bylaws changes which the SRC Board, as his club’s sponsor, will review and vote on at their April 1 meeting. The club’s name will be modified to NYSCR Danes Rotaract (for New York State Capital Region). At the international level, Rotaract has removed the upper age limit (minimum remains 18), which Dustin said he thinks should help in recruitment. The Danes club is changing focus to become more available to younger professionals in the community. A second Rotaract club, sponsored by Albany Rotary, is being formed to make Rotary available to undergraduates on the UAlbany campus. Since the Danes membership is a mix of graduate students and alumni, it would be the next step for members of the fledgling UAlbany club when they graduate.

Next meeting: Dr. Dave Hannan, immediate past governor of District 7120, will present a virtual program on polio efforts at our 7 p.m. ZOOM meeting. The SRC Board will meet immediately after the regular meeting.

RI Convention going virtual this year

Because of the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic, the Rotary International Convention originally scheduled to be held in Taipei, Taiwan, has been changed to a virtual event June 12-16.

The Rotary Board of Director says the decision “is necessary to protect the health of everyone involved. We will share more details about the 2021 Rotary International Virtual Convention soon. Here’s what you need to know now:

Registration

The Virtual Convention will be open to all Rotary members and participants. Registration will open in mid-April and will include a promotional fee of $49 for the first 21 days of the registration period, increasing after that to $65. The cost of each pre-convention event is $20. Both the convention and pre-convention events include access to the House of Friendship. Please continue to check back for more details and updates.

Convention, pre-convention, and ticket refunds

RI is in the process of automatically cancelling and refunding all existing registrations. This includes purchases made for Rotaract, Youth Exchange, and Intercountry Committees pre-convention events, and ticketed meal events.

We kindly ask that you NOT contact RI Registration to inquire about registration, ticket, or housing cancellations as they work diligently on finalizing the process of those cancellations and refunds. Those who had already canceled prior to today will receive a refund of the $50 processing fee. 

Host Organization Committee (HOC) ticketed event registrations

The HOC event ticket fees will be refunded by the Taipei HOC. For more information, please visit rotarytaipei2021.org.

Hotel rooms

No action is required from those attendees who made accommodations secured within Rotary’s official housing block. Maritz, formerly Experient and Rotary’s official housing partner, has already cancelled all individual and group room block reservations and refunded the groups who made partial payments. 

We will post more details as they become available.

Meeting Clipboard: 3/18/21

MEMBERS ATTENDING (16): Dick Drumm, Bill Dowd, Debbie Rodriguez, Ray Hannan, Roberto Martinez, Jim Leyhane, Terry Brewer, Pat Bailey, Phil Kellerman, Andy Leyhane, Charlie Foote, Kevin Leyhane, Murray Forth, John Justino, Peter Brown, Debbie Brown.

GUESTS: None.

MEETING NOTES:

• President Dick Drumm scheduled a Board meeting to be held immediately after the April 1 club meeting. The main topic will be to make a final decision on creating a club-based foundation, for which $10,000 in startup funds are needed. The Foundation Subcommittee will meet at 7 p.m. this coming Monday. March 22, to firm up the details to be voted on.

• Murray Forth reported that owner John Walsh of Quigley’s said all parties interested in purchasing his restaurant, which has been closed for the past year, have expressed interest in continuing to host SRC’s weekly dinner meetings.

• Shannon Romanowski reported, via Roberto Martinez, that we will produce 150 to 175 baskets for the annual “Easter Baskets for Kate’s Kids” drive in conjunction with Circles of Mercy. Final donations (checks, basket items, etc.) are due by this Friday at the Greenbush YMCA, where Shannon is director and coordinates our basket drive this year.

• Jim Lehayne said just 22 of the original 200 bars of handmade scented soaps he is selling as a club fundraiser remain. Please contact Jim if you would like to purchase any.

• Bill Dowd said he has sent bar code stickers to three members in response to a request for them as part of our Clynk recycling fundraiser. Anyone else who needs them should contact him. The recycling bags necessary to participate can be purchased in boxes of 10 for about $1.75 at any Hannaford supermarket, where bags of containers can be dropped off.

• Dick asked anyone who can line up a speaker to contact him to be put on the calendar.

• The Danes Rotaract has revised its bylaws in response to the national organization’s bylaw changes. As its sponsor, SRC needs to approve the club’s changes. We are trying to line up a Rotaract officer to speak with us at our next meeting. Meanwhile, Debbie Rodriguez, one of our liaisons to Rotaract, will email the revisions to all Board member for review.

Deadline near for aiding Easter basket push

This Friday is the final day for dropping off checks or items purchased from the shopping list for our annual Easter basket project.

The drop-off site is the Greenbush YMCA, 20 Community Way, adjacent to the East Greenbush Public Library, during regular hours.

THE SHOPPING LIST

• Baskets
• Toothbrushes (ages 1-12)
• Toothpaste
• Dental floss
• Hairbrushes
• Combs
• Hair ties, bows or barrettes (ages 1-12)
• Socks
• Children’s books (ages 1-12)
• Coloring books
• Crayons / markers
• Small games (ages 1-12)
• Small toys (toy cars, dolls, blocks, airplanes)
• Bubbles
• Small stuffed animals
• Assorted traditional candy (must be individually wrapped)

Meeting Clipboard: 3/11/21

MEMBERS ATTENDING (15): Dick Drumm, Bill Dowd, Debbie Rodriguez, Debbie Brown,Jim Leyhane, Peter Brown, Ray Hannan, Charlie Foote, Roberto Martinez, Kevin Leyhane, Phil Kellerman, Tony Morris, Murray Forth, Andy Leyhane, Pat Bailey.

GUESTS: None.

NOTES:

• If anyone knows of an organization in need of face shields, please contact Sue Austin who, speaking on behalf of District 7190l, informed us a limited supply still is available. Sue can be contacted online via the District emailbox.

• Next Friday (March 19) is the final day to drop off Easter basket items or checks at the Greenbush YMCA in support of our annual drive in conjunction with Circles of Mercy. Club member Shannon Romanowski, director of the Y, is coordinating our effort.

Fundraisers: Hoffman Car Wash tickets are available from Murray Forth. … A few handmade soaps remain available from Jim Leyhane or Roberto Martinez. … Bill Dowd urged members to be sure to use the Clynk container recycling program that helps support ShelterBox.

• Next week’s 7 p.m. ZOOM meeting will be a Club Assembly. Anyone who can recruit speakers for meetings after that is asked to contact President Dick Drumm.

Program: Debbie Brown presented a video called “Revolutionary Gardners,” produced by the Garden Club of America. It featured virtual visits to George Washington’s Mount Vernon and Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello to see what these early American garden enthusiasts and brought to life on their Virginia properties.

MOUNT VERNON

MONTICELLO

Reenergizing our Clynk recycling effort

Does anyone need bar-code stickers for their Clynk container recycling bags?

We’re asking because contributions have dropped off very sharply in the past few months. Nevertheless, funds derived from deposit bottles, cans, and plastic beverage containers remain a major revenue source for our club to contribute to ShelterBox.

Members can purchase the required green recycling bags at any Hannaford supermarket, but the required bar-code stickers can only be gotten from a Clynk in-store kiosk using the account card project administrator Bill Dowd has.

[For the benefit of those members unfamiliar with the Clynk program itself, it’s extremely simple. All you need to do is place any beverage container eligible for a return deposit in one of the bags, affix a sticker to the bag, go to any Hannaford and use the scanning gun to read the stickers. That’s it. No separating types of containers or rinsing them out. ]

So, if you need stickers, simply email a request to SRCrotary@gmail.com. Both the bags and the stickers are mandatory for the club to receive credit from Clynk for the deposit money.

Thanks for your help.