How European Rotaractors are aiding Ukraine

• From Rotary International

Within hours of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in late February, Iryna Bushmina fled her home in Kyiv. Along with her sister and her three-month-old nephew she journeyed to Vienna, Austria, staying with Rotary members along the way.

Their generosity inspired Bushmina, a member of the Rotaract Club of Kyiv-City and the district Rotaract representative for Ukraine, to organize a larger-scale relief effort. Now, an online platform she created has helped Rotaract and Rotary members find shelter for thousands of Ukrainian refugees.

Across Europe, Rotaract members are using digital tools to share information and coordinate to help people who have been affected by the war in Ukraine. By routing communications through the European Rotaract Information Centre (also known as Rotaract Europe), a multidistrict information organization that serves clubs in more than 40 countries, these young members are using the power of Rotary’s global network to direct aid where it’s needed most.

Go here for the full story.

Restaurants in a pandemic? Your questions answered

Mike Moscatiello

Mike Moscatiello the younger of the family that hosts our biweekly dinner sessions at Moscatiello’s Italian Family Restaurant in North Greenbush, will speak at this week’s meeting on a very timely topic: “Operating restaurants during a pandemic.”

The Moscatiello family, besides running one of Rensselaer County’s busiest restaurants while at the same time developing another restaurant called The Roosevelt Room across the street, is in the thick of the financial battle and has some interesting insights to share. Supply chain woes, staffing shortages, financial pressures, etc., all figure into the equation.

As always, we’ll begin our social period at 5:30, with dinner at 6 o’clock (your entree choice of spaghetti and meatballs or chicken Caesar salad) and the cash bar is available throughout.

Note to SRC Board members: We’ll meet immediately following the dinner session. Please be sure to let President Debbie Rodriguez know by Tuesday if you have anything to add to the agenda she circulated several days ago.

See you all on Thursday!

Spreading the word about Rotary

Ray Hannan and Pat Bailey staff the SRC table.

Saturday was “Healthy Kids Day” at the Greenbush YMCA. With the family-friendly event came a perfect opportunity to spread the word in the community about Rotary.

To do so, SRC set up a table to greet visitors and answer questions about our organization. Thanks to our volunteers who donated their time and expertise.

Meeting Clipboard: 4/28/22

MEMBERS ATTENDING (17): Debbie Rodriguez, Becky Raymond, Roberto Martinez, Phill Kellerman, Dick Drumm, Charlie Foote, Peter Brown, Pat Bailey, Tony Morris, Andy Leyhane, Ray Hannan, Jim Leyhane, John Justino. By proxy: Debbie Brown, Carol Orvis, Dean Calamaras, Doris Calamaras.


President Debbie Rodriguez called the Zoom meeting to order and noted the presence of a quorum.


• HEALTHY KIDS DAY — Phil Kellerman will be staffing a table at this Greenbush YMCA event on Saturday, and is asking for anyone else who can volunteer to do so for all or part of the noon-to-2 p.m. event. SRC will be sharing information on Rotary and, literally, showing the flag.

• FUNDRAISING — Pat Bailey reported that events are being scheduled to spread the word about Rotary. Kristi’s Barn is one such venue on the list. She also is asking for volunteers to help staff events. The size of the volunteer group may impact what we actually schedule.

• VIKING OUTDOOR GYM — Debbie Rodriguez and Ron Annis met with members of the local Kiwanis Club to discuss the renovation project of the gym at Schodack Town Park that Rotary helped spearhead some years ago. Kiwanians have been invited to join us in the restoration/expansion project. Results to come.

NYCR DANES ROTARACT — John Justino said the recent ShelterBox demo program drew another new member. The current club president is taking a new job and a successor will be sought.

• SCHOLARSHIP AWARDS — We still are awaiting nominees from officials at Columbia, Maple Hill, and Rensselaer high schools. One from each school will receive a $1,000 award. We are hoping to have the students as our guests at our June 9 dinner meeting.

• DUES REMINDER — The deadline for half-year or full-year dues payments for the 2022-23 Rotary Year is June 1. Please be sure your checks, made payable to SRC Rotary, are mailed to Treasurer Murray Forth in time to be received by that date: P.O. Box 71, East Greenbush, NY 12061. (The six-month partial payment for individuals is $87.50, or $175 for “Family” and “Corporate” groups. The full-year rate is $175 and $350, respectively.)

• DISTRICT CONFERENCE — Roberto Martinez and Jim Leyhane will be attending the District Conference this Saturday at the Great Escape Lodge in Queensbury.

• NEXT MEETING — Mike Moscatiello, of our host restaurant family, will be our guest speaker at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 5 (Cinco de Mayo). His topic: “Restaurants In the Pandemic Era.” Entree choices will be spaghetti and meatballs and Chicken Casear Salad and, as always, a cash bar will be available.

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.

Stay home while attending Rotary

Join us in virtual session.

The National Weather Service’s forecast for Thursday is decidedly unsettling — maybe rain, maybe snow showers, a balmy high of 51, a brisk low of 34. Everything but hail and lava.

But, who cares? We’re meeting via Zoom this week, so put on your comfy lounging clothes and join us at 7 p.m. for our last session of April.

As always, just go to the website calendar page ( and click on the April 28 link to gain access to the meeting.

Not planning to join us? We’ll miss your presence, but you can be counted toward a quorum by emailing your proxy OK to President Debbie no later than Wednesday ( And, if you want to add anything to the agenda, please let her know.

See you on Thursday!

Meeting Clipboard: 4/21/22

MEMBERS ATTENDING (13): Debbie Rodriguez, Jim Leyhane, Roberto Martinez, Peter Brown, Debbie Brown, Dick Drumm, Phil Kellerman, Terry Brewer, Carol Orvis (by proxy), Dean Calamaras (by proxy), Doris Calamaras (by proxy), Tony Morris (by proxy), Charles Foote (by proxy}.


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


 CHANGE IN MEETING NOTICE The meeting format for June 9 has been changed from Zoom to an in-person meeting at Moscatiello’s Italian Family Restaurant. We hope to have our three high school scholarship winners attend and share comments on their school and community service experience as well as their future educational plans. We also are trying to line up Jeff Simon to make a short presentation about the East Greenbush Central Schools winning an award as “Best School District in the Capital Region.”

• SCHOOL SCHOLARSHIPS — Terry Brewer has contacted the Rensselaer, Maple Hill, and Columbia high schools about this year‘s scholarships. Each of the scholarships is a $1,000 grant presented to a senior selected by their schools. Nominations are to be submitted to Terry by May 23.

• IMPACT COMMITTEE MEETING — Philip Kellerman gave an update on the Impact Committee. It was decided we would not be able to sell any raffle tickets because we couldn’t find a location that would allow us to. It was important to find a location that allowed us to talk about Rotary and maybe one chance would be at the YMCA. It was noted that the Club has a banner and we will retrieve it from storage. Jim Leyhane suggested we reconsider the Cafe Capriccio restaurant raffle that had been so successful in the past.

• KIWANIS MEETING —  Debbie Rodriquez gave an update on the meeting scheduled with Kiwanians for April 27 at the Schodack Diner. She and Ron Annis plan to attend to discuss having Kiwanis partner with SRC Rotary on the Viking outdoor gym project.

• ANNUAL CLUB DUES —The annual club dues are due no later than June 1. More information is available on the website. Those who do not pay dues by the deadline cannot be listed as members. Please be diligent with this responsibility.

• DRIVER SAFETY COURSE — Jim and Roberto Martinez working on getting an instructor to teach a driver safety course. More information should be available next week.

• NEXT MEETING — We will meet via Zoom at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 28.

Dues deadline countdown begins

This is a friendly reminder for everyone that dues for the upcoming Rotary Year must be submitted by June 1, roughly six weeks from now.

Checks, made payable to “SRC Rotary,” may be given to Treasurer Murray Forth, or mailed to Southern Rensselaer County Rotary Club, P.O. Box 71, East Greenbush, NY 12061. Please be sure you mail your dues in enough time for them to be received by the deadline.

Dues remain at just $175 per individual member or $350 for “Family” or “Corporate” group memberships covering an unlimited number of members (although such entities have only a single vote on matters coming before the membership). If it is easier for you, dues may be paid in two equal installments, no later than June 1 and December 1. The initial partial payment for individuals is only $87.50, or $175 for “Family” and “Corporate” groups.

As explained in our Club Bylaws: “Club annual dues will be based on dues levels set by Rotary International and District 7190 plus a Club membership fee of $20 above RI and District dues for first-year members and $30 above RI and District dues for all members after their first year. A $5 deduction from each member’s dues will become an annual contribution to the Rotary Foundation. All club fees are subject to modification by subsequent votes of the membership. Fees are payable annually no later than the first day of June, or semiannually no later than the first day of June and no later than the first day of December. Per Rotary International regulations, a portion of each payment shall be applied to each member’s subscription to the RI official magazine.”

RI reminds us that non-dues-paying members may not be counted as Rotarians until at least the next six-month cycle, assuming they then have paid their dues by then.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Program schedule change(s)

Due to staffing issues at the restaurant, scheduled speaker Mike Moscatiello has had to rearrange his talk to the club. He will address us at our May 5 meeting rather than this Thursday.

That switch means we have just three open program dates — all on Zoom nights — remaining in this Rotary Year. So, if you or someone you recommend wishes to take one of those dates for a virtual presentation, be sure to contact Becky Raymond or Kevin Leyhane. Check the available dates on the website calendar at http://SRCrotary/org/calendar