Details revealed for ‘Peace Summit for Youth’

Screen Shot 2017-09-04 at 7.04.53 PM(Update of September 4 posting)

7190 Rotarians will host a “Peace Summit for Youth” in Mechanicville on Sunday, November 12.

For more than 110 years, Rotary members have been addressing challenges around the world and acting as ambassadors for peace. In today’s global climate, our youth are anxious about international relations, terrorism, America’s position in the world, their personal futures, and how they fit in.

The “Peace Summit for Youth” will provide a forum to express their concerns and work collaboratively to consider pathways to peace –- peace in their schools, on their streets, and in the world.

The event, organized using the World Café Model, will encourage our youth to explore deeper thought and awareness regarding the issues affecting peace worldwide. The objective is to create an environment in which the youth generate all the content and develop the relevant outcomes for the day.

It will begin with a large-group discussion in which peace-related themes will be developed by the youths. Those themes subsequently become the topics for small-group conversations. Small groups (4 to 5 students) then will meet to engage the topics and develop the conversations using whatever tools make sense — doodling, note taking, writing, drawing, etc. The youths then will revolve to other “cafe” tables throughout the day, engaging the energy and dialog of other participants to continue fostering ideas, questions, and themes which begin to link and connect. At the end of the “cafe” discussions, all conversation clusters in the room will be cross-pollinated with insights from prior exchanges.

The keynote speaker will be Anne Kjaer Riechert, a Rotary Peace Scholar from Germany who is the owner and managing director of an IT training school for Syrian refuges in Berlin. Her talk, “The Many Paths of Peace,” will focus on the issue of global peace and the many ways young people can find careers in the business of peace.

The summit is open to high school students throughout the Greater Capital Region, including our nine Interact clubs, Rotary Youth Exchange, and Rotary Youth Leadership Awards. The effort will reach into every high school in our community where there is a Rotary club. This not only provides students the ability to participate through Rotary sponsorship, it also affords a learning opportunity about Rotary.

The event is being conducted in partnership with the Glens Falls Rotary Foundation. The District is asking individuals, private foundations, and Rotary Clubs to sponsor students. Each student will pay for their own meals, but there is an additional $50 per student to attend the Summit. Tax-deductible contributions of $250 to sponsor five students or $500 to sponsor 10 are being requested. Checks, made payable to the Glens Falls Rotary Foundation, should be mailed to DG Fred Daniels at 1413 Clifton Park Road, Schenectady, NY 12309.


Board meeting set for September 28

Screen Shot 2017-09-14 at 9.28.13 PMSRC President Roberto Martinez has scheduled a Board meeting to following the regular September 28 dinner meeting at Quigley’s. Details and agenda will be sent to the Board members in advance.

Your SRC Board for the 2017-18 Rotary Year consists of Roberto, Jim Butterworth, Ron Annis, Ray Hannan, Murray Forth, Pat Bailey, Jim Leyhane, Bill Dowd, Terry Brewer, Andy Leyhane, and Debbie Rodriguez.


County’s Medical Reserve Corps plans volunteer symposium

Screen Shot 2017-09-11 at 6.43.44 PMSince we seem to be permanently in a time in which volunteers are being sought for all sorts of emergency situations, there is a hyperlocal opportunity for anyone looking to help.

It is the “Bystanders to Upstanders” symposium being held by the Medical Reserve Corps of the Rensselaer County Department of Health on Saturday, September 23, in Troy.

Dean and Doris Calamaras, who have signed up for the symposium, will be sharing details with the club at this week’s dinner meeting.

The mission of the Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) 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 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.

The symposium will be held at the Hilton Garden Inn at 235 Hoosick Street (Route 7) in Troy, about a half-mile east of the Collar City Bridge. It will begin promptly at 9 a.m. and conclude at 5 p.m. There is no cost to attend, and lunch/coffee breaks will be provided. Registration can be done online by clicking here.

Four emergency medicine physicians from Albany Medical Center will be the instructors along with several other Rensselaer County staffers and sheriff’s department deputies. The topics to be covered are:

• Bleeding control/splinting/burns/car accident trauma
• Psychological first aid
• Respiratory emergencies/allergic reactions
• Use of Narcan for opioid overdoses
• Seizures/diabetes/hypothermia/hyperthermia
• Active shooter response

(* Not an official American Heart Association or American Red Cross Certification, as those typically are at least four-hour classes by themselves.)

There will be a short closing address as well as a presentation of certificates and a kit bag of some basic lifesaving tools.


What your Gift of Life contributions can accomplish

Screen Shot 2017-09-11 at 12.12.05 AM

This angelic face belongs to Chinguune, who made the journey from his native Mongolia to Albany for lifesaving cardiac surgery supported by the Gift of Life organization.

He underwent the procedure at Albany Medical Center on Wednesday, September 6, and is reportedly doing very well as a post-op patient.

Veteran Rotarians are familiar with the work of Gift of Life (GOL), which our club has long supported financially and with members serving as District 7190 GOL board members. For our newer club members, you can learn more about GOL by clicking here.

ebay effort to help our ShelterBox relief drive

Screen Shot 2017-09-08 at 9.55.37 PMSRC is in the midst of raising funds beyond our usual annual pledge for a special donation to ShelterBox to aid victims of domestic hurricane damage.

While we no doubt shortly will be called upon to help Floridians and Caribbean dwellers once we see what damage Hurricane Irma causes when it hits the mainland this weekend, right now we’re working to support ShelterBox’s “Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund.”

That special initiative will funnel 100% of special donations directly to the areas of Texas and Louisiana that remain inundated and just beginning then years-long process of rebuilding. SRC members already have donated $3,600, and we’ll be asking for additional individual pledges of $10, $20, $50, $100, $500 — or whatever you can afford — by next Thursday’s dinner meeting. Bill Dowd, our club’s ShelterBox liaison  officer, is coordinating that push, so please see him if you have questions about how to make out your checks.

Meanwhile, SRC member Phil Kellerman has offered to use his ebay business to help raise funds for emergency aid to ShelterBox. Here he explains that effort:

“For over 10 years, I have been a serious seller of mostly political and historical memorabilia on ebay.  As a result , I have raised funds for charities including the Oley Foundation at Albany Med via proceeds from the sales of donated material.

“I would like do the same for the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund our club is working to support.

“What am I looking for?  Almost anything that sells on ebay but in particular, historical and political memorabilia, antiques, rarer dolls, comics, jewelry, watches, unique records, older toys, movie posters, sports cards.

“For more information please contact me at or call 352-262-5421.”

Meeting of 9/7/17: ‘The Year Ahead’

screen-shot-2016-10-16-at-7-10-54-pmMeeting at Quigley’s Restaurant
593 Columbia Turnpike
East Greenbush, NY
September 7, 2017


Members Attending (18): Roberto Martinez, Pat Bailey, Murray Forth, Debbie Rodriguez, Jim Butterworth, Bill Dowd, Ray Hannan, Peter Brown, Debbie Brown, April Dowd, Melissa Bill, Dick Drumm, Charlie Foote, Maggie Forth, Phil Kellerman, Mike Bennett, Kevin Leyhane, Becky Raymond.

Guests (1): Jeremy Forth.

Business & Announcements

Screen shot 2017-09-08 at 12.48.40 PMTHANK YOUS — New President Roberto Martinez welcomed members and guests to the first of our weekly dinner meetings of the 2017-18 Rotary Year. He thanked Debbie Rodriguez for her work as president last year; those who hosted dinners during the “Summer Casual” period in July and August; Bill Dowd for his continuing work on the club website, and Andy Leyhane for coordinating donations to the summer’s Rensselaer school supplies drive for Circles of Mercy.

HEALTH UPDATES — Members Phil Nasca and Burke Adams are experiencing health problems. April Dowd, our “sunshine person,” will send cards to them on behalf of the club.

CO-OP PUBLIC SERVICE — Becky Raymond reported on the joint Rotary and Peace Corps meeting she recently attended in Denver as a representative of our club and the local returned Peace Corps volunteers. (Click here for a posting on that event.) She explained the 2015 “memorandum of understanding”  between the two organizations and how their public service efforts often overlap around the world. There are Rotary District-Peace Corps Alliance Committees in some districts. Becky is checking to see if one exists in 7190 and, if not, hopes to start one.

Screen shot 2017-05-31 at 4.14.57 PMRYLA — Club member Mike Bennett, principal at Maple Hill High School, reported that packets were distributed to members of the junior class for this year’s Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) program and that his school has several candidates for the training. Roberto said John Sawchuk had mentioned a possible candidate from Columbia High School as well. The club usually pays the tuition for about five students, at $375 each.

YOUNG PLAYWRIGHT — Debbie Brown reported on Capital Repertory Theatre’s young playwrights program that selects one-act plays by students. One of our scholarship winners, Josh Kenna of Rensselaer High School, submitted a play on autism that was selected for production. A Times Union story about his experience is available by clicking here.

ANCHOR AID — Debbie Brown is collecting donations of toilet paper for The Anchor food pantry in Castleton, a facility we support with food donations on a regular basis. Its client list has grown markedly in recent months, while funding has slipped, and the pantry is limited by rules on how much can be spent on non-food items. Members are asked to donate toilet paper or money by next week’s meeting to help meet the current need. Several members already have done so.

Screen shot 2017-09-05 at 3.26.18 PMHURRICANE RELIEF EFFORTS — Bill Dowd, the club’s ShelterBox liaison officer, provided an explanation of Rotary-related disaster relief funds working to aid victims of Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Louisiana . He noted that there are literally hundreds of organizations large and small that are working to aid the victims, but urged attendees to consider Rotary-related resources first. He has created a new page on the club website called “Harvey Relief Agencies” that provides details and how-tos of ShelterBox and three other tax-deductible charities seeking donations. Bill also announced that he was heading up a push for a special contribution to ShelterBox’s designated Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund that is separate from the club’s annual contribution to that relief organization. As of the end of the meeting, he had received $3,600 from members. He has asked that members contribute any amount they can — $10, $20, $50, $100, $500, etc. — to this effort by next Thursday. ShelterBoxes cost $1,000 each. Checks should be made payable to “Shelter Box Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund,” with SRC Rotary in the memo line. Bill will deliver the funds to Jack and Nancy Faddegon, the District 7190 ShelterBox coordinators. April Dowd, who has been in contact with Rotarians in the Houston area, read a letter of thanks received from the Houston Rotary Club.

SRC Breakfast LogoBREAKFAST MEETINGS — The next Third Thursday breakfast meeting is scheduled for September 21, 7 a.m. at the Greenbush YMCA. Jim Butterworth and Ron Annis, our new co-presidents-elect, and Shannon Romanowski have taken over running of those meetings from Terry Brewer. Terry, incidentally, will be the speaker at the meeting on the very timely topic of disaster preparedness.

GIFT OF LIFE — The latest child, this one from Mongolia, underwent cardiac surgery on Wednesday at Albany Medical Center and reportedly is doing very well. … The annual GOL Golf Tournament and Bocce Competition fundraiser has been moved from its longtime Amsterdam venue to the Pinehaven Country Club in Guilderland on September 18. SRC has two foursomes entered in the event.

PEACE SUMMIT FOR YOUTH — The district-wide event is scheduled for November 12 in Mechanicville. As we get more details as to registration, venue, etc., we will let the schools in our area know them. Meanwhile, click here for a posting explaining the event.

“POCKET CHANGE” RECIPIENT — Donations to our annual “Pocket Change for … ” jug will go for at least the first month to the Oley Foundation at Albany Medical Center. We had a program in June (available by clicking here) on the organization’s work. Club member Phil Kellerman works there, and has used his eBay business to help raise funds. (He also has offered to do the same in support of SRC’s hurricane relief efforts. Watch the website for a separate posting on that.)

RLI logoRLI IS COMING — The annual Rotary Leadership Institute, which we encourage members to attend, has moved from Siena College to the Health Sciences Campus (formerly the UAlbany East Campus) in Rensselaer. The day-long event is scheduled for Saturday, October 21. The club pays the registration fee for any member who wishes to attend. Last year, Bill Dowd and Debbie Rodriguez graduated from RLI, meaning they had completed three years of workshops. Anyone can attend at Level 1 if they have never attended before, or at the succeeding levels if they have completed prerequisite workshops. Let Roberto know ASAP if you wish to participate.

ART PROJECT — Local artist Bob Bode, who has a series of portraits on display at the East Greenbush Town Hall of prominent community volunteers — including SRC’s Jim Leyhane and Burke Adams, is planning to create a similar series of paintings of local World War II veterans. Anyone who can suggest a candidate is asked to let Roberto know. (Click here for a posting showing the volunteers’ portraits.)

The Year Ahead

Screen shot 2016-06-11 at 4.40.35 PMPresident Roberto outlined his goals for the new Rotary Year. Among them:

Membership: He said we are at the 50-member level with the applications of Kevin Leyhane and Adam Roberts. They will be counted in the full membership once they compete the membership process.

Involvement: He stressed the many avenues of public service “to do good in the world” that are available to SRC Rotarians. Specific activities and initiatives include, but are not limited to, World Polio Day, Shining Star of Hope, Eagle Scout Viking Gym Project, Gift of Life, RYLA, Circles of Mercy, food pantries and community charity activities, Ronald McDonald House, Rotary Home Cooking Series, recycling days, Bowling for Veterans, indoor golf tournaments, ShelterBox, Freedom From Fistula Foundation. Roberto said he would like to see newer members take projects and run with them.

Communication: He pointed out that we offer many ways to contribute to the community, and encouraged everyone to get involved in some effort. He also asked members to communicate their thoughts and concerns and pledged that he would respond to all calls and emails within 24 to 48 hours. “We are a volunteer organization and we can’t make anyone do something,” he said. “What is it you want the club to be or to do and let’s get it on the table. What’s your button that makes it click? What would make you want to come to Rotary more often?” If you have suggestions for improvement, he said, “Don’t stew about it. each out to me or another member.”

NEXT MEETING: 6:15 p.m. Thursday, September 14, at Quigley’s. Our special guest will be District Governor Fred Daniels making his first official visit and speaking on the topic of “People of Action.”