Time running out on 2018-19 Rotary Year

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Peter Berry

It’s not often we hear from one of our own, but this Thursday our newest member, Peter Berry, will be our guest speaker.

Peter, a returning Rotarian who is back in the States after years in South Africa, will provide us with insights in a talk entitled “Taking the Most Out of Rotary, from Rotaract Till Now.

Including this week’s session, we have only five events remaining on our 2018-19 Rotary Year schedule. (See chart below.)

Another drawing card for Thursday is the dinner entree, Quigley’s popular Chicken Parmesan, to be accompanied by an antipasto salad, chef’s selections of side dishes, bread, dessert, coffee, and soft drinks. And, if you need one more attraction, just remember the cash bar always is available.

The following members already have made their reservations. If you plan to join us, please be sure you email dinner coordinator Debbie Brown at mdbrown@nycap.rr.com no later than this Tuesday evening so we can have enough food and seating available. Guests always welcome, but we need to have them included in the headcount.

• Bailey, Pat
• Berry, Peter
• Brown, Debbie
• Brown, Peter
• Dowd, Bill
• Drumm, Dick
• Foote, Charlie
• Forth, Murray
• Kellerman, Phil
• Leyhane, Andy
• Leyhane, Jim
• Rodriguez, Debbie

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The story behind Memorial Day 2019

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All gave some, some gave all.
[Reprinted from a May 2017 posting on this website]

Beyond the cookouts, the holiday sales, the family trips, picnics and parades there is a deep and profound reason for Memorial Day.

Although we honor all military personnel on Veterans Day, Memorial Day is specifically designated as honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War but did not become an official federal holiday until 1971.

The Civil War, which ended in the spring of 1865, obviously claimed more lives than any conflict in U.S. history because all combatants were Americans, and it required the establishment of the country’s first national cemeteries.

By the late 1860s, Americans in various communities had begun holding springtime tributes to these countless fallen soldiers, reciting prayers and decorating their graves with flowers and flags — thus, the original name, Decoration Day.

Each year on Memorial Day a national moment of remembrance takes place at 3 p.m. local time. It is unclear exactly where this tradition originated. Numerous communities may have independently initiated the memorial gatherings. Nevertheless, in 1966 the federal government declared Waterloo, New York, the “Official Birthplace of Memorial Day.”

Waterloo, which first celebrated the day on May 5, 1866, was chosen because it hosted an annual community-wide event during which businesses closed and residents decorated the graves of soldiers with flowers and flags.

On May 5, 1868, General John A. Logan, leader of an organization for Northern Civil War veterans, called for a nationwide day of remembrance later that month. “The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land,” he proclaimed.

The date of Decoration Day, as he called it, was chosen because it was not the anniversary of any particular battle.

On the first Decoration Day, General James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery, and 5,000 participants decorated the graves of the 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers buried there.

Many Northern states held similar commemorative events and reprised the tradition in subsequent years; by 1890 each one had made Decoration Day an official state holiday. Southern states, on the other hand, continued to honor their dead on separate days until after World War I.

Although Memorial Day originally honored only those lost in the Civil War, American involvement in The Great War, later called World War I, made it evolve to commemorate American military personnel who died in all wars.

For decades, Memorial Day continued to be observed on May 30, the date Logan had selected for the first Decoration Day. But, in 1968 Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, a controversial decision that moved several major holidays from their traditional or historic dates to Mondays that gave federal — and later on state and local — employees three-day paid weekends. The law went into effect in 1971.


by Robert Louis Stevenson

Under the wide and starry sky
Dig the grave and let me lie:
Glad did I live and gladly die,
And I laid me down with a will.

This be the verse you ‘grave for me:
Here he lies where he long’d to be;
Home is the sailor, home from the sea,
And the hunter home from the hill.


Danes Rotaract passes the presidency baton

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Outgoing Rotaract President Lindsey Riback congratulates incoming president Dustin Moore as secretary-treasurer Benish Syed and faculty advisor John Justino look on.

Screen Shot 2019-04-29 at 1.56.13 PMLindsey Riback, who has spent two productive years helping create and lead the Danes Rotaract club at the UAlbany School of Public Health, is handing over the reins.

Dustin Moore, who has been quite active during the 2018-19 Rotary Year, will succeed her as president of the group that is sponsored by the Southern Rensselaer County Rotary Club.

SRC extends its thanks to Lindsey and all the Rotaractors, as well as to SRC member John Justino, who has served as faculty advisor, and to Becky Raymond and Debbie Rodriguez who have served as SRC’s liaisons to Rotaract.


‘Recycling & Shredding Day’ a sunshiny event

The weather cooperated on Saturday for the latest “SRC Recyling & Shredding Day” fundraiser. All proceeds go toward supporting our youth scholarship program and other selected community service efforts.

Thanks to all who helped make this another successful effort in support of environmental protection, and special thanks to Josh Wainman for arranging the use of the Wainschaf Associates facility.

Some images from the day:

Murray Forth always gets the best toys.
Three generations of Leyhanes.
Terry and Geoff Brewer play bookends to Andy Leyhane and Phil Kellerman.
Roberto Martinez and Jim Leyhane survey the treasure pile.
Debbie Rodriguez and Ray & Lois Hannan guard the cash box.
Dean Calamaras and Dick Drumm await the customers.
Carol Orvis joins Debbie & Peter Brown at the checkout table.
Metal items of every description were dropped off.
Roberto shows off his Rotary chapeau.



Clean out that garage and join us on Saturday

Here are the details of our latest community service/fundraising event. You can participate at little or no cost, rid your garage or basement of unwanted items, get rid of those outdated tax records, and help do some good in the community.

All proceeds of the event go to the Southern Rensselaer County Rotary Club’s youth scholarship program and other community service activities.

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Meeting Clipboard (and RYLA): 5/16/19

SRC ClipboardHeld at Quigley’s Restaurant
573 Columbia Turnpike
East Greenbush, NY 12061

Members Attending (12): Andy Leyhane, Murray Forth, Phil Kellerman,  Bill Dowd, Jim Leyhane, Pat Bailey, Debbie Brown, Peter Brown, Dick Drumm, Ray Hannan, Debbie Rodriquez, Roberto Martinez.

Guests (7): RYLA students Shannon Tacy, Derrick Rosetti, and Emily Smith; parents Paul Tacy, Terry Smith, and Karen Rosetti; teacher Jackie Hill.

MEETING NOTES: President Andy Leyhane welcomed members, RYLA students, their parents and teacher Jackie Hill. … Event coordinator Murray Forth reminded everyone the Recycling & Shredding Day this Saturday begins at 9 a.m. at the Wainschaf Associates facility behind Target. Anyone who can volunteer to help staff the day is asked to contact him ASAP. … Phil Kellerman thanked the club for supporting last week’s concert that raised $450 for the Oley Foundation. …

Jim Leyhane provided an update on plans for the Rotary 10K/5K Run in September. We have been working with the chief of the Chatham Police Department to coordinate security and safety from the Columbia County Fairgrounds with the sheriff’s department and State Police. He now advises that five months is not sufficient lead time to adequately plan for a 10K run and that we should consider reducing the event to only a  5K run. The problem with that is that 5K runs are extremely commonplace throughout the region, bring in far less money, and probably would put us in the red. The inclination is to postpone until the fall of 2020. Jim asks that anyone wishing to comment on the situation contact him ASAP.

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Recent RYLA grads (from left) Shannon Tacy, Emily Smith, and Derrick Rosetti.

Three of the four Maple Hill High School juniors who SRC sponsored for the 2018-19 Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) session visited to talk about their experience.

They were Shannon Tacy, Derrick Rosetti, and Emily Smith. A fourth student, Emily Burns, was unable to attend.

Their participation in the course, which included students from throughout District 7190 as well as several Rotary Exchange students studying here for the academic year, covered numerous individual and group dynamic activities. For example: team building exercises, a public service project (making lap blankets for elderly invalids), planning and time management, public speaking, and improving self-esteem.

Their faculty advisor, Jackie Hill, expressed Maple Hill’s appreciation for SRC’s support over the years for RYLA participation.


2018-19 Rotary Year hits the homestretch

We have only six dinner meetings left until our annual Presidential Changeover event, and we have a powerful lineup of programs scheduled in that span.

The first of the six is this Thursday at 6:15 p.m. when a group of 11th graders who participated in this year’s Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) program visits with us to share thoughts about their experience.

Check out this chart, taken from our website’s CALENDAR page, to see what’s coming up. We’d particularly like to see SRC members who have been conspicuous by their absences in recent weeks so we can finish the Rotary Year on a high  note.

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