Signup open for next Simulator Golf Tourney

Screen shot 2014-12-18 at 12.50.52 PM

Sold-out simulator golf starts 3-event series

Holiday Event Logo

Holiday Event Logo

Saturday was chilly, to say the least, but the golf was hot stuff at Burden Lake Country Club.

The occasion was the “Holiday Simulator Golf Tournament,” the first in a series of three winter indoor golf events sponsored by the Southern Rensselaer County Rotary Club. These fundraising efforts help support a variety of our community service efforts such as PolioPlus, Gift of Life and Ronald McDonald House.

This initial event was a total sellout of 60 golfers, with a total after-expenses contribution to the club treasury of $1,300. As was the case last winter when we tried a test tournament to see what sort of reception we would receive, the tireless Murray Forth and Terry Brewer teamed up to coordinate the event.

Next up on the schedule is the “Mid-Winter Simulator Golf Tournament,” set for Saturday, January 31, 2015, followed by the “Spring Simulator Golf Tournament,” on Saturday, March 7. Both of those events also will be held at Burden Lake. Please start spreading the word.

Mid-Winter Event Logo

Mid-Winter Event Logo

Sring Event Logo

Spring Event Logo

Here are some photos from Roberto Martinez taken at today’s event.

Terry Brewer prepares to take a swing at glory.

Terry Brewer prepares to take a swing at glory.

Team Leyhane, first foursome to register.

Team Leyhane, first foursome to register.

Event founders/coordinators Murray Forth (left) and Terry Brewer.

Event founders/coordinators Murray Forth (left) and Terry Brewer.

Sunday deadline for Holiday Party reservations

Screen shot 2014-12-12 at 4.07.36 PMJust as the headline says, we need reservations for you and any guests you plan to bring to our annual Holiday Party & Basket Silent Auction.

If you haven’t yet done so, please let us know no later than Sunday, December 14. And don’t forget to bring a themed basket for our silent auction. Proceeds will go toward helping underwrite our many community service efforts.

The party is again being hosted by Murray and Maggie Forth at their residence, beginning at 6 p.m. Thursday, December 18.

It will be our last event of 2014 since both Christmas and New Year’s Day fall on Thursdays this year.

We will resume our weekly dinner meetings at Quigley’s restaurant on Thursday, January 8, 2015. At that meeting, our resident money guru A.J. Amato will be delivering a talk on the financial outlook for 2015.


Why our club did not meet this week


Thursday’s club meeting snowed out

Screen shot 2014-12-12 at 3.59.37 PMA dire forecast from the National Weather Service — not just the local TV weather yokels — has prompted us to cancel Thursday’s SRC Rotary Club meeting.

The NWS forecasts up to three more inches of snow tonight on top of what we already have, plus another couple of inches tomorrow, plus plenty of icy patches that will make driving even more hazardous. Given that our members come from such far-flung spots as Hudson, North Troy, Nassau, Bethlehem, Deepest Castleton, etc., and the fact we have no scheduled program, cancellation seems wise.

Thus, we won’t convene again until the following Thursday, December 18, when the Forths host our annual Holiday Party & Basket Silent Auction. We will be sending around the usual weekly RSVP e-mail to get an accurate headcount for the event. Murray will e-mail us if we need to bring anything to the event.

After that, we’re off for the holidays, not meeting again until January 8, back at Quigley’s.

Stay warm.

Go jump in the lake — to fight polio

A scene from the 2014 plunge.

A scene from the 2014 plunge.

One of District 7190’s traditional events is the New Year’s plunge into frigid Lake George, part of the “End Polio Now” fundraising push.

The self-dunking will take place at 12:30 on the afternoon of January 1 at Shepard Park in downtown Lake George. If you’re willing to take part, simply pre-register with the tireless district mover-and-shaker Anne Cargile by phone (877-5530) or e-mail (

As an add-on to the plunge, the District is planning a bowling fundraiser from 2 to 4 p.m. while plungers are thawing out and others are congratulating them.

The event will begin with a hearty breakfast at the Lake George Bowl, 2211 Canada Street (the village’s main street) at 10 a.m., after which Lake George Rotarians will take victims …. er, participants … to the lakeside.

If you can’t make it to the plunge, you can take part by sending along a contribution to the event, using this form:


Meeting of 12/4/14: Camp Rotary success stories

Picture 3Meeting at Quigley’s Restaurant
593 Columbia Turnpike
East Greenbush
December 4, 2014

Attending (11): Bill Dowd, Murray Forth, Pat Bailey, April Dowd, Peter Brown, Debbie Brown, Ray Hannan, Len Leonidas, Shannon Romanowski, Dick Drumm, Dean Calamaras.

Guests (3):
Carolyn Garrison, Fred LeBrun, ADG Bob Van Alstine.

PROGRAM: Grandparents’ View of Camp Rotary

Carolyn Garrison and husband Fred LeBrun spoke about Camp Rotary's success stories.

Carolyn Garrison and husband Fred LeBrun spoke about Camp Rotary’s success stories.

Immediate Past President April Dowd introduced our speakers, Carolyn Garrison and Fred LeBrun of West Sand Lake, who joined us to talk about the successes of Camp Rotary, which our club financially helps support.

Fred began by explaining that over 1,000 young men went through through  Camp Rotary this year, including their grandson, Eli.

Carolyn spoke about Eli, who initially had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, then was found to have severe Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and has had a very difficult time in school and family settings, causing tremendous strain on his life and that of those around him.

She detailed the very positive experiences Eli has had during two summers at camp, as well as in some camping activities with the Scout troop in West Sand Lake. He has gone from a troubled child to one who has been helped by the Scouting experience into a 13-year-old who has earned 20 merit badges and learned to become very socialized with others.

Carolyn also spoke about some of the other boys with a variety of emotional and physical challenges. Many of them have earned many merit badges, several even reaching the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest rank in Scouting.

Fred spoke about the management of the camp and the woodland environment, and about the positive attributes of the facility. As he noted, the Scout leaders’ efforts are aimed at making things possible for youngsters from all walks of life, including things most people thought they never would achieve.

The couple enthusiastically expressed their thanks to Rotary and to the individuals in Rotary for making such a life-changing service available to the community.


CIRCLES OF MERCY — President Bill Dowd said we have received a letter of thanks from Richard S. Zazicky, executive director of the family service organization, for underwriting two families for the holidays, part of Circles’ annual adopt-a-family program. Bill also encouraged Rotarians to continue donating, clothing, households goods and other items on a regular basis since everything donated goes to local people in need.

FUNDRAISING – Bill said that we are near the midway point of our Rotary Year for fundraising with several events still ahead — three simulated indoor golf tournaments and our annual Bowl Over Polio event. But, he asked us not to forget our weekly appeal as part of our “Pocket Change” push, this year for The Great American Milk Drive. … Event co-coordinator Murray Forth said the first of the three golf events at Burden Lake Country Club, scheduled for Saturday, December 13, is nearly a sellout.

HOLIDAY PARTY – This year, Murray and Maggie Forth again are hosting the Holiday Party & Silent Basket Auction, on Thursday, December 18.
We will again have themed baskets provided by the members. Baskets should have a value of between $30 and $75. The dinner will be provided by Jim Mendrysa’s Talk of the Town catering service. Murray will let us know at the December 11 meeting whether members and guests need to bring anything to the party.

POLIO NEWS – Members were reminded to check our club website for recent postings on a flareup of polio in Pakistan, and how the besieged vaccination efforts there are endangering the work Rotary has done in trying to eradicate the dread disease globally.

DISTRICT NEWS – Bill said District Governor Elect Milan Jackson has issued a call for a new logo design that would depict the varied aspects of our sprawling district. The winning entry will be rewarded with a Paul Harris recognition … Assistant District Governor Bob Van Alstine was present to urge participation in several upcoming District 7190 events: the annual Polar Plunge at Lake George on New Year’s Day; a district-sponsored Bowl Over Polio on January 25 at various sites (he was informed that the SRC club has its own Bowl Over Polio which preceded the District’s implementation last year of such an event); the annual Rotary Birthday Party event set for February 28. He also gave a brief description of the Rotary Foundation Dinner recently held at the Proctors theater complex in Schenectady, which six SRC people attended.

NEXT MEETING: 6:15 p.m. Thursday, December 11, at Quigley’s. We will be joined by two administrators from the Rensselaer City School District to discuss their request for funding for an after-school homework program.

Last-minute call for carolers!

Screen shot 2014-12-04 at 1.07.23 PMRotarians who can carry a tune are being sought for a Christmas caroling session to begin at 4 p.m. this Sunday.

The event is being coordinated by Sari Medick of the Rotterdam Sunrise Rotary Club and Erin Musto of the Maddies Mark Foundation.

If you would like to join in, contact Sari by e-mail at as soon as possible for details and directions. And, for information on the Maddies Mark Foundation, go to its website here.

Pakistan worsens as world’s hotbed of polio

A Pakistani health worker gives a polio vaccine to children in Lahore, Pakistan.

A Pakistani health worker gives a polio vaccine to children in Lahore, Pakistan.

• From Mint News

KARACHI, Pakistan — The number of reported cases of polio crossed the 200 mark in October, confirming Pakistani health officials’ worst fears: The viral disease is out of control there.

In 2012 and 2013, polio cases were down significantly — 58 and 93, respectively. However, when Pakistan reported its 212th case last week, it shattered its own 14-year record of 198 reported cases in 2011.

Reproaching Pakistan, which is considered polio’s last refuge, Dr. Margaret Chan, director general of the World Health Organization (WHO), told a high-level meeting at the U.N. General Assembly in September: “Pakistan is the single most important stumbling block along the road to ending polio, once and for all.”

Polio is spreading within Pakistan’s borders, with cases reported in Karachi, the Federally Administered Tribal Areas and Lahore. Yet Dr. Durry Elias, the head of the WHO’s polio team in Pakistan, is worried it will soon spread to other countries and the 25-plus years of eradication work “will all come to naught.”

In Nigeria and Afghanistan, the other two countries where polio remains endemic, there has been a marked decrease in reported cases this year: Nigeria has reported six and Afghanistan 12.

The majority of the cases in Afghanistan can be traced back to the virus strain in Pakistan, Elias told MintPress News.

Go here for the full story.

[You’ll notice this excerpt is from Mint News. That is an independent online journalism start-up that launched in February 2013 to provide what it calls “issue-based original reporting, in-depth investigations and thoughtful analysis of the most pressing topics facing our nation and it’s foreign policy through the lens of social justice and human rights. … We also believe in journalistic independence of our reporters, and a truly independent media that is NOT influenced by advertisers or donors.”]

A good way to channel your inner artist

Screen shot 2014-12-01 at 12.09.21 PMMilan W. Jackson, who will be our 2015-16 District Governor, has issued an artistic challenge to all District 7190 Rotarians.

“With all the changes we have had over the years,” he explains, “our District logo needs to reflect our very special district and what it stands for. There is a challenge to each club to come up with a submission for a new district logo.

“Remember, we have Lake George, the Capital Region, the Hudson River, the Erie Canal, local Indian tribes, Howe Caverns, Saratoga Race Track, and so much more.

“Can you come up with a logo that would make our District distinctive and represent our geographic location? Submit your idea. If it wins, you will receive a Paul Harris.”

Entries should be submitted as e-mail attachments to by February 1, 2015. A winner will be announced at the District Assembly to be held on April 11, 2015.