Scholarship winner checks in

Collin Wilson

Collin Wilson

Here’s the first progress report from Collin Wilson, the Tamarac High School senior — and UAlbany-bound — who was one of our $500 winners in the first-ever Rotary Scholarship Essay Contest:

“I wanted to thank you all for the opportunity to obtain the scholarship you offered. I have since attended my university’s orientation, and it seems that the scholarship money will likely cover the cost of the books I will need.

“Thank you for your service to the community, and I will try to check back in in a couple of weeks.”


A Night at the Ballpark

Our club’s annual picnic-and-baseball outing took place Thursday night at the Bruno Stadium in Troy, where we ran the gamut — a light rain and plenty of black clouds while we were in the picnic pavilion, then clear skies and bright sunshine as the ValleyCats game got under way, and the ‘Cats rallied with a five-run eighth inning to defeat the Aberdeen Ironcats.

Here are a few scenes of the outing, all but one thanks to April Dowd. (Guess which one she didn’t shoot.)

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SRC gets a prime spot in July ‘Toolbox’

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Happy birthday, America

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A historic night for SRC, and for the Browns as well

Incoming president Bill Dowd congratulates outgoing president April Dowd on a successful year.

Incoming president Bill Dowd congratulates outgoing president April Dowd on a successful year.

June 26 was a bit of a historic date for the Southern Rensselaer County Rotary Club. In the past, we have had spouses serve as club presidents, but when April Dowd passed the torch to Bill Dowd, it was the first time we have had them serve in consecutive Rotary Years.

Bill, who also is a past president of the club, will serve for the 2014-15 year, which begins Tuesday, July 1. Under our club bylaws, April will serve one year as immediate past president on the club board of directors. Terry Brewer, another past president, will assist Bill as vice president/president-elect, and serve on the board along with Treasurer Murray Forth, Secretary Pat Bailey and at-large director Jim Leyhane.

In addition to the changeover ceremony, another multiple past president, the aforementioned Jim Leyhane, officially inducted three new members. Jim Butterworth, a first-time Rotarian, and Ray Hannan, a transfer from the Clifton Springs club, were on hand to be brought into the SRC club. Returning Rotarian Roberto Martinez was welcomed in absentia due to the fact he was out of state honoring a long-held commitment.

The evening was hosted at the home of Debbie and Peter Brown, a pair of longtime Rotarians and past presidents who, coincidentally, were marking their 5oth wedding anniversary. The club sends its thanks and congratulations to them.


NEXT MEETING: We are off on the July 4 holiday week, but will attend dinner and a performance of the musical “42nd Street” at the Mac-Hayden Theatre in Chatham on Thursday, July 10. Please be sure you sign up for the event — including the names of any guests — if you have not yet done so. An e-mail requesting registration will be distributed.


SCENES FROM THE PRESIDENTIAL CHANGEOVER PARTY

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Their marriage takes the cake!

Their marriage takes the cake!

Debbie & Peter Brown on their 50th anniversary.

Debbie & Peter Brown on their 50th anniversary.

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Polio virus detected in Brazil sewage

Screen shot 2014-06-24 at 10.10.04 AMFrom The New York Times

For the first time since 1994, the polio virus has been detected in Brazil, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Monday.

The virus — minute amounts of which can be detected — was found in a sewage sample from an airport near Campinas, west of Rio de Janiero. It was collected in March and matched a strain found recently in Equatorial Guinea on the central African coast.

There are no reports of any cases of paralysis. For every child paralyzed by polio, health authorities estimate that more than 200 are carrying and shedding the virus with few or no symptoms.

Because about 95% of Brazilian children are immunized against polio, the WHO says it is very unlikely that the virus will spread widely and has not suggested any restrictions on travel to or from the country.


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Thought for the week

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Bono, musician-philanthropist, comments on Rotary

Bono, the Irish singer who first came to fame as the lead man with the rock group U2, has over the years become a major global philanthropist, working tirelessly to better living conditions for millions.

In this video, he praises the humanitarian work of Rotary International.


Meet Danny, our Gift of Life child from Honduras

Mom comforting Danny.

Mom comforting Danny.

Danny Ezequiel Jimenez Sarmiento is a 6-year-old Honduran boy who was born with a medical condition known as Tetralogy of Fallot.

It is a condition that restricts the supply of oxygen to his body, rendering him exhausted most of the time, and creates a cyanotic condition that turns his lips and nails blue from lack of oxygen. (Go here then scroll down for more  details.)

District 7190 Gift of Life (GOL) hopes to correct that condition in late August or early September when Danny is brought to the Capital Region for cardiac surgery at Albany Medical Center thanks to a $11,000 donation from the Southern Rensselaer County Rotary Club.

Danny and parents.

Danny and his parents.

Danny lives with his eight-year-old sister, Katy, and their parents in a rented one-room, concrete-block house in Honduras. Dad is a mason, mom is a housewife and mother.

In announcing the recipient, the board of Gift of Life 7190 said it “would like to commend the Southern Rensselaer County Rotary Club for the tremendous accomplishment of raising the necessary funds to sponsor this child  — plus a little bit extra for the next child.”

The Gift of Life’s annual golf and bocce tournament, a major fundraiser for ongoing medical work, is scheduled for Thursday, September 11. They hope to have Danny there as a special guest. Details to come.

Screen shot 2014-06-20 at 12.04.51 PMArrow points to Danny’s homeland.


6/19/14: Essay competition scholarship honors

Bill Dowd, competition coordinator, presents a certificate and $500 check to Tamarac High School senior Collin Wilson, one of two winners in the inaugural SRC Rotary Scholarship Essay Competition. The other winner, Troy High School senior Sydney Bertrand, was unable to attend the awards dinner held on June 19. Scroll down to read their essays.

Bill Dowd, competition coordinator, presents a certificate and $500 check to Tamarac High School senior Collin Wilson, one of two winners in our inaugural SRC Rotary Scholarship Essay Competition.

Picture 3Meeting at Quigley’s Restaurant
593 Columbia Turnpike
East Greenbush

Attending (15): April Dowd, Bill Dowd, Pat Bailey, Peter Brown, Debbie Brown, Jim Leyhane, Charlie Foote, Rommel Tolentino, Terry Brewer, Geoff Brewer, Dick Drumm, Debbie Rodriguez, Roberto Martinez, Stewart Wagner, Ray Hannan. (One reservation no-show.)

Guests (3): Collin Wilson, Laura and Lloyd Wilson.


Announcements/Business


SUMMER CLUB OUTINGS – This was our final meeting at Quigley’s until after Labor Day, but we have plenty of activities planned until then. … Event coordinator Debbie Brown passed around a signup sheet for the June 10 performance of the musical “42nd Street” at Mac-Haydn Theatre in Chatham. Even if you have signed up on the regular reservation chart we circulate each week, please be sure Debbie has you and your guests on her signup sheet. … Event coordinator Terry Brewer said he would have a signup sheet to circulate next week for our July 17 picnic and ValleyCats baseball game at Bruno Stadium. … Event coordinator Bill Dowd will have a signup sheet at the same time for our July 24 picnic and facilities tour at the Rotary Scout Reservation in Averill Park.

PICNIC MEETINGS – We filled the last two available summer dates — August 21 and 28 — when Debbie Rodriguez volunteered to host a “pizza and make-your-own sundae” event and Ray Hannan volunteered to arrange a picnic-style event at his residential living area. TBD are who will use which date.

DUES ARE DUE – Treasurer Murray Forth has mailed out invoices, requesting immediate payment of dues for either the first half or all of the 2014-15 Rotary Year. Dues are $175 for the full year or $87.50 to cover July 1 through December 31. Deadline is June 26, so please mail your checks to Murray or bring them to the Presidential Changeover Dinner on the 26th.

PROGRAM ASSIGNMENTS – President-elect Bill distributed copies of the club’s program assignment policy and a schedule of who has been assigned which dates for the 2014-15 Rotary Year. He noted that the same information also is available on our club website.

GIFT OF LIFE NEWS – Jim Leyhane circulated photos of our Honduran child, Danny, who will be brought to the area for cardiac surgery at Albany Medical Center. The cost of that, placed at $10,000, plus another $1,000 in “seed money” for the next such patient, is being underwritten by our club’s recent donation to GOL. … President April said Assistant District Governor Bob Van Alstine informed her that donation will not be counted toward any Paul Harris Fellow awards by the District. Several club members commented that this does not deter them from wanting to support GOL. Terry commented that, even though we don’t raise funds to get public acclaim, it might be nice if the District would issue at least a, honorary Paul Harris for the club as a whole, given the more than $20,000 we have raised for GOL, ShelterBox and other charities in 2013-14.

SCHOLARSHIP AWARDS – Collin Wilson, show above receiving his check and certificate, and his parents joined us to receive his $500 check and certificate for being one of two winners in our inaugural SRC Essay Scholarship Competition. Collin, a Tamarac High School senior, will study physics at the University at Albany. The other winner, who was unable to join us, is Sydney Bertrand, a senior at Troy High School who will study nursing at Russell Sage College. Both winning essays are available on this website. April encouraged Collin to keep us informed as to his progress next year.


NEXT MEETING: Presidential Changeover & New-Member Induction, 6 p.m. Thursday, June 26, at the Browns’ residence in Castleton.