A seasonal video: ‘Cookies Enabled’

This has nothing to do with Rotary, but we thought you might enjoy it anyway. It co-stars our nephew, John Mayer (obviously not the singer of that name), a TV weatherman in Jackson, Mississippi.


– Bill & April

Rotary ‘Business & Service Expo’ set for February

Screen shot 2014-12-19 at 1.56.50 PMThe Capital Region Rotary Club is gearing up to host its 2nd annual “Business & Service Expo.”

The event, open to the public, is scheduled for 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, February 25, at the Holiday Inn Express on Route 9 in Latham, just off the Northway.

This would be a good opportunity for some of our members with businesses to learn about other Rotarians in commerce, enjoy networking, appetizers, giveaways and a cash bar. Tickets are just $5 in advance through PayPal, or $10 at the door.

For information on attending the business expo, sponsoring or having a booth at the business expo, please contact Kara Wilhelm via e-mail at kwilhelm@apartmentguide.com or Jennifer Hendricks at jenniferfhendricks@gmail.com.

And, once again, a good time was had by all

Screen shot 2014-12-19 at 1.38.54 PMOn a festive winter evening, the Southern Rensselaer County Rotary Club gathered at the Forth manse for its annual Holiday Party & Silent Auction.

To the accompaniment of some imaginative baskets created for the fundraising auction, the prime rib dinner from our own Jim Mendrysa of Talk of the Town catering, hors d’oeuvres and desserts brought along by club members, a good time was had by all on Thursday evening.

Among the guests was a last-minute surprise, District Governor Dave Hennel, who had planned to attend our regular meeting but found out we had something special in mind on this particular Thursday.

As always, the club extends its thanks to Maggie and Murray for doing all the work involved in hosting the affair. Below are some photos of the event, taken by Bill Dowd (which explains why he isn’t in any of them).

Maggie Forth jots down a silent auction bid.

Party hostess Maggie Forth jots down a silent auction bid.

Jim Mendrysa's signature prime rib.

Jim Mendrysa’s signature prime rib.

Len and Jan load up on the prime rib buffet.

Len and Jan Leonidas lead the buffet charge.

Carol Orvis and Dick Drumm catch up.

Carol Orvis and Dick Drumm catch up.

Mary Drumm and Pat Bailey make their selections.

Mary Drumm and Pat Bailey ponder their selections.

Dean and Doris Calamaras getting serious.

Dean and Doris Calamaras getting serious about their meal.

Murray Forth chats with DG Dave Hennel.

Party host Murray Forth chats with District Governor Dave Hennel.

A father-and-son moment.

A father-and-son moment.

Terry, Betty and Geoff Brewer preparing to chow down.

Terry, Betty and Geoff Brewer preparing to chow down.

April Dowd savors a bite of prime rib as Murray looks on.

April Dowd savors a bite of prime rib as Murray looks on.

Kaila, Carol Orvis's granddaughter, tries her hand at a basket bid.

Kaila, Carol Orvis’s granddaughter, tries her hand at a basket bid.

Now, this is a group intent on their plates.

Now, this is a group intent on their plates.

You don't say!

You don’t say!

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 (annec@nycap.rr.com).

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.