Attending (11): Bill Dowd, Terry Brewer, Murray Forth, April Dowd, Ron Annis, Geoff Brewer, Dick Drumm, Charlie Foote, Debbie Rodriguez, Rommel Tolentino, Stewart Wagner.
Guests (4): Angela Ssemukutu, Becky Raymond, Monika Annis, Adam Disantis.
PROGRAM: Retirement Communities
Adam Disantis, community representative of the Eastwyck retirement village located off Route 43 near Defreestville, was our speaker.
Adam described the layout of the 110-apartment complex as well as the amenities offered to residents. He made particular note of the wellness aspect of the offering — aqua exercise classes in the indoor pool, light exercise programs, games to help retain and strengthen mental cognition, a fully equipped exercise room — as well as numerous social activities such as movie nights, playing pool, knitting/crocheting clubs, book discussions and numerous others.
The same company that operates Eastwyck will open another, somewhat smaller, community called Glenwyck in Glenville, Schenectady County, next month. More may be constructed, given the increase in demand for such residential offerings around the country as our population ages.
A few other aspects of Eastwyck:
• The community is designed for people age 62 and over.
• The average age of residents is in their mid-70s.
• Pets are allowed.
• Leases are for one year at a time with no long-term contract requirement.
GUESTS — President Bill Dowd welcomed a trio of guests in addition to the guest speaker. They were Angela Ssemukutu, a visiting Rotarian from Uganda; Becky Raymond, a local resident just returned from medical work in Malawai who became exposed to the global reach of Rotary while working in that African nation; and, Monika Annis, wife of club member Ron Annis. Ms. Ssemukutu, a native of Uganda, studied at the University at Albany and at Massachusetts General Hospital, earning degrees leading to becoming a cardiac surgery nurse. She was touring this area on vacation, and selected our club among several others to visit to see how they operate since she is president-elect of her Rotary club in Uganda.
SHELTERBOX — Our club has made our annual contribution to the ShelterBox disaster relief program — $3,250 to be precise, but disasters don’t stop or occur on a schedule. President Bill described conditions in Chile, the latest hot spot, where a ShelterBox relief team went this week. Unlike the single-disaster problems we have to some extent helped alleviate in the Philippines and Nepal, for example, Chile has suffered two nearly-simultaneous disasters, the first time ShelterBox has faced such a problem. He said the equivalent of seven years of rain fell in one normally arid region in less than 24 hours, causing rivers to overflow, resulting in flash floods and landslides. At the same time, a thousand miles away, the Calbuco volcano erupted. A 12-mile evacuation zone has been put in place, but there are fears of a full pyroclastic cloud formation, now in the early stages. For those unfamiliar with pyroclastic clouds, they are vast clouds of superheated volcanic gas and rocks that can travel as fast as 450 mph, destroying everything in their path. Bill said he has posted a time-lapse video on the club website (SRCrotary.com) showing the volcanic activity. “So, we ask once again for those able to do so, to dig a little deeper and contribute to the ongoing ShelterBox humanitarian needs,” Bill said. “To help prime the pump, so to speak, April and I are buying another ShelterBox in addition to the one we bought recently. Each ShelterBox costs $1,000. Anything anyone else can do at any monetary level would be greatly appreciated.”
MEMORIAL DAY — Bill said that as we prepare to enter the Memorial Day Weekend, he is asking everyone to remember in our thoughts and prayers the many men and women who have served our country over the years in military service, and especially for the fallen and their families.
TRVIA COMPETITION — Bill again reminded members to tweak their knowledge in the areas of geography, sports, show biz, food & drink, and science. That will come in handy next Thursday when we present “The Great North American Whizbang Trivia Test of 2015.” Prizes and much praise will be awarded to the best and brightest -– and luckiest — among us. Members are urged to bring along a guest or two for what promises to be a fun evening.
CLUB FUTURE — President-elect Terry Brewer addressed the club with some of his hopes for his 2015-16 presidential year. Among them are more involvement on some level by every member of the club rather than just showing up for dinner; the possibility of having breakfast meetings that may attract potential members unable to attend dinner meetings because of business or family commitments; and, filling our a survey form he distributed, seeking input on what members would like Rotary to be for them. Copies of the survey will be e-mailed to all members.
SUMMER EVENTS — We already have dates for several events on our “summer casual” program. Our annual ValleyCats picnic and baseball game at Bruno Stadium in Troy will be held Thursday, July 30 (we are working to see if we can get several other clubs plus the Greenbush Area YMCA to join us). Our annual visit to the Mac-Haydn Theatre in Chatham for a professional summer production will be Thursday, August 6, for the production of “West Side Story.” There will be no meeting on Thursday, July 2, typically a heavy vacation period. We sill have some dates open for anyone who wants to put together other outings or host potluck or catered picnics: July 9, 16, 23; August 13, 20, 27.
NEXT MEETING: 6:15 p.m. Thursday, May 28, at Quigley’s. The program will be the trivia competition, complete with prizes.