Cookout wraps up ‘summer casual’ schedule

The Rotary wheel welcomes visitors.

The Rotary wheel welcomes visitors.

The SRC Rotary Club celebrated the end of its “summer casual” schedule with a cookout at the Leyhane residence (shown above) on Thursday evening. Our thanks to Jim and his family for the hosting effort.

We’re now on a brief hiatus before resuming weekly dinner meetings at Quigley’s Food & Drink at 6:15 p.m. Thursday, September 10. Please remember, Debbie Brown has taken over scheduling of the weekly dinner menus and RSVP list, so please help her get acclimated right away by being responsive.

And, VP Debbie Rodriguez has taken over the program scheduling responsibility. She e-mailed copies of the date assignments to everyone recently. If, for some reason, you did not receive a copy please check with her right away so you have plenty of time to line up your speakers.

Meanwhile, here are a few more images from Thursday’s event, courtesy of Roberto Martinez.

Carole Spencer and host Jim Leyhane chat by the pool.

Carole Spencer and host Jim Leyhane chat by the pool.

Chowing down on burgers, hot dogs, salads and more.

Chowing down on burgers, hot dogs, salads and more.

The next generation of Leyhanes.

The next generation of Leyhanes.

Smokin' hot!

Smokin’ hot!

Chatin' and chewin' the Rotary way.

Chat and chew, a Rotary tradition.

One summer event remains on the calendar

Jim Leyhane will be hosting our final get-together of the summer, next Thursday at his East Greenbush abode. The pool remains open, and the food and drink will be abundant. If you haven’t yet given Jim your reservation, please do so ASAP to help the planning.

Meanwhile, here’s an image Roberto Martinez captured at this week’s picnic at the Brewer residence. Thanks to Terry, Betty and Geoff for hosting.

Screen shot 2015-08-21 at 9.08.50 AM

An evening at the orchard

A group of 18 SRC members, friends and family spent a delightful summer evening at Goold Orchards in Castleton.

The event consisted of a tasting of wines from Goold’s Brookview Station Winery, followed by a crackers and cheese at picnic tables outdoors, and then an excellent dinner inside —  pork tenderloin marinated in Goold apple cider, roasted, then served with a cider reduction and fruits, along with Italian roasted potatoes, sauteed seasonal vegetables, and a green salad with a cider vinaigrette. Finishing it off was apple pie, made with fruit from the orchards, topped with vanilla ice cream.

Thanks to Debbie Rodriguez and Pat Bailey for making the arrangements. Next up for our summer casual series of events:

• Thursday, August 30 — Picnic at the Brewer residence
• Thursday, August 27 — Picnic at the Leyhane residence

Bring an appetizer or dessert for both.

Here are some images captured by Roberto Martinez at the Goold Orchards event:

Goold1 Goold2 Goold3 Gooldx Goold5

Wine tasting dinner at Goold Orchards

Screen shot 2015-08-06 at 2.46.48 PMWe have another great summer event coming up. But, we need at least a half-dozen more reservations for the 6 p.m. Thursday, August 13, wine tasting and dinner at Goold Orchards in Castleton.

The dinner, being arranged by Pat Bailey and Debbie Rodriguez, will include wines from the Brookview Station Winery operation at Goold, plus an “Orchard Pork Tenderloin Dinner” — roasted pork tenderloin with apples, cranberries, onions and a cider reduction, served with seasonal vegetable and wild rice or Italian roasted potatoes.

Reservations, which are a must, are just $30 per person. which covers the dinner and the wines. The deadline for contacting Pat or Debbie is 5 p.m. this Sunday, August 9, because the list must be submitted on Monday morning.

Signed up so far (Goold asks for a minimum of 20):

• Pat Bailey
• Debbie Rodriguez
• Melissa Bill
• Debbie Brown
• Peter Brown
• Dean Calamaras
• Doris Calamaras
• April Dowd
• Bill Dowd
• Murray Forth
• Maggie Forth
• Jeremy Forth
• David Taylor and guest

If you are not familiar with Goold’s Orchards or Brookview Station Winery, you can get details, directions, GPS settings, etc., on the company website by clicking here.

In memory of Diane Leyhane

Diane Leyhane

Diane Leyhane

The members of the Southern Rensselaer County Rotary Club have lost a dear friend in Diane Leyhane. Diane passed away on Monday. We send out our heartfelt thoughts and prayers to Jim and family during this trying time.

Here is Diane’s obituary, as published in the Times Union today. Please note the calling hours and funeral arrangements.

Diane F. Leyhane, 71, of East Greenbush passed on Monday, July 13, 2015, at Albany Medical Center surrounded by her family. Diane was born in New Jersey to the late Dr. Robert and Lillian Floody. She graduated SUNY Albany with a bachelor’s degree in education and Spanish and later received her master’s in education from University of Common Wealth of Virginia. She was a Spanish teacher for East Greenbush Central Schools, retiring in 2003 after 26 years of service. She was a devoted wife of 46 years and a loving mother and grandmother. Diane is survived by her husband, Dr. James C. Leyhane; one daughter, Megan (James) Malone and three sons, Dr. James W. (Susan) Leyhane, Kevin (Carrie) Leyhane, Dr. Andrew (Kara) Leyhane; seven grandchildren, Julie, Ryan, Maximillian, Madeline, Emma, Allister, Ashton; one sister, Jocelyn Reid and one brother, Dr. Owen Floody. Relatives and friends are invited to attend her funeral Friday, July 17, 2015, 10 a.m. at the East Greenbush Reform Church, corner of Hayes and Gilligan Rd., East Greenbush. Interment will be in East Greenbush Cemetery. Friends may call Thursday from 4-7 p.m. in the Wm. J. Rockefeller Funeral Home, 165 Columbia Tpk., Rensselaer. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the East Greenbush Reform Church, P.O. Box 460, East Greenbush, NY 12061 in Diane’s memory.

Our school-supplies drive is under way

Screen shot 2015-07-10 at 2.26.19 PMThe Southern Rensselaer County Rotary Club has agreed to  assist the Circles of Mercy organization in gathering school supplies for children in the Rensselaer City School District. Given the financial picture of many of that community’s residents, anything we can do to help will have a major impact.

We’re asking everyone to pitch in by purchasing some supplies from the following list, and dropping them off at Ron Annis’s Top Form office. The deadline for the drive will be Friday, August 14. I’ll then pick up the donations and deliver them to Circles of Mercy to meet its deadline.

The focus is on items for high school and pre-school students. Circles of Mercy is requesting the following types of supplies for its “Cate’s Kids Back to School Program”:

• pencils (regular lead #2 and color)
• pencil sharpeners
• erasers (for pencils)
• pens (black or blue)
• markers (dry erase and color)
• pocket folders (assorted colors)
• 3 ring binders (in 2” and 3” sizes)
• loose leaf paper (college ruled)
• graph paper
• spiral subject notebooks (1-, 3- and 5-subject in college ruled)
• subject dividers
• plastic zipper pencil cases / boxes
• 3”x5” index cards
• highlighters (yellow)
• rulers (regular with metric)
• Kleenex tissues
• hand sanitizer (small bottles)
• Post-It notes
• backpacks (no rollers/wheels)
• Spanish-English dictionaries
• flash drives (1gb to 4gb sizes)
• scientific calculators.

In Rensselaer, of approximately 1,100 students who attended school this year, 71% qualify for either free or reduced-price lunch programs. And, 33% live near or below the federal poverty level.

Your contributions to this drive will be another step in our club’s aid to Rensselaer children, since we awarded a grant during the recent school year to underwrite an experimental after-school tutoring program.

Don’t forget to RSVP deadlines for summer events

We are into our “summer meeting” schedule which means we are homes or special summer events for our weekly meetings.

Just as we request for our weekly Quigley’s dinners, we will need a headcount for each meeting/event to help make preparations. During the summer, you’re asked to directly contact the hosts/coordinators for each week.

A couple of key events that require purchase of tickets prior to the event:

Screen shot 2015-07-05 at 2.35.06 PM• July 30, ValleyCats Baseball & Picnic: Terry Brewer has  35 tickets on hold and 15 as back-up. Contact him no later than July 23. Tickets are $25 per person for the meal, game and souvenir hat.

Screen shot 2015-07-05 at 2.36.41 PM• August 6, Mac-Haydn Theatre: A performance of the musical “West Side Story,” with tickets priced at $35. Some of us will be dining at Four Brothers in Chatham (a “Dutch treat” event), so we also need to know how many so proper seating can be arranged.  per person, dinner prior to the event. Contact Dean or Doris Calamaras about both no later than July 23.

And, CLICK HERE to see the rest of the summer schedule. Please note we still have one open date in August.

Screen shot 2015-07-05 at 2.32.05 PM

First words from the new club prez

Mr. President

Mr. President

From Terry Brewer:

The “Presidential Changeover” has occurred and I have assumed the leadership role for the 2015-16 year from our esteemed Past President Bill Dowd.

Bill has completed his year as president in an outstanding manner and we thank him for his leadership and commitment to Rotary and our club. At the transition meeting Bill reviewed the many accomplishments of our club this past year and were very impressed by all the accomplishments that we completed together.

Our sincerest thanks to Bill and our leadership team for all the good work on behalf of Rotary. Please check out the website to see the pictures of our club leadership changeover. And, a special thanks to Peter and Deb Brown for hosting the dinner and meeting. The hospitality was great, food excellent and social time with Rotarians and families making for a wonderful evening.

The Presidential Changeover

Outgoing President Bill Dowd displays the Rotary emblem-embossed decanter handed to him by incoming President Terry Brewer.

Outgoing President Bill Dowd displays the Rotary emblem-embossed decanter handed to him by incoming President Terry Brewer.

A group of more than 25 Rotarians and friends assembled at the Brown residence on Thursday evening for the annual Presidential Changeover dinner.

Bill Dowd handed over the reins of the Southern Rensselaer County Rotary Club for the upcoming 2015-16 Rotary Year to Terry Brewer.

In addition to some good food, drink and fellowship, we also held a guessing game — coming closest to estimating the amount of money donated over the current Rotary Year to the “Pocket Change For …” jug. Peter Brown took the honors, and will receive a free meal when SRC returns to Quigley’s restaurant in September.

Donations to the jug came to $589. Bill said he had added enough to round it out at $600, and he acquired a dollar-for-dollar match from Price Chopper. Thus, our club’s donations were the catalyst for a $1,200 grant to The Great American Milk Drive, a food pantry supplemental program.

The “Pocket Change For …” program began under President April Dowd in the 2013-14 Rotary Year, when proceeds went to autism programs at the Wildwood School. For 2015-16, Terry has designated the Down Syndrome Buddy Walk as the recipient. Bill presented Terry with the relabeled jug and a stack of donated dollar bills to “prime the pump” for his drive.

Members signify their guesses in the

Members signify their guesses in the “Pocket Change for …” drive.

Early RSVP deadline for Presidential Changeover

Gavel2Our weekly RSVP request is being posted a day or so earlier than usual because we need your responses a day earlier.

As you know, Debbie and Peter Brown are generously hosting the event at 6 p.m. Thursday, June 25, when I hand over the presidential gavel to Terry Brewer for the 2015-16 Rotary Year that begins on July 1.

All who plan to attend are asked to bring a salad or appetizer. The Browns will provide all other sustenance. Please provide any additional reservations or changes NO LATER THAN MONDAY EVENING, June 22, to allow them ample kitchen planning time.

The latest headcount shows us at 22 people, which includes four guests — Betty Brewer, Diane Leyhane, Maggie Forth and Jeremy Forth. IF YOU PLAN TO BRING A GUEST, please be sure his or her name is on the list that follows:


  1. Pat Bailey
  2. Geoff Brewer
  3. Terry Brewer
  4. Betty Brewer (guest)
  5. Debbie Brown
  6. Peter Brown
  7. April Dowd
  8. Bill Dowd
  9. Dick Drumm
  10. Charlie Foote
  11. Murray Forth
  12. Maggie Forth (guest)
  13. Jeremy Forth (guest)
  14. Ray Hannan
  15. Len Leonidas
  16. Jim Leyhane
  17. Diane Leyhane (guest)
  18. Roberto Martinez
  19. Carol Orvis
  20. Debbie Rodriguez
  21. Shannon Romanowski
  22. Carole Spencer


  1. Ron Annis
  2. Dean Calamaras
  3. Doris Calamaras
  4. Jim Mendrysa
  5. Rommel Tolentino


  1. A.J. Amato
  2. Jim Butterworth
  3. Rob Mangold
  4. David Taylor
  5. Stewart Wagner
  6. Melissa Bill