Head of PolioPlus effort is Eastern Cities speaker

Michael McGovern

Michael McGovern

One of Rotary’s major regional events, the 90th Eastern Cities Fellowship Dinner, has landed a major keynote speaker for the Sunday, October 18, event in Rochester.

The evening will embrace the theme “Closer Than Ever,” which refers to our effort to eradicate polio, with Michael McGovern, chair of Rotary International’s PolioPlus Committee.

Mike is a member of the Rotary Club of South Portland-Cape Elizabeth, Maine. He has been the town manager of Cape Elizabeth since 1985, is the treasurer of the Museum at Portland Head Light and the Thomas Jordan Trust, and is a past board chair of EcoMaine.

He has been a Rotarian since 1986 and has served as vice president, director, RI Board Executive Committee member, Permanent Fund national adviser, RI membership zone coordinator, RI training leader, and district governor. A past Council on Legislation representative, he also is a past chair of Rotarians for Fighting AIDS: A Rotarian Action Group. He is a Major Donor and member of the Rotary Foundation’s Bequest Society and a recipient of its Citation for Meritorious Service.

The dinner venue is the Rochester Riverside Convention Center, located at 123 East Main Street, Rochester. The evening will begin with registration and a reception from 4:50 to 5:30 p.m, and dinner at 5:30, and the program to follow.

Reservations are $50 per person. If you are interested in attending, check with Terry Brewer for details.

Here’s a great gift idea

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In case you missed it, here is the official logo and theme for the 2015-16 Rotary Year, as designated by President K.R. Ravindran.

District plans regional ‘Community Mixers’

Screen shot 2015-10-02 at 3.12.10 PMDoes our community know what we of the SRC Rotary Club do to improve life and enjoy fellowship with others?

That’s the sort of question generally asked in all clubs’ territories, so District 7190 is planning several informal get-togethers to help spread the word.

Three regional “Rotary Community Mixers” have been scheduled on three different Tuesdays. Each will offer hors d’oeuvre and a cash bar. Admission is $20 per Rotarian, and no charge for guests.

They are:

October 20, 6 to 7:30 p.m.
Davidson Brothers Brewpub
184 Glen Street (Route 9)
Glens Falls
(includes brewery tours)

October 27, 6 to 7:30 p.m.
Western Turnpike Golf Course
2350 Western Avenue (Route 20)

November 10, 6 to 7:30 p.m.
Turf Tavern
40 Mohawk Avenue

Meeting of 10/1/15: ‘Getting out the word’

Screen shot 2015-05-22 at 12.44.07 PMMeeting at Quigley’s Restaurant
593 Columbia Turnpike
East Greenbush, NY
October 1, 2015

Attending (13): Terry Brewer, Debbie Rodriguez, Murray Forth, Pat Bailey, Peter Brown, Debbie Brown, Dick Drumm, Jim Leyhane, Jim Butterworth, Melissa Bill, Stewart Wagner, Len Leonidas, Rommel Tolentino.

Guests: None


CAR WASH COUPONS — Jim Leyhane said he has coupons available, priced at 11 for $100. Our club gets half the money from each sale, which goes to the general treasury. He noted that the coupons make good holiday gifts, especially during the heavy road salt months.

BLUE STAR MOTHERS — The organization of military families that visited the club back in February will make a return visit next week. Members are asked to bring scissors to help with a project.

FOOD SERVICE, SIGNAGE, ETC. — President Terry Brewer said he has spoken with Quigley’s owner John Walsh about food and other challenges at the restaurant. He agreed to increase our payment to Quigley’s, which may allow for more food choices. He said the club still should break even on expenditures. Terry and John also discussed putting up a sign on the street publicizing our meetings, and John was agreeable. Terry said we will consider making him a member.

BREAKFAST MEETING — We will debut our periodic breakfast meetings with a session at 7 a.m. Thursday, October 15, at the Quality Inn on Miller Road, off I-90 Exit 10. However, we still need people to attend. Please contact Terry with names of any prospective members ASAP so invitations can be sent out.

HOSPITAL STAY BROCHURE — Peter Brown updated us on this effort that may help someone going into the hospital by educating  an advocate in case things go wrong or change. Having an informed friend or family member can make a huge difference. He thanked Roberto Martinez and Jim Leyhane for their contributions, and explained how the project came to be. Peter said the project team now has access to senior people in Albany and Syracuse hospitals. The brochure is available in two forms; the one prohibition is that no one can charge for it. They are hoping for a trial in the next few months. The next step may be introducing it to doctors or other clinics. The brochure can be downloaded from on our club website and development is continuing. Jim explained that the brochure and program are different because they were developed by laymen rather than by lawyers. He said it was not undertaken for financial gain, rather for a service to the public.

SPREADING THE WORD — Terry spoke about the opportunity to place an ad in the official flyer for the annual Apple Festival & Craft Show to be held October 10-11 at Goold Orchards in Castleton. The organizers will allow us to put up a table, pass out information about Rotary, and, hopefully, attract new members. Four volunteers are needed for each day of the event to staff the table. Shifts will 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 1 to 5 p.m. each day. If you can help, please e-mail Debbie Rodriguez or Pat Bailey ASAP. … On the same topic of getting out the word about Rotary, Melissa Bill suggested going to Chamber of Commerce meetings to promote the club. Terry suggested that Melissa and Shannon Romanowski could do that together.

NEXT MEETING: 6:15 p.m. Thursday, October 8 at Quigley’s.

Meeting of 9/24/15: ‘Does Beer Spoil?’

Screen shot 2015-05-22 at 12.44.07 PMMeeting at Quigley’s Restaurant
593 Columbia Turnpike
East Greenbush, NY
September 24, 2015

Attending (15): Terry Brewer, Debbie Rodriguez, Murray Forth, Pat Bailey, Ron Annis, Peter Brown, Debbie Brown, Dick Drumm, Jim Leyhane, Doris Calamaras, Dean Calamaras, Jim Butterworth, Carole Spencer, Roberto Martinez, Charlie Foote.

Guests (3): ADG Bob Van Alstine, Scot Seltzer, Andy Leyhane.

PROGRAM: “Does Beer Spoil?”

Screen shot 2015-10-01 at 1.07.03 PMJim Leyhane introduced his son Andy Leyhane, a craft beer enthusiast. Andy holds a PhD. in organic chemistry and works at Albany Molecular.

He explained how beer is made, using a diagram of the brewing process, and described what happens during “wort boil,” and the chemical process involved. He said that adding hops at the end of the process decreases the bitterness of the beers and ales.

So, does beer spoil? Or, put another way, “What skunks beer?” The answer is simple: sunlight. If the beer is packaged in a bottle that allows sunlight to penetrate it changes the chemical compounds. The darker the bottle the less likely the beer will spoil. Andy also answered a variety of questions from attendees.


HOUSEKEEPING — President Terry Brewer reminded members about making weekly dinner meeting reservations with Debbie Brown, and letting Debbie Rodriguez know of program arrangements for their assigned dates.

GOLFING — Thanks to Jim Leyhane for sponsoring our club’s foursome in the annual Gift of Life Golf Tournament. The team of Jim Mendrysa, Rob Mangold, Murray Forth and Terry just missed successfully defending their title.

DISTRICT EVENTS — The annual Rotary Foundation Dinner is scheduled for Thursday, November 19, at the Stratton Air National Guard Base. It will include tours of one of the gigantic C-130 transport planes. … The Rotary District 7190 Committee meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct 22. Two members from each club are requested to attend.

DG VISIT — District Governor Milan Jackson will attend our October 1 meeting, and meet with the club’s executive board at 5:45 p.m.

MEMBERSHIP — The club Membership Committee will meet after the October 1 dinner meeting. … Terry asked everyone to give him the names and contact information for prospective invitees for our first breakfast so he can send out invitations.

RYLA — Last week, the club approved without dissent funding for five (5) students to participate in this year’s Rotary Youth Leadership Awards program.

MEDICINE BOTTLE PROJECT — Doris Calamaras reminded members that she is collecting used, clean, unlabeled medicine containers as part of a national drive to collect them for the African nation of Malawi which has an acute shortage. Ray Hannan said he obtained a bag of bottles from a CVS pharmacy, and that he is collecting bottles at Eastwyck Village where he lives.

AFGHAN RAFFLE — Doris displayed three afghans she is donating for a club raffle. She said she is willing to make up raffle tickets, priced at $1 per ticket or five for $2.

EASTWYCK AVAILABILITY — Ray notified us that the breakfast room at Eastwyck Village has been redecorated and improved. He suggested it as a potential future meeting spot as needed.

ADG VISIT — Assistant District Governor Bob Van Alstine spoke about the upcoming Rotary Leadership Institute (RLI) at Siena College on Saturday, October 17, urging member to consider attending. Bob said this will be his final year as ADG, but that he plans to attend some of our future meetings.

NEXT MEETING: 6:15 p.m. Thursday, October 1, at Quigley’s.

Supermodel becomes polio super role model

Supermodel Isabeli Fontana stands among health workers who go door-to-door to administer the polio vaccine in India. Photo: Jean-Marc Giboux

Supermodel Isabeli Fontana stands among health workers who go door-to-door to administer the polio vaccine in India.
Photo: Jean-Marc Giboux

From The Rotarian, 9/15  edition

From the runways of Paris to the catwalks of Milan, from the pages of Sports Illustrated to the cover of Vogue, Brazil’s Isabeli Fontana is one of the most recognizable figures in the world of high fashion.

Two years ago, the supermodel became a super role model for the eradication of polio when she accepted Rotary International’s invitation to become a polio ambassador. Since then, two other Brazilian celebrities — soccer player Alexandre Pato and singer Ivete Sangalo — have joined Rotary’s roster of ambassadors.

Fontana, a mother of two, began to take a special interest in polio eradication in 2011, when she brought her younger son to receive oral polio vaccine drops from the Brazilian Minister of Health as part of the country’s national immunization campaign. Since then, she has helped to raise awareness by participating in Rotary’s “This Close” campaign, and by posing for photos in an “End Polio Now”  T-shirt custom designed by Brazil fashion brand Tufi Duek. She was part of the World’s Biggest Commercial and appeared in the thank-you video that concluded that campaign. Fontana has also used her personal social media channels to promote polio eradication efforts and immunization events.

In March, Fontana traveled to India on a three-day goodwill mission in which she assisted health workers and other volunteers with vaccinations, talked to schoolchildren about the importance of hygiene, visited the polio rehabilitation ward at St. Stephen’s Hospital in Delhi, and met with officials from UNICEF and the World Health Organization.

Through trips like Fontana’s, Rotary polio ambassadors provide moral support to health workers and volunteers, raise awareness of the eradication effort, and bring visibility to Rotary and its partners. Fontana’s visit was covered by media outlets throughout India and internationally, and garnered widespread attention through social media. It also brought polio eradication work to the attention of readers of glamour publications and followers of the fashion industry — an audience that otherwise might not be aware of Rotary’s work.

In June, Fontana spoke at the Rotary International Convention in her home country, and found time to chat with The Rotarian about her experiences in India.

THE ROTARIAN: You’ve done a lot of work in Brazil as a Rotary polio ambassador. What made you decide to go to India to help with the immunization effort there?

FONTANA: I want to do my best to change the world so we can all be healthier – so all children have the chance to stay healthy and play and be happy.

TR: What impressed you about India during your visit?

FONTANA: The energy was spectacular. It was so moving to be there and see how much faith the people have. The fact that it was possible to end polio there shows that the fight is not in vain. India is a good example to all Rotarians that it is possible to achieve what we’re fighting for.

TR: How did it feel to give the vaccine to the children you met there?

FONTANA: I was in tears to see all these kids. It was incredible. One after another after another. It means a lot to me, because I am a mother. One mother sat down while I gave the drops to her child and then she wouldn’t leave. She wanted to know if there were other vaccines. I loved that, because it showed how concerned she was.

TR: Were you able to connect with the polio workers as well?

FONTANA: Yes. It was an honor to meet the health workers who are bringing awareness to every community and every house. It was amazing to see. Because of them, India is polio-free.

TR: How did the health workers respond to seeing you helping with the immunization effort?

FONTANA: They were very welcoming. In my career, some people look at me in a certain way because I work for luxury companies. In India, it was different. They were looking at me with big open hearts, and that touched my heart.

TR: Besides helping with vaccinations, what else did you do in India?

FONTANA: We did little videos, little scenes of the kids – they were so cute. We went to a school and I talked with the children about the importance of cleaning their hands and trying to stay healthy.

TR: You also visited St. Stephen’s hospital.

FONTANA: The hospital – that was very tough. It’s tough to see the paralysis, to see the effects of the disease. It’s so different from when you are giving the vaccine, when you are helping to prevent it. It was an education for me. This is really important, and we cannot close our eyes to it.

TR: Do you have any plans to participate in another immunization effort?

FONTANA: I would love to. I would like to go to Africa. But I would definitely like more time there. In the three days in India, we couldn’t do all the things we wanted. We were going from one place to the other to the other, we were working 19 hours a day, and we barely had time to eat. But it was the best experience of my life. I think it helped me, more than anything else, to see that I am very lucky. I’m healthy and I can work and I have an opportunity to go to these countries and help.

Meeting of 9/17/15: ‘Where Do Parents Come From?’

Screen shot 2015-05-22 at 12.44.07 PMMeeting at Quigley’s Restaurant
593 Columbia Turnpike
East Greenbush, NY
September 17, 2015

Attending (18): A.J. Amato, Ron Annis, Pat Bailey, Melissa Bill, Terry Brewer, Debbie Brown, Peter Brown, Dean Calamaras, Doris Calamaras, Bill Dowd, Dick Drumm, Murray Forth, Ray Hannan, Carole Spencer, David Taylor, Rommel Tolentino, Stewart Wagner, Roberto Martrinez.

Guests (5): Julia Goodwin, Eddie Trevino, Monika Annis, Jeremy and Maggie Forth.

PROGRAM: “Where Do Parents Come From?”

Bill Dowd explaining a research point.

Bill Dowd explaining a research point.

Bill Dowd, who has recorded more than 24,000 relatives in a years-long search of his family’s roots, presented a PowerPoint how-to on such research, along with examples of what can be found.

He began with a display of a tree of five generations of his ancestors and explained how the numbers of people grow exponentially. Five generations linked to a single person — him — totals 31 people. But, add just one more generation and the number jumps to well over 100 even if some branches are “broken.” Thus, ore than 100 lines to continue tracing after six generations. He also listed 40 sources of research tools, and counseled that perhaps the most importance is patience. Lots of it.

Screen shot 2015-09-18 at 10.05.20 AMHe also explained the origins of surnames, for the most part stemming from when nations began taxing the population and personal descriptions became necessary. They sometimes were occupational names (Carpenter, Baker, Fisher, etc.), sometimes locational (various words for rivers, fields, etc.), or even personally descriptive (Brown, Gray, etc.).

With that background explained, Bill went on to trace the origins of the surnames/maiden names of club members, pointing out that while most people know the nationality of their name, few know how the names came to be. He described the roots of the names Taylor, Brewer, Hannan, Amato, Brown, Wagner, Tolentino, Bill, Bailey, Butterworth, Dunn, Drumm, Martinez, Foote, Forth, Pitts, Lawie, Calamaras, Annis, and Leyhane.

He also described some members of his own tree, ranging from Colonel Samuel Miles who was on George Washington’s command staff in the Revolutionary War and  John George Burkhardt who was a member of Washington’s Life Guards; plus, several historic figures such as Pope Gregory X in the 13th Century, and Queen Isabella of Spain and Sir William Gardiner of England in the 15th Century. He noted that the farther back one can trace one’s roots, the chances increase greatly of being related to a figure of historic note; it’s a  matter of numbers — fewer people, more chances of being related.

He finished with “Australian Odyssey,” the story of Henry Jackson and Rachael Atkinson, two people convicted in English courts in the 1800s of different crimes, who then were deported to Australia where they met, married, and had 11 children — including the first recorded set of triplets in Australian history  — and a prosperous life during the days of the Australian gold rush. He explained that he had done a deep search of their stories because at one time he thought Henry Jackson was a great uncle or great grandparent of his; however, he found out that he was just a distant cousin, but enjoyed the story and the search so much he continued it to a conclusion.


GOLF TOURNAMENT — President Terry Brewer and Treasurer Murray Forth had just returned from participating in the annual Gift of Life Golf RTournament. They were part of a foursome with Jim Mendrysa and Rob Mangold, and won last year’s tournament. No final standings were available as of meeting time, but the team did record a 10-under-par score.

REMINDERS — Doris Calamaras is collecting used, clean medicine containers as part of a national project to distribute such items in the African nation of Malawi. Please remember to remove all labels. … Please let Debbie Brown know no later than Tuesday evening each week whether you will or will not attend a dinner meeting. … Please be sure to let Debbie Rodriguez know as you firm up plans for programs for your assigned dates.

RLI — The annual Rotary Leadership Institute, held at Siena College, is scheduled for Saturday, October 17, this year. The club will pay the registration fee for any member who wishes to attend. Bill Dowd will be attending Level 3 this year, and he urged others to take advantage of the opportunity at any level.

RYLA — We have five Maple Hill High School students signing up for the Rotary Youth Leadership program this year. Our club will pay for their tuition.

OPEN WORLD PROGRAM — Terry spoke about the opportunity to host Rotarians from other parts of the world during a five-day program, and asked any members who are interested to be in contact with him.

FUNDRAISER — Doris has volunteered to donate a handmade afghan to be raffled off, with proceeds going to the club treasury.

BREAKFAST MEETING — Terry spoke about the breakfast meeting series he wants to initiate in October as a way to attract potential new members whose schedules are unable to accommodate our current meeting schedule. Such breakfasts would be in addition to, rather than in place of, our Thursday dinner meetings, and be open to all current members as well. The first will take place  from 7 to 8 a.m. at the Comfort Inn on Miller Road, just off I-90 Exit 10, catered by Talk of the Town. Terry asked members to let him known the names of anyone we can invite, especially those who current members want to host by accompanying them to the breakfast.

WEBSITE QUIZ — Terry began what he said will be a periodic quiz about knowledge of what appears on our club website. The question tonight: What country in which polio had been eradicated has just experienced an outbreak? Roberto Martinez had the correct answer — Ukraine — and won a bottle of wine.

NEXT MEETING: 6:15 p.m. Thursday, September 24. The program: “Does Beer Spoil?”

Meeting of 9/10/15: ‘Our year ahead’

Screen shot 2015-05-22 at 12.44.07 PMMeeting at Quigley’s Restaurant
593 Columbia Turnpike
East Greenbush, NY
September 10, 2015

•  Attending (20): Terry Brewer, Debbie Rodriguez, Bill Dowd, April Dowd, Murray Forth, Pat Bailey, Jim Leyhane, Debbie Brown, Ray Hannan, Len Leonidas, Dick Drumm, Roberto Martinez, David Taylor, Ron Annis, Doris Calamaras, Dean Calamaras, Carole Spencer, A.J. Amato, Peter Brown, Stewart Wagner.

Guests (1): Willie Widby.

PROGRAM: Our year ahead, 2015-16

Screen shot 2015-09-11 at 3.06.33 PM

New club President Terry Brewer presented findings from his recent member survey as well as  an outline and explanation of goals for this Rotary Year.

Among them:

• Membership recruitment, retention and engagement.

• Expand public relations through local pennysaver publication, as well as urging members to make more use of the club website and social media.

• Continue supporting local food pantries, ShelterBox, Gift of Life, Ronald McDonald House, RYLA, Boy Scouts, Rotary Foundation, PolioPlus.

• Continue such fundraising efforts as the “Rotary Home Cooking” series, the “Pocket Change” weekly collection, the annual “Bowl Over …” bowling tournament, with the emphasis moving from polio to military veterans.

• A revised membership dues structure that would include a discounted $125 first-year fee for new members; a $350 family membership for two or more people; a $500 corporate or organization membership for five or more employees.

• Scheduling breakfast meetings as part of the attempt to attract young professionals unable to commit to evening meetings. The first will be on Thursday, October 15, with details to come.

Building on a mantra that has become our standard in the past few years, Terry reminded us that we should strive to be Rotarians, not just members of Rotary. He stressed the need for Rotarians to participate in projects and programs, even if they cannot commit to meeting each week. And, he encouraged us to socialize more with each other, coming to the meetings a few minutes early, or staying a few minutes after, and sitting in different spots each week so we’re not locking ourselves into a pattern that does not stimulate socialization.


MEETING SCHEDULE: President Terry Brewer announced the meeting schedule for this year now will include social time running from 5:45 to 6:10 p.m., with dinner at 6:15. He encouraged everyone to let Debbie Brown know in plenty of time, and not later than Tuesday night, if they are planning to attend that week’s meeting. He also said we will welcome last-minute additions if that is unavoidable. “We’d rather have you here than have you stay away because you didn’t make a reservation,” he said.

APPRECIATIONS: Three thank-you notes were received — from student Rose Reed for the club’s contribution to the “Safe Passage” program; from Circles of Mercy for our efforts collecting school supplies; and, from the Leyhane family for the club’s contribution in Diane Leyhane’s memory.

DUES: Several members still have not paid their dues. They are urged to immediately contact Treasurer Murray Forth. Terry reviewed how dues revenue is distributed for RI and local needs.

PROGRAM SCHEDULING: Hard copies were distributed of the 2015-16 program assignment spreadsheet that Vice President Debbie Rodriguez sent out via e-mail several weeks ago. All members were urged to check the calendar and let Debbie know as soon as a program/speaker has been formalized for their assigned dates. As much advance notice as possible is preferred, for purposes of publicizing the prograns.

UPCOMING PROGRAMS: Among upcoming programs are Bill Dowd’s genealogical presentation titled “Where Do Parents Come From?” (September 17), Andy Leyhane’s talk on “Does Beer Spoil?” (September 24), a visit from new District Governor Milan Jackson (October 1), and a return of the Blue Star Mothers with information on the organization’s no-sew blanket project (October 8).

GOLF TOURNAMENT: The District’s annual Gift of Life Golf & Bocce Tournament is scheduled for next Thursday. Terry and Murray will be among the golfers setting out to defend SRC’s title from last year.

OUR WEBSITE: Terry thanked Bill Dowd for the continuing excellence of our website, characterizing it as the best in the District. He also announced that an award will be handed out at future meetings for members recognizing something from the site — SRCrotary.com

TRAINING: The annual Rotary Leadership Institute (RLI) is scheduled for Saturday, October 17, at Siena College. The club will pay for anyone who wishes to attend any of the three levels of training. Contact Terry or Debbie if interested.

MEMBERSHIP: September is “Rotary Membership Month.” Pins of recognition were awareded to two members for bringing in new Rotarians — Murray for sponsoring Melissa Bill, and Ray Hannan for sponsoring David Taylor.

GRANTS: The club is awarding three grants to local organizations — $500 for “Lights of Hope” in Haiti, $375 for Boy Scouts recognition, and $250 for the Fort Crailo Historic Site in Rensselaer.

MEDICINE BOTTLE COLLECTION: Doris Calamaras is heading up a club drive to collect used medicine containers — labels removed and inside rinsed, please. It is called “Medicine Bottles For Malawi,” referring to the impoverished African country that will receive such bottles from donations across the country. (Details are in a separate posting on this website.)

NEXT MEETING: 6:15 p.m. Thursday, September 15, at Quigley’s Food & Drink.

The annual return to Quigley’s

Screen shot 2015-09-07 at 2.46.38 PMWe’re headed back to our weekly schedule of dinner meetings at Quigley’s Food & Drink. The time is 6:15 p.m., the day Thursday, the date September 10.

Have you let our new dinner coordinator, Debbie Brown, know whether you will or will not be attending? If not, please do so today! She has to turn in the headcount first thing Wednesday morning.

Our new president, Terry Brewer, will be outlining and discussing goals, programs and committee assignments at the meeting. The following week, we’ll be getting into our schedule of programs when Bill Dowd presents an updated version of his genealogical Powerpoint, called “Where Do Parents Come From?” It may contain some surprises for you, personally.

This is why we can’t stop fighting polio

From The Associated Press

LONDON — The World Health Organization (WHO) says officials have found two children stricken by polio in Ukraine, the country’s first cases of the paralytic disease in nine years.

Health officials had warned Ukraine was at high risk of a polio outbreak due to its low vaccination rates. Only half of children were immunized against diseases like polio last year.

In a statement this week, WHO confirmed polio in two children in southwestern Ukraine. The cases resulted from a mutated polio virus in the vaccine. In rare instances, the virus in the vaccine can evolve into a strain that causes new outbreaks.

WHO said the risk of Ukraine exporting polio to other countries was low but noted the region where the cases were found shares borders with Romania, Hungary, Slovakia and Poland.