10/17/13 meeting: District governor visits

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

Attending (15): April Dowd, Bill Dowd, Murray Forth, Terry Brewer, Pat Bailey, Peter Brown, Debbie Brown, Jim Leyhane, Dick Drumm, Carol Orvis, Charlie Foote, Patrick Ciraulo, Stewart Wagner, A.J. Amato, Carole Spencer. (2 reservation no-shows.)

Guests (2): District Governor Susan Austin, PDG Anne Cargile.


Program: District Governor Susan Austin


DG Susan Austin introduces Hijinks, the Vermont Teddy Bear mascot for Rotary.
DG Susan Austin introduces Hijinks, the Vermont Teddy Bear mascot for Rotary.

Ann Cargile, a past 7190 district governor, introduced Susan Austin, the 2013-14 DG who then presented this year’s Rotary flag with the theme “Engage Rotary, Change Lives” to President April.

Susan introduced Hijinks, a Vermont Teddy Bear that is accompanying her to all visits to clubs in the district. Hijinks will be the mascot for the 2014 district meeting in Lake Placid.

She went on to explain the meaning of the slogan “Engage Rotary, Change Lives,” citing as one example Rotarians’ participation in the cleanup of a home in Rotterdam Junction that was ravaged by Hurricane Irene, leaving a trail of mud, broken bridges and debris. The home she and fellow Rotarians and family members helped salvage was owned by an 88-year-old widow who had lived there since she was a new bride and who lost nearly everything in the ground floor of the house. She spoke about trying to save some of the possessions in the home and how it affected her and the others helping and fits the theme of Rotarians helping others.

On other topics:

• Susan reported that District 7190, which now has about 1,300 Rotarians, continues to operate on the same annual budget as it has had for about the past five years. Despite that, dues have gone up each year. She noted that is because the total membership has gone down, so dues had to be raised to maintain at least the same level. She urged everyone to continue to press for new members.

• Susan spoke about the entertainment planned and speaker secured for the Rotary Foundation event scheduled for Wednesday, November 20, in Schenectady.

• Another district “flash mob” is being planned, with a date to be announced.

• The deadline for submission of club goals or this Rotary year has been extended due to a snafu with the online program being used that has caused delays.

• A seminar will be held Saturday, March 1, 2014, in Clifton Park, to train for “Anchors Aweigh.” The event will be staged as a sea voyage, complete with a passport to be stamped at each “port of call,” with each one focusing on various Rotary areas of concentration.

• Among new Rotary International bylaws that will be added to the District 7190 bylaws are three new classifications for prospective members — homemaker, child care, and people not employed. Also, a revised “Rule of “85.” If one’s age plus one’s number of years in Rotary equals 85 or higher, the member will be counted as being in attendance at a meeting even if not there.

Susan took questions, which included Bill asking for elaboration on the “Anchors Aweigh” event, Peter asking about the foreign exchange program, and Terry asking about inter-club cooperation in having a “Get to know Rotary” at a local mall. Susan said the district remains firmly supportive of the exchange program and that there is a large contingent of students living abroad as well as others coming here this year. She responded to Terry — who had made the same request during Assistant DG Bob Van Alstine’s recent visit but had received no follow-up response — that the idea sounded interesting and she would like to discuss it further with him.

Anne Carville closed the visit by promoting a fundraising project to raise $10,000 to get Susan to jump in Lake George during the annual polar bear swim. With matching dollars, that could amount to as much as $30,000.


Announcements/Business:

• Bill Dowd renewed his request to be notified well in advance about upcoming programs, especially those in the immediate future, so he can promote them.

• President April requested that Peter Brown, coordinator of the 2014 Rotary Run, contact marathoner Bob Somerville to be the honorary chairman of the event. Bob, who visited the club last spring, has run in 25 Boston Marathons, including the ill-fated one earlier this year.

• Murray Forth, coordinator of our 3rd annual Bowl Over Polio fundraiser, said he has secured the Spare Time bowling center for Sunday, January 26, 2014. However, various club members expressed concern that the district surprised us with an announcement that it has decided to hold a similarly-named event but at  11 different venues on January 1, just 3½ weeks before our event. … Murray also reminded members we have Hoffman car wash tickets for sale, noting that 50% of all sales go directly to the club.


NEXT MEETING: 6:15 p.m. Thursday, October 24, at Quigley’s restaurant. A.J. Amato will introduce a representative of the award-winning Adirondack Mutual Fund, which operates in Albany.


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