Attending (9): April Dowd, Bill Dowd, Murray Forth, Pat Bailey, Jim Leyhane, Peter Brown, Debbie Brown, Dick Drumm, Debbie Rodriguez. (2 reservation no-shows.)
Guests (2): Speaker Burt Van Wie, prospective member Jim Davis.
Program: The Art of The Dart
Murray Forth introduced our after-dinner speaker, Burt Van Wie, an East Greenbush resident who is a member of the National Darts Hall of Fame.
Burt said he began his career in darts in 1978 and continues now operating the local league that competes at our meeting place, Quigley’s.
He explained the origin of darts — beginning as a game in the England of the Middle Ages among archers forced indoors during harsh weather. The game probably arrived in America with the first Europeans. The circular dart board was derived from the practice of using tree cuttings that showed the growth rings at which dart throwers aimed. There now are both English- and American-style dart leagues all around the country.
Burt, clad in one of his all-star shirts, has run the league at Quigley’s since 2008 and is responsible for organizing many events. Four-person teams often travel nationally to compete. The local league includes six women; all players are rated by their skills, so “A” throwers will compete against “A” throwers, “B” against “B” and so on to create a balanced competitive atmosphere.
Burt explained the scoring system, which requires quick math and is somewhat complicated. He described the lighted boards used at Quigley’s and the types of darts players use. His trio of darts costs about $100.
He gave a brief demonstration of his throwing skills and easily hit the best scoring spot as well as the bullseye.
Burt said there are thousands of competitive dart players in the country, and he has even journeyed to England to compete. Many serious players actually can win significant amounts of money. He encouraged us to take in one of the Tuesday night league sessions at Quigley’s.
GIFT OF LIFE — President April reminded members that the deadline for our $10,000 fund drive for Gift of Life is June 1. So far we have raised $6,300 from member pledges and the simulator golf tournament. Keep watching the funding “thermometer” on the website to track the pledges.
SUMMER CAMPS — April said the club will be underwriting tuition for one summer camper from the East Greenbush YMCA, at a price of $300, as approved earlier. Murray Forth said Dennis Chicinno of Boy Scout Troop 41 has asked for $400 to sponsor one summer camper as we have done in prior years. That was approved without dissent.
SUMMER EVENTS –– Debbie Brown has agreed to coordinate our annual Mac-Haydn Theatre outing. She will be working on play selection as well as concurrent dining possibilities. … The club is interested in another ValleyCats picnic and baseball game outing at Bruno Stadium in Troy. We will ask Terry Brewer, who has been on vacation, if he is willing to again coordinate that event this year. … Jim Mendrysa has informed the club he will not be available to cater any Thursday events this sporing and summer because he has joined a golf league that plays on that night. He will, however, be available other nights.
PRESIDENT-ELECT — Once again the membership was reminded that we still need someone to volunteer to serve as president-elect for 2014-15 and president in 2015-16. As of now, no one has come forth. A brief discussion covered the topic of extending the presidential term to two years. That could be brought up for a vote by the membership in the near future.
RYLA — Bill Dowd said he e-mailed a letter and brochure to chief administrators at high schools in our area, soliciting candidates for the 2014-15 RYLA program. Nick George, the district RYLA trainer, will be our after-dinner speaker on May 8.
ESSAY CONTEST — Bill reported that he and April have reviewed the submissions for a pair of $500 scholarships and will pass along to Terry and Jim Butterworth, the other members of the evaluation committee, copies of the essays that have been coded to mask the identities of the young writers.
MISCELLANY — The club received a letter of appreciation for its support of the “Cate’s Kids” Easter basket project at Circles of Mercy. Our effort was coordinated by Len Leonidas and his Tiger Cub Scouts. April reminded members that we are continuing support of Circle and of The Anchor food pantry as our fourth-quarter Rotary Year project. … Peter Brown reported he had touched base with Bob Somerville who will be the honorary starter for the Rotary Run. Bob is set to run this month in the Boston Marathon for the 26th time. Several scouts from Troop 41 also have been promised to help out at the Run.
NEXT MEETING: 6:15 p.m. Thursday, April 24. The speaker will be Eric Paul, owner/cheesemonger of the Cheese Traveler in Albany. Samples have been promised.