Attending (15): April Dowd, Bill Dowd, Murray Forth, Pat Bailey, Peter Brown, Debbie Brown, A.J. Amato, Jim Leyhane, Terry Brewer, Geoff Brewer, Charlie Foote, Jim Butterworth, Len Leonidas, Carole Spencer, Ray Hannan.
Program: The Year In Review
President April Dowd led a review of our projects and fundraisers held during the 2013-14 Rotary Year.
Our major financial undertakings were successfully completing a pair of $10,000 drives for both the ShelterBox and Gift of Life programs (see below for the latest GOL total).While we will not attempt such major-level drives again in 2014-15, we will include both organizations on our gift list.
The members’ consensus was to continue several of our successful annual events, such as “Bowl Over Polio,” “CPR Certification Course” and, of course, the “Rotary Run” which will see its 35th running next year. We also agreed to expand this year’s inaugural “Spring Simulator Golf Tournament” to three dates next winter. In addition, we plan to make continue supporting several local food pantries and the Circles of Mercy family services organization, and to continue the new “Pocket Change for … ” (autism, in this instance) fundraiser. (April reminded members that everyone attending the June 26 Presidential Changeover Dinner will have the opportunity to guess at the amount in the “Pocket Change” jug; closest to the actual amount, over or under, will win a free dinner at a fall Rotary meeting.
Several other activities we plan to continue: “Cate’s Kids” Easter baskets for Circle of Mercy, using the efforts of local Tiger Cubs; continuing to sponsor summer campers for the Rotary Scout Reservation and the YMCA, as well as five (5) students for the school-year-long RYLA program.
We did not do as well with some other projects.
The “Rotary Home Cooking Series” was held just once this year, with the Dowds’ hosting and serving a menu of favorites from a 1950s menu at the Iconic Oak Room at the Plaza Hotel in New York City. Several members encouraged continuation of the series, but perhaps asking for a different host every so any months to provide themed dinners.
Our “Columbia Turnpike, You’ve Got Mail” direct-mail appeal to more than one hundred local businesses resulted in a grand total of zero responses. That effort will not repeated.
And, our initial Rotary Essay Scholarship Competition resulted in only seven entries, from different schools. The consensus was that the effort is worthwhile to continue, but we will work on methods to broaden its appeal and get the word out to more school officials, publications, etc., for next spring.
• MEETING FREQUENCY: VP Bill informed us that the 90-year-old Mechanicville Club has altered its schedule to meet twice a month instead of weekly. He said during his presidency he plans to appoint a committee to explore possibilities for our club that may attract and/or hold members. Among things they will look at are the Mechanicville change and the year-old Capital Region Club that meets in-person monthly but makes heavy use of social media to keep in contact and perform projects.
• SUMMER SCHEDULE: We will not meet on July 3 due to the long holiday week. However, Bill said we have firmed up three “on the road” events for July — a performance of the musical “42nd Street” at the Mac-Haydn Theatre in Chatham on July 10; a pre-game picnic and baseball game at the ValleyCats’ Bruno Stadium on July 17; and, a buffet with campers and a tour of the facilities of the Rotary Scout Reservation in Averill Park on July 24. Details and sign-up sheets for all three events will be distributed. … We need hosts for our August 21 and 28 meetings. The other three summer dates have been spoken for with either another road trip or a home picnic — Terry Brewer July 31, Murray Forth August 7, Jim Leyhane August 14. After the 28th we are off for the Labor Day holiday week, then will resume regular meetings on September 11 at Quigley’s.
• GIFT OF LIFE PROJECT: Several late member financial contributions have bumped up our Gift of Life special fund drive to $11,000. We are expecting five members of the District 7190 GOL to attend our June 12 meeting to accept our check for the medical charity. We are asking members to make every effort to attend and to bring a guest for this special night.