Attending (11): Bill Dowd, Murray Forth, Pat Bailey, April Dowd, Peter Brown, Debbie Brown, Ray Hannan, Len Leonidas, Shannon Romanowski, Dick Drumm, Dean Calamaras.
Guests (3): Carolyn Garrison, Fred LeBrun, ADG Bob Van Alstine.
PROGRAM: Grandparents’ View of Camp Rotary
Immediate Past President April Dowd introduced our speakers, Carolyn Garrison and Fred LeBrun of West Sand Lake, who joined us to talk about the successes of Camp Rotary, which our club financially helps support.
Fred began by explaining that over 1,000 young men went through through Camp Rotary this year, including their grandson, Eli.
Carolyn spoke about Eli, who initially had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, then was found to have severe Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and has had a very difficult time in school and family settings, causing tremendous strain on his life and that of those around him.
She detailed the very positive experiences Eli has had during two summers at camp, as well as in some camping activities with the Scout troop in West Sand Lake. He has gone from a troubled child to one who has been helped by the Scouting experience into a 13-year-old who has earned 20 merit badges and learned to become very socialized with others.
Carolyn also spoke about some of the other boys with a variety of emotional and physical challenges. Many of them have earned many merit badges, several even reaching the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest rank in Scouting.
Fred spoke about the management of the camp and the woodland environment, and about the positive attributes of the facility. As he noted, the Scout leaders’ efforts are aimed at making things possible for youngsters from all walks of life, including things most people thought they never would achieve.
The couple enthusiastically expressed their thanks to Rotary and to the individuals in Rotary for making such a life-changing service available to the community.
CIRCLES OF MERCY — President Bill Dowd said we have received a letter of thanks from Richard S. Zazicky, executive director of the family service organization, for underwriting two families for the holidays, part of Circles’ annual adopt-a-family program. Bill also encouraged Rotarians to continue donating, clothing, households goods and other items on a regular basis since everything donated goes to local people in need.
FUNDRAISING — Bill said that we are near the midway point of our Rotary Year for fundraising with several events still ahead — three simulated indoor golf tournaments and our annual Bowl Over Polio event. But, he asked us not to forget our weekly appeal as part of our “Pocket Change” push, this year for The Great American Milk Drive. … Event co-coordinator Murray Forth said the first of the three golf events at Burden Lake Country Club, scheduled for Saturday, December 13, is nearly a sellout.
HOLIDAY PARTY — This year, Murray and Maggie Forth again are hosting the Holiday Party & Silent Basket Auction, on Thursday, December 18.
We will again have themed baskets provided by the members. Baskets should have a value of between $30 and $75. The dinner will be provided by Jim Mendrysa’s Talk of the Town catering service. Murray will let us know at the December 11 meeting whether members and guests need to bring anything to the party.
POLIO NEWS — Members were reminded to check our club website for recent postings on a flareup of polio in Pakistan, and how the besieged vaccination efforts there are endangering the work Rotary has done in trying to eradicate the dread disease globally.
DISTRICT NEWS — Bill said District Governor Elect Milan Jackson has issued a call for a new logo design that would depict the varied aspects of our sprawling district. The winning entry will be rewarded with a Paul Harris recognition … Assistant District Governor Bob Van Alstine was present to urge participation in several upcoming District 7190 events: the annual Polar Plunge at Lake George on New Year’s Day; a district-sponsored Bowl Over Polio on January 25 at various sites (he was informed that the SRC club has its own Bowl Over Polio which preceded the District’s implementation last year of such an event); the annual Rotary Birthday Party event set for February 28. He also gave a brief description of the Rotary Foundation Dinner recently held at the Proctors theater complex in Schenectady, which six SRC people attended.
NEXT MEETING: 6:15 p.m. Thursday, December 11, at Quigley’s. We will be joined by two administrators from the Rensselaer City School District to discuss their request for funding for an after-school homework program.