Meeting of 2/19/15: Blue Star Mothers

Picture 3Meeting at Quigley’s Restaurant
593 Columbia Turnpike
East Greenbush
February 19, 2015

Attending (14): Bill Dowd, Murray Forth, Pat Bailey, Peter Brown, Debbie Brown, Jim Butterworth, Rommel Tolentino, Jim Leyhane, Dick Drumm, Debbie Rodriguez, Terry Brewer, Stewart Wagner, Roberto Martinez, Charlie Foote.

Guests (3): Chuck Rodriguez, Robin Johnson, Kate Henchey.


PROGRAM: Blue Star Mothers


Blue Star272Debbie Rodriguez introduced  Robin Johnson and Kate Henchey of the local chapter of Blue Star Mothers of America Inc.

The organization consists of mother, stepmothers and guardians of service personnel. Kate spoke about her son, Kevin, who is serving in the U.S. Air Force, as is his wife. Robin spoke about her son who served in the U.S. Army.

Some of the members’ activities include making no-sew blankets, welcoming home military personnel, packing and sending gift boxes to troops, collecting for Toys for Tots and numerous other ways to support those in the military. They meet monthly on Everett Road Extension in Colonie. Their biggest fundraiser is the annual Blue Jean Ball (everyone wears jeans), and guests are welcome.

They displayed one of the fleece blankets they make for children. They also spoke about Guardian House in Ballston Spa, a new facility for homeless female veterans .

Kate took questions collecting items for the troop boxes, and collecting both candies after Halloween and toothpaste and tooth brushes, and about how we could Kate invited us to help make fleece blankets. Also questions about how we can support their efforts.

Blue Star Mothers are online at http://bluestarmothers.org and http://capitalregion2bsm.org. Their mailing address is P.O. Box 243, Delmar NY 12054.


BUSINESS/ANNOUNCEMENTS


ANNIVERSARY DINNER — President Bill Dowd thanked everyone for soliciting advertising for our 55th Charter Anniversary Dinner on March 5. We are at the $1,600 level of revenue. Reservations for the dinner need to be made by Monday (February 23) and must be paid for in advance. No payments will be accepted at the door. We have about 50 reservations so far. Debbie Brown reported that the Comfort Inn has offered courtesy rates of $89 for a room and $99 for a suite for the night of our event. Bill continues to look for names of any deceased members to add to the memorial page in the dinner program. And, he said musical guest Russ Kennedy will provide background music for the 5:30 p.m. cocktail half-hour and during the 6 p.m. dinner, as well as perform after dinner.

GOLF TOURNAMENT — Event coordinator Murray Forth reported that the final winter simulator tournament at Burden Lake Country Club on Saturday, March 7, is filling up fast. Reservations may be made through him or Terry Brewer.

ROTARY HOCKEY NIGHT — The District and the Glens Falls club will host the event on Saturday, February 28, at the Glens Falls Civic Center. Check our website for details.

AFTER-SCHOOL PROGRAM — Superintendent Sally Shields contacted Bill and gratefully accepted our $3,000 offer to underwrite the Rensselaer City School District’s I-Ready after-school tutoring program.

HOSPITAL STAY PAMPHLET — District Governor Dave Hennel responded to our request for endorsement of the “Guide to a Better Hospital Stay,” saying he will present it at the upcoming District Executive Committee meeting.

MARCH PROGRAMS — 5th, the anniversary dinner; 12th, Rommel Tolentino will present “Famous Names In Medicine”; 19th,  Shannon Romanowski has an as-yet-unannounced program; 26th, Charlie Foote will present Dr. John Matthews of Doctors Without Borders.


NEXT MEETING: 6:15 p.m. Thursday, February 26, at Quigley’s. The program will be on Community Hospice.


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