Meeting of 10/8/15: ‘Blue Star Mothers’

Screen shot 2015-05-22 at 12.44.07 PMMeeting at Quigley’s Restaurant
593 Columbia Turnpike
East Greenbush, NY
October 8, 2015

Attending (11): Terry Brewer, Debbie Rodriguez, Murray Forth, Bill Dowd, Dick Drumm, Stewart Wagner, Jim Butterworth, David Taylor, Dean Calamaras, Doris Calamaras, Roberto Martinez.

Guests (3): Robin Johnson, Kate Henchey, Mike Dewey.

PROGRAM: “Blue Star Mothers’ No-Sew Blankets”

Screen shot 2015-10-09 at 1.30.17 AM

Debbie Rodriguez introduced Robin Johnson and Kate Henchey, members of the local chapter of Blue Star Mothers, who presented a program to us last year.

The organization of mothers of military personnel past and present was created during World War II. Kate is the mother of an Air Force son and daughter, Robin the mother of a disabled Marine.

Their ongoing project is the creation of no-sew blankets for the “Uncle Shawn’s Hugs” program started by the mother of a Marine killed in Iraq. The idea is to distribute the blankets as a reminder of the hugs he gave to friends and family in his lifetime.

The process is a deceptively simple cut, fold and tie process in which Robin and Kate had members participate to create a finished blanket in about 15 minutes. They said that each time the blankets are washed, they become softer and the bindings become tighter. We will have a blanket-making work session during our November 5 club meeting to aid the project.

blanket x

Blanket B


PRE-MEETING ANNOUNCEMENT — President Terry Brewer noted in an e-mail update that despite a growing membership, not enough club members came forward to volunteer to staff an informational table at the upcoming Apple & Craft Festival at Goold Orchards, so we will have only a program ad to get out the word about Rotary.

BREAKFAST MEETING — The first of what we hope will be a series of breakfast meetings for prospective members is scheduled for 7 to 8 a.m. Thursday, October 15, at the CASDA offices in the former Sterling Winthrop Lab location — University at Albany East Campus, 5 University Drive, Rensselaer, Room A-407 on the fourth floor. He asked for additional names and contact information from members about potential invitees to whom he will send e-mail and “snail mail” invitations. We are looking to interest people unable to fit our Thursday dinner meetings into their schedules, and will lay out a range of information on local and global Rotary activities. Current members are welcome, and encouraged, to attend.

BOWLING CHANGE — Rather than continue our annual post-New Year’s “Bowl Over Polio” fundraisers for Rotary’s PolioPlus program, we are shifting focus to aid such veterans assistance programs as Blue Star Mothers and Wounded Warriors. To that end, we plan to hold a family-friendly bowling marathon on Sunday, November 8, at the East Greenbush Bowling Center, with all-you-can bowl sessions from 12:30 to 2:30 and 3 to 5 p.m. We hope to have an honor guard from the LaSalle Institute, as well as raffles and drawings, and will approach veterans’ groups and other civic and scholastic organizations about participating. And, we will need members to volunteer to staff the registration tables. Please see event coordinator Murray Forth to do so.

NEXT MEETING: 6:15 p.m. Thursday, October 15, 2015, at Quigley’s. Program: Robert Parzak will make a follow-up presentation and demonstration on “Thermoelectric Power Production — Domestic Solutions Intersect with 3rd World Needs.”


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