Meeting of 11/5/15: ‘No-Sew Blanket Workshop’

Screen shot 2015-05-22 at 12.44.07 PMMeeting at Quigley’s Restaurant
593 Columbia Turnpike
East Greenbush, NY
November 5, 2015

Attending (13): Terry Brewer, Debbie Rodriguez, Murray Forth, Pat Bailey, Bill Dowd, April Dowd, Jim Leyhane, Peter Brown, Debbie Brown, Roberto Martinez, Carole Spencer, Stewart Wagner, Ray Hannan.

Guests (6):  District Governor-elect John Mucha, Nina Mucha, Assistant District Governor Bob Van Alstine, Michael Dewey, Kate Henchey, Lois Hannan.

PROGRAM: “Blue Star Mothers’ No-Sew Blanket Workshop”

Our long-planned “no-sew blanket” workshop came off without a hitch, although we tied plenty of knots under the watchful eyes of Kate Henchey of the Blue Star Mothers organization.

Representatives of the local chapter of the military family support group have visited the SRC Rotary Club twice before to explain its aims and activities. One of the ongoing projects is the creation of the no-sew blankets for the “Uncle Shawn’s Hugs” program started by the mother of Sgt. Shawn Martin of Delmar, 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.” Each time the blankets are washed, they become softer and the bindings become tighter. Our members and several guests — including District Governor-elect John Mucha of Glens Falls — pitched in to create a pile of blankets from  materials provided by Debbie Rodriguez in about a one-hour, hands-on session. Here are some scenes from the evening:

Kate Henchey of the Blue Star Mothers observes prospective SRC member Mike Dewey and others hard at work.
Kate Henchey of the Blue Star Mothers observes prospective SRC member Mike Dewey (left), Jim Leyhane and others hard at work.
(L to R) Carole Spencer, April Dowd, and Peter Brown begin the cutting process.
Roberto Martinez, Nina Mucha (background) and Kate Henchey get snippy.
 Lois and Ray Hannan team up, with Debbie Brown in the background..
Intense PB
Peter Brown is intent on his chore.
(L to R) District Governor-elect John Mucha, Assistant District Governor Bob Van Alstine, and Murray Forth team up for a “Hello, Kitty” moment.
Stewart Wagner, always a cut-up.
One of the many blanket material patterns put together on Thursday night.
One of the eclectic material patterns magically turned into blankets on Thursday night. Below are several more.
Pattern 2
For the auto-minded youngsters.
Pattern 3
Hooo will get this one?
Pattern 4
Pick a Disney heroine, any Disney heroine.
Pattern 5
Flowers and birds, oh my.
A “selfie” by the photographer, just to prove he was there.


Screen shot 2015-11-06 at 3.55.22 PMNEW RECRUITS — President Terry Brewer, after welcoming District Governor-elect John Mucha and Assistant District Governor Bob Van Alstine, also introduced Michael Dewey, who is in the process of joining our club.  Terry said former member and past president John Sawchuck has said he will be rejoining us, and former Martha’s Vineyard Rotary Club member Jill Dugas Hughes also has indicated interest in transferring to SRC. John is the principal of Columbia High School. Jill is the new director of the East Greenbush Community Library. Terry said he has other strong possibilities, including Andy Leyhane, stemming from the recent breakfast meeting, the first in a monthly series of such events that will be used as recruiting tools. Our goal for the 2014-15 Rotary Year is 10 new members.

Screen shot 2015-10-30 at 1.48.10 PMDG-ELECT AND AG PRESENT — John Mucha introduced himself to the club, and said he is looking forward to his term as District Governor in 2016-17. He also mentioned our club’s generosity in sponsoring the Gift of Life, in which he is involved, calling it “legendary.” Bob Van Alstine, now in his third and final year as our ADG, noted how much he enjoys meeting with our club, and how he often finds it “uplifting.” Nice ego pats for everyone involved!

Rotary Home Cooking logoROTARY HOME COOKING — Debbie Brown said she and Peter can accommodate one or two more people for the Saturday, November 14, meal at their Castleton residence. Please contact them ASAP if interested. As always, proceeds from the Rotary Home Cooking series go to the club treasury to support various efforts.

Screen shot 2015-11-06 at 4.20.01 PMPUBLIC RELATIONS — Terry expressed appreciation to the Public Relations Committee, led by Bill Dowd working with Pat Bailey and Debbie Rodriguez, for efforts in expanding our marketing. The new issue of the “Our Towne” pennysaver publication  includes a listing for our Thursday night meetings and an ad for the “Bowling for Veterans” event. Bill noted that we also have expanded our efforts via social media to get out the word about our projects and about Rotary in general.

Screen shot 2015-11-06 at 4.24.18 PMFOUNDATION DINNER — The District 7190 annual Foundation Dinner scheduled for November 19 at the Stratton Air National Guard Base in Scotia still has reservations available. So far, April Dowd, Bill Dowd, and Jim Leyhane have registered. Terry said each club has been asked to donate a gift basket for a silent raffle. The Dowds, who provided one last year, said they would provide one again. If you need incentive to attend, how about this: You’ll get a guided tour of a gigantic C-130 transport plane.

MEETING CHANGE — Due to projected low attendance for the scheduled November 19 dinner meeting due to the Foundation Dinner and other conflicts, we will have only the monthly breakfast meeting on that day, from 7 to 8 a.m. at the CASDA offices. All members are invited, and encouraged to bring prospective members.

SRC Bowling Logo 2015VETERANS NOTES — “Bowling for Veterans” coordinators Murray Forth and Terry reported that lane sponsorship contributions are going well for the event, set for this Sunday at the East Greenbush Bowling Center. Murray said we still can use some volunteers to help on-site with the event, although Bill Dowd, April Dowd, Charlie Foote, David Taylor, Ray Hannan, and spouse-guest Lois Hannan already have volunteered. Mike Dewey is bringing 12 students from the St. Colman’s School to bowl, and several other teams have pre-registered. We now have about 85 early-entry bowlers. We will have several stations selling 50-50 raffle tickets and afghan quilt drawing tickets. Terry noted that proceeds from the bowling will go to Wounded Warriors and Blue Star Mothers, but proceeds from the 50-50 raffle will go to the club treasury. Posters have been distributed to various veterans organizations and via social media. … Terry suggested that as part of this year’s emphasis on military support that members participate in the new “green light” program that is springing up around the country. It only requires installing a green bulb in an outdoor lighting fixture to show solidarity with active and veteran military personnel. … Ray Hannan announced that his daughter, an active duty member of the U.S. Air Force stationed in South Korea, is working on a campaign to get holiday cards for servicemen and women who are away from family and friends this year. He will supply details as he gets them.

NEXT MEETING: 6:15 p.m. Thursday, November 12, at Quigley’s. The program will be a “Flag Presentation” by Doris Calamaras.


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