Attending (18): Terry Brewer, Murray Forth, Debbie Rodriguez, Pat Bailey, Bill Dowd, Jim Leyhane, Jim Butterworth, Peter Brown, Debbie Brown, April Dowd, Charlie Foote, Roberto Martinez, Dean Calamaras, Doris Calamaras, Dick Drumm, Rommel Tolentino, David Taylor, Ray Hannan.
PROGRAM: “A Tribute to the American Flag”
Doris Calamaras presented a brief appreciation of the American flag, in keeping with the week of Veterans’ Day.
She said that something that stood out in her mind when she worked in Europe with the U.S. government was not seeing the American flag flying except at embassies and the like.
She spoke of her fervent feeling that one nation is represented by one flag, and she offered the reading of a poem extolling the meaning of that national symbol.
Doris closed by distributing to attendees who are veterans or who have had a family member in military service — which covered virtually everyone — small plastic envelopes containing stars cut from decommissioned flags and printed explanations of what the keepsakes are. (See photo) Anyone who wishes to get more of the stars can make a request online with StarsForOurTroops.org.
THANK-YOUS — President Terry Brewer said he received a letter of thanks from The Anchor food pantry in Castleton for our $100 grant. … He also thanked, on the occasion of Veterans’ Day week, the military veterans in our club for their service: Jim Leyhane (Army) and David Taylor (Air Force).
ROTARY HOME COOKING — Debbie Brown reported that all seats — plus one — have been accounted for at the dinner party she and Peter will be hosting this Saturday. All proceeds will go to the club treasury. Terry said a signup schedule will be circulated at an upcoming meeting for anyone else who wishes to host a home dinner after the holidays.
HOLIDAY PARTY — Speaking of the Browns, they also will be hosting our annual Holiday Party & Gift Basket Silent Auction, scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday, December 17. Terry urged members to register for the event, which will be catered by Jim Mendrysa’s Talk of the Town, and to come up with innovative themes for the gift baskets. He pointed out that if anyone is stumped for ideas, Bill Dowd has posted some sample baskets on the club website for inspiration.
BOWLING FOR VETS — The bowlathon coordinated by Murray Forth and Terry drew more than 80 bowlers. Photo and video coverage of the event have been posted on the club website. Murray reported that, including donations from the public, we netted $3,165. In addition, $150 in raffle prize money will go to Rotary projects. Two military organizations will benefit from the event — Wounded Warriors and Blue Star Mothers. Terry said he still is seeking a local Wounded Warriors contact, and that a representative of the Blue Star Mothers group will be invited to a club meeting to be presented with a check.
NO-SEW BLANKETS — The blankets that club members made on November 5 will be donated to the Marine Corps’ “Toys for Tots” program to be handed out at their annual holiday parade. A video is on the club website showing the blanket-making session.
MEETING SCHEDULE — We will have a breakfast meeting from 7 to 8 p.m. next Thursday, November 19, at the CASDA (Capital Area School Development Association) offices, 5 University Place # 409, Rensselaer, just off Columbia Turnpike. All are welcome. However, there will be no dinner meeting on that day or the following week, which is Thanksgiving.
MEMBER RECRUITMENT — Terry reiterated that we have several incoming members: Mike Dewey, director of finance at St. Colman’s School, who brought several teams to the “Bowling for Vets” event, and Jill Hughes, new director of the East Greenbush Community Library and a former member of the Martha’s Vineyard (MA) Rotary Club.
ADOPT A FAMILY — Bill Dowd reported that we have volunteered to adopt up to two families for the holidays as part of the Circles of Mercy community outreach service. He said we are promised a list sometime during Thanksgiving week of what the families could use in the way of donated items, and he will share that wish list with club members.
SIMULATOR GOLF TOURNEY — The season’s first simulator golf event at Burden Lake Country Club has been scheduled for Saturday, December 12. Bill Dowd has created flyers that were made available at the meeting, and that will be e-mailed to all members for printout and distribution. The flyers already have been posted on our website and Facebook page. Terry said he plans to suggest to prospective members attending the breakfast meeting series that they become involved in staffing the event.
CARDS FOR SERVICE PEOPLE — Ray Hannan explained the project his daughter and son-in-law, both of whom are stationed with the U.S. Air Force in South Korea, are spearheading. They are making up gift baskets for single military people for the holidays, and we have been signing Christmas cards to be included in the packets. He said that about 9,200 such cards are expected to be supplied to the effort nationwide.
COMMITTEES — Terry urged everyone to check the club website to be sure they know the committees to which they have been assigned. And, he urged the lead people on each committee to use a few minutes before dinner meetings to get together with their members to discuss what they should be doing.
CLUB VIDEOS — Terry said he has heard much praise for our club website, including in recent weeks from District Governor Milan Jackson and District Governor-elect John Mucha. He thanked Bill Dowd for putting so much effort into building and maintaining the site. Members then were shown the website’s coverage of the bowling fundraiser and the blanket-making workshop. Everyone was urged once more to make a regular practice of visiting the website to stay abreast of Rotary developments and activities locally and globally. Bill noted that although we have had videos posted on the website in the past, the blanket-making video was the first directly from the club and, in addition, was the 1,000th item posted on the site.
NEXT BREAKFAST MEETING: 7 to 8 a.m. Thursday, November 19, at the CASDA (Capital Area School Development Association) offices, 5 University Place # 409, Rensselaer, just off Columbia Turnpike.
NEXT DINNER MEETING: 6:15 p.m. Thursday, December 3, with Cindy Dean of Unity House in Troy.