Attending (16): Terry Brewer, Debbie Rodriguez, Pat Bailey, Murray Forth, Bill Dowd, Jim Leyhane, Dick Drumm, A.J. Amato, Carole Spencer, Rommel Tolentino, Debbie Brown, Peter Brown, Dean Calamaras, Doris Calamaras, Ray Hannan, Charlie Foote.
Guests (4): Mary Ellen Whitney, Sgt. Steve Onley, Maggie Forth, Jeremy Forth.
PROGRAM: “Corinth: Ancient Crossroads of the Mediterranean”
Club member Dean Calamaras presented an illustrated travelogue on the history of the ancient Greek city state of Corinth.
Dean described the geographically strategic location of Corinth, believed to be about 4,000 years old, and its place in history. It is where the biblical figure Paul spent more than two years, spreading his gospel message that is contained in the books of Corinthians in the Bible: i.e., Paul’s letters to the Corinthians.
He noted that because the city had been leveled numerous times by earthquakes and mudslides and was in a near-constant state of rebuilding, it was a more fluid, polyglot city that did not have the hardened beliefs and strictures of many other cities. It also had a large Jewish population, a fact that made it a more receptive place for Paul to preach.
Dean showed photos he and Doris took during a visit there of the terrain of the city. It sits on the edge of the Aegean Sea, a location that made it a major shipping route with calmer waters than those ancient sailors and merchants experienced if they went to the southernmost tip of Greece that stretches into the Mediterranean.
He also explained that because the city had experienced so many natural disasters and attacks from outside forces that its people were continually moving building stones from one site to another — in effect, recycling the building materials — modern archaeologists find it difficult to make sense of many of their findings. He likened the chaotic jumble of stones, columns, and other building materials to an auto junkyard. What we do know for sure is that the Corinthian column was created there, as was the terra cotta tile which is pervasive throughout the Mediterranean.
VETERANS GRANT — As part of the club’s emphasis on aiding military support groups during this Rotary Year, President Terry Brewer presented a $1,500 grant to STRIDE Adaptive Sports and its Wounded Warrior programs to CEO Mary Ellen Whitney. This was the second grant of that amount made possible by our recent “Bowling for Vets” fundraiser. A grant was presented a week earlier to the Blue Star Mothers military family support organization. Mary Ellen, who was accompanied by former Army sergeant Steve Onley of Averill Park, spoke briefly about the STRIDE program, and Steve shared how becoming involved in it helped him transition back to civilian life after more than seven years in the military and recovering from battle wounds. Mary Ellen will visit the club at a later date to present a more expansive look at her organization’s work. STRIDE is headquartered in North Greenbush.
HOLIDAY SCHEDULE — Next Thursday will be our annual “Holiday Party & Gift Basket Silent Auction,” hosted by the Browns and catered by Talk of the Town. Debbie Brown needs final RSVPs by e-mail no later than Tuesday. Drawings for the raffle of afghans donated by Doris Calamaras also will be held at the party. … That same day, there will be a club breakfast meeting at 7 a.m. in the Capital Area School Development Association (CASDA) offices. We will not meet again until Thursday, January 8, because the two Thursdays following the party fall on Christmas and New Year’s eves. Terry said our permanent schedule will call for breakfast meetings on the third Thursday of each month.
CAR WASH TICKETS — Members were reminded that Hoffman Car Wash tickets make good Christmas stocking stuffers. They are available in books of 11 for $99 from Murray Forth. Half of all sales go directly to the club treasury.
SIMULATOR GOLF — Due to the unseasonably warm weather, our first indoor golf event of the season, originally scheduled for this Saturday, has been postponed. Many golf courses still have their outdoor facilities in operation, so enthusiasm for indoor play was limited for now. A January date will be arranged ASAP.
WINTERFEST — The Town of East Greenbush has requested a donation to help support its annual Winterfest public event. We will send a $25 check.
THE MALAWI PROJECT — The collection of clean, unlabeled, used pill containers for Malawi will continue until January 15. After that, The Malawi Project organization will take care of shipping them to medical facilities in the African nation.
MEMBERS — Terry announced that we will hold a group induction of as many as 10 new Rotarians on Thursday, January 28. (However, after the meeting it was noted that a program already had been scheduled for that date. A February induction date will be scheduled.)