In what may be a District 7190 record-breaking induction of new Rotarians, the Southern Rensselaer County Rotary Club on Thursday night literally increased its size by one-third.
Eleven new Rotarians were officially welcomed in a special dinner ceremony emceed by President Terry Brewer with the assistance of Board Member Jim Leyhane. Also participating were District Governor Milan Jackson and Immediate Past District Governor Dave Hennel. And, also on hand to represent the district and welcome the newcomers were Assistant District Governor Bob Van Alstine and District Membership Chair Jennifer Hendricks-Fogg.
This is the largest one-time induction of new Rotarians in the 56-year history of the Southern Rensselaer County Club. And, in the collective memory of all Rotarians present, it also may be the largest in District 7190 annals.
Our new Rotarians:
• Melissa Bill, First Niagara Bank branch manager
• Michael Bennett, asst. superintendent, Schodack Central School District
• Michael Dewey, financial consultant
• Robert Horan, superintendent, Schodack Central School District
• Mario Kosikar, attorney at law
• Andy Leyhane, doctor of chemistry, AMRI
• James McHugh, principal, Bell Top Elementary School, East Greenbush
• John Sawchuk, principal, Columbia High School, East Greenbush
• Matthew Smith, doctor of physical therapy, Albany Medical Center
• David Taylor, USAF retired
• Josh Wainman, Wainman Construction Inc.
(Although Melissa and Josh were unable to attend, they were accepted “in absentia.”)
Also in attendance were guests Maggie and Jeremy Forth, Becky Raymond, and Matt Smith’s guest Julianna.
President Terry, who also presented a PowerPoint listing of the many facets of Rotary’s efforts and our club’s financial contributions to many organizations in the community, presented mid-year awards to a number of club members in various categories:
Humanitarian Recognition — Peter Brown, Jim Leyhane, and Roberto Martinez were recognized for their work in creating the hospital stay brochure that the club has copyrighted. (Details elsewhere on this site.)
Rotary Visibility — Our public relations committee of Bill Dowd, Pat Bailey, and Debbie Rodriguez was honored for success in getting more local media coverage of the club’s activities.
Unsung Rotarians — Murray Forth and Stewart Wagner were recognized for their unstinting efforts on a year-round basis to help support and carry out many of the club’s activities.
Paul Harris Fellow — Charlie Foote was recognized with a fellowship for his financial contribution to the Rotary Foundation.
Rotarians of the Year — Debbie and Peter Brown were honored for their ongoing support of the club in numerous ways, not the least of which is regularly making their home the host venue for some of our larger events.
Service Above Self — Dick Drumm, a 1960 charter member of our club, was recognized for his 50+ years of involvement in Rotary.
Here are some scenes from the evening, captured by Bill Dowd (except, obviously, the one photo in which he appears).