Members Attending (18): Terry Brewer, Debbie Rodriguez, Murray Forth, Pat Bailey, Bill Dowd, Jim Leyhane, April Dowd, Peter Brown, Debbie Brown, Dick Drumm, Ron Annis, Roberto Martinez, Shannon Romanowski, Becky Raymond, Dean Calamaras, Rommel Tolentino, Ray Hannan, Stewart Wagner.
Guests (3): Sharon Wheeler, Jennifer Kilinski, Julius Frankel.
PROGRAM: “Musical Therapy”
Roberto Martinez introduced Sharon Wheeler and Jennifer Kilinski from Albany Medical Center’s medical therapy staff and the singing group Triskele.
Sharon explained that musical therapy, which began greatly expanding in the 20th Century to help troubled soldiers returning from war, today has reached a level that offers accredited college programs leading to degrees and certification in the field. Both speakers work with children and adults, and Sharon does some work in the East Greenbush School District as well. They also visit various facilities to assist in different ways.
Musical therapists are required to read music, perform voice, play an instrument — in their cases flute and trumpet, and all are required to play guitar as well because of its portability. As they explained, there is a profound difference between music as pure entertainment for patients and musical therapy with specific goals being targeted.
Playing and listening to music affects several areas of the brain. Therapy is used in everything from correctional facilities for behavior modification to neonatal intensive care units for soothing effects, respiratory training, etc. In between are therapies designed for use at Alzheimer’s centers, mental health centers and hospitals, special needs classrooms, and hospice.
They explained that the theory of musical therapy dates back centuries, and included a drawing of a 17th Century session in a montage that illustrated different types of therapy. And, they spoke about the techniques they use in different settings, including drum playing, use of rattles, a tambourine, and lollipop drums. They distributed instruments to several members and provided a demonstration of what they might do with patients to encourage participation, release frustrations, and create rhythms that help in mobility and communication.
WELCOME BACK — President Terry Brewer welcomed back Jim Leyhane after heart surgery. Jim expressed his thanks to all who provided meals for he and his family during his recuperation at home. The club also sent Jim a fruit basket.
BUSINESS EXPO — Terry said we will be staffing a table at the 3rd annual Business Expo put on by the Capital Region Rotary Club at the Radisson Hotel on Wolf Road, Colonie, on April 5. We will be distributing club flyers, the hospital stay brochure, and other Rotary items. Peter Brown extended the gratitude to Community Care Physicians of he, Jim, and Roberto for its strong support of the brochure they created. Copies are available on the club website.
PUBLIC RELATIONS — Bill Dowd, lead of the PR Committee, reported a very strong public presence in March. Among items he cited were publication of photos and stories about the club in the Times Union, Our Towne Magazine, and the District 7190 Toolbox, and several mentions on Our Towne’s Facebook page. In addition, we had more than 700 views on the club website and in excess of 1,100 on the club Facebook page.
OFFICERS NEEDED — Bill Dowd, speaking for the Nominating Committee that includes Murray Forth and Jim Leyhane, reminded attendees that he had sent a letter via email to all club members and prospective members, outlining the club’s needs for the 2016-17 Rotary Year. He stressed in his letter, a copy of which is available on the club website, that we are seeking a President-elect, Vice President, and At-Large board member to help share the load with the same small core of members who do most of the organizing and execution of club projects and activities all the time.
RONALD McDONALD HOUSE — A contingent from the club will be preparing breakfast for families staying at the Ronald McDonald House in Albany on Saturday: Terry, Geoff and Betty Brewer, Shannon Romanowski, Murray Forth, and Andy Leyhane. On Thursday, May 12, another contingent from the club will be preparing dinner there.
SOCIAL EVENTS — April and Bill Dowd are hosting a sold-out “Rotary Home Cooking Series” dinner at their residence at 6 p.m. Saturday, April 16. Roberto and Jim are co-hosting a social mixer at 5 p.m. Saturday, April 23, at Roberto’s residence to help new and “old” Rotary members and their significant others get better acquainted. Attendees are asked to bring an appetizer. Beverages will be provided. This is not a dinner event.
GRANTS TRAINING — Terry, Debbie Rodriguez, Ron and Monika Annis will represent the club at a District Grants Training Workshop at 1 p.m. Saturday, April 9, at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs.
DINNER PRICE HIKE — For the first time in memory, we will be paying more for our Thursday dinners, beginning sometime in April. As discussed at several club meetings, the price will go from $15 to $18, which we expect to provide us with many more entree choices.
DISTRICT MEETING — The annual event is scheduled for May 13-16 in Lake Placid. For details and registration information, go to the District link on our club’s website under “Recommended Rotary Links.” Members are urged to consider attending, especially if they have never attended such an event before.
FREEDOM FROM FISTULA FOUNDATION — Incoming new member Becky Raymond, who recently gave us a presentation on the maternal health program in Malawi, Africa, said her Returned Peace Corps Volunteers organization will provide two complimentary tickets to an April 12 fundraiser for the foundation. It will be held at Hamilton Union Presbyterian Church, located on Western Avenue (Route 20) opposite the Guilderland Public Library.
SHREDDING DAY — A reminder that A.J. Amato is holding his office’s annual document shredding day, open to the public, on Saturday, April 30. He will ask for donations, which will go toward the club’s youth programs. His office is located at 4 Springhurst Drive, Suite 212, in East Greenbush.
DINNER PROGRAMS — Program coordinator Debbie Rodriguez reminded people with program dates assigned for May and June need to get details to her ASAP. Anyone who has forgotten their program date assignment can be reminded by checking the chart on the club website’s “Events Calendar” page.
NEXT MEETING: After being fortified by a dinner of Chicken Parm, we’ll hold the “2nd annual Great North American Whizbang Trivia Test“ on Thursday, April 7, at Quigley’s. Prizes will be awarded. Guests will be welcome.
(A hint: The categories will include movies, sports, astronomy, uncommon words, and food and drink. So, now you know.)