The Results of our Ebola Relief Fundraiser on December 8th at Umana Restaurant

What an amazing event we just pulled off. What a truly incredible night. When we started planning for this fundraiser, our goal was to sell 50 tickets and make $1,000 for Ebola Relief. On Monday, December 8th, not only did we meet our goal, we far surpassed anything that we could have ever imagined. It is clear that we underestimated the generosity of our community here in the Capital Region and the dedication of our members.

After a night of prizes, inspiring speakers, and great music coupled with great food, drink, and conversation, we are pleased to report that we sold over 90 tickets (bringing the restaurant to capacity) and raised $4,402 and counting! Checks are still coming in. This result is beyond our wildest expectations, and we would like to say thank you, THANK YOU, to everyone who came out and to everyone who has donated. It truly is remarkable what we’ve been able to accomplish.

Once we tally up all of the money, we will be sending a check to NPCA’s Ebola Relief Fund, which will go to local community-based organizations in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea to aid in their fight against this deadly virus. The funds will be distributed to vetted organizations working in West Africa as determined by a fund steering committee, comprised of two representatives of each NPCA member group and chaired by Russell Morgan, Dr. P.H. (RPCV Kenya 1966-1969). The money that we have raised will go directly to those organizations which are on the front lines of this crisis and making a direct impact in the lives of those affected. In short, the money which we have raised is going directly to those who need it and in a responsible way.

Many members worked very hard to make this fundraiser successful, but none more so than the fundraiser’s creators, coordinators, and main motivators: Ruth Senchyna and Heather Senecal. We’re so lucky to have members who are not only dedicated to making a positive impact on a global scale, but who are willing to put in the time and energy to transform good intentions into a successful reality. They have done a great service to those suffering from this epidemic. Thanks too to all the hard-working staff at Umana Restaurant and Wine Bar.

For those of you who were unable to make the event, click here to view the Fundraiser program. On the program you will be able to see a breakdown of the event and a full list of those people and organizations which contributed their time and/or donations for our raffle. Additionally, look for another post with pictures of the event (thanks to Sue Senecah for taking those).

We’re continuing to accept donations through the month of December, so if you would still like to contribute or if you know of someone who would, please contact ebola.albany@yahoo.com. Who knows? Maybe we’ll hit $5,000.

There’s not much else to say except again Thank You! to all who contributed. We truly have done a great thing. Happy Holidays!

Annual Summer Picnic

Our annual summer picnic was held on July 12th at Bob Crowley’s house in Poestenkill. 25-30 people were in attendance, including RPCVs, one current PCV, husbands and wives, and plenty of friends and family. A good time was had by all as we ate, drank, swam, and talked the day away. Until next year, everybody!

 

Good discussion

Good discussion

Good food

Good food

And a great host! Thanks, Bob!

And a great host! Thanks, Bob!

Peace Corps Happy Hour at Umana Restaurant and Wine Bar

A great time was had by all who attended the Peace Corps Happy Hour last night! Thanks again to Umana Restaurant and Wine Bar for hosting us and to RPCV Heather Senecal for organizing the event.

 

The restaurant created a special menu just for our event.

The restaurant created a special menu just for our event.

236 Washington Ave., Albany, New York 12210

236 Washington Ave., Albany, New York 12210

Bob Crowley and Joe and Pat Doherty

Maseeh Mukhtar and Steve Gottlieb

A tableful of RPCVs!

Tessa Eckholm, Sarah Janeski, and Eliot Cresswell

Cheers!

Happy Hour Update – Menu attached

Hi Everyone,

Just a quick update on our Happy Hour Event next Friday (May 2nd) at 6 PM. First, thanks to everyone who RSVP'; it is going to be a fun night. Umana has reserved us the ‘back room’ in the restaurant. It’s a nice open space and we can definitely mingle. We have let the local PCMI programs (School of Public Health and Rockefeller) know about our happy hour and hopefully we will have some future PCV-ers there too.

If you are not sure about whether you can attend, there is still time! As further enticement, Umana has sent us a menu of special small plates they will have for us to order (attached). All prices are inclusive of taxes (but not gratuity). You can also order larger plates off their menu. We decided people can order the wine on an individual basis (rather than trying to find wines that everyone will like) and they will have a bartender available to our group.

We don’t need to order anything in advance; however, Umana asked that I update on approximate numbers by mid-week so they can have ample food on hand. You can order and pay directly at the restaurant.

Hope you can make it. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

See you Friday,

Heather

Click here to view menu.

Habitat for Humanity Build – Saturday May 10th

Looking for (another) way to Volunteer?

Some of you may have met our member Tessa Eckholm (RPCV Mexico). She is looking for some folks to help out on a Habitat for Humanity build. Habitat for Humanity is celebrating National Women Build Week May 4th – 11th. They are looking for 5-10 volunteers (open to everyone, not just women) for Saturday May 10th at the Sheridan Hollow Project site. Building will take place from 8am-3pm and they are having an after party at the Habitat for Humanity offices, just up the street at 3:30 as a thank you for all the Women Build volunteers.

If you are interested in participating or have any questions please email Tessa directly: tessaae@gmail.com. For planning purposes it would helpful if you could RSVP to Tessa by Thursday May 1st.

Here is some information about Women Build Week:

May 4th – 11th is National Women Build Week.  Women Build is a Habitat for Humanity International program that encourages women to make a difference by building homes and communities. The program seeks to encourage women volunteers to further the home-building mission of Habitat for Humanity. Since Women Build’s official creation in 1998, Women Build volunteers have constructed more than 1,600 homes around the world. Women Build 2014 will be taking place in the Capital District May 6th through May 10th, 2014 in Sheridan Hollow. This is a 60 house neighborhood revitalization project in downtown Albany. There is a suggested donation of $25/volunteer for this build to help empower women in the Capital District through home-ownership!

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Events

Happy Hour - Friday, August 22nd – The City Beer Hall in Downtown Albany

Hi Everyone,We are holding another Happy Hour on Friday, August 22nd at 6PM.  This time we will be at the City Beer Hall (42 Howard Street, Albany).  Please feel free to bring your family, friends or anyone else who would like to join us.  We have reserved area on the back patio, so when you arrive just head out back (go past the bar, take a right then take a left  before you get to the kitchen on the first floor).

The Beer Hall has excellent local beers on tap and each beer comes with a free pizza. (They also have wine and spirits). If pizza is not your thing, their menu is quite good too.  You can check out their website for more information: http://thecitybeerhall.com/about-us/

Sarah J set up a Facebook Event for us (and to share with others who might be interested in attending).  Please let us know if you are able to make it (just so we can make sure we have enough tables reserved at the Beer Hall). You can either e-mail me (address below) or on the Facebook event page.

See you there!

Heather

h.senecal@me.com
City Beer Hall


 

Survey request from PhD candidate Meghan Kallman – Brown University

Dear RPCVs of Northeastern New York,

My name is Meghan Kallman, and I am a PhD candidate in the department of sociology at Brown University, in Providence, Rhode Island.  I am writing a dissertation about the relationship between organizations and social change work. I am interested in civic participation, the third sector, and development; in other words, what happens when people try to make their worlds better, and what do formal organizations have to do with that process?

I have elected to write my dissertation on the Peace Corps because I am interested in the effects of volunteering on people’s lives: how are volunteers’ biographies, identities, and politics shaped by participation? How do individual volunteers carry their Peace Corps experience with them throughout their lives and careers? How does this sort of international service experience permanently affect people?

As a part of it, I have created a survey for RPCV’s asking about their experiences abroad. I would be extremely grateful if you would distribute it to your listserv, via Facebook or your social media outlets, and to any other RPCVs in your personal or professional networks. The link is here: https://brown.co1.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_0v3sObMYOUf8N0N

You should find the survey intuitive and enjoyable, and it should take about twenty minutes to complete.

This research has been approved by the Brown University Institutional Review (ethics) Board and is supported by the National Science Foundation and the Horowitz Foundation for Social Policy. Please contact me should you have any questions or concerns. I very much appreciate your consideration.

Regards,

Meghan Kallman

RPCVs of NENY and the US Committee for Refugees and Immigration – How We Can Help

Hi all,
Several meetings ago we had some speakers present to us from the Albany branch of USCRI (The US Committee for Refugees and Immigration). One of the ways they thought our RPCV community might be able to help was with language skills. They sometimes need volunteers to help translate. I will compile a list of people who are willing to possibly help and then I will share the information with USCRI.
If you are interested please send me your full name, phone number &/or email, and languages. Also please specify your language level – beginner, intermediate or fluent.

You can send your information to: sypoggi@gmail.com or rpcvneny@gmail.com

Let me know if you have any questions.

Peace,
Sara Poggi