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Mesa West Rotary Club will not meet in-person or via Zoom Thursday, March 30.  We are dark on the 5th Thursday of any month with five Thursdays.
Wednesday, March 22, twelve members of the Westwood High School Interact Club, along with their chauffeurs, Pam Cohen, Ed Koeneman, and John Pennypacker spent the afternoon packing 20 boxes of food at Feed My Starving Children in Mesa.   Doing the calculations of their contribution to the total effort of all volunteers working, it appears, our group packed enough boxes to provide 4,320 meals which would sustain 12 youngsters for a year at a cost of $1,252.80.  
Opening of Meeting and Welcome - President Pam Cohen
  • Dave Brauchler offered the Invocation.
  • Ray Smith led the Pledge of Allegiance
President Pam thanked Gina Schroeder for filling in for Mike Schroeder who had volunteered to be greeter, but had an out-of-town client come in that needed his assistance.  Diane Ware was also thanked for filling in as Greeter welcoming members who arrived early.
Introduction of Guests
Ed Koeneman introduced Adrian Bomorevez and Josephine Sili who have been selected to be Interact Ambassadors to Mexico to deliver wheelchair parts to a Rotary-connected project where individuals with disabilities repair wheelchairs, earning a living while helping others..  Both of the youth are members of the Westwood High School Interact Club, and both are in their junior year of high school.  They will be travelling to Cuernavaca, Mexico this summer on their mission.  They were at the meeting exchanging cookies for donations.
Those attending via Zoom were welcomed to the meeting:  Pai Bethea, Bob Jensen and Debbie Koeneman.
Ace of Clubs Raffle - Chuck Flint
Chuck briefly explained the raffle,saying the holder of the winning ticket would win the small pot of $35 as well as the opportunity to try to draw the Ace of Clubs from the remaining cards in the deck.  Should they be so lucky, they would win the large pot which was up to $245.  The other way they might win would be if they drew the Joker which would be worth $20.  He asked Warren Williamson to draw the winning ticket, which was held by Diane Ware.  After shuffling the cards face down, the card she drew was the Six of Hearts.
  • Dave Brauchler - Community Service announced he and Don LaBarge had delivered the items donated to the New Life Center by our club members to the Mesa Sunrise Rotary Club meeting March 15.  He said they had a large pile of donated items plus $600-$700 in gift cards.
  • Shelly Romine - Club Service
    • April 8 - Spring Olympics at Koeneman residence.  Ed said there might be a javelina roping contest. - Shelly urged members to sign up (see separate article in March 22 Messengerto follow link and do so)
    • June 29 - 50th Anniversary Celebration - The planning committee has met.  All members play an important part of the success of this event
      • Get photos from 1973 or significant Rotary events and moments in your life to Ed Koeneman.  You can give him an envelope - he will scan them and return them to you!
      • We are soliciting nominations for a non-Rotarian volunteer to be honored at the event
      • We are looking for input into a significant Rotary Club, Event, Project, or ongoing effort that is worthy of People of Action recognition at the event.
  • Colleen Coons asked members to sign up to attend the April 1 dinner to be held at her home.  She volunteered a place to hold the dinner when she learned of a unique need when she travelled to Hermosillo Mexico to visit the Microcredit Project our club is involved with there.  The event is intended to inform Arizona Rotarians about a Rotary project needing support in Hermosillo,  Donations are not required to attend, but will be appreciated from those who are inspired to do so.  Teresa Ruiz-Mendoza, Past President of Club Rotario Hermosillo, Milenio.willl be cooking traditional Mexican food.  Diane Ware has volunteered to be her sous chef.  Several years ago an indigenous tribe relocated to the Hermosillo area to work the fields.  They stayed and had children.  The Hermosillo club became aware that the children's births were not recorded.  Consequently, they were not enrolled in school - they had no birth certificates.  That issue has been remedied.  A school is being built to provide education for the children. The short version of the need is that funds are needed to get the structure to the point that the materials provided by the Mexican government can be locked securely while the balance of construction takes place.  The need for fund to make that happen is pretty immediate.  Tax-deductible donations can be made through GivSum.  The Tempe South Rotary Foundation can also accept tax-deductible donations.  They will manage the disbursement on proof of completion and  receipt(s)  The link to RSVP for the April 1 event is in a separate article in the March 22 Messenger.
  • Pam Cohen reminded members who had taken children's books home to write messages and sign to please return them at the March 23 meeting.  She said several Interact members had taken books home to sign over spring break.  She also announced that Greg Bouslog who was scheduled to present our program had to fly out of town Wednesday evening after getting notified of a death in his family.  Members were seated at tables with their sponsorship drive teammates with the hope they would strategize about raising funds from individuals and entities outside of our club, but money collected at the meeting would again go to the Interact Ambassador programs.
  • Adrian and Josephine where asked to share a little bit about how they got to where they are today in Interact
    • Josephine joined Interact during her Freshman year.  It was the only service club that remained active during COVID.  Huda Muhammed was president.  They met online.  There were projects they could do at home.  Josephine was glad to have something to do.  After they were able to meet at school again, they worked hard to rebuild a strong club.  She was proud of the recognition Westwood HS Interact received at the recent Interact District Conference.  She wanted to be an Ambassador on the Crutches for Africa team partly because she plans to be an anthropology major and thought the experience would provide her with a valuable perspective.
    • Adrian joined Interact during his junior year.  He enjoys the opportunities to participate in service projects. Because the club is "Interactive" he feels he has grown as an individual.  The process of being selected as an Ambassador is competitive in the Interact District.  He is excited to have been selected as an Ambassador to Mexico as he feels that the opportunity to be immersed in another culture and see special needs adults successfully making a contribution will enable him to be more open minded.
  • Jeanie Morgan was aware that some people were feeling like there were feeling confused about money with two specific projects being talked about as well as kicking off a drive to raise funds for our club's charitable foundation.  It had created a "deja vu" feeling for her, reminding her of how she felt when she first heard the Abbot and Costello "Who's on First" routine. For any member who would like to go back in time for a moment - or is too young to know about this comedic classic - CLICK HERE to watch the routine on YouTube.  Jeanie did assure members who put more in the envelopes than they wanted to be used for the Ambassador missions, that she would honor there wishes about how their donation was recorded.
  • Bob Jensen pledged $100 for "that thing" and Pam Cohen contributed $100.
Happy Bucks - Ron Thompson
  • Dave Brauchler was happy to be involved with the choir at his church.  They are having a concert on Friday, March 31.  He promised to bring flyers to our next meeting.
  • Dick Myren contributed his traditional $2 - happy to report that our Honorary Member, Rod Daniels is doing better.  
  • Warren Williamson contributed to tell about a customer in a Chicago bar who approached another customer saying, "You look like you might be Irish."  #2 responded, "I am."  #1 asked, Have you ever been in Ireland?  #2 responded, "I grew up in central Dublin."  #1 responded, "So did I.  Did you by any chance go to St. Mary's?"  #2 responded, "I did."  #1 said, "So did I.  What year did you graduate?"  #2 said "1964"  #1 responded "So did I!"  About that time a regular customer came in and asked the bartender, "What's new?" The bartender responded, "Not much -The Murphy twins are drunk again."
  • Tom Yuzer contributed - he was happy they were going to have a visit from their granddaughter.
  • Chuck Flint contributed saying he wasn't sure why he was happy - much like a lab who doesn't know why his tail is wagging.
  • Diane Ware was happy to have recently learned that her grandfather was a long-time Rotarian in Pennsylvania.
  • Colleen Coons was happy to report that team #5 (Ron Thompson's team) was doing a nice job accumulating donations in their envelope.
  • Ed Koeneman was happy to have two of his favorite Interactors at the meeting, and very happy about the support the club was showing for their Ambassador opportunities.  Ron thought maybe Ed had a trained pet javelina.
  • Ray Smith was happy to be just 30 days away from April 15.
  • Lola McClane contributed to share a time-appropriate knock/knock joke.  
Knock Knock
Who's There?
Irish Who?
Irsih you a Happy St. Patrick's Day
Open Meeting with Welcoming Remarks - President Pam Cohen
  • Dick Myren offered the invocation.
  • Ted Williams suggested members and guests Google The Star Spangled Banner and read the words to the other verses - especially the third verse.  He also suggested that when reciting the pledge, a comma not be placed between "One nation" and "under God" before leading the Pledge of Allegiance.
  • Pam thanked Steve Ross for serving as Greeter welcoming everyone as they arrived for the meeting.
Introduction of Guests
  • Dave Brauchler introduced Kassandra and Natlie as the Emporer and Vice Emporer of the Westwood High School Interact Club.  They came to the meeting with cookies, which they were exchanging for donations to support the Africa trip both girls will be participating in this coming summer.
  • Kassandra provided some information.  Interact Clubs throughout the District collect mobility devices to be placed in containers and shipped to Africa as well as to Mexico.  The Ambassadors selected to go to Africa and Mexico will have the opportunity to deliver the devices to individuals needing them.  Two other Westwood High School Interact Club members have been selected to go on the C4A mission to Mexico.
  • Chuck Flint introduced his guests - visiting Rotarian Konrad Milde and his wife, Idilko Milde.  Chuck and Konrad are both pilots.  They met through a mutual friend, Mike Wiggins.  Mike is also a Rotarian from Canada. 
  • Konrad shared a little information.  He is Youth Exchange Chairman in his country.  He is originally from Switzerland.  He now lives in Dubai.  He and Idilko were married last year.  His Dubai club has 65 members.  They sponsor 2 Interact Clubs, and 6 Rotaract Clubs.
  • Jay Stuckey briefly introduced Tim Holland, who would be presenting the program.
  • Pai Bethea and Debbie Koeneman were attending via Zoom
  • Kassandra provided some information about having been selected to be a C4A Ambassador.  Each Ambassador is required to raise $750 to cover some of their trip expenses.  In addition, they have to get all immunizations required for the trip and get their passports.  
  • Colleen Coons added some additional information about the C4A trips.  For the students going to Africa, their airfare, some of their living expenses, shipping costs for the collected mobility devices.  The total cost for each mission to Africa runs $50,000 to $60,000.  Costs are a bit less for the mission to Mexico.
  • Allan Cady made a $100 donation, challenging others to do the same - to the extent that they could afford to do so.
  • President Pam announced that everything collected during Happy Bucks at the meeting would be designated for the C4A Interact Mobility Device Missions.
Ace of Clubs Raffle - Chuck Flint
Chuck explained that there were two pots available to be won.  The small pot of $40 would automatically be won by the holder of the stub of the ticket drawn.  They would also win the opportunity to try to draw the Ace of Clubs from the cards remaining in the deck.  Should they be so lucky, they would also win the large pot which is up to $210.00.  Chuck asked his guest Idilko Milde to draw the winning ticket, the stub of which was held by Shelly Romine.  When Shelly tried to draw the Ace of Clubs, she instead drew the Four of Hearts.
Happy Bucks - Ron Thompson
  • Before Ron started around the room with the bucket, he put in $40, and Shelly Romine did the same with the $40 she had just won.  Polly Cady put in $1.  She was happy to have received an email from Anita Kegler explaining why we'd not seen her recently.  Anita has been busy traveling back and forth to Albuquerque to help her mother who lives there.  She hopes to be able to get back to attending our meetings soon.  Allan Cady had some good things to say about a movie for which they had the privilege to attend the opening.  The name of the movie is "Jesus Revolution."  Allan understands it is based on a true story, and said it was very well done.
  • John Pennypacker was happy to have booked his travel for his round-the-world trip following the RI Convention ibn Australia.  
  • Colleen Coons was happy to have the opportunity to go with Pam to visit the McKinney-'Vento department in the Mesa Public Schools.  The goal of the McKinney Vento Act is to enable homeless youth to graduate.  They learned 950 families in the Mesa school system qualify as "homeless."
  • Warren Williamson, who had attended the last couple of meetings via Zoom, said he was happy to be alive.  He also reported their washing machine was out.  He was thankful to have an industrious wife who made it possible for him to be wearing clean underwear.
  • Ed Koeneman made a $50 C4A pledge for Debbie Koeneman.
  • Pam Cohen contributed and thanked hte Ambassadors for attending our meeting.
  • Jim McGown  contributed.  He was happy to pick up food for a food bank.  He picked up enough to fill his truck.  The food bank was operated by St. Ann's Catholic Charity work operating out of their facility on Elliot Rd.
  • Dick Myren contributed his customary $2 celebrating the fact that he and honorary member Rod Daniels are both associated with the Ace of Clubs.  He went on to pledge $100 to celebrate his 87th birthday coming up on March 12.  He spoke with Rod recently.  He is doing much better.  They removed 5 gallons of water from his system.
  • John Benedict and Jack Rosenberg emptied their wallets to contribute a combined total of $16.
  • Colleen Coons pledged $100 for C4A with the understanding we could bill her, but Dan has to pay.
  • Polo Santiago contributed $10.
Announcements - President Pam
Pam said that with PDG John Pennypacker's round-the-world trip, he would be gone nearly two months.  She asked for others to fill the gap and step up to arrive early for each meeting to put up the banners, and stay following the meetings to take them down and put them away.
She also reminded members that she had a box of children's books she wants to donate to Phoenix Children's hospital, but wanted members to write encouraging notes to the children who would be recipients of the books during their hospital visits.  She said if some members want to take a few and bring them back next week, it would be fine.
She reminded members to get photos to Ed for the 50th Aniversary Celebration slide show..  The photos can be photos taken in 1973 or photos of memorable Rotary occasions since that time.
If members still want to donate for the New Life Center, they need to get in touch with Dave Brauchler or Don LaBarge if they need help getting them to the Mesa Sunrise meeting Wednesday, March 15. 
To add some momentum to the sponsor campaign, Colleen (and possibly some others) will bring in desserts for tables to bid on at our March 16 meeting.  Members should be seated with their Sponsor Program teams and bid together to try to get the dessert they want.  Members should know by the time they arrive for the meeting whose team they are on.
As Rotarians, we are regularly exposed to opportunities to support various causes with our time, talent and treasure.  Sometimes it is hard to sift through all the information and decide where we are going to use our available financial resources. 
It would be wonderful if every Arizona Rotarian would make the following BIG FOUR their Rotary charities of choice and support every one of them every year, we could make a bigger difference than we are making today.
  1. The Rotary Foundation (TRF) Annual Fund - The Rotary Foundation transforms your gifts into service projects that change lives both close to home and around the world."  Giving a small amount each month adds up.  CLICK HERE to download a form you can use to sign up for Rotary Direct, electing "Annual Fund - Share" for your recurring donation.  
  2. The Rotary Foundation (TRF) Polio Plus - Rotary's commitment to eradicate polio is so well known and respected that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation matches donations $2 for $1.  To take advantage of this opportunity to multiply the effect of your giving, CLICK HERE and download a second Rotary Direct form, this time electing electing "Polio Eradication" for your recurring donations.  Those who donate $100 or more annually to Polio Plus qualify in District 5495 as Polio Plus Society Members.  If you would like to make that commitment, CLICK HERE to download the commitment form.
  3. The Rotary Vocational Fund of Arizona (TRVFA) provides vocational education grants to Arizona Residents who meet specific low-income guidelines.   The grants enable the recipients to lift themselves out of poverty, benefitting themselves, their families and the economy of our state.  TRVFA is a 501(c)(3) charity.  They also are a Qualifying Charitable Organization for Arizona Tax Credit Donations.  Their QCO Code is 20698.  Many Arizona Rotarians say giving to TRVFA is a "no brainer."  If you can help someone lift themselves out of poverty and it won't end up costing you anything why would you not do it?  Mesa West Rotary has the highest number of members who have signed up for automated monthly recurring donations by electing that option on the "Donate Now" button on the TRVFA website.  Click the image to learn more or CLICK HERE to DONATE NOW.  
  4. Mesa West Rotary Foundation, Inc. is the funding and fundraising arm of our own Mesa West Rotary Club.  It is a 501(c)(3) charity.  We have had successful sponsorship campaigns the last few years enabling us to spend our energy on service rather than on holding fundraising events.  Charitable grants that we get involved with are funded through our charitable foundation, Our signature Gift of Hearing Project in Guaymas Mexico is funded through this foundation.  Scholarships are awarded annually to Westwood High School Students (the high school where Mesa West Rotary sponsors an Interact Club).  Funds are used to support a variety of activities in four of the Rotary Avenues of Service:
    1. Community Service
    2. International Service 
    3. Vocational Service
    4. Youth Service
The process isn't quite automated at this point in time, but we hope it soon will be.  For now, you can email our executive secretary who can help you work out a recurring donation plan should you wish to make that arrangement to support our own club's charitable activity.
Club Information
Welcome to our Rotary Club of Mesa West!
Mesa West

Transforming Communities, Creating Opportunities, Impacting Youth

We meet In Person & Online
Thursdays at 12:00 PM
Via Zoom or in-person
Doubletree, 1011 W Holmes
Mesa, AZ 85210
United States of America
Our hybrid meetings are held weekly on the 1st thru 4th Thursdays of each month. The meetings are broadcast via Zoom to include all, whether attending virtually or in person.
Club Executives & Directors
President Elect
Membership Dir "23
Director '23
Director '23
Director '24
Director '24
Public Image Co-Chair
Public Image Co-Chair
TRF Chair
Executive Secretary
No Meeting
Mar 30, 2023
We are dark on the 5th Thursday of any month with 5 Thursdays
Chantelle Lentini
Apr 06, 2023
Inspire Sleep
Abe Feder
Apr 13, 2023
Microcredit Program Update
Dr. Janine Crifasi
Apr 20, 2023
Arizona Chiropractic Neurology
Mary Cary
Apr 27, 2023
Efforts in Ukraine
Simone Netherlands
May 04, 2023
Greg Bouslog
May 11, 2023
Tour of Ross Farnsworth YMCA
Ed Koeneman
May 25, 2023
Youth Services Day
Pam Cohen
Jul 06, 2023
Changing of the Guard
Upcoming Events
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